"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” --- Matt. 11:12
The first day of April 2018 is Resurrection Sunday. We can celebrate the resurrection of Christ because He fulfilled the purpose for which He was sent to earth. He lived His life on earth in the fullness of authority available to Him from the written Word of God, and from His submission to the counsel and direction of the Holy Spirit. His life pleased and delighted the heavenly Father because He walked in perfect obedience.
As it was while Christ and His disciples walked the earth, the same is true today - the Kingdom of God is by power and righteousness. The Kingdom is to be the primary focus of the believer; it operates by power principles. Failure to understand these principles makes one’s destined end and dreams a mirage. The enemy is a violent and bitter adversary and must be stopped by proactive, defensive force. Whatever the LORD Jesus Christ offers at Calvary for the redeemed is only enforced and delivered on the platform of warfare. You must know what belongs to you that you may apply the relevant force for delivery (Matthew 11:11-15). Until you fight the good fight of faith, the delivery of eternal life and all other redemptive benefits are not in view (1 Timothy 6:12). Contention, for what is rightfully ours, is the principle behind the recovery and delivery of life’s inheritance (Deuteronomy 2:24).
According to Isaiah 53:12, the spoils of life are shared among the strong. The weak do not share in the spoils of life. Victory in spiritual warfare is what qualifies a man for sharing in the spoils of life (1 Samuel 30:18-20; 2 Chronicles 20:25). It is people that share the spoils of life that take their place among the great in life. Those who cannot share in the spoils of life remain small, little, irrelevant and insignificant and exploited. It takes strength in life to do exploits (Daniel 11:32, Isaiah 53:12). Strength is conventionally the main determinant of victory (Luke 11:21-22).
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, we are made to understand that ”For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds).” The day a child is born, he begins a lifetime of battle. Everyone living is engaged in one form of battle or the other. Many have become prisoners of war (POWs) brutally abused and despicably treated by captors. Deliverance is by force because the enemy does not release his captives easily or willingly.
Every human being has received a call; a call to WAR. It is not a war fought in the earthly realm but in the heavenly one. A war not fought with tanks and jets, but, with prayer and worship! A war fought with the Sword of the Spirit and the Shield of Faith (God’s Word). Wake up to reality and fight the good fight for your life and do it by force. How do I know force is needed to rectify my individual lack of redemptive rights as one born again? Review the non-exhaustive list below for self-identification:
- Your calling has been compromised by a career
- When your desire to serve your employer has become greater than your desire to serve God
- When your problems seem greater than your God
- When you cannot sleep at night for fear of the devil and his armies
- When you are too busy to come to the house of God for regular meetings
- When you are afflicted for trying to help someone else
- When you struggle through school to get a degree yet do not gain employment
In Acts 13:8-11, Paul the apostle was on a divine assignment. He was Salt and Light to his generation. He was populating heaven by diverting hell’s traffic. Satan and his cohorts were angry about this and sought retaliation. Their plan was to infiltrate the camp of the righteous with Elymas, the sorcerer. Paul was to catch a big fish for Jesus; the proconsul, named Sergius Paulus, was to be won to Christ. However, Elymas, also known as Bar-Jesus, who was in the employ of the proconsul, was not interested in furthering the cause of the gospel and so withstood Paul. Therefore, Paul confronted Elymas with a verdict of force saying, “…O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the LORD?” (Acts 13:10). By force, Elymas’ negative experience expanded the Kingdom of God, as Sergius Paulus was won to the faith, much to the enemy’s chagrin.
Presently, Satan’s major attack against the Body of Christ is not a frontal attack, but a subversive attack through intrigue, fear, lies, deception, false doctrine, and the likes. Occasionally, he works openly, but most often, his activities are carried out discreetly and with serpentine cunning (Genesis 3:1). For his goal has always been, and always will be, to turn mankind away from GOD. In this season, it appears the devil’s employs to trip Christians up are intrigue, deception, and hellish reconstruction of biblical doctrines. If he can distract, derail, or discourage us, or get us to yield to temptation, then, he has succeeded. Our weapons have been divinely provided in Christ. Consequently, our protection against Satan’s attacks is assured only if, and when, we take up the full armor of GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18). Satan is a defeated foe, but his complete demise is yet in the future. We have already alluded to Satan’s defeat at the cross of Calvary. Nevertheless, we shall say it once again; Satan’s demise is certain! The LORD is near to all who call on Him (Psalms 145:18). Call on Him this month through prayer and worship and every storm shall be over in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Our Redeemer and Arch-conqueror has gone ahead of us to fight and win battles on our behalf. All we do in spiritual warfare is to appropriate the victory that He has won for us in the mighty Name of Jesus. If you will fight by the law of the Spirit of Life, the winner of the battle has been decided before the battle began (Romans 8:2). The referee in the battle is your Redeemer. He is on your side, so, until you win, He will not blow the final whistle. Fight the good fight of faith and your victory will be registered and announced (1 Timothy 6:12)!
As you pray these prayers, may your redemptive rights be restored by force in Jesus’ Name:
- Father, for every battle I must fight in life, let me come out a victor and not a victim in Jesus’ Name (1 Corinthians 15:57).
- Every power working, in the order of the Prince of Persia, to highjack my blessings, be arrested in Jesus’ Name.
- Father, as I fight the battles of life, equip me with the right weapons that ensure victory in Jesus’ Name.
- Father GOD, I dispatch Your Fire to the heavenlies to destroy every power working against my life, family, success, and prosperity, in Jesus’ Name.
- Father, set me free from the hand of my captors, spiritual or human, in Jesus’ Name (Psalms 79:11).
- I break every curse designed to get me close to my life goals but never complete achievement in my job, ministry, marriage, family and business in Jesus’ Name.
- LORD Jesus, wipe every manifestation of imprisonment off my life. I refuse to live my life as a prisoner, in Jesus’ Name (Zechariah 9:11).
- Father, send your angels to battle on my behalf. Please cause to be released to me every good and virtue in me that the devil has imprisoned, in Jesus’ Name (Daniel 10:11-13).
- Let every arrow of shame and reproach back fire, in the Name of Jesus.
- Father, help me not to spend my life only laboring daily to make money. Please bring me to the point where my money will, in turn, work for me in Jesus’ Name (Ecclesiastes 10:19).