Contending for the Kingdom? or Resting in Him?
Recently I was listening to a speaker talking about the armour of God, in Ephesians 6, who described the sword the soldier carried as a short sword which was capable extracting the arrows that embedded themselves in the limbs of the soldier! Quite a gruesome thought. However there is some mileage in this insight. When the arrows of accusation, rejection and condemnation miss the shield of faith and embed in our hearts there is only one weapon that can shift them…the Word of God.
When Jesus met the devil in the wilderness, we are told by Luke (chap4) that He was tempted three times. The main thrust of this temptation was to do with questioning His identity as the Son of God. Each time Jesus used the Word to conteract this attack. Many of us have allowed the arrows described above to linger in our hearts for long periods of time and the wounds have festered and produced areas of death in our souls. It is time to dig them out! How? using the Word of God! Using what words you may ask…
The Words of Life that God uses to tell you how He sees you.
God is calling out His Bride, without spot or wrinkle, without festering wounds and pockets of death. How is He doing this? by speaking tenderly to her.
I was walking along the road the other day thinking about the Bride and it occured to me that in a Jewish wedding, as existed in Biblical times, when a man and woman were Betrothed, everyone in town knew who the bride was, all the focus would be upon the bride. This Christmas there was a four-part Nativity film on television. When Mary returned from her visit to Elizabeth, her pregnancy was obvious! Everyone in Nazereth knew who she was and assumed what she had done. At one point she and her Mother were cornered in the market and other women began picking up stones to hurl at her along with their insults.
Does everyone in your town know who the Bride is? No! But there is coming a time, and the preparation of the Bride has begun. Esther spent one year bathing in oils and fragrances before she was allowed even near the Kings’ rooms let alone the King.
So how can we assist with this preparation process of the Holy Spirit? By resting in the oils and fragrances of the finished work of Christ. It really is all DONE!
Dave (Monk) Vaughan puts it this way…
‘This great revelation of the Gospel of Grace is transforming His people. We are starting to see for the first time that He really did it ALL. When Jesus died 2000 years ago and cried out “It is finished” it wasn’t just some motivational speech but a mighty declaration that all that was ever needed or required by the Father was now once and for all fully and forever satisfied in every way. It pleased the Father to bruise Him, His sacrifice was one which was set up by the Father who provided for Himself a perfect lamb, this sacrifice was perfected because of the inward obedience of Christ. As this revelation of the greatness of the perfection of His sacrifice increases within us the results are redefining and bringing a perfect alignment towards Him and His purposes. The just of God live by faith, faith is the substance of heaven which connects us to Him, without this faith it is impossible to please Him. Faith in Him and what He accomplished for humanity opens up a door for the fullness of God to manifest in our Lives. His encouragement to us is that we strive to enter rest, this is our fight, our fight is one of reaching a place of such assured faith in His sacrifice that we enter complete rest fully ceasing from our needless efforts and glorifying Him by walking forward in radical Grace filled faith in His declaration, “It IS finished.” For me doubt has vanished, I see His perfect work, I see the smile of the Father, His pleasure over His Sons’ accomplishment, I’ve ceased from my futile efforts and see a seat of authority which comes through assured faith in His perfection.*
The sword is not to be used to CONTEND for the what is already ours! There are those in the body of Christ who are fighting to receive what they already have! Perhaps this is why some people think their requests do not seem to be answered by God, as they already have what they are asking for!