Hello fellow prayer warrior! You are one of few who are highly skilled and rippling with spiritual muscle and ninja like moves. If you are a long time reader of this blog, the devil doesn’t try to push you around too much because every time he does, you fight back. You are the few, the proud, and the diligent. You are one of the bold! I couldn’t be prouder of you. Can I ask…what is it that ticks you off? What is it that pushes your buttons?
Did you know that God created our emotions. He created the happy ones, joy, love, humor, and gladness, but He also created our temper and our anger and our remorse. Yes, He gave us a trial mix of emotions at birth and throughout the first few years we use the ones we like or need the most to get things done. Anger and a temper have a bad-boy reputation. So how could God have given those to us? Aren’t those from the devil? Aren’t we supposed to be mild-mannered and never have a cross word for anyone?
Let’s look at our verse for today.
“And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Philippians 1: 14
I kept thinking this was an odd turn of events. How could Paul’s imprisonment have made the brethren more bold? Then it came to me. Those fellahs realized that the devil was trying to shut Paul up and that ticked them off. Ha!! That temper and holy anger motivated the people who Paul had worked with. They stepped out of their comfort zone and fired back at the devil by speaking the Word. The devil imprisoned Paul so that his “little weak Christian followers” would be intimidated. This caused a holy fire to burn so big, they started speaking the Word more and took up where Paul left off. They lost their temper and retaliated. Was that use of those emotions good?
How did they tap into that spiritual motivation and anger?
These brethren were the same as you and I. They may have gone to a little Bible study that Paul taught or one of the apostles taught. They were bakers, business owners, pedestrian tax payers. They were Jews and Gentiles with families, homes and burdens of the everyday man. What changed them? How did they become “waxing confident” and “much more bold to speak the Word without fear”?
There are two ways they did this.
“And, behold, I (Jesus Christ) send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
They realized what they had from God. Freedom from fear comes from true empowerment. On the day of Pentecost, God endued us with power from on high. The Greek word for endued is endyō, which is a verb that means to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one’s self. It also means to be endowed. Our country’s constitution has the word endowed in it. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Endowed means to bequeath or provide with a quality, ability, or asset: he was endowed with tremendous physical strength.
In this case when you are born-again of God’s spirit you are endowed with tremendous spiritual strength and access to God. Paul taught this to those men and women. This understanding empowered them! Simply put: they didn’t, and we don’t, have to sit back and take the devil’s bullying anymore! We have power.
The second thing is: they found the devil’s playbook. The secret to the devil’s success is the secrecy of his moves. If you never knew that the devil is stealing from you, how can you stop him? When someone comes along and points out that the devil is ripping you off, how does that make you feel? Angry right. Me too! I never like being lied to, or being cheated. It’s as if someone hurt my kid and expected to get away with it. I get angry. God designed these emotions, yes. But we are still to walk in His love and wisdom. How can we be loving when we’re angry? By being angry at the right guy. Be angry at the devil not the people involved. The devil uses blame so he can stay in the shadows and get everyone mad at each other. The devil wants us fighting with each other so we’ll divide and not be as strong in our fellowship.
IF anything divides you from spending time with other mature believers or from the Word or God Himself; be it a job, a sickness, a vehicle issue, a financial issue or drama of some sort, then stop and take a closer look at that division. What does God want for your life?
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2
If that is what God wants, then someone else is causing the wedge. And yep, Honey, you just figured out the Devil’s playbook. Here’s what God says the remedy is.
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
I understand that things come up occasionally, but the devil’s wedges last a long time and are extremely harmful. Look for them and see them for what they are. He is stealing joy right out of your life. Are you going to stand for that? The “brethren” didn’t. Knowing these two things will make you fearless, bold and confident…now go speak the Word. Become protective of your joy and your endued power. When someone tries to take it or mess with it, you go in with God, firing with the Holy Spirit.
God bless you today!