Ephesians 6:11-18 warns us in this way, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. “
I believe God has transitioned the body of Christ into a new season of development. We are full of knowledge and teaching, yet we still speak negatively and walk in fear of our future. This is because our knowledge of God’s goodness is not mixed with faith. Do you know that negative talking for a Christian is a form of evil speaking? It does not line up with the Spirit of Christ within us, which is the word of God, and it opens the door to the evil one, Satan (Proverbs 18:21; Ephesians 4:30,31). In this season, the Church is called to rise up, undistracted by the chaos of the world, and begin to connect with the mind and heart of God. The strivings and anxious concerns of yesterday are over. God is not sitting nervously on some distant throne. He is still large and in charge and He is shifting the mindset of His Church!
Much of the body of Christ have lived in a state of underdevelopment. We have unconsciously passed the legacy of weak Christianity onto the generations watching and following behind us. We have seen many of our Church-taught youth become prey to the enemy because they lack personal encounters with the Savior of their souls, Christ Jesus. BUT…things are changing. Holy Spirit is chasing after them with truth and the spirit of boldness accompanied with power to do mighty things in the name of Jesus.
Weak Christianity is salvation without knowing or walking in the power and authority we, as blood bought children of God, possess. It is time to be developed into who we really are. Every gift from God is anointed to encourage, strengthen, change the atmosphere around us, and even change lives. The Holy Spirit has been sharing with me the power behind the gifts each born-again believer receives when they give their hearts to Jesus. We have treated what heaven has bestowed upon us lightly because we did not understand that each gift is also a weapon against the enemy and weapons of power and authority for us to use in the world in which we live.
The Greek word for weapon is hóplon. It means an instrument normally used for war; armor. Let’s face it, there are two kingdoms; the kingdom of darkness ruled by Satan and the kingdom of righteousness and light, ruled by God and His Christ. The weapons of our warfare in the kingdom of righteousness are not of this world, but they are mighty to the pulling down of demonic strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3, 4 paraphrased). That is why those who belong to God through Jesus Christ have been equipped with instruments/tools to prevail. Let’s review some of our Spirit-given gifts/weapons.
The weapon of Holy Spirit: This is our lead power weapon! Without Holy Spirit none of the weapons we’ve been equipped with will work effectively. The third person of the God-head, He is the most misunderstood and under-used weapon we have been given. He lives inside of us and is our Helper to teach, comfort, and develop us into true sons and daughters of God. (John 14:26 NKJV) It is He who bestows new visions, new levels of anointings, and new mantels upon us. (Let’s just pause here for a “Hallelujah” praise break for the Holy Spirit!)
The weapon of Love: The Greek word for love here is agape (Strong’s G25). This kind of love operates through us regardless of the personalities of others. We are given a command to live this way in Matthew 5:43-48. We may not like what they do or what they say, but we are commanded to love. It becomes our weapon against hate, division, and revenge. We are carriers of the light of Christ that shines brightly among the darkness. When we walk in love, the enemy’s schemes have no power or authority over us. It is super, or beyond, what we call natural.
The weapon of Thanksgiving: A thankful heart is a grateful heart. It is a weapon that keeps our hearts at peace. It says to the Lord, “I see the bad, but I choose to focus on the good. I bless You for all the good. Lord, You are always good, and I know You will turn even the bad around to work out for my good because I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:6, 7)
The weapon of Prayer: Prayer is open communication with God and Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. We get this open line of communication at salvation. There is a mandate from heaven to the church to get stirred up again to pray for our nation, our world, God’s beloved Israel, our families, ourselves, and the body of Christ as a whole. When we allow our weapons of love and forgiveness to be developed, our hearts are softened to pray for each other as well as our enemies. It is so vital to our well-being and the world, that 1Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing.
The weapon of Forgiveness: This weapon cleanses the soul and makes peace with it. I listed prayer before forgiveness as a reminder that oftentimes we pray without surrendering our anger and unforgiveness, while expecting God to do mighty things for us. We all know this is wrong, yet we refuse to release others, or make peace with them, or even allow ourselves to love them the way Jesus would. (Selah) Forgiveness is choosing to not be controlled by the emotions of hurt and pain. It acknowledges and feels the wrong, but rushes to take it to Jesus until the memory no longer has the power over our hearts and lives the enemy intended it to have. (Ephesians 4:32)
The weapon of Humility: Walking in the shoes of peace, humility is our weapon of inner strength. It does not push for status or recognition, and it is master over selfishness because the human will is submitted to God’s will. (Colossians 3:12,13) Unfortunately, humility has been mistaken as a form of weakness by some, but Jesus’ life has proved that to be untrue. Being fully submitted to the will of His Father, zeal for God’s house, prompted Jesus to aggressively drive out sellers and buyers at an outdoors market set up in the temple court. (Matthew 21:12; Philippians 2:7,8))
The weapon of Wisdom: In this season, we will need the wisdom of God. It is ours for the asking (James 1:5, 3:17). A brief definition of wisdom is, “good sense shown in a way of thinking, judgment, or action”. When the Spirit of God is involved, the wisdom we have access to is not dependent on our own limited personal knowledge and experience, it is acquired through the infinite knowledge and wisdom of our God, the awesome and all-knowing creator of the universe. (Oops, another pause for a “Thank You, Lord” praise break!)
The weapon of Obedience: Some might not consider obedience a weapon, but it stumps fear and doubt into the ground. It operates on a level that pulls blessings and rewards down from heaven; propelling us into new levels of authority and releasing new vision to us because we prove ourselves trustworthy to the leading of the Spirit of God. Beginning in Genesis 12, read the story of Abraham and see how obedience propelled him from one blessing to another.
All of our weapons allow the blood of Jesus to carry us to a place in Him that repels the natural demands of the flesh. We carry them on the inside of us to fight against the fiery darts of the enemy. They are all designed to work in sync and interchangeably with the armor of God to help us fight back.. No weapons or plans of evil formed against us will prosper as we allow Holy Spirit to develop us into the super-natural, Spirit-led beings we were created to be.
This is also a time where fresh revelation, wisdom and understanding is being poured out on the Church, but only on those who want to be used by God. This season is calling for hearts that want to be changed. We are the true Changers of our environment and spheres of influence. Let’s ask God to show us what other weapons of power we carry within us that need to be yielded to the Holy Spirit for development.
As we come into a new year; even into a new season, let’s allow Holy Spirit to develop the gifts/weapons He has given us. He is a patient and loving instructor. This must be a season of empowerment for the Bride of Christ – abundant life with courage, power, miracles, and walking unashamedly in the footsteps of Jesus. The way Holy Spirit chooses to take us is designed to stretch us. It will fight against our flesh. However, God knows what each of us needs in order to be developed into vessels of light in a darkening world. God is looking for Spiritually developed people. Trust Him and follow the leading of His Spirit.
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