When hell is being depopulated, the devil unleashes his agents and strategies to stop or reverse the process. We fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness… ( Ephesians 6:12)
Among the strategies of the enemy include :
– Internal strife and discord – you are not being treated fairly, they are being treated better than you. Anything to bring ones focus back to self / flesh (food?) and away from spiritual things.
The Apostles noted that spiritual food(through prayer and the Word) is more important than physical food, but non the less still important.
So long as the leadership of the Church is focused on Jesus ( prayer and teaching the Word) and not distracted by the things of the world / flesh, they will not sink ( Peter walking on water).
A strategic way to sink a Church – have them busy with all other things, (even those that seem noble and good) but not on Jesus – the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
The house of the Lord should be first and foremost a house of prayer ( Mat 21:13)
Characteristics of leadership not only for Church but in the family ( husbands?), political leadership, business and social leaders…
- – Well respected ( in the things and knowledge of God – good fruit can be seen in their lives – their faith in Jesus is demonstrated by the way they live their lives )
- – Full of the Spirit ( Can hear from God – have a personal and close relationship with the Lord – the Lord dwells in them)
- – Full of wisdom ( Can apply what they hear from the Lord)
Delegation of responsibility in the Church.
But the head always focused on Jesus.
God’s message will continue to spread and the number of believers increase.
– Gimmicks and funfair not necessary, as most churches do in order to increase membership. Some have become entertainment centers that focus on gratifying the senses with little focus on prayer, the Word and no mention of Jesus.
– May we not forget that the Church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be His Church, for His business, done His way.
– For Church growth – it’s not by power, nor by might but by the Spirit of the Lord ( Zec 4:6)
Seems like the example is given to us of an ordinary person ( not an Apostle, but in fact a person chosen to distribute food! Basically suggesting any one of us) can be used mightily and powerfully by God if we surrender our lives to Him and submit ourselves to work for His will, purposes and plans.
God will fill us with His grace and power and we will be able to perform amazing miracles signs and wonders among the people for the glory of God.
A tree that produces good fruit will have the most stones thrown at it.( ~African proverb?).
The devil moves into place to unleash his agents of killing, stealing and destruction to scatter the plans of righteousness. They could be internal or external enemies, from within the church or family or from outside. The accuser of the brethren and his agents swing into action.
When faced with such adversity (being fought for doing good) , we should remember that we fight not against flesh and blood …(Ephesians 6:12)- hence our focus should be on spiritual things ( in heavenly places, above the snake-line!) where the enemy has trouble operating.
Possibly why the snake was cursed to be on its belly eating dust (Genesis 3) while the people of God are to mount up with wings like eagles ( Isaiah 40:31). Taking the battle with the enemy into God’s territory and not trying to fight him in his ( you will get muddied / dusty!).
The wisdom and the Spirit with which Steven spoke could not be challenged by his accusers. The importance of having faith, being Spirit filled and operating in divine wisdom!
– Greater is He than is in us than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)
The Lord never abandons His servants.
– The Holy Spirit will teach you at that time ( of adversity) what needs to be said ( Luke 12:12)
– The Spirit of truth will guide His servants in all things ( John 16:13)
– Everything works together for good for those who Love God and are pursuing His purposes. ( Romans 8:28)
Steven is an example to each and every Christian that God can use ordinary people to do extraordinary things that will surprise friends and shock enemies, all for His glory.
Steven demonstrates to each one of us what it means to carry one’s cross and follow Jesus.
– Our cross – bearing injustice while performing God’s will, purposes and plans, even to the death… all for His Glory. ( Mark 8:34-35)
– The accuser of the brethren also used his agents against Jesus by bringing false witnesses ( same script used against Jesus, used against Steven – Mat 26:57-61)
– When we focus on Jesus, we are transformed into His image and likeness, from glory to glory ( 2 Cor 3:18)
# Thank you Jesus for the Cross that you carried for me to fulfill God’s plan of salvation for my life. I declare and decree to Satan my accuser and his agents – You have nothing against me because It is done, it is finished, all my sin have been paid for by the finished work of the Cross, the sacrifice of the precious Blood of the Lamb. I can therefore now boldly approach the throne of Grace as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
I pray that you empower me Lord Jesus to surrender ALL of my life to you, for use to accomplish Your will, purposes and plans. I stand on your Word that declares that we loose our life (to you) for You to save it. Indeed, the only thing that matters ( in my life) is what matters to You. May I always keep my focus on You Lord Jesus as that is the way to ensure that I am always above whatever the enemy would throw against me (seated in heavenly places…).
May I always stand on Your Word that indeed everything that is happening in my life is working out together for my good as long as I love God and am pursuing His purposes. I pray Lord Jesus that You fill me with Your Faith, Your Spirit and Your Wisdom as I pursue Your will, purposes and plans. Indeed, may all aspects of my life be synchronized according to Your will, purposes and plans.
Life and eternal life is all about You. May You continue to transform me into Your image and likeness from glory to glory so that I live a life of full satisfaction that can be found only in You, and may this image of You in me be also reflected to others around me, all for Your glory.
May You produce in me and may share freely Your spiritual fruit and gifts with others, for Your glory. May all aspects of my my life always be about You, and may I not be distracted by anything (self / flesh / world / enemy) that will remove my focus on You Christ Jesus, my Solid Rock, the Light of my world. Amen!