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Prayers of Paul – Receiving the Great Exchange – Part 11

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:9-14)

What a powerful prayer and oh what a string of words! I was tempted to stop at verse 12, ending with “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us…” But as we will see the prayer of Paul and the following powerful declarations are beautifully connected.

Paul starts the prayer by asking that the church at Colosse would be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” An important distinction is that the word “filled” is found in the passive voice, meaning the being filled is something received. It may sound basic but learning to receive from the Lord is crucial. That is why God promised that

But those who wait on the LordShall renew their strength;They shall mount up with wings like eagles,They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint.” (Isa 40:31)

In the context of Paul’s prayer, those that wait on the Lord are filled with the knowledge of His will with wisdom and understanding. But it all starts with receiving.

Let’s go on. Paul said a result of us being filled (passive) is “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him.” Our response to being filled is to walk in a way that is worthy of the Lord. Our “walk” is the daily choices that we make, many of which may seem insignificant.

Paul said the result of walking worthy is “being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might.” The words “increasing” and “strengthened” are both found in the passive voice. They are being received. Do you see the beautiful exchange happening? God’s part: filling. Our part: walking. God’s part: increasing and strengthening. Walking with God is not about following rules but a beautiful exchange. The most important exchange is our giving up our old lives and letting Christ live through us.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”(Gal 2:20)

After the prayer Paul makes two powerful and related declarations. The first is “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” Notice another “our part” – giving thanks. We give thanks as a result of Him qualifying us. The Greek word for “qualified” is hikanoō and it means “to make sufficient, render fit, to equip one with adequate power to perform duties of one.” He has qualified “to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.” We can partake of wisdom and spiritual understanding because He has perfectly equipped us to do so. It is just like the eagle is qualified to fly in the wind with its wings and the makeup of its body. We can say to the Lord: “You have perfectly equipped me for receiving my inheritance of spiritual light. I ask for and receive all that you have for me.”

The second and declaration of Paul might be one of the most powerful in all of scripture. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”The Greek word for delivered is ryoma and means “to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver.” Not only does God set us free, He draws us to Himself. He sets us free not so we can roam but that we would be with Him. That Greek word ryoma Aorist tense, meaning is something that has finished. Not only is the “delivered” a finished work but because the word is in the middle or passive deponent voice the subject (God) still performs the action.

Lastly, the word is found in the indicative mood, which describes a situation that actually is — as opposed to a situation that might be, is wished for, or is commanded to be.Therefore, His delivering us is a finished work that He continues to perform in our lives. And we can have confidence that He is doing it. It is not something we hope for, it is something that actually is! What are we delivered from? The “the power of darkness.” The Greek word for power there is exousia. It can be translated as authority. We get our English word executive from it. Another translates it as “the domain of darkness.” Either way we can have complete confidence that He has delivered us from the authority of power of darkness. It should not rule our lives.

Not only are we delivered from darkness but we are translated to a place of loving acceptance. “…and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” The Greek word for “conveyed” is a very powerful word that means “to transpose, transfer, remove from one place to another.” God put in a transfer order for you and I! We have been delivered from the authority of darkness and transferred to His loving kingdom. Like the word delivered “conveyed” is found in the Aorist tense. This time the tense is active, meaning the subject (God) performs the action. It is also found in the indicative mood, telling us once again that the situation actually is, and not something wished for.

We can see from this prayer that God does the heavy lifting in our lives. He fills us with wisdom and spiritual understanding. Our response is the walk according to what has been revealed to us. We give Him thanks for delivering us from darkness and transferring us to the kingdom of the son of His love. It is my hope that you learn this prayer and most importantly pray this prayer over the lives of your family, church etc. Like all of Paul’s prayers they run deep. Use them as a spiritual diving board.

Prayers of Paul – Love with Discernment – Pt. 10

We are moving on to the third of Paul’s epistle prayers. This prayer deals with our love flowing out but balanced with a high level of discernment. There is a great need for both love and discernment in the church. Let’s not forget that the main purpose of these articles is that we can better pray for those we hold before the Lord. Before we go forward let’s look at the prayer in all of its glory. 

“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil 1:9-11)

First off, Paul asked that their love “may abound still more and more.” The word “abound” carries the idea of something overflowing or existing in excess. Paul recognized the love of God in the church of Philippi and prayed that the people would allow it to flow out of them. God has created us the same as the precious people at Philippi and we still must allow the love of God to flow out of our lives. We can keep it bottled up for ourselves or we can release it. There is a great example of this found in the Song of Solomon. The Beloved (Jesus) said of the Shulamite (bride of Christ):

“A garden enclosed
Is my sister, my spouse,
A spring shut up,
A fountain sealed.” (4:12)

The Shulamites responded:
“Awake, O north wind,
And come, O south!
Blow upon my garden,
That its spices may flow out.” (4:18a)

We can say that Paul was asking for the winds to come so that the spices (love) would flow out. One interesting thing about the “north” and “south” winds. This is an excerpt from Wade Taylor on those winds:

“The north wind represents chastening, or correction; the south wind speaks of edification and blessing.  This two-fold working of the “north wind” brings first, a correction to our spiritual walk by teaching us an application of the Word to our need; and then, secondly, blessing and edification.  The desire of the Lord is to bring us through as quickly and painlessly as possible.” (full article:

The Shulamite was asking that the wind of Spirit would blow on her so that the love would be able to flow out. But she recognized that she needed the correcting winds just as much as she needed the winds of refreshing. We must welcome the correction of the Lord just as much as we welcome the affirmation. Jesus said that He corrects those that He loves. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” (Rev 3:19)

Paul asked God that their love would be “in knowledge and all discernment.” In other words Paul was not asking for blind love. True love sees all things and yet loves anyway. God fully knew the depths and depravity of our sins and He still sent His Son to die for us. 

Discernment, in the context of this prayer, is a spiritual perception. It can be likened to a judge who has all the facts of a case and is able to make the appropriate judgement. If we have love without knowledge and discernment it will not be pure. It will be tainted. Having spiritual discernment is especially important for those that God has given a big heart to help people. Without discernment they will only be led astray and will most likely not last long. 

When I was a young believer a group of us would go feed the homeless at The Bowery Mission Center in New York City. It was a very rough area. One night I struck up a conversation with one of the homeless men. He shared his struggles with me how he was homeless and had no money. I had money in my pocket and gave him $20.00. After the meeting I told my spiritual mentor what I had done. He told me in no uncertain terms that I should not have done that because they will often use the money for drugs or alcohol. I had love without discernment. 

Paul said that abounding in love would result in two things: 

1: “that you may approve the things that are excellent.” 
2: “that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.”  

1. The Greek word for approve here is dokimazō and means “to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not).” The enemy is the father of lies and we need God’s discernment to know the truth from lies. This is where the love of God comes in – it is pure and reveals what is true. It is just like the rising of the sun with its rays now shining we can see the path to walk on. 

The word for excellent is an interesting one. The Greek is diapherō and means “to bear or carry through any place.” It also means “to toss about to make better.” The idea here is something akin to breaking in a baseball mitt or breaking in a new pair of running shoes. Through love in discernment God uses us to scrutinize things in order to break them in so to speak. But let’s remember this is done in the pure love of God, not the way the world scrutinizes. 

2. The result of approving (scrutinizing) the things that are excellent (broken in by carrying) is being “sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.” Sincere is an interesting word and goes very well with the word approve. The Greek word is eilikrinēs and can mean one of two things (there is some debate about the word origin) 1. “found pure when unfolded and examined by the sun’s light.” or “sifted and cleansed by rapid movement or rolling to and fro.” In context the sifting idea aligns itself better. Nevertheless, we can glean truths from each idea. The important thing is that God makes us sincere – free from falsehood and pure. 

The next result of abounding love is being “without offense till the day of Christ.” The Greek word for “offense” is aproskopos and means “having nothing to strike against, not causing to stumble.” It also beautifully means “a smooth road.” God greatly desires that we would be free of anything that would cause others to stumble. Oh Lord, make us smooth roads! This without offense is until “the day of Christ.” God is looking at the long-term plan here.  
The last thing resulting from love abounding: “being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Oh yes Lord, our great desire is to be filled with the fruits of righteousness and bring glory to you! 

I pray that this article will better help you in praying for those you hold before the Lord. We are asking for love to abound but balanced with spiritual discernment.

Prayers of Paul – Knowing the Love of Christ Personally – Pt.9

“may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:18-19)

In the previous article we mentioned that this prayer from Paul has a cascading effect. The prayer starts with being “strengthened with might” – the result of that is Christ “dwelling in your hearts through faith.” Then there is a being “rooted and grounded in love.” That brings us to our present place – being “able to comprehend…to know the love of Christ.” 

In this article we will be looking at quite a few words in the original Greek. The first one is “able” in “able to comprehend. The Greek word is exischyō and means “to be eminently able, able, to have full strength.” It is a strong word that means to have the full ability to do something. Think of the strong lumberjack who is well-equipped to do his job. 

The next word is “comprehend.” It is from katalambanō and means “to lay hold of so as to make one’s own, to obtain, attain to.” It is a personal word and another word of power. It is forceful in a way that will not be denied. Paul used this word in Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold (katalambanō) of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold (katalambanō) of me.” Jesus was able to “lay hold” of all our lives by dying on the cross. We lay hold by the Holy Spirit – and in this case by being strengthened with might, Christ dwelling in our hearts – leading to us being fully able to comprehend (take hold) of the love of Christ. So we see from this prayer that intimacy with Christ requires a level of spiritual warfare. We must have the strength of the Spirit to be strong on this inside and have the ability to lay hold of the love of Christ. 
The next part is something that can be overlooked if we are not careful. But it is of great importance – a vital ingredient. Paul said that we would comprehend “with all the saints” the full love of Christ. If we go through life without “all the saints” in our lives we will only see a small aspect of Christ’s love. You see, God has made each of us to reflect His love and personality in a unique, beautiful way. 

from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4:16) With all of the saints we will be able to know “what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ.” We can never know the full measure of Christ’s love. It is like an unexplored country ready for us to discover its beauty. But we can trust that as Jesus dwells in our hearts He will give us many tours in this unexplored country. 

The last part is that the love of Christ “passes knowledge.” The Greek word for passes is hyperballō and means “to surpass in throwing, to throw over or beyond any thing.” I get this beautiful picture of Jesus throwing a ball representing His love going over our limited human intellect. His love goes above and beyond any human knowledge that we can have. And this is wonderful news because it is often the mind that keeps us from knowing the love of God in a full way.

Ultimately, the greatest desire of the Lord is that we know Him personally and intimately. He is not interested in us intellectually knowing He loves us. He wants us to experience it – to “know the love of Christ.” This is what we were made for. When God made Adam and Eve he walked with them in the cool of the day. They got to know their creator in a personal way. We too can know God this way. I dare say even more since we have the person of the Holy Spirit to show us Jesus. 

Prayers of Paul – Being Rooted and Grounded in Love – Pt.8

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love.” (Eph 3:17)

We are continuing our study of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3. One important thing to understand is that in this prayer there is a cascading effect. The prayer can be seen as a number of steps, layed out one after another. In this case, it is Christ “dwell(ing) in your hearts” that leads to being “rooted and grounded in love”. One thing leads to another. 
So we have come to our being rooted and grounded in love. The first thing to know is that those words rooted and grounded are found in the passive voice. This means that the being rooted and grounded is something happening to the person being prayed for. We have our roots grounded, we don’t ground them ourselves. It is something received. Being rooted and grounded is the result of Christ dwelling in our hearts. And Christ dwelling in our hearts is the result of being “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.” You see what I mean. 
In this verse Paul was pointing to the roots of a tree and the foundation of a house. 


The root system of a tree is quite fascinating. There are two main types of roots: anchoring roots and feeder roots. As you would expect, the anchoring roots go much deeper. In our spiritual life we need both types of roots. We need to feed on God’s word and we need to sink our roots down. But instead of firm soil our roots are being anchored to love. The love of Christ is the only stable thing that we can feed upon and anchor our lives. 

In the parable of the sower we see the result of a person not having this root system in their lives.

“and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.” (Mark 4:17)

So we see here that being rooted has the effect of anchoring our lives. It is the ultimate protection when persecution of any kind comes. 


The Original Greek for the word “grounded” in this verse means “the lay the foundation, establish.” The foundation is what the house is built upon. Obviously, without a solid foundation the house is in great danger of not standing the test of time. 

Jesus had this to say about a house built on a solid foundation:

“and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:25)

The rain, floods and winds are things that come against all of us in this life. Our house will only be able to stand if it is securely founded. In this case the solid ground is love. The love of Christ is solid ground upon which to build our lives. It can withstand all the rain, floods and wind. 

A solid foundation in a home serves two major roles. They support and resisting movement. Without a foundation our homes would just sink into the ground. Also, each foundation is uniquely tailored to the environment that it is in. According to “This involves taking into account the geology, soil conditions, water table, and even the backfill.” God is the Master Builder and he knows how to custom make a foundation for our lives. Instead of using concrete He pours love. 

The second crucial thing the foundation does is resist movement. The rain, floods and wind have a goal of moving us from our position. That is why Paul said again and again in Ephesians 6 “stand.” Well, we cannot properly stand or stand for long if we do not have a solid foundation. 

I will end by sharing our highlighted verse in the Passion Translation

“Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.” (Eph 3:17, TPT)

Lord, we agree with Paul in asking that our lives would be rooted and grounded in love. We recognize that Your love is the only source of nourishment and strength for lives. We do not want to build our lives on anything else but the solid foundation of Your love. In Jesus’ name. 

The Order of Melchizedek

The Order of Grace, access to the Holy of Holies, Peace.

We first meet Melchizedek in the fourteenth chapter of Genesis. Lot, Abraham’s nephew, had been taken captive in a war between kings. Lot gets rescued when Abraham won the battle even though it appeared he was greatly outnumbered. 

“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:

Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand
.’” (Gen 14:18-20)

The first act of Melchizedek was to bring “bread and wine.” This was clearly a prophetic act, pointing toward what Jesus, the High Priest, would do, giving us His body (bread) and blood (wine). 

We take note that Melchizedek operated as both a king and a priest. He was king of Salem, which means peace. He then was the “king of Peace.” Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He was also “priest of the Most High.” This operation as both king and priest foreshadowed Jesus as King (Luke 1:31-33) and Priest (Hebrews 4:14). We as the church are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus by being kings and priests. “And has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:6) What an amazing honor we have been given!

The next time we see Melchizedek it is in the powerful Messianic Psalm 110. 

The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
‘You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek
.’” (v.4)

This was an oath from God the Father to His Son Jesus. And it is a very important oath at that. Up until that time the only priests came from the Levites. You could only be chosen as a priest if you came from the tribe of Levi. So what is going on here? Well, the Messianic Psalm was telling of a time that would come when we would be under gracer and not the law. 

The Need for a New Priesthood

Chapters 5, 6 and 7 in the book of Hebrews talks much of Melchizedek. The most important thing for us to understand is that Jesus came “According to the order of Melchizedek.” There was a need for a new priesthood that was not according to the order of Aaron (Levites). Let’s see what Paul has to say. 

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?” (Hebrews 7:11)

The law was never meant to bring salvation. Being saved can only come by what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus came, not according to the law, but according to the new order of grace. 

Under Levitical law the high priest could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year. Even then he had to have a rope tied around his ankle in case he sinned and died on the spot. But Jesus entered the Holy of Holies as the perfect Lamb of God and made the way so we could follow Him. 

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 7:19-20)

In case there is any remaining doubt: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) We must not take this truth lightly. We have access to the holiest place, behind the veil, because of what Jesus did for us. This is of enormous importance. 

One of the most comforting things to me is that Jesus, as High Priest, lives to make intercession for me. 

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25) The high priest as a Levite could do no such thing! 

We have much to be thankful for. We have a High Priest who has sacrificed His very own body so that we might be saved and come into the presence behind the veil. We can live in peace because we have the Prince of Peace. We are so thankful that we are no longer under the law but grace. 

Kings & Priests

And has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:6)

God has called each one of his followers to operate as both king and priest. I strongly believe it is vital that we understand each role and walk out in them in a balanced way. If we fail to do this there will be an imbalance that could have a negative impact for us and the area of influence God has called us to.  

First off, in the Old Testament it was forbidden (with a few exceptions) to operate in both roles. King Uzziah is an example of this. 

But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. So Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him were eighty priests of the Lord—valiant men. And they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, ‘Itis not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have trespassed! You shall have no honor from the Lord God.’” (2 Chronicles 2:16-18)

Clearly, mixing those roles was not a good idea for Uzziah.

But now we come upon the curious case of king Melchizedek. He was described as both a king and a priest. In the next article we will look closely at king Melchizedek.

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.” Gen 14:18
We know from scripture that Melchizedek was a type of Jesus himself. Melchizedek was a king and a priest, foreshadowing Jesus as the great High Priest who would save our souls. 

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20) 

We see Jesus as King:

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:31-33)

And Priest

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” (Hebrews 4:14)

We also see David as a king and operating as a priest. 

Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, on account of the ark of God.” David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness. And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet. Then it happened as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. So they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offering, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. Further, he distributed to all the people, to all the people of Israel, both to men and women, a cake of bread and one of dates and one of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed each to his house. David returned to bless his household.” (2 Samuel 6:12-20)

It is said that David was wearing a “linen ephod.” That is the attire of a priest. We see him operating as a priest, officiating over the ceremony of the ark returning. 

We see JesusMelchizedek and David operating as both king and priest. And just think how amazing it is that you and I are called to both roles. This is no small thing my friends. 

Now, let’s shift the focus to how God has called us to both kings and priests on this earth. First, it might be useful to provide general definitions for both. A king is defined as a person who rules a kingdom. His main job is to provide protection and provision for those in the kingdom. The key takeaway is that a king exercises authority. A priest is solely focused on his relationship with God. He worships God and officiates the worship of God. He is a sort of bridge to God if you will – a mediator. 


And has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:6)

As believers we have been given authority because of our position in Christ. 

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples...'” (Matthew 18:18-19a)

The authority we have been given by our father is for the expansion of His kingdom. This is not a forceful kingdom but a kingdom of love. 

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:4-6)’

The above verse says that God “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” This “raising up” talks of a raising in authority. It does not mean sitting up in some cloud enjoying the view. To “sit” means to sit in a seat of authority. Take a look at the beginning of Psalm 110, a Messianic Psalm. 

The Lord said to my Lord,’Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’
The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies
!” (Psalm 110:1)

In Ephesians 6 Paul gave us a picture of a warrior taking a stand. This is the picture of us as warriors in our Father’s kingdom. We see some armor is for defense (shield) and others for offense (sword). We have been given authority to wage war (wrestle) against principalities and powers. Our main weapon is the Word. This was the weapon of choice for Jesus when tempted by the devil. “It is written.” (Matthew 4) We must know the Word. It must be hidden deep in our hearts. It is our greatest and most effective weapon. 

Some would shy away from all of this warfare stuff and just prefer to live in peace. Like it or not we are all enlisted in the army of God. We can choose to go awol but there is a battle yet to be fought and won. The consequences could not be greater. 


It was in God’s original plan that all of Israel would be a kingdom of priests. 

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:5-6)

Sadly, Israel rejected this plan. But the heart of God has not changed and He still seeks a people that will be a “kingdom of priests.” 

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

The “you” is us! We are His chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation. We cannot take those words lightly. To be a priest in the Old Testament was a big deal. The position was held with great regard and honor. As a “royal priesthood” our function is to worship God and bring others into relationship with Him. Each one of us has the ability to relate as priests of God in a unique way. 

As priests this is our job description:

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Her 13:15)

Our job is to praise. As priests we do not offer animals but praise, the fruit of our lips. Think of the great privilege we have in praising our God. And He greatly enjoys our praise! 

The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zeph 3:17)

Not only does He enjoy the praises but He sings back to us! Oh, what joy awaits those who offer up praises. 
As I said earlier, it is of critical importance that we operate in both roles of king and priest. Some may think this all too high and mighty but it is all His choice. He has appointed you as a king, who rules and reigns with Him. And as a priest who continually offers up praises. If we operate in both of these we will expand the kingdom of God and bring glory to God.  

The Innerworking of His Power – Part 3

The Working of the Prince of the Power of the Air

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (Eph 2:1-2)

In the last two articles on this subject we focused on the “working” of God – His energeia in and through us. But there is another energeia at work. And it is the working on Satan, the prince of the power of the air. Paul took time in Ephesians to make us aware of his power and how it works. It is important for us to know how our enemy works. This is much in the same way that when an enemy plane is shot down for the first time it is reverse-engineered to reveal it’s secrets.

This working of Satan has a mode of operation. Remember from the first article we learned that the working of God’s power was through faith (and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe – Eph 1:19). The working of the enemy also works through something and that something is disobedience. “…the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” Notice it doesn’t simply say those who sometimes disobey (we all do) but the sons of disobedience. We must guard ourselves that we so not become sons of disobedience.

Now, a few points on the “prince of the power of the air.”

First, as believers of Christ, risen with Him, we are positioned ABOVE the prince of the power of the air. We operate in a higher air space. “which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion…” (Eph 1:20-21a) and “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Eph 2:6) We have been RAISED above the realm and reach of the prince of the power of the air.

Second, the power of the prince is coming to nothing.

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.” (1 Cor 2:6) The Greek word for “rulers” is the same word for prince Paul used in Ephesians and elsewhere. It is a common saying – even in Christian circles – that darkness is rising and things are growing worse by the day. But I agree with Paul that rulers of this age are coming to nothing. Light is increasing and darkness is retreating! Let’s not forget the promise about the rule of Jesus.

Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isa 9:7)

In 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul talks gives a lot of attention to the powerful “working” of Satan. It now demands our attenton, especially for the time we now live in.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work (energeō)…” (v.7) It should be no wonder when we see wickedness rising. It is lawlessness at work. And let’s not distracted by the people under the sway of its power. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but principalities and powers.

Paul has much more to say on this. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working (energeia) of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong (energeia) delusion, that they should believe the lie.” (vv.9-11)

So, the working (energeia) of Satan can come with power, signs and wonders. We have to imagine that these miracles of evil power are targeted toward the church. This is why we must always be on our spiritual guard. But look at those who Satan targets in the church:

among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth.” Oh Lord, give us a love for the truth that we may not perish!”

Paul end his statements about the working of Satan with a spiritual curveball. “And for this reason God will send them strong (energeia) delusion, that they should believe the lie.” (v.11) Here we see God sending the working of deception. But this is for those who chose comfort over truth. Let us never be in that camp.

In conclusion, we can rejoice with the confidence that we have been raised above the prince of the power of the air. We live at a higher place in the heavens. We recognize that Satan works through the sons of disobedience. God has graced us to obey His word. We agree with Paul that the rulers of this world are coming to nothing because light is overtaking darkness. Lastly, we recognize the working of the lawlessness is rising. We refuse to wrestle against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. We are asking for a love of the truth to guard against the lying signs and wonders.

The Innerworking of His Power – Part 2

“Be”ing the Powerful Church

Just a reminder what we are touching on in these little articles is the “energeia” of God. This Greek word can be likened to the engine that powers a might ship. The force is powerful but unseen to the naked eye. In the first article we pointed out that the word was connected to the incredible resurrection power of Jesus. We also learned that this energeia was tied to our faith.

Now, we will see how this innerworking power of God grows the body of Christ and enables us to “be” witnesses. In Ephesians 4:16 Paul said

“from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Here Paul talks about how the body of Christ grows. First, he said the body is “joined and knit together.” God wants us closely connected with one another. But strong unity is not enough. Paul gives us the key ingredient when he said “according to the effective working by which every part does its share.” You can guess that the word “working” there is our energeia word. So there is incredible power released when each part does its share. Each one of us needs to find our place in the body. For some it will be pastor, prophet, teacher. For others it will be encourager, prayer warrior, giver. You get the point. Simply ask God where you fit. It usually a pretty simple matter – go with what you are gifted at and what you are passionate about.

At the end of Colossians 1 Paul talks a bit about his calling to preach the gospel. In the last verse of the chapter he says something rather interesting.

“To this end I also labor, striving according to His working (energeia) which works (energeō) in me mightily (dynamis).” (Col 1:29)

Paul had a profound understanding of the innerworking power of God inside of him. Yes, he strived (as we should) but in order for him to be effective it must be “according to His working.” To us who minister having this understanding and walking in it is of utmost importance. As discussed in the last article the resurrection power of Jesus flows from within us. But we, like Paul, must strive according to HIS working and not ours. One way we can do this is to wait on the Lord.

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint
.” (Isa 40:29-31)

BUT those who wait. Lord, make us waiters. This waiting doesn’t only mean sitting in silence before the Lord. It also means leaning in and listening for direction before making a decision or saying a word. As you do that the wind of the Spirit will raise you up and give strength. That strength is what shakes the nations. Remember what the disciples were instructed to do in the upper room.

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:4-8)

They were to wait and the power to be a witness would be released. You see, when we wait we become – we “be” witnesses to Him. This is because the Holy Spirit is able to do something powerful on the inside first. Wade Taylor liked to say that God is not looking for “do”ers but “be”ers.

The Innerworking of His Power – Part 1

At the conclusion of Ephesians 1 Paul prays a powerful prayer. Let’s see it in its full glory and then we’ll pull some nuggets out of it and show how it relates to our study. And please put this prayer to memory. Pray it. Stand on it. Declare it over your loved ones.

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your [f]understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality[g] and [h]power and [i]might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” (Eph 1:15-21)

It is a mouthful I know. But I want to focus on what Paul called “the working of His mighty power” in verse 19. Paul said that the greatness of God’s power was at work in us who believe and that it is according to the “working” of His mighty power.

It is important to note that in this verse (19) there are four distinct words for power used. “and what is the exceeding greatness of His power (dynamis=”explosive power”) toward us who believe, according to the working (energeia=”operating power”) of His mighty (ischys=”force”) power (kratos=”dominion).”

Our focus in these articles will be God’s working – His energeia. This Greek word can be likened to the engine that powers a mighty ship. The force is powerful but unseen to the naked eye. The apostle Paul understood this power of God that worked in him and other believers. He confessed that it was because of the grace of God and the “effective working” of God’s power that he is able to minister. “Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.” (Eph 3:76) Imagine if those who ministered today recognized the grace of God and His effective working like Paul did?

The first thing to note about this “working” power of God is that it is tied with faith. Paul said that the greatness of His dymamis power was toward us who believe. So we must ask God to increase our faith. We know of one sure way to do that. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:7) You see, as we hear the word with our spiritual ears faith will grow. Its important that we sit under faith-filled teaching.

The most amazing thing about God’s working power is where the source comes from. It comes from the most potent source of power ever known – the resurrection of Jesus. See it!”and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” (vv. 19-20)

That word worked is energeo, a verb related to our word energeia. Think on it for a second the incredible statement Paul was making. He was saying that the power working in the believers was the same power that raised Christ from the dead. To us who believe we have resurrection power running us from the inside. Not hybrid, nor gas, but resurrection power!

See the two powerful works of God’s resurrection power in verse 20. 1. Raising from the dead and 2. and seating at the right hand in the heavenly places. Thank God that not only was Jesus raised from the dead but we were raised with Him. Same goes for being seated at the right hand in heavenly places. Paul made those two points abundantly clear in the beginning of Ephesians 2.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:4-6)

Our being “raised” has profound significance in relation to our battle with the enemy. Paul describes Satan as the “prince of the power of the air.” Because of the resurrection power working in us we have been raised above the prince of the power of the air. We have been raised to a new spiritual stratosphere. With Christ we have been raised “far above all principality and power and might and dominion.” (Eph 1:21)

The “made us sit together” means a ruling with Jesus. We sit in a place of authority and victory. We rule and reign with Christ. We can be assured that these are not just nice words but realities. To us who believe the dynamis power of God works inside of us and through us. It IS the same power that raised Him and us from the dead, raised us up and seated us.

Your Gentleness Had Made Me Great

A word to my warrior friends

David made this confession and observation in Psalm 18

Your gentleness has made me great.” (v.35b)

If you read the entire Psalm (and you should) David talks in great detail about how God taught his “hands to make war” (v.34) and how God armed him “with strength for the battle.” (v.39) In all the field manuals on how to be a great warrior somehow I think being gentle never quite made the list. And yet, here is David attributing his greatness (in battle) to the gentleness God showed him.

This is a message to my warrior friends. Yes, God has called you to war. Yes, He has prepared you for such a time as this to rout the enemy. But – hear me – without God’s gentleness you will never be great. His gentleness in our lives balances us. It keeps our heart soft. Yes, we are warriors but we are first and foremost lovers – lovers of Jesus.

Allow His gentleness to make (form) greatness in you. Sit at his feet often. Invite His presence. You will find that He often wants to show Himself as the Lamb. I had a conversation with the late Christine Potter. She said that she went back and forth from warfare (think Don Potter) music and soaking music. She said she allowed the Holy Spirit to direct this. But in doing so she maintained a spiritual balance. My friends, we need this balance like never before.

Let His gentleness to make you great. img credit: