"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

When the Spiritual Battle Becomes a Power Showdown Than Just a Matter of Talk

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Lots of times we forget that we're engaged in a spiritual, cosmic war, not a battle against flesh and blood. Often we think ministry is about competing with other churches for being the most numerous church of all. Thus, our actions are confined to the earthly realm, though we try to garnish what we do with prayers and worship to make it look spiritual in nature.

Stuck to the Earthly

A lot of churches can't go beyond the physical because that's all the realm they know. They grope in the dark once they try to venture even at the threshold of the supernatural. They can't tell between spirits and often mistake the devil's schemes as the will of God.

How would we react, for instance, if someone is all praises to us? Paul met a girl with a demon who praised him and company as "servants of the Most High God who are telling you the way to be saved." Sounds good to the ego. We'd probably take the compliment all ears, especially when we're so fond of receiving recognition, awards, certificates, acknowledgement, citations, tributes and what-have-you in church today.
How can you believe when you accept each other's praise and do not look for the praise that comes from the only God? [John 5.44]
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But Paul was a true spiritual warrior. He knew the enemy was speaking. He could discern sharply in the spirit. He rebuked the demon in the girl and she stopped her praises since then. I wonder what we would've done if we got the same commendation? A head swell?

Jesus' authority was once challenged by the religious leaders of his time, those purported to be "experts" in the bible and were supposed to be solidly bible-based. How dare he claim to forgive sins. He was blaspheming! If we were in his place, we would've started defending ourselves with arguments and debates and theological discussions which sound good but are all garbage. You can never silence mouths this way because people will always have ripostes in a religious debate. After all, talk is cheap.

God's Kingdom is about power. Jesus and the apostles proved this in Scriptures. So did the prophets and patriarchs. Even in Esther where God was never mentioned, you see his supernatural act directing the mind of King Xerxes, working everything out for the good of the Jews, even granting Esther and Mordecai the exclusive use of his signet ring and letting them author new laws in Persia to fulfill their wishes. It wasn't a matter of talk. This thing can only be possible with nothing less than God's supernatural power.

Power-Backed Authority

So Jesus was demanded an explanation for claiming to forgive sins which was God's function alone. But he didn't argue. He didn't theologize. Instead, he made a dare in these terms: "Which is easier, to say you sins are forgiven or to make the lame walk?" Of course, it's easier to just say something than do a miracle. Talk is cheap. And that's all the church can do today. Argue.
"But so you may know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins..."
In other words, his supernatural power will prove his authority or claim. He made the lame walk again, and the Pharisees were speechless. They couldn't argue against that. How could they win against a man who obviously had God's power and approval when they had absolutely zero power? This is something you don't see in church anymore. All people do there is talk and boast. They prove their points by their human theology. Nothing more. I don't know about them but I want God's power back in church! Because the Lord we worship operated supernaturally. His authority was backed by God's awesome supernatural power.

Today, authority is backed by titles and degrees.

Paul was similarly challenged, not by Pharisees, but some "believers" in the Corinthian church. Sadly, Christians like them proliferate in church today, too. They claim to know God but mock his supernatural power. "They have a form of godliness but deny its power. Have nothing to do with the,," [2 Timothy 3.5]. They believe the miracles in the bible, but if they see a believer today do the miracles in Jesus' Name, they frown at it, especially those who take pride in their theology.

Paul made it clear that the church is designed by God to engage in a supernatural power showdown in the spirit realms, not just mouth earthly, boastful, argumentative words.
But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. [1 Corinthians 4].

Mere Word, Not Talk

But don't get me wrong. Real God power is executed by a word. The universe was created with mere words. Jesus drove out demons with a word. The centurion knew Jesus could release power by just saying the word. Kingdom power is tapped with the use of accurate rhema Word---the very Word from God's own mouth to our mouths.

But it's not mere talk.

A lot of "preachers" or "evangelists" today can talk and do stand-up comedy but not release power from heaven to earth. What they do is mere talk and they think that is of the Kingdom. If you evangelize just using what you learned from seminars or bible schools or seminaries, you promote faith that rests on human wisdom.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. [1 Corinthians 2.5]
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