A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Heavenly Realms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heavenly Realms. Show all posts

September 16, 2022

The Heavenly Realms Are Waging A Spiritual War! Are the Saints Ready to Engage?

Sometimes I honestly wonder if the Body of Christ understands the concept of the spiritual war that we are engaged in. Do we comprehend that Satan has an angelic force of battle-hardened warriors with thousands of years of experience? Do we grasp that he actually knows he's been defeated by the birth and death of Christ, but he also knows he's got nothing left to lose by waging all-out war against the saints until the time of his ultimate defeat? And what gives him that confidence that he can prolong this war across the heavenly realms?

All it takes to appreciate his arrogance is for us to look at the state of the world, and our own country, to know that the devil has no fear that the saints are a match for his evil and wicked purposes. He has struck at the foundations of God's holy principles and met very little resistance. He has been able to attack the sanctity of life; destroy the rule of law in an ordered society; and replace the worship of God, Himself, with idols of money, power and privilege. He's well aware that the saints have been given instructions to fight against him, and have even been given a suit of spiritual armor with which to battle. But how many Christians can tell you what that armor consists of, how to use it to fight, or even attempt to put it on? Until we stand up in our identity and our power, we will have an enemy who will continue to rage against the followers of Christ. 

If you have been following my blog since I began in 2011, then you have seen the direction the Lord has taken me and my various transitions ... from developing my Biblical worldview; to understanding that I am not to be a passive Christian waiting to go to Heaven, but rather am responsible for taking care of my physical and spiritual needs; through my awakening to my power, authority, and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God; to becoming a true disciple of Christ and doing what He did... fighting back against the kingdom of darkness and it's oppression [in both the physical and spiritual realms].

This concept that there is interaction between the spiritual and physical realms is a difficult position for Christians to accept. Most modern Christians don't see the unseen world from the same point of view as the ancient Biblical writers. Early Christians were familiar with the invisible world of the spiritual realm. They interacted with it! The prophets in the Old Testament continually gave witness as intermediaries between the spiritual and physical worlds for people who could not see. God opened the eyes of His prophets so they could see into the spiritual realm and explain what they saw to the people.  

Ezekiel saw wheels moving in unison. Isaiah saw "the Lord, high and exalted seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple." He also saw the angels that surrounded that majestic throne. Elisha was able to assist his servant to see into the spiritual realm during a frightening episode when their city was surrounded by an army of horses and chariots.  Elisha prayed, "Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:17). He actually saw the spiritual war taking place on the earth!

But it wasn't only the Old Testament Prophets and Patriarchs who had knowledge and experience of this interaction. Stephen described what he saw in the spiritual realm, just as he was about to be stoned to death: "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:54-56). Peter was released from prison by a spiritual intervention:  "Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists" (Acts 12:7). There was a spiritual battle going on over both Stephen and Peter in each of these instances, just as there was when Daniel prayed for 21 days during the reign of King Cyrus. As he prayed and fasted, he had a vision in which a messenger angel [assumed to be Gabriel] told him that God had heard his prayers, but he [the angel] had been held up because he was battling with "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" until, Michael, the archangel, had come to his rescue to help him defeat Satan's angelic army.

It must be understood that "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" denotes a high-ranking demonic angel who has been assigned by Satan to battle in the spiritual realm on behalf of Satan's interests in the nation of Persia. Michael is a "great captain" in the Lord's angelic army, assigned to protect the children of Israel. He is a warrior angel, fighting in the spiritual realms on behalf of all who belong to Christ. So, it is imperative, if we are to serve our Lord as He has purposed us to do, then we must recognize and acknowledge that there is an invisible world just as real as this physical one, and it comprises the spiritual realm. It was created just as certainly as this rock we live on. 

These two realms overlap and the fallen angels that aligned with Satan at their fall from Heaven have access to our realm [along with their forces], but we are not powerless to withstand them! We need to understand that we have access to Jesus and the power of God -- the same power that He used in His ministry on earth to deal with those collaborators with the Enemy. And He has given us His permission to call upon those powers (it is His Name that activates them!) to resist the devil and his schemes to oppress us. That is our Authority! And there is a Heavenly army consisting of legions of angels just waiting for us to engage in this war and ask the Lord to activate them!

These forces of the Enemy are in operation now at full speed; they know their time is running out and they aim to weaken the saints as they plan their final assault. We desperately need to understand and see the spiritual war we are involved in! We need to know --- I mean really know, deep in our spirit -- that there is a visible and invisible world that intersect, and we are in the middle of a cosmic conflict that has eternal implications. The souls of every man, woman, and child on this earth depends on us knowing that! And we need to know that the Enemy seeks to blind us, and convince us that this is not real, let alone Scriptural. And he has been winning on that front for quite awhile now. The state of misery that so many in the world are experiencing is proof of that.

So I can imagine that Satan is none too happy that more of us are waking up to the Biblical truth that Spiritual Warfare is part of our commission as the Body of Christ. Our eternal Victory has been won on the Cross for those of us who call Jesus our Savior.  But there are millions of lost souls who are in the cross hairs of the Enemy, and it is our calling to not only share our salvation story, but our purpose to advance the Kingdom of God on earth -- to occupy the territory we have been given until Jesus returns. With that, we can expect skirmishes, battles, and sometimes all-out war with the Adversary. And that means that we need to be more vigilant than ever to put on our full spiritual armor, as Paul advises in Ephesians 6. 

We need to understand that the armor is both defensive and offensive. We need not be afraid or timid, or go searching for the fight. We just need to stand firm in the knowledge that there is power in the Name of Jesus, and we have access to it and the authority to use it. If we could see into the spiritual realms, I believe we would see the battle formations in place; we would see the fierce fighting of the forces of Good and Evil. But we must recognize the part we play in this cosmic war; and it's going to take more than worship and praise, although those are mighty weapons for encouragement. But we've got to move beyond religious displays that are devoid of power [and which have no effect on the devil's armies], and we must engage with boldness ... in our speech, in our actions, and in prayer partnership with our personal angels, the angels assigned to our ministries, and the angels that preside over our nation to bring it back into heavenly alignment. And finally, we know that as the Lord of Hosts, Jesus is Commander of the heavenly armies and He will soon ride in judgment of the earth. Let us not sit idle in our spiritual power, but be suited up in our spiritual armor to become conquerors alongside Him in the heavenly realms. With the recognition that this is our reality, we can expect to see the victories that will allow us to fulfill our purpose on earth. And that is what God and Jesus desire for us! 

#spiritualwarfare #spiritualwar #angelichost #warinthespiritualrealms

1 Thessalonians 5:6   So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.




October 18, 2021

"I Hope I Never Recover From This!" Man's Inability To Recognize God In The Universe

Those are the words spoken of by William Shatner, the actor who played Captain James Kirk on the original Star Trek TV series. His fictional character served as Captain of the USS Starship Enterprise, and he led his crew to discover new worlds and civilizations, as his mission was to "boldly go where no man has gone before". Shatner was part of a 4-man passenger team of civilians to fly aboard the capsule built by Amazon founder and executive chairman Jeff Bezo's sub-orbital spaceflight service company called Blue Origin. 

I didn't make a special effort to be in front of the TV when the 10-minute journey launched, but just happened upon it as I scanned the news networks that Wednesday morning. I will admit I'm not really interested in watching billionaires live out their space fantasies, but have always wondered what drives people to want that experience. Is it as simple as an innate desire for adventure? Or is it more nefarious as in the plans of Nimrod and the peoples of the earth who gathered on the plains of Shinar to build a tower so high they could ascend into Heaven and either depose God from His throne; replace Him with their own gods of greed and power; or actually seek to destroy Him completely. The Book of Jasher unmasks these evil options that Nimrod and his wicked followers considered. No matter their ultimate reasoning, they all shared one motive: to make a name for themselves (Genesis 11). I couldn't help but see the similarity in what was playing out on my TV screen.

But without even realizing it, William Shatner [the central figure of this "Space Odyssey"] revealed the majesty of God and the Heavens when he spoke after the capsule landed. He never mentioned the word "God", nor did Jeff Bezos, or any of the reporters covering the event. That didn't surprise me. What did catch me off guard was the way Shatner described his experience. If you are a discerning Christian, you caught the unmistakable references. He was obviously emotional about his journey, and choking back tears, proclaimed that he had been given "the most profound experience I can imagine. I hope I never recover from this [my emphasis]." What immediately struck me was the familiarity of that sentiment. 

In 2011 my personal life was rocked by the death of a most extraordinary young man. At 18-years-old, Ben Breedlove, the son of very close friends, died from a congenital heart defect that took his life far too early. As tragic as that circumstance was, it was preceded by an event where he suffered a heart attack and experienced a "dream" or "vision" of being someplace he did not want to leave.  He said he saw himself in a mirror, his whole life before him, and he was pleased with what he saw.  And he could not stop smiling!  He said it was the BEST feeling, and he was ready and excited for a really big event ... and then he woke up as the EMTs shocked him back to life.  He wanted to return to that peaceful and joyful place.  He told his family he was not afraid of dying anymore, and he wanted them to know that he was happy in that place. In fact, Ben's few remaining days would be a struggle to understand why he was sent back to earth.

Last Wednesday, as I watched the aftermath of the space capsule landing, I was reminded how Ben felt about his astonishing "trip to Heaven". It seemed to correspond to the way Shatner expressed his trip to the heavens ... "I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it." But Shatner didn't stop there, and yet it's so sad to me that he didn't even know what he was witnessing. He said, "To see the blue air cover whip by and you're staring into blackness, that's the thing. The covering of blue, this sheet, this blanket, this comforter of blue that we have around us, we think, oh, that's blue sky, and then suddenly you shoot through it all as though you whip off a sheet when you're asleep, and you're looking into blackness." What I believe William Shatner experienced was passing from First Heaven into Second Heaven; the spiritual realm beyond our earth and sky; the realm where Satan and his forces, authorities, principalities and powers dwell. 

Why do I think this? Because he described it like this: "All of a sudden the blue is down below and the blackness of space — and space is interesting, the universe lies there — but in that moment, in that window, it was only black and ominous." He said he was struck by the stark "ugliness" of the blackness compared to the blue-and-white of our planet. "It's so, so much larger than me and life," he said. "It hasn't got anything to do with a little green planet, a blue orb, it has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death. Oh, my God!" Except, that seemed merely an expression of emotion; he didn't really attribute the vastness of it all to God. Nor did he seem to grasp what the ugliness of the ominous blackness was all about. 

Here was an opportunity for men with influence -- just think of all the "Trekkies" who followed this spectacle, and the impact Bezos and Amazon have had on our culture -- to call the world's attention to something greater than themselves. It was an opportunity to share the realization of Good and Evil as they passed from one heavenly realm to another; to express their consciousness of a Creator God; or to simply say "I believe". As quick as the 10-minute trip into space and back was accomplished, that's how quick that opportunity to proclaim our Sovereign God vanished. Unlike my friend Ben, who at 18 years old, made sure the world knew what he learned in the few moments of his heavenly journey, these self-absorbed men were blinded by their own importance. 

But Ben left behind a YouTube video that no one knew he had made. And at 1:00 in the morning after he passed away, his sister found it and posted it on his YouTube channel. Titled "This is My Story" [Part 1 and Part 2], Ben accomplished his purpose for coming back to earth. In less than 48 hours, the video was seen by over 220,000 people all over the U.S., and as far away as England and Australia.  But his influence didn't stop in the first months after his death. As of today, Ben's videos have now been seen by over 15.3 million people, with many being brought to faith in Jesus Christ through his testimony.  For Ben, his story wasn't about promoting himself, but rather about sharing the astounding experience of his encounter with the God of the Universe. And, like William Shatner, he didn't want it to end. But there's a big difference in their experiences... Ben made sure, with his last breath, that the world knew the magnitude of the love and peace he experienced in those brief moments, and he was very intentional in calling our attention to the reality of God. The last image I have of him is him holding a sign that reads, "Do you believe in Angels or God? I do!" I don't believe Ben knew he would soon return to Heaven --the look in his eyes betrays the sadness of still being bound to this earth -- but he wanted all who might see his video to know he believed in the majesty of God.  Too bad that Captain Kirk and Jeff Bezos don't seem to have grasped that truth.

Luke 12:8   And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God