Three years ago I prayed for the Lord to show my husband and me a place where we could get away from Western New York winters for a time. After a lot of prayer and searching for locations and accommodations we decided to go to central Florida and stay in an extended-stay motel. When we got there the desk clerk sent us to a room and the key didn’t work. Then, when we got the new key it opened the door to the wrong type of room which was occupied by a woman sitting on the bed reading a book. The look on the woman’s face as she sat on the bed and the look on ours should have been captured for a Facebook post! The second trip down to the embarrassed desk clerk resulted in a new key to a new room that blessed us with a sunny room filled with many days of sunrises and sunsets over our view of the lake. I knew it was the room that God had given us, a blessing over and above what we had asked for. After a few days in that blessed room we overheard another couple talking about the fact that if you stayed for a month the room charge was cut in half! They also said that you had to reserve the room you wanted a year in advance. I knew that God had given us a way to stay longer the following year, so we reserved our God-given room for the following year. Last year we had no problems with getting into our room, so we reserved the same room for this year. You guessed it! This year we hit a bump in the road.
We pulled into the motel and went to the desk and told the desk clerk, a young lady this time, that we were there for room 302. She said we couldn’t have that room as someone was in there! I said we reserved that room a year in advance, but she was uncooperative, sneered at me as she muttered that we were staying for 31 days as if that wasn’t enough, and then said something to indicate that these people had been there since December which we later found out was not the case. After a bit of argument she finally said she would put us on a list and when “a” room upstairs became available she would move us, but she gave us no promise that she’d move us into 302. Then she sent us to a room on the first floor which was similar to 302, but had only a view of a bush and was as dark and dreary as my own home in Western New York. We not only could not see the lake, we could not see the sun! I was furious! I also knew by the Spirit that she had no intention of getting us into the room we had reserved. She might move us but I was sure she would do everything she could to keep us from room 302. I could tell there was something spiritual going on. (Later she was proud to tell us that she was related to Dracula!)
We unloaded the car and began to unpack. I was extremely angry and depressed. But as I complained to the Lord I heard myself saying “You gave us that room, Lord.” Then I remembered David’s story in I Samuel 30 where David and his men had been out fighting. When they came back home they found that the Amalekites had come to their town (Ziglag) and had taken captive all their wives and children and all their possessions. David and his men were so overwhelmed and discouraged that they broke down crying. After a time the men started threatening to stone David. He decided he needed to turn to the Lord who strengthened and encouraged him. He asked the Lord if he should chase the Amalekites and overtake them. The Lord told him that he should overtake them and rescue the captives. David took his men and they found the Amalekites, defeated them, and recovered all that had taken: possessions, wives, and children.
The rembrance of this Bible story gave me the courage to say that room 302 was given to us by God and we were going to fight for it. Even though the room was reserved in my name (my gift to my husband and I), I was too emotional to handle this so I asked my husband to go see the manager who we knew by name as she had been there all 3 years of our stay. I stayed and prayed. Alan came back with a smile on his face and said the manager was very willing to help us. She had assured him that as soon as the people left she would get us into our room. She really thought they were leaving the next day. A few minutes later she called and said that they were leaving early in the morning and our room would be ready for us first thing the next morning. We got into our room at 8 am the next day. Praise the Lord!
So why am I telling you this story? I have thought about this over and over again and realized that I often forget that as a Christian I live in a fallen world with a spiritual adversary. Part of my training for ruling and reigning with Christ in the future is to be alert in the present, to recognize the enemy when he is prowling around looking for someone to steal from or trying to devour and kill and destroy, and stand up against it in the authority and armor the Lord has given me. (I Peter 5:8, Eph 6:10-18) Jesus tells us that he has come so that we “may have life, and have it to the full.” Some translations say “abundantly.” (John 10:10) If you are like me none of these scriptures are new to me, but I have forgotten that I have authority through Christ against the devil and his plans.
What I have discovered from my pondering this latest chapter of my story is that I have been sitting down when I should be standing up. What do I mean by this? I want to be a positive influence on my world. I want to be liked and respected. I want to believe that when I walk into a room the light of Christ that is in me will bring a blessing into the world. What I am finding is that the more light I walk in, the more I surrender my will to the Lord, and the more the Holy Spirit takes over me, the more resistance I get from some of the world. (Jesus could relate to that!)
I realized that I have let the world’s thinking (deception) that Christians should be sweet, non-confrontational, a blessing, quiet and humble, not complaining or demanding, quiet and not heard, cause no trouble, take what comes with a smile, and just be a blessing, be “gentle Jesus-like,” and everyone will get saved and like you! HA! That’s a good way to get crucified or, at the very least, have your God given blessings stolen from you.
Years ago I had no trouble taking authority over certain things in my life or declaring scriptures in my prayers. But over the years I feel like the world’s thinking has washed over me and worn me down and deceived me to accept that this is how life is as things are stolen from me. I don’t want you to think that I am advocating yelling and screaming to get my way or that I am saying we should be selfish. That is not what I am saying. I am trying to express what I think is how God wants us to live, not as weak-willed paupers who have no authority in this world, who are subject to the tyranny of others. He does not want us uninformed or forget that we do have an enemy, a spiritual force not a physical person. He also wants us to remember that He has given us weapons to take a stand against the ruler of this world. We do not have to be intimidated or afraid or have our God-given possessions or people stolen from us. On the other hand, He doesn’t expect us to use our authority for self-promotion or selfish gain or to harm others.
I have been reading a book written in the 1930’s that has helped me understand my authority in Christ and my potential in God. John MacMillan says in his book The Authority of the Believer, “We cry to God to rebuke the enemy and to alter things. Through the teaching of the Word, He replies, “My children, rebuke the enemy yourselves. The authority over him is yours. Its responsibility I have committed to you. I desire you to learn in these things to prevail. I have purposed a high and holy ministry for you in the coming age. This is for you the time of testing and preparation. Be strong and of a good courage, and none shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.’”
You see, scripture tells us in Eph. 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” MacMillan says, “God has planned that man shall, through the outworking of redemption, regain the place of authority in creation that he has lost. To this end, Christ, having conquered for man, sits as his Representative in the seat destined for him when redemption is fully manifested. In the interim, the wonderful provision exists that man shall be reckoned in Christ and shall, to the limit of his spiritual understanding and obedience, be endowed with the authority of His name.”
So how do we do that? First, we need to take a look at the armor God has provided for us and wear it! These are spiritual attitudes: the belt of truth = a clear understanding of the Word; the breastplate of righteousness = recognition that our righteousness is in Christ, not ourselves; feet shod with the readiness to share the gospel, shield of faith = that we are under the blood where no power of the enemy can penetrate that door-like faith; helmet of salvation = protection of our thoughts, reminder that Christ saved us and is coming back for us; the sword of the spirit = the word of God can be used as a weapon against the enemy in our prayers. When we put on the armor we need to stand, not sit down, and be prepared to fight for the Lord and each other.
If you notice there is only one weapon provided for us and that is the word of God. All the rest is protective gear. So, once again we come to the fact that declaring the word in prayer provides a way through enemy lines to defeat the enemy and to keep him from winning over us. It is also the way we take back those things he is trying to steal or has already stolen.
As we practice having authority here on earth we will be learning how to have authority when Jesus comes back. This is our time to get stronger and learn how to rule and reign in spiritual areas and take back the ground the devil has stolen from God’s people.
On the next page I have included some scriptures that you can read and declare over areas of your life. There was not room to write them out so I am just giving you the addresses. When you have an area you need to overcome and take back authority for the Lord, speak that scripture out as a declaration. For example, if you need protection you could pray and declare Ps. 34:7 by saying: “The Angel of the Lord encamps round about those who fear Him and delivers them. Lord, I fear and honor you. I declare that the Angel of the Lord is encamped around my home and family today and nothing can harm my family, my possessions, or my property. Thank you, Lord, for giving me this authority. In Jesus’ name. Amen”
I am also praying this prayer that I have reworded from a prayer found in MacMillan’s book.:
Lord, teach me how to fulfill this sacred ministry, how to exercise the authority which You have entrusted to me. Train me day by day that I may attain to the full stature of the woman you have created me to be in Christ, so that in me Your purpose of the ages may be fulfilled. Amen
The Word of God is true and will never fail (Num. 23:20, Heb. 6:18, Is. 55:11, Matt. 24:25, John 6:63)
There are no limits on what God can do (Jer. 32:27, Luke 1:37, 2 Cor. 1:20)
It’s the will of God that we understand our authority and speak it (Job 22:28, Col. 3:1, Prov. 18:21, Luke 10:19, John 16:23)
Divine Protection (Ps. 91, Ps. 34, Isa. 54:17, Prov. 2:7, 2 Thess. 3:3, Ps. 23)
Health (Ps. 103:2, Ps. 107:20, Is. 53:3, I Peter 3:24)
Blessings (Rom. 8:17, Rom. 8:32, Ps. 23, 3 John 1:2, James 1:17, Ps. 84:11)
Provision (Prov. 3:9, Luke 6:38, 2 Cor. 9:6-7, Prov. 11:25, Gal. 6:7)
Power of devils (Matt. 16:15, James 4:7, Rev. 12:11, Luke 10:19, Matt. 16:19)
(special thanks to John Shiver Ministries for above)