Last week we saw how serious the war we are in really is. It is a war for our very lives, the lives of our children, and even our very souls. For the word calls satan your adversary. He is YOUR adversary. He is your personal enemy. And what is he after? Your soul!! See Psalm 143:3 & 1 Peter 5:8
Now, at any military boot camp you will learn the basics. You will learn to: respect authority, keep your mouth shut, how to put on bullet-proof vests to protect your vital organs during battle, follow the written rules in your military manual, exercise, and get in tip-top shape. You will learn the language of war, and hopefully by the end of boot camp you will be a different person and you will even look different, and you will talk different. When you move on to special ops, you will learn all about your enemy and who he is exactly. You will learn where he is, how he operates, and how to neutralize him (wipe him out) so that he is no longer a threat to you or to others.
Learning to respect authority – God has put each man under authority (see 1 Cor. 11:3). And Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject unto a higher power.” For a very deep understanding of spiritual authority, please see Watchman Nee’s book entitled “Spiritual Authority.” This book is only for the bold though; it’s only for those who want to really understand and progress further in spiritual things.
Because until a man has a real grasp on spiritual authority, God will not be able to use him. I said God will not be able to use him. People may use him, his gift may use him, his education may make a way for him. But until he has the approval of God upon him, it’s all in vain. Because the difference between the men and the boys is the anointing and the power. 2 Cor. 10:18 says, “For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.” And I have news for you; the Lord doesn’t commend as many people as we think He does. To be commended by the Lord is to have His stamp of approval.
When someone really down deep in their hearts has a revelation of spiritual authority, it will govern their living, their giving, their prayers, their devotions, and their mouth. Someone who understands spiritual authority keeps his or her mouth shut. They do not engage in gossip, fault-finding, criticizing, slander, or judging of any kind. They do not speak against the authorities. They don’t say one cross word about the President of the United States, law enforcement officers, school boards, or any elder in the body of Christ whom God has placed over them.
To be under authority is a position of the heart. Just consider what the Centurion said to Jesus, “I also am a man under authority.” Did you really catch that? He recognized that Jesus was a Man under authority…otherwise he would not have said, “I also.” And if Jesus was a man under authority, then how much more should we be!!!? Some may say here: “I can have an opinion about things.” Guess what? No you can’t!! A servant isn’t entitled to have opinions. A servant does what he’s told.
If every servant began to voice their personal opinions about how the household should be arranged or governed…then guess what? They would be out of a job. The owner doesn’t care about their opinions. Now if the owner asks, then it’s a different story. And the “owner” will ask, but only after you’ve become a very faithful, tried-and-true servant that has the “owner’s” real interests at heart. I personally think this really grieved the Lord at the tomb of Lazarus. Mary and Martha had an opinion about everything He said. Their unbelief fought Him tooth-and-toenail at every turn. He kept commanding, and they kept fighting it with excuses until finally, “Jesus wept.”
A person under authority respects all authority in his heart, because he has a revelation from the book of Romans that God has placed all these people over us; whether or not it be in the natural or in the spiritual (please see Romans 13:1-5). So then, what are we guarding against here in this instance? The spirit of rebellion, and the spirit of separating ourselves. “He who separates himself seeks his own desire.” Prov. 18:1. And the Holy Spirit told us in 1 Cor. 10:24, “Let no man seek his own.” But the sad truth can be found in Philippians 2:21, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.”
Keeping our mouth shut – David said in Psalm 141:3-4, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing.” You see, David wanted to guard his mouth, because he had an understanding that the “inclining my heart to any evil thing” began with his words in verse 1. The words out of his mouth set in motion the inclination of his heart tot do evil. Oh God, help us see this truth in all of its fullness and conviction.
David also said in Psalm 17:3, “I have determined that my mouth will not transgress.” He understood that what he spoke had power to create and destroy. He had an understanding of Proverbs 10:19 which says, “In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking.” Show me a spiritual man, and I will show you a man who is very careful with his words and in his speech. The Lord said that we would be judged…how? By our words!! By our words. By our words.
If you like to gossip, then you are still a child. If you are critical of others, then you are still a child. If you still speak and voice your opinions against anyone in authority, then you are still a child. The Father doesn’t entrust His kingdom or spiritual things to children – only sons. “He who guards his mouth preserves his soul.” Prov. 13:3 and also “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile.” Psalm 34:13
Putting on bulletproof vests – Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring all the issues of life.” So then, while we’re on Guard Duty, what else are we to be guarding? Our hearts. Show me a man who fills his heart with trash and things of the world, and I will show you a man unfit for duty. Even in the natural military there are certain things that can make you “Unfit for Duty.” And this is looked upon as a shame, a reproach, and an embarrassment. If you fill your heart and mind with trash, then you are spiritually overweight and unfit for duty. If you are disobeying direct orders (the type and shadow here being the Word of God), then you are unfit for duty. If you’re somehow hurt or injured, then you are unfit for duty. Hey, we’ve all been hurt in the body of Christ. We’ve all been used and abused in some manner or another. Get over it. If you’re depressed and sullen, it’s because you choose to be and you want people to feel sorry for you. Ain’t happening!! We’re in a war. Man up, take your place…this isn’t the time to be crying rivers. There’s an enemy directly in front of you with his weapons drawn coming your way.
It is your responsibility to guard your heart. And remember, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” So eventually whatever is in your heart will make itself known to everyone in your troop. I have news for you, if you’re not living a holy and righteous life and putting on the full amour of God (part of which is the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS…which has nothing to do with the Lord’s righteousness, which is imputed – but here you are to be putting it on) then you are one of those who are defenseless and easy prey for the enemy.
Dear reader, who do the lions go for when it’s time for dinner? They go for the young ones, the ones who are hurt, and the ones who have separated themselves from the herd. And they also look for those who are lingering behind. Sound familiar? See Deut. 25:17 which says, “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.”
Satan does not fear God at all. He is out to devour you. Wake up and really see how much power you have available to you. I would like to leave you with an excerpt from a book by Lilian Yeomans:
“The Word of God is with us today, for it cannot be lost. It is just as omnipotent as it always has been and always will be. It is incorruptible, so it cannot suffer change of any kind. We have but to make connection with the batteries of heaven by pressing the button of faith to have the exceeding greatness of God’s power revealed in our lives.
“It is possible we have all read the story of the blowing up of Hell Gate in New York harbor, an engineering feat which was considered very remarkable at the time of its performance a number of years ago (Oct. of 1885).
“When it was decided to remove the dangerous rocks which had caused the loss of many ships and precious lives, large gangs of men were set to work to honeycomb them with drills. When the drilling was completed, powerful explosives were placed in position, and the whole was wired and connected with batteries located many miles away.
“When the hour announced for the explosion arrived, the chief engineer was in his office in New York City with some officials and his staff of assistants. On his knee sat his tiny granddaughter and in front of him on his desk was an insignificant looking key, or button, by means of which little Mary was to blow up Hell Gate.
“How it was to be accomplished she had not the remotest idea; that was Grandpa’s business, but that it would be done she could not doubt, for had not Grandpa said so; and with perfect confidence that, as she did it, those gigantic rock masses were splintered into fragments and scattered to the four winds, just as Grandpa had told her, she pressed the button with all her might. Far away in the distance a dull booming sound was heard, and in a moment the message was flashed over the wire, ‘Hell Gate is no more.’
“The touch of a child’s finger in obedient faith in her Grandfather’s word unlocked the forces which his wisdom had provided for the demolition of the frowning obstacles; but the touch, feeble as it was, was requisite. Though everything necessary to the clearing of the channel was finished, the child’s finger had to release the power.
“Do you understand the allegory? God’s Word of full salvation for spirit, soul, and body, eternal and glorious deliverance for the entire man has been spoken; nay, is being spoken, for it liveth and back of it is Omnipotence; but we, children as we are, must press the button with our tiny fingers. When God’s people do this in its fullest sense; the message will be flashed to heaven, ‘Hell’s Gate is no more. ‘And the day is coming when this will happen, for we are told the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church. This does not mean that we are merely to defend ourselves against satan’s aggressions, but that we shall march against his gates and demolish them.
“In Luther’s time the enemy had the harbor of peace with God so blocked with dangerous rocks that many were lost in their attempts to make it. With all their penances, fastings, pilgrimages, scourgings and grovellings before popes and priests, perhaps comparatively few in his day knew what it was to be free from condemnation before God; the way was a veritable ‘Hell’s Gate.’ But by believing the Word, ‘The just shall live by faith,’ ‘To him that believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly his faith is counted for righteousness’ (Romans 1:17; 4:5), Luther pressed the button. Omnipotence was brought into action, the channel was cleared, and countless myriads sailed safely into port and proved for themselves that ‘being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1).”
We will continue this teaching next week.