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Resistance is not Futile

I’m continuing to post from the book of James. He’s been telling us about how to humble ourselves before the Lord. This is important, especially when confronted by the enemy.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

Causing the devil to run away sounds great. But I’ve had people come to me and tell me, “I tried resisting and the enemy kept pestering me. This verse doesn’t work.”

Things like that happen because we take things out of context. The enemy doesn’t flee simply because you resist. There’s more going on in this verse that you need to apply.

The first thing James says is for us to submit ourselves to God. That word, submit, means to place under. Its usage is like what happens in the military when a soldier takes his orders from a superior officer.

When we find our place in the kingdom of God, under submission to Christ – our Commander in Chief – we can then resist effectively. The devil flees because heaven is backing me up, not because I’m resisting on my own.

The Apostle Paul tells us pretty much the same thing.

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.
Ephesians 6:13

The word stand in this verse is the same word as resist that James used. We need to stand our ground and resist the devil. We’re told that if we do this, in submission to the Lord, the enemy will flee. But I’ve found that it’s the time frame between the resisting and the fleeing that gives us the most problem.

Why would the devil ever flee from us? After all, we’re not that strong compared to him.

This is a great lesson that the church needs to hear. So many people give up when things get hard. Some of us are under the impression that working for God should be all hearts and flowers.

Why then does Paul use the analogy of a warrior, fully armed, and dressed for battle? The fact is that there are spiritual forces that don’t want us to succeed in our service to the Lord. The victory comes from knowing that it’s the Holy Spirit giving you strength, and not giving up.

We need to learn how to stand in the center of opposition. The ancient Romans knew how to do this. It was the secret to the success of their army. Each of the Roman soldiers was taught how to defend a 3-foot square of ground from an invading army. When they fought together, there was no way to break through their lines.

We need to get it into our heads that the only way to victory is to move forward in the Lord. Backing up WILL NOT get you out of the battle. It will only make you have to fight to regain that ground later.

But the thing about this verse that gives me the most trouble is when Paul says, “when the day of evil comes.” Not “if”, not “there might come a time when problems arise”. He tells us in a straight forward way that this day is coming whether you’re ready or not. So the best thing to do is prepare now.

The word that both James and Paul used for stand literally means to stand in opposition to. We must be prepared for the enemy to oppose us.

The phrase after you have done everything actually translates after you have fully accomplished your work. When you have done everything you were assigned to do by the Lord, then it’s time for the Holy Spirit to take over. One thing I’m certain about. The enemy is no match for the God I serve!

So, being forewarned with the knowledge that the day of evil is coming, we need to be ready. We must be fully armed and prepared to stand our ground in Christ. Then we will see the victory of God manifest in our situation.

Question: What are you going through right now that will require you to stand your ground?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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The Anointing Dilemma – Position versus Manifestation #anointing #theanointing

Different AnointingIn talking about the anointing that we have in Christ, there’s a subject that needs to be addressed.  I’m getting to the point where I cringe when I hear another sermon or teaching about our position in Christ.

It’s not that I think they’re unscriptural.  Far from it.  I believe that I am “the righteousness of God” in Christ Jesus.  I believe that I am holy, healed, prosperous, and anointed in Christ.

The problem I see is that if all we concentrate on is our position in Christ, we miss out on seeing the manifestation.  I want to live out all the things that Christ paid for me to possess.

One of these is our anointing.  We are all called to an anointing in Christ.  I want to see it manifest in us.  That takes more than just sitting back and confessing it by faith.

For a few posts we have been looking at David’s anointing as king.

Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.”
1 Samuel 16:10

Here we can see the problem in some of our teaching on the anointing.  We are all called to an anointing.  The problem is that all of us are called, but few are chosen.  When you talk about walking in the anointing, it involves being chosen by God.

The anointing is not just about calling.  The progression is called, chosen, and anointed.  The simple truth is that you can be called from now until Jesus returns and never see the anointing manifest.

That is, if you never do what it takes to be chosen.

Look at what had to happen in David’s case.

So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”  “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.”  Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
So he sent and had him brought in.  He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.  Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”
1 Samuel 16:11-12

“I told you, that your whole family needed to be here.”

These words strike anger and resistance into the hearts of God’s people.

“Who are you to tell me that I need to be at these special meetings?”

When your church has a guest speaker and you see that as an opportunity to take the day off – do you know what you’re missing?

“I have something important that needs to be done.”

There are times and places that God may want to meet with you.  Your prayer time, Bible study, a church meeting, or some other “holy appointment” could be a potential encounter with the anointing of the Lord.

God may have a pinpoint anointing for you.  But you have to be at the right place, at the right time, where God has expected to meet with you.  Don’t miss that appointment.

Question: How could this be a source of the lack of power and effect of the church in America?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Anointing, The Church

 

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Rainy Days

Psalm 65:9-12
You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.  The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.  You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops.  You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.  The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.

Most people don’t like dark, rainy days.  Too many of them in a row tends to bring on depression.  In the same way we don’t like trouble and testing.  We even call days of trial “dark days.”

No one is exempt from testing, however.  We must all face our own particular trials.  But remember, as we face resistance, we gain strength.

If I want to have a beautiful lawn or garden, then it must be watered.  Rain is a part of the cycle of life.  We may not like it, but we need it to survive.  There are many drought ravaged parts of the world that would do anything for a rainy weather pattern.

It is the same with our inner life.  The only way to strengthen our faith is through difficulties.  There is no other course.  Testing is the spiritual rain that waters the seed we have planted in our hearts.

The end result of all this is abundance – abundant faith, abundant strength, and abundant victory.  Nobody likes problems, but if we face them without complaining and with the realization that they will strengthen us, it will help keep our focus on the Lord and our joy intact.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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