Saturday, January 10, 2009

STEP 4 ~ Beating the Strongman...

The Epiphany of 2009
[ The Epiphany Season continues to the Passover Season on the Christian Calendar ].
The Manifestation of the CHRIST Child to the Gentiles
or, Wise Men Seek HIM+

Beating the Strongman
Step 4

Building Spiritual Muscle

And JESUS said unto them,
Because of your unbelief:
for verily I say unto you,
If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,
ye shall say unto this mountain,
Remove hence to yonder place;
and it shall remove;
and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Howbeit this kind goeth not out
but by prayer and fasting.
Matthew 17:20,21

In Chapter 17 of Matthew, three disciples had been with JESUS on the mountain top and had seen HIS+ Transfiguration. When they returned, the other disciples had had a dilemma: they could not cast out a demon out of a child. Hence, The LORD gave them HIS+ Words in the instructions above.

BELIEF / FAITH / TRUST must involve more than a mental mind-set here, as we can see from the grain of mustard seed. How DOES a mustard seed have faith, seeing that it has no brain, no mind, no heart? Furthermore, it is a tiny, tiny seed.

The mustard seed simply DOES what it is created to do by the MASTER’S Hand. It lies dormant when it is supposed to lie dormant. It cracks open at the appointed time. It sends forth a tiny shoot up and a tiny root down… just like it is created to do. It is 100% “mustard seed.” It has not one whit of other material in it… just mustard seed. In other words, it is unmingled with anything else in this world.

When we become as UNMINGLED as that tiny mustard seed we will see victory in prayer. Becoming single of eye is exactly what spiritual discipline does for our soul.

This is why The LORD JESUS followed up instruction about our faith becoming like the mustard seed with further instructions about how to cast out stubborn demons: by prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting makes us single of eye… or at least, takes us much closer to this goal.

We have flabby spiritual muscles in this age. Many things pit themselves against us to keep us in that state of INEFFECTIVE praying. Most of us need to fast and pray FOR STRENGTH… to fast and pray!

Thus, Step 4 involves putting muscle into our desire to have effective, fervent prayer. Not hyped up with emotion necessarily, but intense and determined to win the victory for CHRIST’S name…. in HIS+ name… and for HIS+ sake. To do this we must root out of us every and any thing that does not agree with CHRIST’S Words. We must lay on the altar any pet values we have carried over from our old man days. We must lay aside any activity which keeps us from giving our energy to this cause. We must train for the fight in singleness of eye.

How badly do you want to beat the strongman?

Confess your faults one to another,
and pray one for another,
that ye may be healed.

The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man
availeth much.
James 5:16

Our LORD JESUS CHRIST gives us the power
to attain spiritual fruits;
it is our part to embrace the labor.

we have walked weakly where we should have had strength.
We have mingled our wine with water.
We have avoided the narrow way.
Help us to embrace Thy call to effective, fervent prayer.

We thank THEE+ for the strength to win, for the strength for victory, for the defeat of the devil and his demons. By Thy Blood we will go forth to battle in Thy Name with these spiritual strongmen. Show us how to complete our obedience to THEE+ for this spiritual warfare.

This we pray in the name of The FATHER Who created us, The SON+ Who delivers us, and The HOLY SPIRIT Who sanctifies us. Amen.

+ + +

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