Ephesians 6


Let’s go to the word of the Lord in Ephesians, and I think I’m going to be finishing tonight this lame feet journey through Ephesians. And actually I will end where I started, because many months back, when I was beginning to preach in the context of the English service, I started with this passage and you might remember. I’ve said it before, I know, that having started with this passage of Ephesians chapter 6, I said, well, this is such a powerful epistle, it has always captivated me and intrigued me and so I decided, let’s just go through the whole epistle and since it contains so many foundational truths, let’s just comb through the book and it’s taken us many, many months to finish.

But I don’t want to omit it, even though I was tempted to do it, I said, well, I preached it before. But I don’t even remember what it was that I said to you regarding the epistle, although it is very clear that it is there and I think it’s registered in our spirits. But nevertheless I think it’s important to go back and touch some of this passage particularly where I think it’s a very appropriate time that we are living as we do that.

So, Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 10. It says: “… Finally…. –and of course he is concluding his long letter to the Ephesians, so as one last shot, a parting comment, a parting challenge to summarize the spirit of the epistle, I believe, he says, finally…. And also in the English it’s this idea, well, for the most part, or you know, in finishing, in parting….

“…. be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power, put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around of waist, with the best plate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit with is the word of God and pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should…” Amen.

And I hope that the body of Christ will feel that same passion and that same desire to proclaim the gospel, in that same fearless, encompassing, profound way that the Apostle Paul wanted to be able to preach the gospel. I think that’s a call for the church as a whole to preach the gospel without fear, boldly, aggressively, clearly. The language of this final aspect of the letter to the Ephesians is a language of power, it is a supernatural language, it is a language of warfare and of conflict. It is a dark language. It is a language that is not very popular these days, of kind of a soft Christianity in the sense of the grace tone being so much more prevalent among Christians this day, and the emphasis on grace that we see in Christianity in the XXI century.

I just combed briefly through Philipianse excellent book, “What is so amazing about grace”. A wonderful book, I mean, as only Philipianse can write. He is one of the supreme Christian writers of our modern time. And yet, as I looked through the book, and I have to go more deeply into it. It’s one of those books that I had there, that I looked at every once in a while. My only complain about it, if I can aspire to complain about Philipianse’s work is that this emphasis on grace that is so prevalent in Christianity in the XX and XXI century, if left by itself and not balanced or nuanced with the aspects of righteousness and truth and God’s justice and holiness, and judgment, what we have then is a truncated gospel. It is a gospel that has been butchered and cut in half and like anything that has one essential part of it torn from it, it looks distorted, it looks grotesque. And I’m sure that Philipianse is clear on the holiness, I’m not imputing on him any, but I think that we can sometimes, in our desire to exalt certain aspects of God’s truth, we can commit the mistake of being so enamored with it that we forget to nuance and to balance and to bring the right tone, like an artist, like a painter who’s trying to get a particular color that is true to nature and he has to take a little bit brown, and a little bit of black, and a little bit of yellow and green to produce, let’s say, the shade precisely of a leaf in a particular moment of light in the afternoon.

And I think this is what we need to do in order to reproduce the world view that is prevalent in the word of God, and that’s what I aspire to as a preacher and as a teacher. I want to be a faithful painter of the word of God, and I want to reproduce not only the colors and the shadings, but the spirit and the tone of the word of God. And that means that the tone will sometimes be dark, sometimes it will light, sometimes it will be gracious, and sometimes it will be fire and brimstone, and sometimes I will speak about the love of Christ and his forgiving nature, and his gracious spirit, but sometimes I will be lead to exalt the Christ that is presented to us in the Book of Revelations, who was just a terrible figure, so terrible that when the Apostle John sees him, his knees just crumbled and his legs melt and he falls to the ground, because that Christ, that same Christ who leaves the 99 and goes after the 1 single lamb that is lost, now has a sword coming out of his mouth and his figure is shining like the sun, and his hair is white and full of light, and he’s a representation of anger and power and sort of overwhelming force. And that sword that is coming out of his mouth is not to bless or to caress, it is to cut and to pierce and to destroy.

So, I think, as believers we need to have that balance, we need to strive for that balance and not be apologetic about it. And this is what I see in the Apostle Paul. He was a master of balance, as only somebody fully illuminated by the Holy Spirit and inspired by the Holy Spirit, reflecting God’s heart and spirit and tonality, could project truth and so the tones that I see in this passage, are tones of darkness and there are streaks of darkness here. It is a somber, sinister picture that he presents to us. The context within which we, as believers, move in.

And I think the church needs that every once in a while, we need to be reminded of that. We live in a world that is sinister. We live in a world that is populated by demonic beings and by forces and want to kill, steal and destroy. Psychopathic beings whose only joy and pleasure is to destroy and to trip and to take something that is beautiful and holy and pleasing to God and to turn it into something that is grotesque and lascivious and mischievous. Satan loves to do that and he’s a psychopath, he is a lucid, cold hearted. I don’t think Satan hates, he’s incapable of hatred. Satan simply delights in evil. He is completely bereft of God’s grace and therefore what you have is simply a serpent, out to destroy and mime and to kill and he rules this world. His principalities, his powers, his authorities, they have, to a certain degree, control. He is the prince of this world.

Jesus, when Satan says, you know, all of this is mine and I can give it to whomever I want, and if you only would worship me I would give it to you. Notice that Jesus does not deny Satan’s claim and scripture is very clear that mysteriously there is a kind of an administration, a season in which Satan has been given and evil and darkness and the powers of hell have been given prominence over history and over the dealings of men. And when we translate this more specifically, we’re talking about governments, legislators, we’re talking about philosophical systems, we’re talking about the institutions of this world, corporations, universities, health agencies, and they are under ultimately the control of the enemy. There are demonic doctrines that rule and that permeate the institutions of this world.

That’s why I resent that when people sort of even imply I’m kind of sold to the Republic party or whatever, you know, I’m not even registered in the Republican party. I’m an independent by the way, just in case that you’re interested because I know that every party in this world is ultimately contaminated by the demonic, one way or another, even though there are God fearing people in all of them. Now, I do believe, also that some of them approximate more to the kinds of things that are in my heart, but that’s another story altogether. What I am trying to say here is that the believer cannot ever ally himself or herself too much with any institution, any government, any nation, anything that smacks of humanity, because we’re all falling and we’re all prey to the wilds and to the schemes, as he says here, the metodeia, the methods of the enemy. We do not ally ourselves with anything really under history and within history. The church maintains a lofty distance, even as it has to somehow involve itself in history and in politics.

I’m very resistant, more than ever, of those people who would try to limit the church to simply proclamations from the pulpit. We do not have that luxury. For 2000 years the church sooner or later has had to involve itself somehow in history, in political processes and so on and so forth. I mean, it’s a very complicated, complex kind of situation and Christians have to become involved in politics. Christian need to become involved in the marketplace. Christians need to become involved in the arts, in philosophy and make their voice heard aggressively, boldly, clearly, uncompromisingly. And we have to ask the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom of Daniel, so that we can speak with the lucidity, the clarity and the skill that the best minds of the secular world can embody.

I was reading a book, I’ve been reading a lot this week we’ve been on vacation and so I took time to just do a lot of reading. We went to the UOPen bookstore and spent a couple of hours reading a book written by a professor from Harvard, it’s called “Blasphemy”. It’s talking about Christians who claim that the founding fathers were Christians who included in the constitution and in the declaration of independence, Christian values. And this guy who’s a very, very exulted professor of law at Harvard, demolishes that claim. And I think he’s right. I’ve always thought that it is true, you know, a man like Thomas Jefferson was not, by any strain of the imagination, a Christian. He was a deist at the very best and he was actually antichristian although he did subscribe to some of the teachings of Jesus Christ. He was not interested in enshrining the values of Christianity in the constitution or in the declaration of independence, in this case, that he wrote most of.

And you know, as I read months ago the biography of John Adams, another man of the great, great fathers of the nation, and the biography of Benjamin Franklin. You know, I see that these men, Benjamin Franklin was another deist and another very, very conflicted about Christianity in many ways, and really a brilliant man. Jefferson and Franklin were absolutely brilliant men, Renaissance men in many ways. John Adam, although he was God fearing, still, he was very tepid, very weak in his Christianity, although he was a man of integrity in a God fearing man.

But as I read about these men, who had such a powerful influence, a foundational influence in the history of Christianity, you know, I say, guau, why did that nation which was so clearly Christian at that time, why did it have to allow men who at the very best were simply far off believers, timid, weak, diluted God fearers. Why couldn’t there be powerful, lucid, skillful, highly intellectually gifted believers writing the documents that found our nation? Why did it have to be men who were using Christianity like they do today, to get themselves into power, but secretly and covertly putting a foundation that was so shaky, so ambiguous about the values of Christianity? Why couldn’t there be Christians equally gifted in their place? And that’s because the church, we don’t get it. We haven’t come to the Holy Spirit asking for those gifts and then get involved and get dirty.

I mean, as soon as you abandon the safety of the pulpit and of writing and you start getting into history, yeah, there will be all kinds of things, unsavory things that will come at you, but there’s not alternative. The alternative is simply to leave history to these individuals that do not care about the church, do not care about the values of Christianity and I don’t think that’s a tenable alternative. God wants us, like Daniel, in there, in their faces, full of the Holy Spirit, full of a wisdom from God of the spiritual realm, but also full of the intellectual capacity that can be the best of the best, because we have the mind of Christ and we have to do both, and not be this namby-pamby, wishy-washy believers who don’t understand the nature of the history that we are living and the true nature of reality.

And we do live in a dark world and there are wicked people and there are corrupt people and there are spirits that possess people’s minds and there are spirits that infiltrate the church of Jesus Christ. And as believers we have to be aware of that, we live in a sinister world. We inhabit a sinister reality. There are demons, there are principalities, there are powers. And I think that’s one of the things that the evangelical church in America has lost sight of and that needs to be rescued: the understanding that we live in a world where there are demonic beings, highly exulted beings, capable of formulating high philosophies and even high theologies and artistic doctrines, and exulted systems of thought.

The devil is not this ridiculous being with a red tights, and a little ridiculous tail sticking out and a triton. He is an exulted being, he is a general bereft of his insignia, but nevertheless with the authority and the understanding of a general. God’s highest creature that was thrown out of God’s grace and presence into another dimension that the abhors, but that somehow allows him to have movement within the realm of time and space and to influence the dimension that we inhabit. And he controls, and he exercises influences, and he penetrates minds, and he penetrates systems, and we have to understand that that is the context that we move in.

I think any Christian who is sufficiently aware of the demonic nature of the reality is cured of many of the innocence that we see in Evangelical Christianity today in America. I think the problem is so many evangelicals in America is that they do not understand about spiritual warfare, in a very subtle way that dimension has been extracted from the psyche and now they compute Christianity in a much more sort of innocent, sort of light filled sort of way, without the darkness that is in the scriptures. I think anyone who has had experience with the demonic is all of a sudden cured of a lot of superficiality about the Christian walk and the soberness that we need to walk with, the care that we need to exercise and the truth that we need to have as we walk, the danger that we are constantly inhabiting. And I’m not talking about becoming a paranoid, looking at the devil, and finding the devil is everywhere, he’s sitting in one of these seats right now. Que el Señor los reprenda. May God rebuke him.

If he can come before the Lord, the throne of God himself, why wouldn’t he be here and a few of his friends around as well. Me, I’ve learned to factor in the devil wherever I am. That doesn’t prevent me from sleeping and enjoying a meal. That’s not the point, the point is that you do have to admit of his presence, and you have to walk in the light of his presence, like a cop walking a dangerous beat. You know, he may be walking casually, but he still has his nightstick and he has his gun nearby and he may be whistling but he’s looking around to make sure that there’s not a sniper somewhere, to take him out.

And that’s the way Christians need to walk. We need to walk with a confidence in the sovereignty, the power of the Lord but also being very aware that there are demonic forces spying on us and detecting our weaknesses in order to make us trip and to make us fall. This is what the Apostle Paul suggests when he says here, about again, about the schemes of the devil, to be careful about those schemes of the devil, those metodeia, those methods, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

There is nothing wrong with believers understanding that there is a demonic being scheming methodically, setting up straps according to your….. The devil is an amazing hunter and a fisherman, and he has bait for each particular victim. He takes time to study the habits, the weaknesses, the preferences, and then accordingly he sets his baits, his schemes. He is a very exulted being. If we can understand that we will be way ahead of the game.

So, how do you deal with that kind of radioactive environment. How do you deal as you move in a world, peopled with beings that want to destroy you and that are lucid and psychopathic and calculating? You adopt an ethics of power. You adopt a world view of power. That is the other thing that believers need to understand. In our XXI century rationalistic Christianity we have adopted more a Christianity of ethics and of values and of knowledge, and of information so there’s a lot of Christians and churches that emphasize information and teaching and knowing about the Bible, that are just avid for teaching. And that is good, but if that …. Let me tell you, teaching and amazing knowledge and understanding is not enough in a demonically ridden universe. You need power. You need power. And if that teaching is not enlivened and empowered and energized by the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, and by a cultivation of the anointing of God in your life, then that knowledge is absolutely worthless. In the same way that you may have a great sword in your hand, but if you don’t have the strength or the passion or the courage to use it, it’s of no avail, that’s nothing. The volleys of the word and of the information contained in the Bible need to be impelled by the energy and the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul says, “…..finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power….”

See? Paul is a man who moves in that language of power. He begins actually his epistle, if you go back to chapter 1 of Ephesians, in verse 18 he says, “…. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance and his incomparably great power for us to believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come, and God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church which is his body, the fullness of him that fills everything in every way….”

That’s the language of power. That’s the mentality of power, that is the imagery of power. That is the outlook of power. When Paul is writing that he is using the language of power and prophesying it into history, prophesying into the church. And he says, children, you are supposed to invive and ingest that same kind of attitude of power and seek that power of God and understand that that power is in you, and cultivate it.

He writes to Timothy and he says, “Timothy, God has given us a spirit of timidity but of love, of power and of self control”, and he also says, “now, Timothy, I advice you to fan into flame the gift of God that is in you by the imposition of my hands”

He was a man who was always computing in terms of power. And the church of Jesus Christ has lost that outlook of power, the need to fill ourselves with the power of God and so we’re always seeking information, seeking knowledge, seeking ritual, seeking community. And all of that is great, important, very essential but you better be clear on spiritual warfare, and you better be clear on power and you better be clear about the gifts of the Holy Spirit as well.

See, that’s why also Paul writes in First Corinthians in that famous chapter 12, where he says, children, I will not have you ignorant about spiritual things, neumática. The things of the spirit, there’s so many Christians who are totally ignorant of that dimension of power. It’s like when Paul goes to Ephesus as a matter of fact, maybe that’s why he was thinking so much about power, and he finds a few men that were believers, and he says, when you accepted Christ, where you baptized into the Holy Spirit? And these guys are clueless and say, Holy Spirit? We don’t even know that there’s a Holy Spirit, baptism in the… what is that? How do you eat that? They had absolutely no idea about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And then it says that he imposed hands on them and they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and they prophesied because Paul understood.

And we lose that, we have missed that whole aspect, that dimension of the Christian life. It’s a life of…. You know, you have to cultivate the power and it’s that power it wanes and it increases and it decreases with the use of it, just like my car. I got to put gas and I know the pain of putting gas into my car these days at 3 bucks a gallon, but I have to do that, every few days I have to go and I’ve got to stop in the same place on my way home and fill the darn thing again because I’ve used it and we have to do that spiritually.

This blow that we receive which is just a temporary setback, you know, if you don’t get back into some heavy praying and some heaving confessing of Christ sovereignty and some heavy Christian rhetoric to hype yourself up and some prophetic stuff, you’re going to go and shoot yourself or move to Atlanta. So, what does a soldier do? A soldier just fills himself up again. You pump yourself up again. You go back and you revisit those passages and you remember who’s the boss, all right? And you know that he is not surprised, that he hasn’t lost a battle yet and that we’ve been in this thing fro 2000 years and until Jesus Christ comes, we will be in it, but that we will prevail. So you go back into the word and you put your prayer shield on, whatever, and you confess and you worship and you rebuke discouragement and you get together with a few strong believers and you kind of commiserate but also encourage each other and you shove yourselves and push against each other and get back that aggressive spirit and you fill yourself up again, you fan into flame again. That vision, and that’s what prevails.

You see, that’s why Paul says here about standing, he says in verse 13 “… therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground…..” and after you have done everything to stand, stand firm then. It’s this idea, when the day of evil comes into a culture and as Christian you see things happening around you and you say, you know, these things, really the devil has overtaken history and he’s taken over legislators, and he’s taken over society.

Now, the day of evil may also be a time of crisis in your life, it may be a time when everything that you believe about God’s love and justice and coherence may be put into question and his inconsistency and the faithfulness of his promises, and his willingness to honor your integrity and your efforts, may all of a sudden be denied, and that’s the day of evil.

When like Job you have done everything right, you followed the manual and everything turns out wrong and you get the wrong result and the computer somehow seems to have gone into another language that you don’t know, and that day of evil, that day of absolute injustice and incoherence and not be able to make sense of what’s happening, you better be absolutely clear in what is the foundation of your spirituality if you’re going to survive.

And we live in a time of evil. I shared a baccalaureate speech with 17 innocent senior who didn’t know what they were in for, a couple of Sundays ago, and afterwards I asked myself, was I a bit too dark in my speech to them? But you know, I think that Christianity needs a dosage of truth and of clarity and darkness. I’m tired of these innocent lambs being lead to the slaughter innocently with a beatific smile in their faces, because they have not been given the right dosage of truth about the Christian faith, because we have amputated so many segments of the Christian truth because it’s not nice and it doesn’t go with the ethos of this generation. And we need to shock people back into the dark images of scripture and to the dangers, because the day of evil will get stronger, more dense, more intense in the next few years, and if that generation is not ready to be aggressive and to not apologize for the truth of God and is not armed with the full armor of God it will not survive, it will not be able to fulfill the function that God has destined for it. And we are responsible for making it clear and shocking them and pushing them, and smacking them a couple of times to get the warrior spirit out of them.

And the church needs to roughen up a bit its language in order to awaken this tepid Christianity that we are living in right now. This is why Paul speaks about these things, he says, ‘stand firm with the belt of truth….’

Why…… The first thing that he mentions is “….the belt of truth buckled around your waist….” Because truth is the most lacking today in this culture. And truth is really the most important piece, it is one of the foundational things of the Christian faith and of a believer.

I’m finishing the biography of Jonathan Edwards, a 500 paged tome that is fascinating. I’ve not be able to get away from it in the past few days, beautiful stuff, George Marsten. I suggest highly that you read it. Jonathan Edwards was a very complex man and I know he could have been a little cooler and a little more sympathetic and agile in his social skills and so on and so forth, that tripped him all the time. He was too passionate about truth. I find myself conflicted because I think, man, I say, if that spirit of integrity…. I mean this guy was vertical. I mean, so vertical that people could not digest him for too long. Even his congregation where he was instrumental in ushering in one of the greatest revivals and much of the language and imagery of revival, not only in America, but also abroad, he provided a lot of it for. And he was used of God so powerfully and he was such an illustrious thinker, and yet he was fired in the most ignominious sort of ways by his congregation in North Hampton. Later on he goes into another town, Stockbridge and there he gets into a huge problem as well.

We’re talking about one of the exulted spirits and intellect of American history and one of the most vertical people of integrity that I have ever read about. And you know, I’m envious of this kind of truthfulness, this kind of integrity in a man. That kind of person is not palatable, is doesn’t induce empathy and sympathy, they’re not charismatic, they’re not attractive. But, God, the church needs people like that. And the church itself needs to ingest some of that spirit of truth, and we need to live by the truth at individual level. Let me tell you that the more I live and the more I know myself and the darkness within me, the more I understand that the only thing that can keep me from jumping into the arms of Satan is a passion for truth and an absolute, desperate clinging on to truth, psychological truth, emotional truth, individual truth, being implacable with myself, my defects, the darkness that moves within me, my inconsistencies, the darkness in my character and I need to be able to acknowledge it, recognize it, look at it bluntly in the face and not shy away from away, but also knowing that I’m in the hands of a gracious loving God.

But I need to walk in that truth, my only defense, our only defense, your only defense, we play of mind games. This culture is playing a lot of mind games with truth and they think that they’re fooling God, they think they’re fooling the devil and they think they’re fooling themselves. Where do all the neurosis come from in our time? From that violation of truth. Neurosis is always produced by the denial of truth. And if you want to have a healthy life, a happy life, a fulfilling life, take a dose of truth with your mouth wash every day and take it several times a day and do not be scared of looking at yourself openly and clearly and nakedly and then commit yourself to the grace of God as you confess your sin, and then be free and enjoy life. But don’t go around calling evil good, and good evil. Don’t go around pretending that you’re something that you’re not, or that you’re not something that you are. Don’t go around changing the goal posts. Don’t go around playing games with the devil and with God because they cannot be fooled, neither one of them. God, because he’s omniscient and the devil because he’s been around too long.

And so, we have… Christianity has to be a religion of truth, it has to be an outlook of truth. It is the only thing capable of keeping the devil at bay. It’s not an apple a day, it’s truth every day that keeps the devil at bay. You have to speak the truth, you have to live the truth because that’s what he talks about also the righteousness, that breastplate of righteousness, integrity walking in the truth, consistency. I’ll stop here, there’s too much there.

I think what we need to do, people, we need to rescue Christianity from its absolute bankruptcy that it’s in right now. We desperately need people who understand the history, the reality, the nature of the world that we are living in. We need to have people who are lucid about the world that we inhabit, and the reality that we walk in, demonically written, conspiring against our well being and against everything that smacks of the Kingdom of God. And we need to regain a healthy balance between the forces of darkness and the sovereignty of God, between the grace that is incomprehensibly great of God, but also the justice, the integrity, the holiness, the total otherness of that being that we serve that we call God.

We need to find a balance and we need to walk like people who are people who are sober, like soldiers. We are in a war and we better gird ourselves with all of the armor, not just one part of it, but the full armor of God, all of it because if you are missing one part, you might as well be missing the whole thing. That’s a thing, the armor of God is integral, it has to be one piece. It has to be the elements of salvation, the power of testimony and witness, the invulnerability of integrity and justice and the use of the word of God as a truth that is aggressive and penetrating and you use that word of God, all of it, to fight whatever battle you are in. It has to be all the different pieces of it, faith, the shield of faith, that when they throw these darts at you, that we’ve been thrown at here, we say, that’s all right, just send it, that’s ok, we’re going to quench that fiery dart and we’re going to keep on going. It’s like that, that’s the whole thing.

So, people let’s get going, let’s stand firm, let’s stand firm, let’s stand firm. The enemy cannot prevail against a Christianity that stands firm in the word of God and says, you are not going to go through here. We’re standing firm in the word of God and there may be little moments of unsettling and partial loss but that’s all there it is, you just prevail, you keep on. You stand firm in the word of God. You don’t look around, you don’t put your finger up to see which way the wind is blowing. You know where the word of God stands and you stand right there and the devil simply has to tuck his tail in and flee sooner or later. We’ve seen that time and time again.

But we need a different kind of spirit in us, we need the spirit of the warrior, we need to call forth the spirit of the warrior again in us. We need to roar again, we need to put on the full armor of God, we need to know that we are soldiers, we’re not golfers out for a nice sunny Sunday stroll, we are warriors with the sword in our hand and a shield in the other, standing in the truth of God. Not word about what people think or what the poll say about us, or what kind of image we’re projecting. Let me tell you, you’re not convince those who are deluded by the devil, you are not going to convince them through Madison Avenue techniques of marketing, presenting a nice image and being this and that. That’s not what changes people, it’s the power of God that can penetrate the delusions of the devil, the demonic doctrines that encircle people’s heads. Only one thing can break through that is the power, the power that we cultivate as we stand firm in the word of God and we use the resources and the instruments that God has provided for us.

So, let us stand for a moment. Let us declare, let us acknowledge this reality that we inhabit in the name of Jesus and let us acknowledge the nature of what we have been called to be. Oh Alleluia! we’re not afraid at all. I know in whom I have believed and I know who is the Lord of history and I know that Satan has been defeated, and I know that in the cross Jesus defeated the principalities and the powers. All they can do is they can bark, they can harass, they can pretend, they can posture, but they have no substance in what they do.

And Father, I pray that you would keep us, even as we declare these things, I know the challenge that this presents to the enemy. Well, Father, I declare in the name of Christ, even as I cover myself with the blood of Jesus Christ and I confess my own weakness and my own need of your grace, Father, but I declare your truth and I declare that Satan has been defeated. He is humiliated foe and he has absolutely no power over history. Satan, we declare that you are defeated here in Massachusetts and we will see it, and we will see it, and you will be humiliated by the faithfulness of God’s people.

And we remember the word of God today, and we remember Christ who defeated you in the cross, and who will defeat you time and time again through the faith of his people, and

we stand in faith tonight, Father, before you, we stand in faith before you. Father, we hope that we can be martyrs for you if we need to be.

Father, the only thing I ask, give us a platform and give us the opportunity and give us the place and the time so that we can use what you have given your people, Lord. Embolden us, embolden us, embolden us, Lord so that we may fiercely stand for the gospel and announce your truth, Father, without apology.

Oh, Lord fill us with the spirit of Elijah, fill us, Lord, with the spirit of Jehu, fill us with the a warrior spirit, Father. Even as you fill as with the love of Christ, but Lord we know that we fight against demonic beings that are sworn to destroy this humanity unless some of us stand in the gap and fight on behalf of that humanity, Father, even as we confront it many times in order to defend it.

So, Jesus, do your work in New England, do your work in Massachusetts, embolden your people, create for yourself, raise for yourself a people who look through your eyes at the history that they’re living, Father, and who feel with your heart and who walk in your balance, Lord.

Come, Holy Spirit, come, Holy Spirit, come, Holy Spirit. Move in Massachusetts, Lord. Move in Massachusetts, Lord. Send your judgments, Father. Send your truth, Lord. Send your spirit, Lord in the name of Jesus, I call your judgments and I call your truths upon this nation and upon this state, Father. We release the movement of your spirit in Massachusetts tonight, in the name of Jesus. We release your righteous judgments, Lord and may your church speak with the authority that you have given it, and may it walk in the righteousness and in the integrity that you have called us to walk in, Father. May we walk in the brokenness, in the humility that you have called us to walk in and the absolute dependence on Jesus Christ.

Father, tonight we are strong in him, in the power of his spirit, Father, not in us. And if we aspire to any integrity, we can only do so knowing that it is through the power of Jesus Christ not in anything that is in us inherently, but in him, in Jesus, in his integrity, his holiness, his power, his authority, we cover ourselves tonight, Father. We cover ourselves even as we proclaim your truth, even as we proclaim that the enemy will be put to shame and he will be made to flee and the darkness will be setback, I declare in the name of Jesus Christ, you will open the door, Father, and you will do it. You have promised that you will do, when you stand in that expectation, Lord, we do not yield one inch to the enemy tonight, Father.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Just declare, declare, declare, declare, declare, the power of God, declare the justice of God, declare the sovereignty, declare the lordship of Jesus Christ, declare his absolute capacity not to be defeated at all. Lord, we declare it in the name of Jesus. We stand firm, Jesus, we stand in your word, we stand in your truth. Alleluia! Yes, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit fill us, Holy Spirit anoint us. Holy Spirit fall upon your church, Jesus. Fall upon your church, revive your church. Revive your people, Lord. Revive us again, Lord. Revive us again, Lord. Revive us again, Lord. Give us a new infilling of your spirit tonight, Father. Open our eyes. open the eyes of our understanding, Lord , that we may revel in what you have given us, what we have inherited.

Oh, Father, I take off all the cold clothing, wet clothing that the devil wants to put in me to demoralize and I put on the garment or righteousness and of power and of optimism and hope in you, and joy in you, and power in you, in the name of Jesus. Alleluia! We receive that anointing. We receive that anointing. We receive that anointing. And, Father, we declare it on your people tonight, make it run across this man, Father, spread it across the churches of this land, Father, and take down whatever stands against you, whatever pulpit, Father, doesn’t preach your word, take it down, Jesus and replace it with your truth, replace it with your word, Father, in the name of Jesus.

Fill us again, fill us again, Lord. Fill us again. ¡Alleluia! Fill us in you. We worship you, Lord. You deserve all the glory and all the honor.