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“God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” James 4:6b

Did you realize that the powers of darkness are more threatened by a humble, submissive heart than by all the binding, loosing, cursing, and commanding one could ever do?

Consider the story of the seven sons of a Jewish priest named Sceva, told in Acts 19:13-16. Wrongly motivated by a desire for power, they attempted to cast out a demonic spirit from a tormented man in Jesus’ Name. The evil spirit asked: “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?” Then the evil spirit “leaped” on them, stripped them, and beat them mercilessly. The boys may have SAID the right words, but IT IS WHAT IS INSIDE THAT COUNTS!

Humility and submission to Christ build a spiritual defense around you. Satan is terrified of such a defense. James goes on to say, in Verse 7: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Isn’t that marvelous? Your most powerful and effective spiritual warfare armor is walking in submission to God . . . with the mind of Christ and the character of the Holy Spirit. . . loving, forgiving.

Victory BEGINS by worshipping with your lips, but character must GROW in your heart.

PRAY: “Father, thank You so much for Your battle plan that I can follow today. I submit to You. Take away any controlling, dominating, independent spirits from my life. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”  I John 5:14

God never says NO to His children when they ask according to His promises. He cannot lie. (See Titus 1:2.) You learn His will by listening to His voice and reading His Word.

Here are nine reasons some prayers go unanswered. Can you think of others?

1)  SIN. Psalm 66:18. “Sin” is defined in Romans 14:23b: “…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” James 4:17 says: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

2)  UNBELIEF. Mark 11:23.

3)  UNFORGIVENESS. Mark 11:25.

4)  DISHONORING OF COMPANION. I Peter 3:7.

5)  SATANIC RESISTANCE. Daniel 10:12-13.

6)  DISOBEDIENCE. I John 3:22.

7)  WRONG MOTIVES. James 4:3-4.

8)  AVOIDING THE POOR. Proverbs 21:13.

9)  GOD’S TIMING. Galatians 6:9.

There is much value in fervent, persistent praying in the Spirit. Learn to bind and loose, confess the Word, plead the blood, and invoke the Name of Jesus. Then wait for ANSWERS!

PRAY: “Father, thank You for listening to my prayers. Help me to discern Your will in each situation and be patient while I await Your response. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

“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.”  Romans 8:26

Intercession wages battle in “high places” and gives you “air” superiority. You are in a war today against the rulers of darkness in “THIS WORLD” and against spiritual wickedness in “HIGH PLACES.” (See Ephesians 6:12.) You are fighting either a ground war (evangelism) or an air war (intercession).

Without intercession, you will suffer more ground casualties. Prayer intercession softens the enemy much like heavy bombing in conventional warfare. Be watchful, however: Some people get heavy into intercession but never launch a ground war…(faith without works). Maintain a proper balance.

Intercession is the highest form of prayer ministry.  Jesus is doing it right now! (See Romans 8:34.) The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (See Romans 8:27.)

For whom should YOU intercede? “All men” and those “in authority,” (I Timothy 2:1-2) …pastor, president, parents, employer; “one for another” (James 5:16); “Laborers” for the harvest  (Matthew 9:38).

PRAY:  “Lord God, I know You are looking for someone to ‘stand in the gap?’* today. I am willing. Thank You for interceding for me. Amen.”

*Ezekiel 22:30

“And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword…and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.”  I Samuel 25:13

In cities across America today, churches are not poorly regarded; they just are not regarded at all. Members are not impacting their communities for God. They have neither put on their swords to GO OUT into battle (Frontliners)…nor are any prayer warriors (Intercessors) at home with the stuff.

Jesus said, “Follow me.” He meant it in four ways:

1)  FOLLOW MY MOVING. Occupy enemy territory (Luke 19:13), and get in step with your rank; i.e., find your place of service (Joel 2:7). Are you fighting as a frontliner, or is your job to spiritually intercede?

2)  FOLLOW MY MESSAGE. Jesus’ message is one of love, redemption, reconciliation…not of judgment or condemnation.

3)  FOLLOW MY METHODS. Jesus ministered to people by meeting their needs. He ministered salvation through healing the sick, casting out devils, loving, and caring, house to house, in the marketplace, and in the streets.

4)  FOLLOW MY MANNERS. Take on Jesus’ lifestyle. God did not save you because you were HOLY; He saved you to help you BECOME HOLY.

Read Ephesians 4:11-16 on growing up in Christ.

PRAY: “Heavenly Father, help me to find my place of service in Your Church and actively do what You desire. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

Notice that Jesus said, “I will MAKE YOU fishers of men.” It is a skill that must be taught and learned. Fishing is something you go OUT of the church to do. You go to where the fish (men) are biting…to where the fish (men) are. “Hooking” men and women with the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a lot like fishing.

1)  BAIT. That is YOU. God wants to use your testimony to draw people. Are you “live bait,” “dead bait,” or “cut bait”?

2)  LINE. That is God’s WORD. Your knowledge of God’s Word will determine the strength of your “line.”

3)  HOOK. That is JESUS. He is the One we should be “hooked” on! It is personal revelation that sets a deep hook. The disciples said, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.” (I John 1:3a)

4)  SINKER. That is God’s LOVE. This love is what takes the bait (you) down below the surface (superficial) to where the fish (souls) are.

5)  NET. That is the CHURCH. It takes a “network” of people to actually land a fish into the boat (fellowship) where he is cleaned and served.

Fishing is not pretty…slimy worms, squid juice, dangerous gills…but it can be fun; and, most importantly, it PLEASES GOD!

PRAY: “Father, let’s go fishing today. I need You to show me where the best catches will be. Let Your glorious light shine through me in my neighborhood.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”     Romans 10:14

Catch the vision for EVANGELISM…“the zealous preaching and dissemination of the Gospel”…God’s highest priority. As you grow in your relationship with Him, you will begin to think and act more like Him, helping to carry out His plan.

If your spirit is willing but your flesh is weak, you may have to exert a little pressure upon your flesh. It is the flesh that worries, fears, holds grudges, debates, and stresses out over moving forward to win the lost.

Why not catch the vision for just ONE? Jesus told three parables in Luke 15 about ONE lost sheep in the CHURCH; ONE lost coin in the HOME; ONE lost son in the WORLD; and Philip left a citywide revival to travel into the desert for ONE Ethiopian eunuch who wanted to know God’s redemptive plan. (See Acts 8.)

Why not use your time, money, resources, and testimony to touch ONE person…an elderly person who is lonely…a young person with drug problems…a poor person who is hungry. Help them overcome their immediate tangible needs as you bring them an eternal solution…JESUS.

PRAY: “Father, help me with my feeling of inadequacy for the fulfilling of Your vision. Give me holy boldness and love toward those You bring into my life today. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

You are living in a day when it is imperative to “hear’ the voice of the Spirit. I Peter 5:8 commands you to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” If you are not hearing the voice of God, you may be influenced by the roar of the devil. Even without a “bite,” Satan devours with his roar.

Do not get devoured by the “roar” of the world, the flesh, circumstances, or people. Satan attacks in the arena of your MIND with temptations, fears, and frustrations. These thoughts and imaginations must be taken captive through total obedience to Christ. (See II Corinthians 10:5.)

Some of your most severe attacks may come immediately after your greatest victories. After Elijah’s victorious showdown with the prophets of Baal, he became afraid and ran for his life. After Peter fearlessly cut off the soldier’s ear, he then denied Christ three times. WHY? These spiritual conflicts simply are not going to cease until Christ is formed IN YOUR HEART.

Above Satan’s ROAR is the quiet but deadly WHISPER of God. Listen, obey and claim the victory!

PRAY:  “Gentle Father, the roar of the devourer does not frighten me as long as Your Spirit is residing in me. Give me a greater sensitivity to Your  still small voice. Amen.”

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