Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned how the devil cannot kill us unless we give him permission to? Last couple weeks we have been talking about the importance of being in the Church. Honestly, I started this series just thinking about Jesus and a few others and how we can live our lives so we finish our race strong but God keeps bringing me back to the Church.
We live in a society where we treat church as an optional extra. We are in a war. A spiritual battle that began long before we ever walked the Earth. To win a spiritual battle you have to use spiritual tools, 2 Corinthians 10:4-6. Spiritual tools do not always make sense to our human minds, but we need to stop looking at life through our human eyes and wake up to the reality that we are in the middle of a battlefield. In this battlefield there is one place, one place on Earth, that we are told the devil cannot overpower. A fortress.
Matthew 16:18 says, “I give you the name Peter, a stone. And this rock will be the bedrock foundation on which I will build my church—my legislative assembly, and the power of death will not be able to overpower it!” Did you catch that? The power of death will not be able to overpower it, it what? The Church. You on your own, yes, you can be overcome. You and your organization, blog, vlog, group, team or whatever it is can also be overcome. Me by myself, I am not safe either.
When you locate yourself in the Church, when you submit yourself to God’s will, putting God’s will above your will, then the devil can’t kill you if it’s not your time to go. The power of death cannot overpower you. You come under the umbrella of protection that has been given to the Church.
There is power and authority that the Church has been given access to. Matthew 16:19 goes on to say, “I will give you the keys of heaven’s kingdom realm to forbid on Earth that which is forbidden in heaven, and to release on Earth that which is released in heaven.” As the Church, we have been given the keys of heavens kingdom which give us access to the things of God. They give us access to the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
How do we know this authority and power is for those in the Church? There is a story of a high priest named Sceva, his sons are described in the King James Version as “vagabond Jews”. To me this says they had no church home. They were out and about doing their own thing. They were not submitted to anyone or God and definitely were not part of any church.
Acts 19:13-16 TPT says, “Now, there were seven itinerant Jewish exorcists, sons of Sceva the high priest, who took it upon themselves to use the name and authority of Jesus over those who were demonized. They would say, “We cast you out in the name of the Jesus that Paul preaches!” One day, when they said those words, the demon in the man replied, “I know about Jesus, and I recognize Paul, but who do you think you are?” Then the demonized man jumped on them and threw them to the ground, beating them mercilessly. He overpowered the seven exorcists until they all ran out of the house naked and badly bruised.”
The sons of Sceva took it upon themselves to use the name of Jesus and walk in the authority of Jesus but it’s not something you take, it is something that is given. We know from Matthew 16 that access to this power and authority is given to the Church. (This has nothing to do with the building or where you meet, its people who make up the Church.)
Jesus doesn’t just give authority to just anybody who wants it. You have to be submitted under authority to have authority. You have to be submitted under God to have God’s authority. If you won’t do what God wants you to do, you cannot have the authority God wants you to have. If you don’t want to be part of God’s legislative assembly, the Church, you cannot have access to the authority available to the Church.
If there is ever a time we needed to be in the Church, it is now. The warfare is increasing each year. Crazy things keep happening all around us. If we want to accomplish all God has set for us to accomplish and finish our Earth race, we need some devil rebuking power and we can’t get that power if we are vagabonds. Get yourself a church home and make it a habit to be there each week.
Get invested in your church don’t just show up. This is not about ticking it off in your diary as part of your weekly achievement, but this is about us fulfilling God’s purpose in the Earth. Get invested in your church. Get to know people. Start serving. I’ll leave you with this question, “What can you do to build your local church?”
Love and blessings,
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