Where The Battle Is Won
Dr. Jay Worth Allen
Deep down inside every child of God, there is a yearning, a wanting, a desperate desire to be used of God. All of us hunger for God to use our life for whatever ministry He might have for us. And in that hunger, we have an eagerness to be used to the ultimate. If we are going to serve, we want our service to achieve its ultimate for God.
Some years ago, I felt an impulse to serve the Lord in some capacity. Not knowing exactly how or what to do, I began to study the lives of men who I knew to be successful for God, in order that I might learn from them just how they did it. I wanted to discover why they were effective for God, because I wanted to be effective for God.
I began my study with the book of Acts, because the Church hit her peak in those first thirty years, and the Lord’s men made that happen. In her first thirty years, the Church reached the known world with the gospel of Jesus Christ and was on her way to reaching the world of the unknown. The men of the early Church made such an impact upon their world, one which, even by our best efforts, we have yet to duplicate, that the Pharisees of the Sanhedrin accused them of filling the whole of the city of Jerusalem with this Man’s teaching. These early ministers were so effective, so operative that they filled the whole city of Jerusalem with the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Then, later on when they arrived in Berea, some of people reported to the leaders of the city that, “These men who have been turning the world upside down have come here” (cf. Acts 17:6). The early Church was vastly effective. Powerful. Strong. The early Church was turning the world upside down. But today it seems those rolls have been reversed. It seems the world is now turning the Church upside down.
There is a reason the Church today is not as effectual and potent as in her early years. The early Church waited in the upper room until they had received “power, after the Holy Spirit” came upon them; and they witnessed, “in Jerusalem, and Judea, and in Samaria, unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Where as today, we have substituted that “waiting,” that “power” for the abilities of our flesh, and as the result of that replacement, we have become frail and anemic - lacking in “power” and unable to “witness” even “unto the uttermost parts of” our neighborhoods. When the Church began creating ornate structures, flashy programs, big-ticket schools; . . . when we began to demand of our called-men a certain amount of education, higher education, et cetera; . . . when we began to trust in our own somatically trained abilities, we ceased depending on the anointing and the guiding and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. We surrendered our power and lost out witness.
Today if we look at what God is successfully doing through His men, we find that His most effective works are accomplished by those men who are just as empowered by the Holy Spirit as the early church. Diana and I receive letters and emails from all over the United States, from people who cry from their heart, “We love Jesus. We love the Word of God. But we cannot find a Church where the Word of God is loved.” Instead, what they are finding is much “churchianity” and very little truth. Today the people of God are hungry for the work of God’s Spirit and the ministering of God’s Word in their lives, individually and in the Church’s life, collectively. But how can this take place in today’s quasi-Christian environment?
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour” (Acts 3:1). This one sentence should give us a clue as to the source of the success of the early church. These men were men of prayer. The men whom God used (and uses today) are men who are in contact with God - they are all men who pray. None of us can do any true, effective work for God, apart from prayer. Jesus told us that we cannot go in and just take the goods from a strong man. First, we must go in and bind the strong man of the house and then we can go in and take the spoil. (cf. Matthew 12:29; Mark 3:27). Through prayer the Lord does that work for us; He binds the work of Satan. He removes the obstacles, which cause defeat. We win the victory through prayer. We do not need to shout at the enemy; or parade throughout our cities, waving the “victory flag of the Lord” at Ole’ Nick and his minions; or, worse still, we do not need to shrink back into a church pew, cowering in fear at the adversary of our soul. The battle is fought and won in our prayer closet and it is there we take the victory, binding the strong man of the house. And then when we go out, we just go out and take the spoils.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal they are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds [of the enemy]” (2 Corinthians 10:4). Prayer is the greatest outlet, the most mighty “weapon” of spiritual power that we have. I’ve often thought that at the end of our days, one of the mysteries in this life will likely be, “Why didn’t we pray more when God had given us such a valuable tool?” Many of God’s people are getting battered in the battle, because they have not really fought the battle where the battle is won, in the closet, in prayer.
Where The Battle Is Won (Part One)
Published: 1 August 2010 on Freed In Christ! blogsite.
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© 2012 dr. jay & miss diana
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