“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:18
Now is the time for those who are washed in the precious blood of Jesus Christ to rise up and fully enter into the life that He has purchased for us. He has saved us for His glorious purpose, and He longs to fulfill it in and through us! Our Lord longs to demonstrate His triumph and praise through His people, but we are slow to enter into the fullness of the promise of “no longer I, but Christ.” [Gal. 2:20]. We have tarried and held back for so long that it seems normal to us … but it is really a terrible sin against Him and a mark of our unbelief that we continue to remain in our present condition. This is the thrust of Hebrews chapters three and four! He brought us out of our old life in order to bring us into His New one.
Spiritual battles are raging on every side of us, and the casualties are many; but the church seems powerless to engage and triumph in them because we are still fighting with the carnal weapons of our old life, and the supplies of our own understanding and plans. Unbelief has robbed us and left us living in the wilderness of our unbelief and human ideas.
God never intended that we live the Christian life by our own strength or determination. He has something much more glorious in mind than sentimental sponsorship of His kingdom! He intends that the very Life of the Lord Jesus become our life and supply for all things. The abiding Life of His indwelling Life is the key to victory for the church. “No longer I, but Christ” is the way of true rest. But … “He must increase and I must decrease” [John 3:30]. This involves a fresh appropriation of the cross and our death with Him. Apart from this daily dying and self-emptying all we can expect is a life that may look spiritual but really is not! We might be “busy in church,” but we will not be effective in His Kingdom. And God will certainly not be pleased!
We must stop asking God to fight our battles for us and start believing Him to fight His battles through us. But we must enter in to His full promise before we are on the real battleground. This is so gloriously pictured for us in the book of Joshua. Crossing into the land of Canaan is a picture of the spiritual rest and victory which is meant to be the inheritance of every single believer here on earth. Resting IN and trusting the Lord Jesus, and living in the power of His Risen Life, is the promise from God to every believer! The deliverance from Egypt was only the beginning of His process of bringing His people into the full enjoyment of Canaan. He brought them OUT of Egypt so that He might BRING THEM IN to the full possession of the promise. But unbelief robbed the people of God and left them in “circular living”in the wilderness of sin and unbelief. According to the Word, the journey from Egypt to Canaan was only an eleven day journey (Deut. 1:2), but unbelief stretched it into a forty year endurance. What a picture for us! The majority of Christians come far short of God’s full intention and are content with “wilderness” living. If you will prayerfully read Hebrews chapter 3 and 4 you will see this parallel and warning clearly! Out … but not yet in!
Many, while justified by the blood of the Lamb and experiencing God’s deliverance from bondage, have not yet entered into the full enjoyment of the abiding life of rest in Christ. They experience the provision and care of God on a certain level, but have not entered into the life of “no longer I, but Christ.” They cannot fight in God’s battles because they are still fighting their own battles. Instead of living in the fullness of His promises they continue to walk by sight, unable to let go in their hearts of the pleasures of their old life. Their concern is about their own survival and blessing. They may be saved, but it is “as by fire” [1 Cor. 3:15].
God says that there is a higher plane of life than this! There remains a rest for the people of God. Jesus has purchased it all for us and He yearns for us to enter in, but we can possess only what we claim by faith. We must “cross Jordan” into the Life that is promised. It is entering into the heavenly realm and learning to live in the Spirit. This is the thrust of the whole book of Ephesians! The crossing of Jordan is a mighty picture lesson to us of what must happen before we can truly enter in to the full promise and intention of God. It is the end of the self-life and the beginning of the Christ-Life!
How do we do this? By faith! We must keep our eyes on the Ark of God’s Covenant, Jesus Christ, and follow Him as He leads us into all of the promises of God. As we claim our death with Christ and dare to receive it by faith, we may trust the Life of our Risen Lord as our very life. As we meditate in His Word He will begin to lead us in His triumph. He will make us ready for the battle field…
(Part 1 of 3) Al Whittinghill, Kneemail, 2/2010 edition, used with permission. firstname.lastname@example.org
Serving with Ambassadors for Christ International, 1355 Terrell Mill Road, Building 1462, Suite 100, Marietta, GA 30067, Phone: 770-980-2020 http://www.afci-usa.com REVIVAL IN THE CHURCH – EVANGELISM THRU THE CHURCH – TRAINING FOR THE CHURCH
…”and whatsoever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the father may be glorified in the son. If you ask anything in my name, i will do it.” John 14: 13 -14
“I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” Ezekiel 33:7