Thursday, April 5, 2012

Overcoming Giants

"Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it." (Numbers 13:30)

Can you hear the warrior in Caleb? I imagine him ending this sentence with a war-cry, a rebel yell!  He'd seen the same giants, the same fortified cities and high walls as the rest of them. Yet he was completely undaunted by the task that the Lord had placed before them. He was more aware of the presence of the Lord with them than of the opposition. And here, too, is our key.  Sustained awareness of God with us, will keep us from a distorted view of the size and ability of the enemy in the circumstances of our life. Here are a few sure ways to maintain our focus on God and his great love for us and great ability to deliver us:

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Notice that each of these things listed are to be continually happening in our lives; Always, without ceasing, in everything. 

1.) Thanksgiving
Ahh...what a tool given us by God to disarm the works of hell against us. Such an unassuming thing, but powerful. Though God is not the author of the  heartbreaks and trying circumstances we sometimes face, he is nevertheless sovereign over all things, and able to MAKE THEM WORK for our good.

 It is thanksgiving in the midst of adverse situations in our life, those obstacles the enemy meant to undermine your faith and discourage you, that enables us to take that situation and set it apart to God for his purposes. 

Are you facing a discouraging prognoses? Begin to let the fruit of your lips give Him thanks, not for authoring that crisis, but for his heart to bring blessing through it, and his power to transform it (and you!). 
Name aloud one by one all the blessings of God that right now are overflowing in your life UNTIL joy comes. In that joy you will find the strength you need to overcome.

2.) Rejoicing
Clearly without the tool of thanksgiving operating fully in our lives we cannot 'rejoice always'. Thankfulness gets us in the gates, praise and rejoicing usher us into the courts of His presence - remember that's the place we want to dwell! 

David knew the glory of those courts when he said, "Better is one day in His courts than a thousand elsewhere." (Psalm 84)
Praise in the midst of the problems around us is what it means to bring a 'sacrifice of praise'. 
    A true sacrifice to God must always cost us something. Consider that trial your facing as an opportunity to give God the 'sacrifice' of praise that you could offer Him no other way but for that trial. 

Though our giving of praise and rejoicing is not so we can get from God, but to give him what's His due, in His goodness it turns out that WE actually receive a blessing back when we 'rejoice always', praising Him. 

Taking the time to stop, and remove from our  mind's view the circumstances around us, and have our gaze be completely filled by the greatness of our God makes it impossible to look back at those circumstances with the same perspective. It's as if the growing awareness of who He is rubs off on us and we see things from the vantage point of the heights of his power and love. Like Caleb, we will find ourselves swelling with confidence! Not because the giants disappeared, but we suddenly are looking down on them from the heaven's vantage point. This is to be our sustained lifestyle!

3.) Praying
Praying in the Spirit aligns us with Heaven, with the will of the Father. The Spirit praying through us is only going to speak what He hears the Father saying. (John 16:13-14) Though we are 'speaking mysteries',  pressing into prayer with our spiritual language brings us into alignment with what the Father is saying about our circumstances. It bypasses our human intellect and puts us in immediate touch with our spirit-born faith. 

For me, I press into prayer in the spirit until the Spirit reveals to my mind what to declare, what to pray with 'my understanding'.  Paul said, 'I pray in the Spirit and with my understanding' (1 Corinthians 14:15). This is the kind of prayer that gets results. How fruitless to throw up random prayers and hope that one of them will produce a response from God! We are to pray and ask in accordance with His will if we expect to see answers.  And expect we must!

 If we have accessed through the Spirit what the heart of God is for our circumstance, we can pray with confidence as God's agents on this earth to bring His kingdom's reign here on earth. As we offer our lives to God, truly desiring him to grow us up in Christ, he will allow us to face circumstances that will not shift until we have leaned into his voice and heard what he is saying about it and begin making those declarations in faith that we have heard our Father saying concerning the circumstance and us! This is how Jesus functioned in the earth; only doing and saying what He heard and saw the Father do.

     The place you are in is not your final destination. But where you are is meant to become your possession. Perhaps you have recently been released into a new territory, you are well able to take the land! Maybe you feel like you've been roaming around the same level for awhile, under the enemy's thumb. Determine to take up the tools that God has given into your hand and conquer the giants! The word says that those giants are to be your 'bread'.  
"Only do not rebel against the Lord, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their defense and the shadow [of protection] is removed from over them, but the LORD IS WITH US. Fear them not." (Numbers 14:9)

Maintaining a sustained focus on the Lord who is with us, Emmanuel, will cause us to walk in the victory promised to us all.

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