Articles

 

 

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Articles

 

Living and Staying Free in the Victory of Christ

 

  1. Control Your Environment:  

  • Only run with people who love God
    I Cor. 15:33 Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.

  • The music we listen to and sing should edify our soul and exalt our Savior.

    Phil. 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

    Heb. 2:12 I will declare Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praises to You.

  • The TV we watch (and all other things we see: magazines, internet, etc.) should edify-- build up our soul and exalt our Savior. Our eyes are the window to the soul.
    Jude 20, But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith,…

    Prov. 23:7 As a man thinks in his heart so is he.

Phil. 4:8 Finally my brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy---think on these things.

 

  1. Live a Life of Truth:  Recognize and Run from the lies of Satan. He is the Father of Lies.

SECRETS KILL AND SECRETS DESTROY!

Remember: John 8:32 You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

FACE THE TRUTH- TELL THE TRUTH- BELIEVE THE TRUTH-

TRUST THE TRUTH- LIVE THE TRUTH

 

  1. Establish Your Life in and by the Word of God:  Matt. 4:4, Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

       Psalm 199:11 Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.

             Get your life from God’s Word.

             We are what it says we are! We have what it says we have! We can do what it says we can do!

Know it----Believe it----Trust it----Submit to it.

 

  1. Live to Praise the Lord:  THANKS GIVING IS THANKS LIVING!

        Don’t allow the praises of God to be far from your lips. Live a life of thanksgiving to God.
        Even if you don’t feel like it. Do it any way.

              Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice.

             1 Thess. 5:18 In all things give thanks- for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

                                   

  1. Humble Yourself before God: GOD STILL RESISTS THE PROUD! James 4:6

 

  1. Pursue God:  If you seek Him you will find Him.

        Deut. 4:29 And you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

        James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

 

        Phil. 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

 

             Pursue Him with all your heart.

             Matt. 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.

              


 

The Power of Praise and Worship

 

Yet thou art Holy,

O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

(Psalm 22:3)

 

          In the invisible war, our Lord has given to His people a most powerful weapon of praise. The power and presence of almighty God resides in the praises of God’s people. Satan resents hearing God praised by His children. Martin Luther used to say, “Let us sing psalms and spite the devil.” I have no doubt Martin Luther was pretty nearly right, for that lover of discord hates harmonious, joyous praise. (Spurgeon, Charles H., Power Over Satan, Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA, 1997, pg, 21) As long as the Church can sing her great hymns she cannot be defeated; for hymns are theology set to music. Hymns do not create truth, no even reveal it; they celebrate it. They are the response of the trusting heart to a truth revealed or a fact accomplished. God does it and man sings it. God speaks and a hymn is the musical echo of His voice. (Tozer, A.W. The Warfare of the Spirit, Christian Publications, Camp Hill, PA., 1993, pg.59) Remember, satan is the father of lies. He hates truth. The praising of God’s people reveal the truth of God and His work in their lives. The devil can’t handle it.

          Why is it that praise is so powerful? Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth Me (Psalm 50:23) As we have studied in Chapter 4, all things have been created by God for God. All exists for His glory! When His creation praises Him, His glory is displayed. (Psalm 69:34, Psalm 148, Isaiah 42:10) Satan’s great desire was to rob God of His glory, by receiving what was meant for God for himself. It is an eternally serious matter when God is robed of His glory. He is to be praised! From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised. (Psalm 113:3) Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150:6)

          Praising the Lord reminds the enemy that Jesus Christ is Lord and Master of all. All of the schemes of the enemy against the church are aimed at robbing God of His glory. A discouraged and joyless church is hampered in her praise. Spurgeon put it this way, “Beloved friend, the Archenemy wants to make you wretched here if he cannot have you hereafter. In this, no doubt, he is aiming a blow at the honor of God. He is well aware that mournful Christians often dishonor the faithfulness of God by mistrusting it. Thus he thinks if he can worry us until we no longer believe in the constancy and goodness of the Lord, he will have robbed God of His praise”. (Ibid, pg. 21)

          We also see the powerful significance of praising the Lord. When David numbered 38,000 Levites, 4,000 of them were assigned to praise the Lord. (I Chron. 16:4,6,37) The Levites were appointed to praise in the gates of the tents of the Lord. (2 Chron. 31:2) As we come into the presence of God we are to praise Him. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. (Psalm 100:4) Throughout the Bible the praise of God’s people is essential in their relationship to God. The natural result of knowing God and walking with Him is to praise and worship Him.

          God responds to the praises of His people. God’s power is manifested in the praises of His people. Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings has thou ordained strength.

(Psalm 8:2) Jesus paraphrasing this same passage, put it this way, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise. (Matt. 21:16) It is clear that praise is equated with strength. In 2Chronicles 20:20-22, Jehoshaphat went out to fight a massive army, and notice how he achieved the victory. So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem; believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.  And when he had consulted with the people, He appointed— Warriors? No. He appointed singers, worshipers. Those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. Victory came when they began to sing and praise the Lord.

            Some of the many stories of demon manifestations have come from great worship services. While on a preaching mission in Africa, it became a common occurrence in the midst of the services to see the tormenting of demon spirits in the lives of those who needed deliverance. These manifestations came about primarily during the worship of God’s people. And Oh, how the African believers can worship! Satan can’t stand the worship of God’s people.

Last summer during our Youth Camp at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, God began to move in great power among our young people. Much of the schedule was dismissed because of the praying and confessing of many who were so moved of God. My three children were present that amazing week. They said, “Daddy, the worship of the Lord was constant and genuine”. Many of the young people night after night committed their lives to Christ. Before the week was over there were at least three demonic manifestations. One of them was so dramatic, that the precious young girl was going to kill herself. All who were present saw clearly how Satan can’t stand the praises of God’s people.

            Whenever there is a great work of God among His people it is always accompanied with great praise. As one studies the great revival movements of God, it is impossible to ignore the great music that accompanies the work of God. Music is a great tool to open the heart for the work of God. Of course satan knows the powerful impact of music on the soul of man. Once as a chief musician in heaven, Lucifer knows very well the power of praise to the Lord.(Isaiah 14:11)

 

Music for Revival-time

    

          Music is an integral part of every revival crusade. The spiritual place of music in a revival crusade cannot be over emphasized. More often than not the people’s willingness to hear the message of God is based upon the music and its ability to prepare the heart for God’s Word. Each crusade service is to be truly a time of worship where the people of God lift up their hearts in praise to God. Just like the revival message, the revival music must call for repentance and faith in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins. 

          All Christian music is not appropriate during the revival service. Two guiding concepts should bring into focus the kind of music appropriate for revival. They are REMEMBRANCE MUSIC AND REPENTANCE MUSIC. Revival music is to aid the church in remembering the times of commitment in the past. For many, revival is a time of returning to “Bethel”, the place of our first commitments to Christ. Music that tells the story of Calvary and lifts up the work of Christ is what is encouraged. Revival music tells who Jesus is and what He did for us. Revival music calls for a commitment of repentance and faith. Revival-time is not a time of celebration, it is a time of mourning. Joy comes after the cleansing time of revival. The style of music may vary, however it must be appropriate for the spiritual needs that will be present in the service. An open-heart surgeon never uses a sledge hammer. Chances are if the music came from the “marketplace”, “the top ten” Christian Music Charts, it will have little use in revival.

          At the point that music becomes entertainment it ceases to be worship that is acceptable to God. A revival meeting is not a talent show. Revival music is Christ-centered not self-centered. Music is not about us feeling good, it must be about honoring and blessing the Lord. Revival music is not a “show boat” it must be a “life boat”. Music during revival-time must lift Christ up so that men might come to know Him as Savior and Lord of their lives. We want people to leave the services saying, “How great our God is,” not “how great our talented ones are.” However subtle, we must not allow any praise to find a home in the heart of the musician. All praise and all glory must go to our Lord Jesus. 

 

True Worship in Warfare

You shall surround me with Songs of Deliverance. (Psalm 32:7)

 

          Praise has a spiritual relationship to deliverance. Paul and Silas were praising God in prison when the prison doors were opened and their chains fell off. (Acts 16:25-26) In spiritual warfare praise brings victory. Jericho fell to the trumpets of Joshua (Joshua 6) Judah defeated Israel with a shout. (2 Chron. 13:14-15) Singing defeated Ammon and Moab. (2 Cron. 20:22) The Psalmist makes it clear, there is… triumph in thy praise. (Psalm 106:47) Whenever you go to war against the demonic forces of evil, go praising! (Foster, K. Neill, Warfare Weapons, Horizon Books, Camp Hill, PA, 1995, pg. 41-42) In every instance of deliverance, where there is the praising of God’s people, demons are tormented by it. The worship of our Lord is a sweet healing balm to the afflicted. But to the unholy and wicked it stings like fire. 

Worship that works in warfare is that which exalts the Lord. He is to be worshiped. He alone is to be praised. What are the components of true worship that works in the invisible war?

 

  1. True Worship is SUPERNATURAL.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) True worship is not only what we do. It is moreover that which our Lord does in us through the supernatural communion we have with Him.

 

  1. True Worship is SPONTANEOUS. While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. (2 Chron. 29:28) What I mean by spontaneous is not that which is unruly or chaotic. All things in the worship service must be done properly and in an orderly manner. (I Cor. 14:40) Spontaneous worship is worship initiated out of a grateful heart. Not some emotional ecstasy worked up by a “cheer leader” calling himself a worship leader. True worship is an instantaneous response to the presence and work of God.

 

  1. True Worship is SACRIFICIAL.  I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to god which is your spiritual service of worship. (Romans 12:1) If our worship is to be used of God in the work of God, it must come from a heart that is totally committed to God. Worship is not just what we do. Worship is what we do because of whose we are. All that we are, all that we posses, and all that we hope to be must be brought to our Lord in true worship.

 

  1. True Worship is SANCTIFIED. And He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness. (Malachi 2:3) As in the previous verse in Romans, worship is to be holy unto the Lord. Worship is to be different, set apart, and holy. It is to be unlike anything else we do. True worship is to come from a pure heart living in the righteousness of God.

  1. True Worship is SUBMISSIVE.  God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:6-7) Submission is not to be confused with passivity. Passivity is one of the great spiritual dangers in the life of the believer. Submissive is to seek only the will of the Father. Worship is to exalt Christ alone. True worship comes from the heart that has chosen to humble itself before God. Remember, beloved, this one striking point: Jesus Christ will have all of us or nothing. He will have us sincere, earnest, and intense, or He will not have us at all. If you wish to give Christ a little and Baal a little, you will be cast away and utterly rejected- the Lord of Heaven will have nothing to do with you. Bless the Lord, then, all that is within me, (Psalm 103:1) for only such sincere and undivided honor can be accepted by the Lord. (Spurgeon, C.H. The Power in Praising God, Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA, 1998, pg. 46-47) When worship comes from a heart totally submitted to the purposes of God, the devil is in trouble and he knows it. (Rev. 12:11)      

 


 

 

The Right to Win!
Eph. 1:19-2:6

 

          The Word of God tells us that god has put His children in a fierce battle against the forces of darkness. Eph. 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. I had to learn the hard way that I was not well prepared or trained to fight to win in this amazing battle against supernatural powers of darkness. I was living with the assumption, now that I was saved I just needed to do the best I could and God would take care of my family, my ministry, my marriage, etc. Boy, was I wrong!

1. We must engage these evil forces or be defeated by them (I Peter 5:8). Dr. Timothy Warner while a Professor in the School of World Missions and Evangelism at the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School said, “How resist got changed to ignore in so many segments of the church I do not know. When it did however, Satan and his forces gained a great strategic advantage.” Every warning in the Bible concerning this spiritual battle is written to the church. It is our battle as believers.
 

2. We do not fight alone.  "be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."  Praise God we are not alone in the battle.  We have the Angels of our Lord to help us (Heb. 1:14)  We have the Spirit of God who enables us in our union with Christ (Eph. 6:18).  We also have the Prayers of the Saints that are kept in bowls around the Throne of God we can offer to our Lord (Rev. 5:8)

 

3. We have the right to win (Eph. 1:19-2:6). The authority of God manifested in the power of God has been given to the church, vs. 21-22.  Can you imagine it?  Look what God's Word says here!  All authority over evil supernaturalism has been given to the church.  In our union with Christ, we share everything the Father has given to His Son.  When God seated his Son at His right hand, the Word of God says we too have been seated with him Chapter 2, vs. 6.  Wow what authority - what power we have been given!  What a responsibility our Lord has given to His church.  This authority and power is the power to win.  It is the power to be free.

 

4. In our strength - In our flesh, we cannot win (2 Cor. 10:3-4). For thought we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  Why do we persist in fighting in the flesh?  Maybe it's because we are more comfortable with the flesh than we are the spirit.  Whatever the reasons, we must learn we cannot expect to win in this battle for our children, our homes, our churches, ministries, etc., unless we learn to war in the realm of the spirit with the spiritual weapons our Lord has given us in Him (Eph. 6:10-18)

 

5. In Christ, we cannot lose.  Victory is certain (Col. 2:13-15). ...Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (the cross).  Think of it, in this battle we must fight, the victory is certain.  All of God's enemies are defeated. "Rob, then why if the battle is already won do we still have to fight?"  I see two biblical reasons:  1) If we do not learn to trust the Lord and walk by faith, we will be defeated.  And living by faith is God's will for His children.  2) there is a victor's crown we can win for our Lord without the battle, there is no victory.

 

          Dear Friend, you are not alone. In Christ, we have been given God’s power to win and His victory is certain. Thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ (2 Cor. 2:14). We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:37). Today, let’s join our hearts together and resolve that we shall fight as victors through our Lord Jesus Christ. May the battle take us to the places where we must learn that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!