TUESDAY, APRIL 30
Scripture: Matthew 12:28-30, James 5:1-3, James 5:16-18
Matthew 12:28-30 tells us, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter (ischuros) a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” There it is. If you and I yield to the Spirit we become overcomers and the door that God opens is to spoil the enemy. Ischuo is the anointing to lock up a city, to shut it down or to lock up resources or to shut them down, to starve out an enemy. Ischuo is the anointing to starve out an enemy by shutting down their resources. According to Matthew power is available through obedient sons and daughters. If we yield to the Holy Spirit and have the authority to overcome the enemy, we can bind him, lock him up, and shut him down. Are we maintaining our salt through obedience? In James 5:1-3 we are told, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.” Now there’s a prayer! If you and I serve others, if we chose the servanthood/Sonship path of Christ, then He gives us the authority to lock down the resources of those who have stored up wealth for themselves. All those who have built their own kingdom can’t keep it. It has to flow into the hands of those who are serving God. Verses 4-6 even say they got their money by stealing it from those who were obedient. They kept their wages back by fraud. It was ill-gotten gain and therefore it can’t stay there. But you and I don’t have the authority to pray unless we pass the character test. What is the character test? James 5:16-18 reveals the character test. This passage says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails (ischuo) much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” Elijah is an example of one who overcame through obedience. Transparency and yielding to the Holy Spirit is the character test of ischuo. If we will be transparent and honest with God and let Him give us His empowering grace through the impossible and if we will embrace His servanthood pattern we can overcome the enemy. We come into level three of God’s power called ischuo and it is ordained for us to use it and overturn the work of the enemy in the last days. I trust we will see a church which can lock up and starve out the evil elements within our city. Jesus paid for a great end-time harvest and He is going to have it. I trust we will see the church without spot, wrinkle or blemish rising quickly.