‘Purposing Change’ Meditations: 27. Take authority (1)
Jn 11:43“Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
We have recently considered the ‘Come and See’ approach, but we also recognised that there is a spiritual dimension that is important to understand – that unbelievers are just that because they are held prisoners to unbelief. But, as part of Jesus’ activity to release the prisoners, our role is twofold: to pray AND to do what we can to help our unsaved loved ones, prodigals, friends, neighbours, workmates etc. to get ready to open their hearts to Jesus. Having considered various practical possibilities, I want to return to the spiritual dimension that is so important.
We are back with Jesus raising the dead. For some of us this may be entering a new realm, that we have previously loosely referred to as Spiritual Warfare, or starting to operate in the spiritual realms, the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12, 1:20, 2:6). This is where we sense Jesus’ heart as we are seated beside him and we speak out his desire which in this case is to speak to the spiritually dead – our loved ones etc. – in prayer, to call them out of death (Eph 2:1) into life.
This is done with Jesus, not with them. This happens in prayer, it happens while we pray, and it happens as the Holy Spirit prompts in prayer. I noted in a previous series (and it seems appropriate here) that there is releasing a surge of faith so that, taking the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Eph 6:17), we proclaim the truth to set free (Jn 8:32), testify to the truth to overcome (Rev 12:11), command things to happen (Mt 21:21), bind the enemy (Mt 18:18), loose people or situations (Mt 18:18) and pronounce Jesus’ name as our authority (Jn 14:13 etc.).
Sometimes it may come as a word of knowledge (1 Cor 12:8). Many years ago I was praying with a friend who lived in a small village where a man had been enticing his wife away. As we prayed I had that ‘surge of faith’ and declared, “John, he will never bother you again.” The next day that man enticing his wife, fell over badly and was in hospital for months and never went near her again. A word of knowledge speaks of the intentions of heaven. Are we open for that? Are we open for the Spirit to prompt us to use the word of God in the six ways I noted above?
Very well, we are aware of these realities now, and so you will be open to the Spirit WHEN He wants you to step out in this way, as you catch a wave of faith washing over you from heaven and just maybe, in this context, you will have the faith released to you to declare with the prompting of the Spirit, “Lazarus come out,” the call from death to life that breaks into the natural order and releases spiritual life – except of course you will pray your not-yet-a-believer’s name.
I need to say it again, because in many good evangelical or other circles there is an orthodoxy of belief but it often falls short of action, we need to learn to move in faith in the heavenlies, in the spiritual realm. Jesus said to his followers, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 18:18) Remember not IF but WHEN – and not before. But be alert, be listening, be available. The enemy may tell you this is rubbish, but many saints have learned the truth: we are the ‘body of Christ’ and as such we are called to do the things he did (Jn 14:12). Can we learn to be those who operate in the spiritual realm? Can we learn to take the authority of sons of God? (Rom 8:15, Gal 4:6). I use the term ‘sons’ because the picture of ‘sons’ in the Old Testament was of those family members who entered into the father’s business. And our heavenly Father is in the business of setting captives free and does it through His Son who sits at His right hand, and His Spirit who moves in and through us, His children (Jn 1:12, 1 Jn 3:1), so let’s learn to step out in faith in prayer to declare His will as He prompts.