Every job he found didn’t last. Doors were shutting with no explanation. In every direction he turned he encountered closures. Some employers would hire him and then suddenly change their decision. Others would tell him he was doing a good job but was no longer needed. It suddenly became clear he was facing spiritual adversity. He sought prayer of agreement, and commanded hindrances to move in Jesus’ name. Victory was immediate. Someone called him for a position he has had now for nine years with yearly pay increases. When he noticed similar barriers in his relationships, he began to war effectively discerning the true interference.
We might not recognize we are facing spiritual adversaries, so we should pray daily against them. Preventive prayer is so valuable. Daily we oppose whatever is coming against God’s will for our lives. Enemies are to be expected for every door God opens for us. Foes are confirmation that the doors God is opening for us are to take us further than can be seen. When doors keep shutting, we can trust God is preparing a greater door.
Extension is for His expansion. What takes longer in the natural to come to pass is enlarged until the time of manifestation. We can rejoice today knowing the doors God opens cannot be shut, and the doors He shuts cannot be opened as He brings about His perfect will in our lives. Praying for obstacles to move out of our way becomes part of our walk, from glory to glory!
1 Corinthians 16:9 “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
To help us draw nigh unto God we can visualize reaching for His hand. It helps us to take-hold of His reality. Like a child whose hand is stretched forth to a parent seeking leading, guidance and comfort–we seek His hand at all times.
We seek Him the most when we know we can’t take a step without Him. Through humility and total surrender we reach into our hearts, and reach out to His grace and mercy. Many things can hinder our efforts. What we hold in our hands may need to be released. Perhaps we need to stop trying to grab hold of something or someone else. It may also be our fears and insecurities that prevent us from reaching forth boldly and wholly.
As we walk with the Lord we realize we need His guidance with every step—great or small. Trial or no trial, we desire to hold His hand. Holding His hand brings comfort when in sorrow and peace when at war. It brings safety and rest in every moment. We seek after Him because we love Him so and find He looks for us to reach out to Him from glory to glory!
Psalms 77:2 “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing; My soul refused to be comforted.”
It was their works of faith, labors of love, and patience of hope in the Lord that exhorted worshipers in the Thessalonian Church. They really believed and served God. It is through these same characteristics that our maturity in Christ is known to others.
Faith without works is dead, but works of faith are alive and obvious; we know this because of the opposition we encounter. True faith is obvious because of the amazing ability it brings to press through trials. Faith sees, says and seizes the promises of God. Our labor of love is not in vain in the Lord. The love of God in our hearts becomes increasingly real as we grow in the knowledge of who God is, and as He reveals its magnitude. We love one another, heart to heart, in all circumstances. It’s a labor of love because it takes the work of faith to walk in such love. Our patience of hope also makes known the reality of the Lord in our lives. How else could we stand believing in life in the midst of death?
When pressures come, what we really believe can be heard and seen. Faith now is where fear used to come forth. Love is given where offenses tried to establish their lying ways. Forgiveness is granted where resentment used to hold back the blessings. Patience has replaced anger. The works of the Spirit are seen instead of the works of the flesh, really, from glory to glory!
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.
In the midst of our trials we need strength, and we find the Lord’s strength is there to empower us to overcome. It’s found looking for His ways instead of ours. His strength is perfected in our weakness. When God’s ways are in our hearts, we encounter hope, joy and peace on every path.
When passing through valleys of weeping, we see our tears become a fountain of peace as the strength of the Spirit of God fills us in our times of sorrow. The valleys of despair are turned into hope as the living water of the Spirit of Christ washes over our fears, pains and dark hours. In the places where we have no strength, the Lord’s strength manifests in greater measure. It’s when we wait upon the Lord that we mount up with wings like eagles. Blessings are poured out as we go from our strength to His strength, and then from His strength to more of His strength.
The adversary may try to weaken us, but He cannot weaken the Christ in us. The anointing of God cannot be diminished. On the contrary, the more afflictions and tribulations arise, the more the Anointed One releases His glory. When we pass through the valley of weeping, Jesus is there to comfort us and bless us abundantly. It’s when there is no way that God’s way is paved, from glory to glory!
Psalms 84:5-7 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage, As they pass through the valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.
As Christians, we still have the nature of the old man in us, and through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit we keep it subdued by the grace of God. We put off the old man and put on the new man. When satan lies to us about who we are, we quickly put on the garments of glory we have in Christ.
To put on the new man means to invest with clothing; to sink into a garment. As we put on who we believe we now are by grace, through faith, we eventually become who we are in the Lord. We become clothed with the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The reality of the new creation that we are in Him becomes what we reach for, not the old which no longer exists. Shame, guilt and low self-esteem are put off and acceptance, forgiveness and true self-worth are put on. After the fall, Adam and Eve knew they were naked and immediately clothed themselves to hide.
In Christ, our lives are hidden in Him and we are clothed with His glory. We can do so because we are a new creation in Him. We never have to hide, but can always abide. We do not have to fear, but keep our garment near. With our garments of glory we also cover others when the enemy tries to strip them with his lies. We put on love, from glory to glory!
Ephesians 4:22-24 “… that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Through death, Jesus destroyed the devil that had the power of death. At the same time, He released those who, through fear of death, were subject to bondage. There is no more death for believers. Christ plants in us an undying seed of heavenly immortality, though we have to pass through natural death.
Not only are we to have no fear of death for our natural body; but also to have no fear of anything else that would die. For example, the death of a relationship or a dream. The death of a vision in the natural means God’s life will be manifested greater in another way. The power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us the assurance of freedom from the fear of loss, despair or hopelessness.
Destroyed means rendered powerless; deprived of all power to hurt the people of God. Hallelujah! No matter what we go through, we are going through it. What had the power to keep us bound to death was conquered by our Lord. We do go through sufferings, through pain, through losses; and through every evil work we come out filled with the life of Christ, from glory to glory!
Hebrews 2:14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.