Life in the Spirit


Our spiritual battle is not only internal between the flesh and the spirit, but it is external as well.

We are engaged in an external battle for which we are forewarned saying, "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Eph.6:12).
To prepare ourselves for this battle we are reminded saying, "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."
Now because of the reality and practicality of the warfare, it is imperative that we know the nature, or the premise on which the spiritual war is being fought.
The cause of this spiritual warfare is Satan's attempt to thwart God's master plan for the human race, thus making us the target.
When God created man, He created him in his image and likeness, and for man to have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over the earth, and over all the creatures that moves along the ground. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Unfortunately, with the exception of Jesus Christ, no other man has fulfilled God's plan.
He alone exercised his dominion and authority over the earth.
Here are a few examples of how Jesus Christ demonstrated his power and authority over the earth.
On one occasion he was in a boat sleeping, and without warning, a furious storm came upon the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat; so the disciples went and woke him up saying, "Lord save us! We are going to drown!"
Jesus replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid? Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" (Matt.8:23-27)
Early one morning, Jesus was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered (Matt. 21:18-19).
On another occasion, Jesus was confronted with the question of paying temple taxes. Although as the Son of God, he was not required to pay taxes, nevertheless to avoid offending them he asked his disciples to, " Go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish they catch; open its mouth and you will find a shekel. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours" (Matt. 17:27).
We know also of the incident where the disciples saw Jesus Christ actually walking on the sea, and Peter said to him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." And in all accounts, Peter himself actually walked on the water to go to Jesus.
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, Lord, save me!"
And immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
These examples are not merely miracles so to speak, but a manifestation and demonstration of one exercising his authority, and dominion over the earth.
This is what it means to have dominion. To have dominion over the fish of the sea, one should be able to go where the fish go. To have dominion over the birds of the air, and should be able to travel where they travel.
Some of us may want to simply close our minds on these things, with the notion that this is beyond our reach. Fair enough, but let us not forget that, man was created to have dominion over the earth.
To verify the fact that this is what we were destined to become, after the episode with the fig tree, Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, Go, throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matt. 21:21-22).
When Peter began sinking whilst walking of the water, Jesus simply stretched out his hand and caught him and said, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Unfortunately for us, it is quite difficult for us to attain this level of faith, by which we can take control, because, how are we to believe in him of whom we have never heard? And how are we to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? You see faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ.
To have dominion is to have commanding position over whatever you have dominion over. This is man's destiny to have dominion over the earth, even Satan and his demons that are now cast down to the earth. Satan knows this, and this is why he is so furious, and he is all out to destroy man.
Satan took away the initiative from Adam by deceiving Eve, and caused them to disbelieved and disobeyed God.
He attempted to Kill Jesus Christ, as soon as he was born.
He tried to take the initiative away from Jesus Christ before he began his ministry, shortly after his forty days and night fasting in the wilderness.
Remember one becomes the slave or servant to whom he/she yields to obey. This also applies to Satan and his demons.
If Jesus Christ had yielded to any of his requests, he would have relinquished his power and authority to him. It took Adam only one act of servitude to loose control over a whole empire.
Hence the reason why we are admonished to, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
Satan succeeded in having Jesus killed on the cross, and thought that he had the victory. But little did he know that, the death of Jesus Christ, was, "God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the lord of glory" (1Cor.2:7-8).
Men and angels were created and ordained for different responsibilities.
Angels were created to worship God, and to minister to those who will inherit salvation.
For to which of the angels did God ever say, "You are My Son; today I have begotten you. Or again, "I will be his Father, and he will be My Son"?
Again, to which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" (Heb.1:5, 13).
But to Jesus He said: "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy" (Heb.1:8-9).
Man's present situation is, "We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises."
And again, "I will put my trust in him."
And again he says, "Here am I and the children God has given me" (Heb.2:9-13).
This is what triggers the jealousy, the envy, the hatred, the animosity in Satan against human beings.
Consider a being which the bible described as, "The model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God: every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl; your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.
You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you" (Ezek.28:12-15).
Consider what is going on in the mind of a being created with such splendor, now cast down to the earth, to be dominated by man who was formed from the dust of the ground!
What is even more outstanding is that, man was created in the image and likeness of God. Signifying that, apart from being destined to have the same characteristics as God, they are destined to be one with God.
In praying for all believers Jesus said, "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one. Father, just as you in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me: I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. I, in them; and you in me" (Jn.17:20-23).
Believers are God's workmanship, signifying that they are the materials, and the finished product which God is creating. They are regarded as God's field, God's building, and fellow workers with him. (1Cor.3:9).
The work that is being done is in Christ, whose body is God’s spiritual temple, and believers are part of that body.
God's plan began with Jesus Christ in the Father, mankind in Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ in the believer, and God the Father in Jesus Christ. This completes the construction of God's spiritual temple, and God's purpose for man.
Therefore, let us not loose heart in going through this spiritual battle. Although outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 

For, our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2Cor.4:16-18).
May the God of our lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give us a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him;

Having the eyes of our hearts enlightened, that we may know what is the hope to which he has called us, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints:

And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead :

And made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

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