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Have you ever stopped to think of this? Spiritual resistance requires spiritual assistance. Hence, intimidation has to be treated in the level of the spirit. And what are the symptoms of intimidation? John outlines 3 of them: confusion, discouragement or dismay and frustration. The result is that you will lose the correct perspective and everything will seem difficult or even impossible.
The stronger the intimidation, the more powerful the discouragement and lack of hope you will have. This was exactly what John felt after hearing those from the choir complaining about him. John states that the fear and intimidation increase when we place our focus on ourselves.
What will happen to me? Consequently, nothing will bring fear to us, because dead people feel nothing, they are without feelings. You may now be anxious to confront the intimidation in your life head on. Often when we see something in our lives that has oppressed us we want immediate relief, but usually the immediate fix comes with a high price: It is not permanent. I want to unfold carefully this message as it was revealed to me.
In the next three chapters I will lay a crucial foundation, starting with understanding our spiritual position and authority. First, it is important to understand there is a dwelling place or position in the spirit that we hold as believers in Jesus. With this position comes authority. This authority is what the enemy wants.
If he can get us to yield our God-given authority, he will take it and use it against us. This not only affects us but also those entrusted to our care. There are several scriptures pertaining to our place of authority in the spirit.
It is imperative that you as a believer not only know that place but also function in it. If you do not know your position, you cannot function properly in the body of Christ.
This position and the authority it carries can be lost or stolen. A clear biblical example is Judas Iscariot. After Jesus ascended to heaven, the disciples gathered to pray. This is the primary way the enemy knocks people out of their spiritual authority. It is how he caused Adam and Eve to fall, consequently displacing them and gaining lordship over them and all they ruled.
Adam and Eve held the highest position of authority on the earth. Every living creature and all of nature were under their authority. Nothing on this earth in the spiritual or natural realms 12 Spiritual Position and Authority was above the authority of mankind—only God Himself. When Adam held his position of authority, there was no disease, earthquakes, famine or poverty. But with the sin of Adam came the demise of everything underneath his authority.
By transgression he yielded his place in the spirit to the enemy of God. Satan took Him on a high mountain to show Him all the kingdoms of the world, declaring: All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
Adam lost more than just his position. All that God had placed under his care was affected. A gradual decline of all harmony and order took place. One example is in the animal kingdom. Cobras did not have venomous bites Isa. Lambs had no reason to fear wolves or other creatures of prey Isa.
Yet, immediately after the Fall we see an innocent animal sacrificed to clothe the naked man Gen. Later we see enmity and fear placed between man and the animals that he once ruled over Gen.
The ground became cursed, working against man instead of for him as he toiled to bring forth the fruit that once had been bountifully provided Gen. Iniquity, death, disease, poverty, earthquakes, famines, pestilence and more entered the earth.
There was a loss of divine order and authority. The enemy had taken the authority God had given for protection and provision and turned it against all creation, using it now for destruction and death. Restored Authority A man forfeited his position of authority; therefore, only a man could restore it.
Thousands of years later Jesus was born. He was not part man and part God. The fact that He was human gave Him the legal right to regain what was lost. Because He was the Son of God He was free from the lordship the enemy had acquired over man. He revealed the will of God in everything He did and said. Sins were forgiven because in His presence sin had no dominion. Sickness and disease bowed to His authority and power Luke — Nature itself was subjected to His command Mark He walked in the authority that Adam had relinquished.
Jesus, through obedience and sacrifice, restored the God-given authority Adam had lost and, therefore, our relationship with God. It is clear that Jesus regained what Adam lost and more.
Jesus had risen above the place of authority Satan had dispossessed. We find the answer in the writings of the apostle Paul. These places are where His redeemed children are to dwell.
Now the question, Where are these dwelling places, and what position do they hold?
A redeemed man hidden in Christ is now given a position in the spirit above the devil. Just as he did with Adam in the Garden of Eden, Satan now seeks to displace us in the spirit in order to regain the authority Jesus stripped from him.
If Satan can steal or cause individuals to lay down their position of authority, then he once again has authority to operate. We believers must not forfeit our place in the spirit.
Kingdoms are structured by rank and authority. The higher the rank, the more influence and authority. He knew if he got the man he would possess all that he ruled over and cared for. So when the enemy goes after a church, his primary target is the leadership. Recently a pastor of a large congregation decided to divorce his wife.
There was no scriptural reason for this, and it devastated his wife and children. He willfully transgressed the commandment of God, releasing a spirit of divorce and deception throughout his congregation. After this, there was an increase of divorce in his church, even among leadership.
Others became discouraged. Shell-shocked, they drifted from church to church, wondering whom they could trust. When Satan knocks the keeper of a house out of his position, all those under his care are vulnerable. I have watched as parents willfully transgress the commandments of God. It is then only a matter of time before their children follow their example.
You may call it a curse, but why does it happen? Through sin parents have forfeited their position of authority in the spirit, leaving their children vulnerable to the enemy. The kingdom was strong and secure under his leadership.
God had blessed him with several sons and daughters. Then David took 16 Spiritual Position and Authority for himself what God had not given him; he committed adultery with Bathsheba. David sent for her husband, Uriah, hoping to encourage him to sleep with Bathsheba and therefore appear to have fathered the baby. However, Uriah, in devotion to David and his kingdom, would not enjoy intimacy with his wife while his fellow soldiers were in combat.
David saw that the plan to cover his sin was not going to work. He knew it would only be a matter of time before Uriah learned his wife was pregnant. Eventually everyone would know the father was David. Uriah was put amid the fiercest fighting. Then, when he was surrounded by the enemy, those fighting beside him were ordered to draw back. Soon the prophet Nathan came to David to expose this sin. David repented and was forgiven. God released him from his transgression Isa.
David was forgiven, but he had made his life and family vulnerable to the enemies of God—not only natural enemies but also spiritual ones. His family and the nation of Israel suffered greatly. Absalom, son of David and brother of Tamar, took revenge and killed his half-brother Amnon. The plot failed, and Absalom was killed.
The reason teachers pastors are judged more strictly is because of the great impact of their disobedience.
They hurt not only themselves but also all those placed under their guardianship as well. God forgives them just as He did David. However, they will still reap what they sow. The enemy is given place! I realize these are hard words. I appeal to you with all humility and write these words with fear and trembling. We have seen too many tragedies, especially in ministries. We must not judge or condemn.
We need to forgive and reach out to those who have failed. If they repent, they will be forgiven by God. But I write these words as instruction and warning to those the enemy will target. We all must walk in humility and restoration. I have four sons.
I have come to realize the awesome responsibility and accountability I have for their lives. I never want to see their lives devastated because I gave place to the devil.
I took care of the dry cleaning, picked up their children from school, washed their cars and so on. One day God spoke something to me that gave me a sobering outlook on the ministry. But 18 Spiritual Position and Authority when I place you in a ministry position, you are over people and lives are at stake.
We have seen examples of several people who lost or gave up their authority to the enemy of God. Satan will blatantly try to steal your authority by bringing sin into your life.
If you are determined to serve God with all your heart, he will also try to knock you out of your position in Christ through intimidation. The first step to breaking intimidation is to confront the matters in your own heart. In the next chapter I will describe how to do that. But that revelation is of no value without the wisdom and character to live it out. The proper balance is found in the life of Timothy, who cultivated godly character rather than false humility and stirred up his gift rather than pursue power.
Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him and Silas as their traveling assistant. He would be responsible to care for the needs of Paul Acts He was promoted and entrusted as a minister of the gospel, eventually pastoring the church in Ephesus. In his second letter to Timothy Paul wrote: I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God. He was not a charlatan. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. As Christians, character should be our first priority and pursuit. What our Father looks for is not power, but character.
It is a sad fact that many in the church pursue the power and anointing of the Spirit while sidestepping the pursuit of godly character. We pursue the gifts and the anointing and just wish for the fruit of love in our 22 Two Extremes lives. God is love, and until we walk in love we will not attain His nature.
One Extreme: Pursuing Power Rather Than Character Some Christians will travel great distances—hundreds of miles— to go to a miracle, prophetic or anointing service, but they are unwilling to deal with the anger, unforgiveness or bitterness in their own hearts. This is evidence that their emphasis is on power rather than character. The spiritual manifestations at these services may be of God, but we have to deal with the inner man too.
This unwillingness to deal with the inward has opened up many to deception. Even though the church is experiencing a refreshing at this time, sin must be dealt with. We have seen too many ministers fall. No, they began to fall earlier—the day success in ministry became more important than their intimate relationship with God.
Of course, Jesus is the only one who can give us a pure heart. It is not something we can earn. Use me to heal multitudes and deliver the masses. My highest goal was to be a successful minister. Then one day Jesus showed me that my emphasis was off.
He left his business to become My disciple, but where is he today? She would only be intimate when it would produce the offspring she wanted; she would have no interest in knowing her husband personally. The men and women of the Bible who desired to know God more than anything else stayed faithful to Him, finishing the course He set before them.
They learned the secret of integrity with power. Seeking Him earnestly, they glimpsed His very heart. Yet remember, gifts are given, not earned. A donkey spoke and saw into the realm of the spirit. A rooster crowed three times and convicted Peter. Does that make these beasts spiritual? Jesus said that many would call Him Lord and expect entrance into His kingdom, only to be denied.
They will have done miracles, cast out devils and prophesied in His name. The anointing of God is not His approval. Saul prophesied after God had rejected him 1 Sam. Without it we will walk in merely a shadow of His anointing, troubled by legalism or lasciviousness.
Balaam prophesied, and his prophecies proved true; however, he died the death of a soothsayer, put to the sword when Israel invaded the promised land. We must also set this standard before us and allow the Holy Spirit to accurately weigh us.
This extremely important prerequisite cannot be overemphasized as we go into battle with the spirit of intimidation. Without this undergirding, the truth in this message will not set you free and could possibly do you more damage than good.
After four years God released me to be the youth pastor for another large church.
The week I was to leave, a man who was also on staff told my wife that God had given him a word for me. Ever since then that word has resounded in my ear as a warning, offering protection in the shadow of its wisdom and strength.
As with any true word of God it has become a rudder for my heart and a foundation to keep me from uncertainty. This man warned my wife, If John does not walk in his God-given authority, someone will take it from him and use it against him.
This word had an immediate impact. I recognized it as the wisdom of God, but I did not have the full understanding of how to apply it. That knowledge would come over the next several years. A Life-changing Experience At the beginning of the Lord confirmed that His calling on my life at that time was to travel and minister. After I had been on the road for a short time, I had a life-changing experience through which I finally understood the words of instruction God had given me years before.
We had begun conducting the meetings at a church on a Wednesday evening and were scheduled to continue through Sunday. The Spirit of God moved in a very powerful way, and there were strong deliverances, healings and salvation. The presence of God in the meetings grew each night.
The first week a lady involved in the New Age movement was gloriously delivered. This seemed to be the catalyst that spurred the meetings on. Within a week people were coming from a ninety-mile radius.
God has more in store for us. I agreed, and we continued for twenty-one services.