(Part 4 of 12)
KINGDOM WARFARE… OR CONFLICT… Kingdom triumph does not mean that the church is free from warfare. Trials, weariness, temptations, afflictions, persecutions, and depression are regular visitors of the faithful (Acts 14:22). Revelation 12:11 teaches that “And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death” (KJV). Even Jesus, when filled with the Spirit, was driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. He confronted the devil, resisted the devil’s temptations, and overcame (Luke 4:1-14). We are at war constantly with the devil’s systems as seen in Ephesians 6:10-12. The kingdom of God uses “force” (the power of the Spirit’s might) against these opposing forces. Paul talks about his trials in 2 Corinthians 6:1-13. He uses the words “affliction, necessities, distresses, stripes, imprisonment, tumults, labors, sleeplessness, and fastings.” Paul fought against these things with pureness, with knowledge, with long-suffering, and with kindness by the Holy Spirit, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, and by the power of God. One thing we need to keep in mind is that the devil is a loser. He is defeated. We need to remind him of this when he attacks.
KINGDOM ENTRANCE… John 3:3… “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (KJV). This was no chance remark. It is very decisive, and it is distinctively spoken. The words “verily, verily” mean “in truth, in very truth I tell you.” It’s the new birth that sets us in the kingdom of God.
KINGDOM PRAYER… or reigning and ruling in the kingdom’s works through prayer. Luke 11:1-4, the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray, “Thy kingdom come.” If you need something, first call for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. Romans 8:26-27 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (KJV). How often have we thrown up our hands and said, “It’s hopeless. It can’t be done”? There is nothing impossible with God. Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24, “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” A man asked once, “What is prayer?” The answer given was “surrender.” That is what Paul talks about in Romans 12:1-2… “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The words “renewing of your mind” is the action of the Holy Spirit on your mind, bringing you in line with the will of God.
Your surrender is to Jesus Christ and to His kingdom (reign, rule). Jesus said in Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke was in with the mind of Christ (Matthew 7:11 uses the words “good things”). Jesus didn’t say to His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until “good things” came on them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, not “good things.” Just having good things is not acceptable when we are battling demonic powers, winning the lost, and so on. With the Spirit good things happen and good things come. It’s the Holy Spirit that supplies the power to fulfill the Great Commission. When we seek first the kingdom of God (the Spirit), good things and needed things are added to us.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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