Archive for October, 2014

Authority – Not of this Realm (part 4)

October 19, 2014

Do not fret because of evildoers; that’s the opening of Psalm 37. Most of us recognize the nature of fretting as being worried about something we have no direct control over.  A trip through the dictionary will reveal that there are physical meanings to the word that give more insight to the insidious nature of being vexed over the uncontrollable.  You will find a sense of cutting a groove through chaffing or wear, corrosion, or even agitation.  Hence, properly understood, don’t fret.  It will corrode your sense of well-being and wear you down.

As the Psalm spoke to me today about evildoers, I found my thoughts going to the masterminds in government and finance. These are men whose sphere of evil influence encompasses us all, in that they are convinced of their right to impose their twisted ideals on the rest of us.  That these men occupy my thoughts at all reveals that I have not yet successfully given these worries to the Almighty.  Look at the passage closely.  His faithfulness to uphold those who are His own is the very core of this passage.

It is the Heart of God to uphold those who love Him. If we draw close in a relationship with Him, the machinations of evildoers pales in the distance.  As I have asked Him about the evildoers, He has reminded me that they are empty and lost.  Having rejected help by His Heavenly power, they are rudderless derelicts driven by an evil wind.  I pray for them, that some glimmer of truth might dawn to turn them from their self-imposed path of destruction.  Especially since they intend to take us with them.  How much better that they should see the light and turn from evil than to continue the drive us toward shipwreck.

I had an epiphany regarding this situation during my morning prayer-time earlier this week. John 15:5 recounts Jesus’ statement that apart from Him, we can do nothing. He was talking to those who were already followers, so this should be understood to mean “Unless you abide in Me, you can do nothing effective for the purposes of God” (good).  I see that all the effort to drive God from the public arena, under the banner of “separation of church and state”, guarantees that government can do nothing good as long as that mistaken belief holds sway.  Don’t misunderstand what I am saying here.  I am a strong believer in the constitutional tenet that government must not do anything to establish a religion or interfere with the free practice thereof.  However, if the officers of government are godless men (whatever their assertions), then the course of the nation is determined by an evil wind.

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Authority, Not of this Realm – Part 3

October 11, 2014

My wife and I regularly make a practice of praying through the Lord’s Prayer together every morning.  We use a technique that she learned, years ago, of recognizing many of the “names of God” that reveal some of His mighty characteristics.  When we started doing this together, I worried that it would become rote and shallow after a while.  I need not have concerned myself.  One cannot touch on the limitless nature of God and have it come back as anything other than “deep calling to deep”.  We pray through the process of putting on the full armor of God to face the challenges of the day ahead too.  I have come to feel like I don’t have my shirt on, if we miss.

One life-changing transformation that has ensued from this spiritual practice manifests in the rest of my prayer life.  I have had a growing sense of volunteering to give my voice to the Word of God as He intends it to be transforming brokenness and oppression in our fallen world.  This does not stop with my private prayers, but proceeds to make its mark on most conversations with others.  Today, I read an article posted on Facebook by Pastor Francis Frangipane that speaks mightily of the Authority vested in the followers of Christ.  It does not shy away from our directive to call for the Power of Heaven to be manifested in our world.  I’m taking the liberty of pasting it here, along with a link to Pastor Frangipane’s Facebook page.  From there, you could sign up to get more good insights.

ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!
We recite it in private and pray it in unison; we have even sung it in reverence on select Sunday mornings. It’s been a familiar prayer at somber cultural events. Yet I wonder if we really grasp what was in Jesus’ heart when He taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer.
The disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). In response, the Lord gave them a prayer, not just to help them cope but something that was militant in nature. This was more than a prayer — it was a proclamation.
For centuries the holy realities of the Lord’s Prayer have been obscured by traditions of religious unbelief, as though ritualistic repetition of this prayer would exact a special blessing in the afterlife. It was as though this prayer was disbarred from affecting conditions on earth now. In recent years, however, truth is again filling the words of this heavenly anthem with meaning.
The thoughts in this prayer are best understood as emphatic statements. They ought to be punctuated with exclamation marks. This is Heaven’s “Pledge of Allegiance.” At its core, the Lord’s Prayer is a faith-decree that God’s will, through our living union with Christ, should be accomplished today on earth. Where is the room for compromise in those words? Jesus is saying that, with miraculous power, abounding joy and unwavering mercy, God’s will can be fulfilled on earth with the same degree it is fulfilled in Heaven!”
We have been too polite with God. I do not mean we should be disrespectful or irreverent; I am saying the Lord’s Prayer is not a weak, pleading prayer. Yes, there is a time for pleading with God, but this is a prophetic prayer. There is not a please anywhere in it. Indeed, we know it is the “Father’s good pleasure” to give us His kingdom (Luke 12:32 NKJV). Jesus is not instructing us to beg for a blessing or two; He is commanding us to call for God’s kingdom to rule on earth: in war zones, in places of poverty or plagues or famine, and especially in our very lives and circumstances.
This is a prayer of authority. The Son of God wants us to pray like we were created to bring Heaven to earth. Our prayer simply aligns us with what is already God’s great pleasure to give us.
Of course, it is vital we embrace repentance for our sins and the sins of our forefathers. But this is the prayer of those fully committed to the vision of God! It embodies the expanse of what Jesus came to establish. These are fighting words.
Remember, this form of prayer is not my idea; it’s Christ’s. He told faltering, fumbling disciples to pray like they were mature, victorious warriors. He didn’t say this prayer should be prayed only when they had become perfect. No. This is how we should pray right now, even while we are imperfect. Yes, we humble ourselves; yet we must learn to pray with unsheathed spiritual authority, with heroic faith, and with the fire of divine possibilities burning in our souls.
Even now, the armies of God in Heaven are beginning to unite with the armies of God on earth. Lightening-like power is beginning to fill the backbone of the redeemed. Can you feel it? From every nation, a holy remnant is beginning to stand before the Most High. In their mouths will be the words taught them by the Son of God Himself: “Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!”

Francis Frangipane