Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 96 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; Overcoming the power and influence of Satan; Eph 6:10-18.
length: 59:36 - taught on May, 26 2016
Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 96 - Essential qualities of leadership: The filling of the Spirit; Overcoming the power and influence of Satan; EPH 6:10-18.
In prayer we individually draw close to our Father in privacy and share our desires for others and well as for ourselves, to ask for wisdom and direction, to share the day's events and seek His will and ways in our everyday lives, to thank Him for all that He is and has done, to share your deep praise of Him for who He is, to adore Him, to seek His counsel, all in all, to be a son who seeks a private audience with his Father.
The child is to know the Father. Prayer doesn't only contain adoration, but definite and concrete petition for the saints.
Though we do not war against flesh and blood, the minions of Satan, made of flesh and blood will attempt to war against us. This is futile, of course, since our armor can effectively defeat Satan it has not trouble with those of mankind who oppose God.
But a word must be said concerning prayer for our enemies.
Prayer for our enemies is not for their defeat, but for their deliverance from evil and their salvation. God loves His enemies and so must we.
MAT 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.'
MAT 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you
MAT 5:45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
MAT 5:46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same?
MAT 5:47 "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
MAT 5:48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect [perfect love toward all mankind].
Through the medium of prayer we go to our enemy, stand by his side, and plead for him to God, and this despite the fact that he will likely use and persecute us.
This is not weakness as the world sees it. We do not condone our enemy or weaken ourselves before him. In serving him we are strong and full of love and truth. As our Lord served all, even His disciples who were once His enemies, He did not diminish His power by the slightest amount, but rather revealed power.
Evil and sin bring distress and poverty. It may not be financial poverty, but the poverty that is even more crippling to the spirit of man, poverty in the soul that is devoid of truth, love, and hope.
In prayer for them we are interceding for their distress and poverty. We are doing vicariously for them what they cannot do for themselves.
Every insult they utter only serves to bind us more closely to God for them. Their persecution of us only serves to make us more fervent in interceding for their reconciliation to God and entrance into the triumphs of God's love.
The love for our enemies takes along the way of the cross and into fellowship with the Crucified.
The more we are driven along this road, the more certain is the victory of love over the enemy's hatred. This is the love of Christ, which is the law of Christ, in which He prayed for His enemies to crowded around the cross as He hung there, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do."
It is this love that opens the believer's eyes to see his enemy as something more than an enemy, but in fact a brother, or a potential brother.
The believer knows that he owes his life to the One of whom he was once an enemy.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household
The sane believer does not desire his enemy to remain outside of the household, but to come inside and be warmed in the presence of Christ. He remembers that he too was once outside and not able to come in as a son of the household.
The believer perceives that his enemy is the object of Christ's love. When the believer was saved God asked him nothing of his virtues or vices, for in His sight, even our virtues were detestable. God's love sought out His enemies. He called them. They did not call or seek for Him. Perfect, all inclusive love is the act of the Father, it is also the act of the sons of God as it was the act of the only-begotten Son.
I want to quote a German theologian from 1880, August Friedrich Christian Vilmar.
"This commandment, that we should love our enemies an forgo revenge will grow even more urgent in the holy struggle which lies before us and in which we partly have already been engaged for years. In it love and hate engage in mortal combat. It is the urgent duty of every Christian soul to prepare itself for it. The time is coming when the confession of the living God will incur not only the hatred and the fury of the world, for on the whole it has come to that already, but complete ostracism from 'human society,' as they call it. The Christian will be hounded from place to place, subjected to physical assault, maltreatment and death of every kind. We are approaching an age of widespread persecution. Therein lies the true significance of all the movements and conflicts of our age. Our adversaries seek to root out the Christian Church and the Christian faith because they cannot live side by side with us, because they see in every word we utter and every deed we do, even when they are not specifically directed against them, a condemnation of their own words and deeds. They are not far wrong. They suspect too that we are indifferent to their condemnation. Indeed they must admit that it is utterly futile to condemn us. We do not reciprocate their hatred and contention, although they would like it better if we did, and so sink to their own level. An how is the battle to be fought? Soon the time will come when we shall pray, not as isolated individuals, but as a corporate body, and congregation, a Church: we shall pray in multitudes (albeit in relatively small multitudes) and among the thousands and thousands of apostates we shall loudly praise and confess the Lord who was crucified and is risen and shall come again. And what prayer, what confession, what hymn of praise will it be? It will be the prayer of earnest love for these eyes aflame with hatred, and who have perhaps already raised their hands to kill us. It will be a prayer for the peace of these erring, devastated and bewildered souls, a prayer for the same love and peace which we ourselves enjoy, a prayer which will penetrate into the depths of their souls and rend their hearts more grievously than anything they can do to us. Yes, the Church which is really waiting for the Lord, and which discerns the signs of the times of decision, must fling itself with its utmost power and with the panoply of its holy life into this prayer of love."
We are not to war against the human enemy. If we take revenge, or if we respond to them with anything other than God's agape love, then our armor will lay on the ground beside us and we will open ourselves up to demonic attack. Don't fall for this trick. We war not against the blood and flesh of the world. In fact we fight for them in love and in prayer that they may be released from the prison of sin and death.
We will look at prayer again when we get to more characteristics of effective leadership.
The armor all together is a picture of Jesus Christ. As our way is the way of Him, so our armor is His.
We have the belt of truth and He is truth, the breastplate of righteousness and He is our righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace and He is our gospel and our peace, the shield of faith and He is the object of our faith as well as the giver of faith, the helmet of salvation and He is our salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and He has sent us the Spirit and He is the living word of God, and finally prayer, which is always in His name.
Christ wore this armor in time and He displayed what it could do. It needs to be in the use of the Christian soldier who is in shape. One who is a constant learner and who is occupied with the will of the Father and not the details of life.
No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
Our current principle is:
Overcoming the power and influence of Satan demands the filling of the Spirit. Since he is a supernatural foe, human power cannot overcome him.
I repeat, Satan cannot not be overcome without the power of God the Holy Spirit. We cannot be overcomers on our own. Do not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit, but be filled and walk by means of the Spirit.
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
You have overcome because He is greater, not that you are greater.
In review, the armor is the person of Christ in operation through the believer in time as he battles Satan and the kingdom of darkness. Its application is:
EPH 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.
EPH 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.