Spiritual Warfare

October 03, 2004 Hi

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Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace


Spiritual Warfare

Over the last couple of years I’ve had a profound shift in the way I relate to God.  I’ve gone from a tradition of focusing on my sinful frailty (and preaching it to others) to a realization that I was created in God’s image and my heart is good.  I can trust the desires of my heart.  I trust God to intervene on my behalf.  We laid that Biblical foundation in part II of Releasing Kings.  I believe it’s the foundation for Marketplace ministry.

Redemption doesn’t stop with forgiveness of repentant sinners like you and I.  God goes on and changes our hearts to be conformed into His image.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God” is not an empty request.  It’s a prayer based on Jeremiah 33.

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.  “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people. Jer 31:33  (NIV)

Here is the shocking reality of really relating to God personally instead of bowing to the “force” and living by principles and programs.  (Hear me! We’re not referring to going to heaven – that happens with forgiveness – We’re speaking of a level of maturing that bears fruit)

“Personal” relationship with God doesn’t begin until we ask Him for the desires of our heart and He answers.  We reveal the desires of our heart to God, and he reveals the desires of His heart to us.  Those desires turn out to be the same thing.  Let me suggest a step that will hasten your progress toward this stage.  Before you’re sure you know exactly what God wants, you have to answer this question from God, “What will you have me to do for you.”

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 1 Kings 3:4-5

After answering you have to receive the miraculous answer… just so both you and God agree this whole thing is really based on grace through what Jesus did on the Cross.  Want to meet God in the Holy of Holies?  You have to go into the desires of your heart.  When you find him there, you will have found a brand new dimension of knowing God – period.  When you find God in the desire of your heart you will treat it like the pearl of great price and set aside every program and principle for the adventure for this treasure – pursuing your heart’s desire.

What are Kings in Marketplace Ministry?  They are nothing more than Christians that have discovered how to find God by pursuing the desires of their heart.  Here’s the engine that fuels everything from intimate worship to the great commission.

  1. Your heart is good, the desires or your heart must be pursued
  2. You personally (and your desires) are  important to God
  3. God will fight for your heart …never leave you or forsake you

Now we can define spiritual warfare

It is primarily the accuser whispering that your heart is corrupt and your desires are selfish.  Here’s the number one mistake God’s people make in this hour.  When something goes wrong, they search their hearts for some hidden corruption and assume God is resisting them.  Proverbs instructs to “Guard our Hearts.”

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov 4:23

Why guard your heart?  Satan wants you to give up on those desires “and” to believe that God is resisting you instead of him.  The key ingredient of spiritual warfare is guarding your heart, not giving up on those desires, and realizing that God is not going to leave you or forsake you.  Here’s an example from my own life.

As I write this article, I’ve had to walk away from the computer several times over several days – the pain was too great.  I had a little discomfort in my shoulder at work, came home one evening and unloaded 60 pound blocks for a retaining wall with my son (5 tons worth).  That evening I took a couple of aspirin and went to bed.  Before the next two nights were over, I had consumed all the leftover prescription pain killers in the house and averaged fours hours of sleep each night.  I couldn’t escape the pain no matter what position I was in or what pill I took.  In the middle of this painful ordeal I’m trying to write this article on spiritual warfare – not likely a coincidence huh?  I’ve had to actively resist the condemnation of unanswered (or delayed) prayer.  I’ve had to remind myself God wasn’t at fault – it’s the enemy.  I’ve had to hold on to my hearts desire and the realization that God’s favor is still very much on my life.  I am reminded how distant I feel from the “anointing” when trials come.  Feelings I aside, on Saturday morning I called a friend who is an osteopath, arranged an appointment in his home, got the adjustment, came back home, loaded up the horses and spent a beautiful day in the Cascades riding trails with Sue – on pain pills.

How to fight

The night before all the pain started the Lord woke me up and gave this phrase, “Prophecy to these dry bones.”  I went back and reread Ezekiel 37.  Listen to the tone of Ezekiel’s words:

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet-a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Ezek 37:9-12  (NIV)

You will not be a King without encountering spiritual warfare.  In addition to guarding your heart and your status as a favored son, you must also prophecy “life” back into the dry bones of your heart’s desires.  Whatever dreams have died or drifted, you have the Kingly mandate to prophecy life into them.  Warfare is not just donning the passive armor of Ephesians 6.  You must wield the sword of the Spirit, using the word to prophecy resurrection life.

Every “King” I know is facing some level of warfare.  The ones that don’t believe in spiritual warfare are failing.  The ones that are doggedly persevering are surviving.  The ones that prophecy to their circumstances are overcoming.

Now Prophesy It!

Lord, we declare freedom—for your people to pursue the desires You’ve placed within them. We embrace the desires You’ve placed within our own hearts. We claim Your protection over our frailties, and we’re grateful for Jesus’ advocacy in intercession on our behalf.

Thank You, for creating us in Your image with an ability to fulfill all of Your will. We confess our desire to see Your purposes on Earth established. We seek Your Kingdom first and long to be filled with Your Spirit. We admit to ourselves that we’re not consumed with sin but, because of You, we are free from the power of wrong desires and bad habits. We release our hearts from the fear of pursuing dreams—the fear of attempting the goodness and greatness of Your plans in our hearts. We step forth in faith!

As a river flowing from Your Temple, we command a release of boldness. We release dreams and visions for great things in the hearts of all Your people. We command the release of Kings to flow out of Your Church and bless the marketplaces of our cities with passion and creativity. We command an anointing of confidence and prosperity upon Your people that only can be attributed to the movement of Your Spirit. We release a people who are seated at Your right hand, who no longer are content to live in the valleys, but have hearts to live with You on the mountaintops.

We proclaim an era of abundance on Your people that flows through their marriages and families, their businesses, their finances, and their occupations. We declare rivers of living water to flow from Your people to bless our cities, our nation, and the nations of this world. We bless the marketplace with the ministry of Kings. Let Your name be glorified in the arts, in education, in governments, and in businesses throughout this land. Let us pick up the mantle for revival and bring it to our nation. Let the visions and dreams and the resources multiply among Your people in a contagious move of Your Spirit that sweeps over our land. Let Kings arise and enthrone the King of kings.

Your assignment

John Eldredge wrote a book for men called “Wild at Heart” that is very popular. His latest book is “Waking the Dead”.  We recommend it because it has the same theological underpinnings for releasing your heart.  He’s coming from a counseling perspective rather than marketplace ministry.  Worth reading!

Our Assignment

We’re in the process of putting together a study guide that will include some testimonies of kings.  Their successes, failures, vision, etc.  If you have a story that would bless others, let us know.  We’ve got several done and several more planned.  We’d love to interview and write up your story as well.  The goal is dozens.



John & Harold

PS: don’t forget to look at the free reports – Especially the one on your heart’s desire.

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