Scripture References: Proverbs 18:21 KJV, Ephesians 6:10 AMPC, Ephesians 6:11-14 NLT, Ephesians 6:16 NLT, Ephesians 6:18 NLT, Ephesians 6:15 NLT
Welcome to church online. Well, this is our second Sunday together and online that is and what an amazing opportunity for us that we can hear the Word throughout the week on other media platforms if you haven’t been doing it on a daily basis I encourage you to go back and see what the Lord has given me for you everyday to actually be able to get through this unusual very dramatic time that we are living in. I am reminded of a time when the people of God, it is referred in the book of Acts to the “church in the wilderness” but it was the people of God, God’s covenant people that were taken out of Egypt and taken into the desert. And I’m reminded that God said, “I’m gonna take care of you everyday.”
So, the way He took care of them everyday is that He would just rain down manna from heaven and there would be this heavenly food, they had all the nutrients, had all the vitamins, had all the things that everybody needed for good health. Food from heaven just appeared on the ground and the Lord gave them an instruction; That you need to take only as much food as you need for one day. So, that was because there was this lifestyle that He wanted them to live which was; Trust Me every day. Everyday you are going to have to trust Me that when you wake up there will be provision for you. He provided them with food, their clothes never wore out. He provided them with environmental protection, fire by night and clouds by day. In other words He managed the temperature in their world so that it was a convenient natural best kind of temperature for His people to live in environmentally. What an awesome God, what an amazing way to live trusting God everyday that He will just provide everything you need for that day.
Well, certainly if you read the book of Matthew in Chapter 6 that’s what He says; you don’t even have to worry about what you are going to eat, what you’re going to drink, what you’re going to wear, everyday don’t worry about it. Because I am your God and if you seek Me and put Me first in all of your ways I will make sure that everything in your life is provided for and taken care of.
So by now, at this point in time, you should be fully aware that God is your protection. Like Psalm 91 says, “That He will keep us steady, stable under His protection. He will be our refuge. He will be our strength. No sickness, no pestilence, no plague, no, any disease will come near us or our dwelling place. We will find ourselves stable and steady under the guidance, under the protection, under the wonderful life of the most high God and He will show us His salvation.” I put my trust in Him.
So, I’m not going to focus at this point in time too much on the healing component or the health component. I’m going to speak to you in this session today, this service today I’m going to speak to you about some tools.
Well, if you’re wanting to put a hammer uh, put a nail into this wooden table that I’m sitting at, if you just had a nail and you wanted to knock the nail into this wooden table. Well, it would be rather difficult if you didn’t have something that you could put the nail into the wooden table with. You would need a hammer or you would need some forceful instrument, strong instrument that you could use, hold the nail steady and then you would have to hammer it into the table.
Well, it is the same in the spirit realm. God has given us a set of tools that we can exercise our life, our life force, the authority, the blessing, the power of God in our world. I’m going to just speak to you today about that.
I’m going to remind you that the Scripture in the book of Proverbs says, 21death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21 KJV) So, however you indulge in it, however you speak, you are going to actually live by the results or the fruit of what you speak. So one of the tools that we have in our spiritual walk is – what are you speaking? What are you saying? It’s a powerful, if not the most powerful tool that you can have.
I want to remind you that we are not given a spirit of fear, but of love and power and of a sound mind. So we have some other tools available to us, we have the love of God, we have the power of God, and we have the mind of God. So if we consider, we have words, we have love, we have a mind that is the mind of God, and we have the power that is the power of God. These are tools, these are very, very strong tools that we can use to actually not allow life to happen to us, but we can happen upon life, so we can choose life and have the blessing of life and we can make sure that life is happening the way we, under the leadership of the Father make it happen. It’s not about life happening to us, and whatever happens happens. This is about what we declare on what kind of life we want to have. I want to also speak to you for a moment about how the apostle Paul saw the life of the believer.
So if you have been watching the multimedia that I have been speaking during the week, you will know that I really got these words that one of the global leaders of another country that has a global profile, he said, “We are combating, we are fighting an unseen enemy.” And throughout the week you would have heard a lot about me speaking of the unseen enemy. Because, as Christians, that is not something that is abnormal to us, we are used to dealing with an unseen enemy. The unseen enemy of sin, the unseen enemy of our self nature, the unseen enemy of sickness and disease, the unseen enemy of poverty, the unseen enemy of many things that want to try and trip us up in life. Sometimes those unseen things are really things that hurt us.
One of the reasons I keep talking about; the life and death are in the power of the tongue, is because it is an unseen force that you activate. You are either activating death in your life through your words, or you are activating life in your life through words.
It’s your choice how you want to speak. And if you continue to want to live in reality and reason, and things that are relevant to your day, you cannot operate in the true redemption of God, and the revelations that He gives you – insights and special thoughts and ideas to actually increase and promote your life; and you cannot live and change everything around you – a revolution! Not in the sense of revolting, but a revolution, changing everything in your world. Certainly this is a moment to do that.
I remind you about what the apostle Paul said; he said in Ephesians chapter 6, 10In conclusion – talking to the Christians in Ephesus – be strong in the Lord. He didn’t say be weak in the Lord. He didn’t say be weak, and whatever will happen, will happen. Whatever will be will be. Whatever’s happening to everybody else is going to happen to you. No. He said, Be strong in the Lord, which in the Amplified Bible says Be empowered through your union with Him.
So this is not a strength and empowerment that happens because you’re in union with the news, or you’re in union with what other people, culturally, societally, in any other way, are saying about what’s going on. This is about, you are empowered through your union, your unity with His words, and His ways, His power, His love, His strength; you are in sync with Him. Draw your strength from Him, that boundless strength, that strength which His boundless might provides. (Ephesians 6:10 AMPC)
Boundless means unlimited. So, the Apostle Paul says “Be strong in Him,” in your synchronisation, in your unity, togetherness with Him, because that strength is limitless, He provides you with limitless strength. That means any place, anywhere, anytime, any moment, any thing that comes your way, there is an unlimited source, a resource of strength that can be yours.
The next passage of scripture is something that Christians know a lot about, but don’t often implement very well in their lives. So if you just picture for a moment, I have this strength, it’s boundless, it’s limitless, and I’m going to have this union with Him. And as I’m with Him, and He’s with me, I have this limitless strength through my union, and I can be strong. And so, my encouragement to you today is, tap into that strength. Tap into it. Be strong. Be empowered. Be courageous. Be bold, by making sure you’re synchronised, you’re unified, you’re together with Him.
The next verse says and I’m going to switch to the New Living Translation when I read the next verses. Because you’re in this place of union with Him. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11, NLT).
Huh, I wonder if you accept the fact and you should accept the fact that sickness, disease, poverty is a way of the enemy of God controlling the human will and controlling the human life, controlling human skills, purposes, destinies that the enemy wants to control it so that you don’t have the freedom to reveal and express that strength that you have in unity with God.
So He instructs the believer to put on the armor of God so that you can stand against the strategies of the devil, whatever that strategy is you can stand against it. How? And He says, “Because we’re not fighting against flesh and blood.” The enemy is an unseen enemy, it’s not flesh and blood. It’s not one human that has a virus that can get passed on to another human. It’s an unseen enemy that is wanting to defeat humanity, it’s wanting to keep humanity in the control of fear and intimidation and a weak mental state and a fear-based anxiety.
So, 12we don’t fight against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world. Again, as Christians this is not a surprise to us, this is not news to us, this is something that we are aware of continually and consistently. Against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. This darkness and this evil is trying to impose itself on humanity. It’s trying to undermine economies, it’s trying to undermine government, it’s trying to undermine your own personal life. It’s trying to withdraw your money, it’s trying to suck your resources, your jobs. It’s trying to suck it out of the system, and it’s trying to replace it with lack. He’s trying to replace it with uncertainty. He’s trying to replace it with a lack of strength so that everybody is in fear and in a place of chaos, disruption, division. Well, we know what it’s like to fight against this unseen enemy and we know that we have to use the Word of God and the power of God to be strong.
So of course, the Apostle Paul says in this place of strength, when you’re fighting against an unseen enemy you need to use the strength to have some tools and have and use the tools that he has made available.
So 13Therefore, he says: “Put on every piece of God’s armor so that you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil”. (Ephesians 6:12-13 NLT).
So when the time of evil comes to your world, to your place, to your life that you are living. Now – you need to be strong; stay connected; stay unified with him in this moment this unseen enemy is trying to bring evil to you this is a moment where he is saying be certain that you have certain tools or you have a certain amount of resistance that you can have and exercise against this unseen enemy. How does he put it: he says 13Therefore put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil then after the battle you will be standing firm. (Ephesians 6:13 NLT).
In other words, he’s again reiterating this is a battle and again if this was nothing then we would have to do nothing. But there is an eternal enemy that eternally – will stand against the life of God through the human, the human being. He goes on to say 14Stand your ground… (Ephesians 6:14 NLT). And if I have to be strong about this I would say, stand your ground do not give up, do not allow these evil times to affect you or inflict or impose another will, another set of circumstances on you.
Do not allow it; stand firm, stand your ground, how do I do that 14 I put on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. (Ephesians 6:14 NLT). So, this is the foundation. I’ve got to have truth as part of one of my tools. I’ve got to have God’s body armor in other words and again I want to say to you this is your invisible curtain. This is your barrier against any evil coming to you. I’ve got to have – truth. This is one of my weapons, it’s one of my tools. I’ve got to have truth and I’ve got to understand the ways of God that scripture says 14 If you put on the belt of truth and God’s righteousness as your breastplate, (Ephesians 6:14 NLT). So that’s the way of God, that’s the ways of the right living of God that He empowers you to do.
So you may say to me today, “Well Pastor John, sometimes I find myself in circumstances, being weak in my thoughts. I find myself sometimes in my circumstances feeling when I hear other people talking, when I do listen to the news, when I do have other information coming to me, I feel weakened and I feel like I’m in a state of ‘I am not sure that I am going to make it’.”
Well that’s part of the challenge. You can’t walk by feelings. It’s not that you won’t have feelings, it’s just that you can’t live by those feelings. You have got to live by the truth and you have got to have the right ways of God.
One of the things that the enemy of God will try and persuade you of. He will intimidate you. He will try and condemn you. He will say your lifestyle is not good enough to get through it and to actually live in this level. Well if that were the case, then that lifestyle would be our defeat all the time because in our humanity we have nothing that is good enough before God. In our humanity, the Bible says that there is nothing that is good enough that we can present to Him that actually gives us any rights or any authority. Our best works, the book of Romans says, our best works are as filthy rags, as dirt before Him. That’s not the criteria. The criteria is: I live in Him because He has made me righteous, His Blood has given me the right to enter into His presence with boldness, His blood has made it possible for me, even though I might have weakness in my humanity. I step back and I hide behind His Blood. I hide behind His Word. I hide behind the very life of Jesus and because I hide behind that, I make His truth, my truth. I put on His righteousness, His absolute right of access to the Father and right of authority on the earth, my breastplate.
The next thing He says, for shoes you must put on peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared (Ephesians 6:15). Bad news does not give you peace. It’s good news that gives you peace and we need to walk through life constantly in His peace.
It’s not a peace that the world gives; it’s a peace that passes understanding. Your mind cannot understand this peace. But when you’re living in that place of unity with Him, when you’re living in that place of connectivity, synchronization: me and God, God and me; me in God, God in me. When you live in that place, not because of my works, not because of how great I am or how perfect I am, or how wonderful I am – it’s because of how great Jesus is. But me in Jesus – then I can live in truth, I can live in the right ways with access through the blood, have boldness to come into His presence. I can live in peace that my humanity wants to disrupt that peace – I don’t permit it. I choose to walk in my life with peace.
16In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. (Ephesians 6:16 NLT) Oh, I love this, I love it so much, I’ve got faith! Man alive, I’ve got faith, I’ve got faith – the shield of faith that is the Word of God because when I speak words out of my mouth and things come into my mind and I think, “Oh boy, I’m not sure if my business is going to make it. I’m not sure if I’m going to have enough money, I’m not sure if I’m going to have opportunities.” I take my shield of faith and as those fiery darts, those arrows of the devil are coming at me to try and destroy me and have kill shots against me – he is trying to kill me through my words. He’s trying to deplete me of my strength through circumstances. I take my shield of faith, I stick it up there and I hide behind that shield of faith. What does it mean? I’m taking the truth of God’s Word, I’m taking access to His presence of boldness, I’m taking my peace, I’m using the Word of God and I’ve got the shield in front of me. And as the arrows of life come against me it just bounces off my shield. My faith, my confession, my declaration of who Jesus is in me, the strength and the power of who He is around me, who He is – this invisible curtain I referred to last week and again today – His strength is my strength. His shield that He gives me – the Word of God, it is a shield against all of these arrows that might be flying at me. I mean, it’s just an amazing imagery if you think this arrow is headed straight for you and if there was no barrier between you and the arrow it would penetrate straight into you and it would be destructive. And really hurtful. But I have a shield of faith and I use it. It’s my choice to use it. I stand firm. I stand strong. I stand with my shield.
I put on the salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. So, the salvation helmet is those mental things, those thoughts, those ideas, that whole emotional thing that comes from your soul, all of those things that want to defeat you, you have to say, I am saved, I have salvation, I have the Blood, I have the Word, I stand behind Jesus. So I now take my thoughts captive, I do not allow my thoughts to just run wild, of what is going to happen. I put on salvation, I am saved from negative thoughts, I am saved from negative ideas, I am saved from negative emotions, I am saved from feelings that might cause me to undermine my own future and destiny, and purpose, and even right now in these moments where everything seems to be in chaos, I need to put on the helmet of salvation.
These are tools God has given me to stand strong. And then finally He says, you have the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, in other words I am not just going to be defensive, I am going to be offensive, I take this sword, I take the Word of God, and I go on attack, because now I have stood firm, I have withstood all the things that the enemy has and I am ready to attack. Wow. My spirit is just on fire right now to say to you this is not a moment for you to cower and be timid and be withdrawn and go into a cave mentality. It is time to say I have got all the armour of God, I am strong in God, I have got all the stuff in God, I have got my helmet of salvation, I have got my breastplate which is the righteousness of God that I have the right ways of God, and I can walk into the presence of God with boldness. I have truth in my life, I have peace in my life that I am walking through life in. I have my shield of faith that is taking care of anything that might come against me, but not only do I have my shield of faith, but I have got a sword.
Now I attack, I attack, I am going to go on the offensive and I am going to create, and I am going to do new things, new ideas, new concepts, new insights. I have new doors that are opening to me, I am expecting supernatural increase. How do I do it? I take that sword and I go and defeat poverty, I defeat sickness, I defeat fear, I defeat those circumstances that are coming at me because I am strong. I am strong in Him. Remember what He said in the beginning in verse ten, in conclusion, be strong in the Lord. I am strong in the Lord.
And so at the last time and in the last verse of this passage of scripture, it says, verse 18, Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. (Ephesians 6:18 NLT). Pray in the Spirit, stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” So, this is a time for us to pray at all times, your prayers of power the Word of God says, The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, and the amplified Bible says, makes much power available and He is dynamic in its working.
I trust that today you have received a toolbox that you will be able to use these tools, and you will be able to use these things to walk through life, and you will be able to use these tools in this time ahead, the week ahead, the moments ahead, you will be able to use these tools to not just go into a posture of defensiveness but be defensive hide behind the invisible curtain of the Blood of Jesus, but also go on attack, go get what’s yours, go and have and maximise the opportunities that God has created for you.
Pray at all times, and it says there, Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. So you need to know that we are praying for you this believing church is praying for believers everywhere and I close today by praying for you. So, I want you just to agree with me and I want you to agree that you are going to be strong in the Lord, you are going to be empowered by the might of His Spirit that is strong inside of you. That you are not going to allow thoughts and ideas of defeat and no hope to enter your mind. That you are going to know that you are strong in your ways to come boldly into the presence of God because of His righteousness. That truth is going to be your standard in life, not facts or reality, but truth and you are going to have the piece of God that passes understanding. You are going to live by faith, you are going to use your sword of the spirit, that’s my prayer that you are going to use it, not just have it but use it and that you will make progress in this time, you will not step back and have nothing that you can stand on. You are going to make progress, you are going to maximise opportunities and you are going to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. I pray that no weapon formed against you prospers, that you are safe and secure under the power of the blood of Jesus, the Word of God, His angels have got charge over you in Jesus name.
I trust you have enjoyed this message and our time together today be blessed in your going in and your coming, going out, coming in and going out, be blessed in Jesus name Amen.