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…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word ( GRK. RHEMA ) of God; Ephesians 6:17 NKJV

Jesus’ victory over sin, sickness, death and the world was total, comprehensive, irreversible, and irrevocable.

The enemy seeks to overturn that victory in practical manifestation for every believer. Religion aggressively seeks to take the sword of the Spirit out of the hands of the believer. Religion says, “Be nice. Turn the other cheek. Don’t make judgments!” Jesus never, ever backed down to a demon. The Lord rigorously controlled every situation, even His own arrest. Jesus had just spent three hours praying. As we say here in the northwest USA, He was ‘loaded for bear.’ When they came to arrest the mighty Son of God, they all went down under a glory wave of God’s power.

Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. John 18:6 NKJV

The arresting soldiers and onlookers, including the betrayer Judas, all went down quite against their will. The Son of God was saying, “You are not arresting me. I am surrendering myself to you, as God’s Passover Lamb.” Jesus, as the Father’s High Priest, was offering Himself as God’s Passover Lamb. The Father and Son had planned the whole thing by God’s determinate will. The subsequent forty hours of trial and testing were the selection process for the Lamb. The Lamb was found worthy, and then was slain for the sins of all mankind.

The point is, they never took Jesus against His will. That is walking in authority! You and I can do the same thing. You and I must learn to control our environments just as the Son of God controlled His.

The wheat ship in the hurricane is a perfect example of Paul controlling his environment, which is walking in authority, by the Spirit of God. Read the record in Acts 27.

For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,  saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.” Acts 27:23-26 NKJV

Religion has let us down. Religion has taught us to be weak and passive through false comforting statements like ‘God is in control.’ If God is in control of your life then you are not in control of your life, and you are not responsible for anything you do, or don’t do. This is a lie from hell. You are responsible, as am I, and we will be held accountable. Let me say, I fear God, and the thought of judgment day helps keep my little self in gear right now.

( Someone once said, “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that really matters.” When I graduated from bible college, I knew that I knew all the answers, because that is how my teachers taught me. Later, when I learned that they obfuscated some scriptures, changed others, ignored others, and that their theology was for the most part, a house of cards that had little power, I had to repent. )

Paul was trained to walk in authority, to believe God to control his environment. You and I must do the same thing. The only way you can help someone is if you are in charge. I have never cast out a demon, or healed anyone, or led anyone to salvation, or really helped anyone, where I allowed them to be in charge. Submission to God is necessary to receive from God.

Acts 16 is another great example of how Paul controlled his environment to bring in the will of God. Let me show this to you. But first, to save time and teaching, please read the whole chapter.

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Acts 16:9 NKJV

Paul and his team immediately travel to Philippi, a city of Macedonia. There, they meet a woman named Lydia, and lead her household to the Lord. But, remember, they are searching for a man, because it was a man of Macedonia that appeared to them in the vision. God is not transgender, nor does He have sexual confusion. He loves men and women equally, but when he sent ‘a man’ to invite Paul to Macedonia, He meant for him to find that man, and help him. Do you see how clear and specific revelation is?

( Fun fact: That phrase ‘Come over  ( the sea ) and help us!’ in Latin is TRANSIENS ADUIVA NOS. In 1704, the Anglican missionaries to Africa adopted that Latin statement, with their English response, ‘I go overseas to give help!’ as the motto of their endeavors. Today, Lightbearers Ministries humbly claims that motto as well. )

While in Philippi, Paul and Silas get in trouble for preaching the gospel and doing deliverance ministry.

And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe.” Acts 16:20-22 NKJV

Paul is a Roman citizen, and he has the option of invoking that reality to deny himself jail time. But he doesn’t! Why? He is searching for the man of Macedonia, and, I believe, he has revelation that he must go to jail to find him ( when you take away the fear of death, the enemy has almost no way to manipulate you. Paul was not afraid of jail or suffering because he knew he had eternal life ). He is controlling his environment, his situation… do you see it?

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25 NKJV

There is a timing in the power of God. Paul knew that now was the time! Paul and Silas begin to worship out loud, and the worship is anointed. We’ve learned in our church, JPC in Albany Oregon, that nothing brings in the manifest presence of God like anointed praise and worship. The earthquake occurs, Paul spares the jailor with a RHEMA word, the jailor humbles himself, and his household is saved.

Finally, Paul once again, controlling his environment, walking in authority, humbles the Philippian authorities. He plays his ‘Roman citizenship’ card, and prepares the city for a great revival.

… And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.” And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans. Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city. So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia… Acts 16:36-40 NKJV

Do you get it? This is our time to get trained to walk in authority. Training has levels. Each of us must challenge ourselves to go up higher, because then you can help more people in more situations. Don’t take a passive approach to this challenge! That response is religion raising its ugly head. Actively seek God for more training.

For some of you, it may be learning to deal with demons firsthand in a some what secure environment, like a ministry team setting.  Others need to take it to a higher level out on the streets. We need to be profoundly confident in front of kings, presidents, CEOs and criminals. Men and women of God need to be able to operate in authority effectively in any environment, regardless of circumstances.

Could you walk in authority if someone put a gun in your face? I have never faced that challenge, but I have had a knife pulled on me, which they laid down, and ran away. What if they were a government official, or a criminal? Remember, you can’t help someone, you can’t usher in God’s will as His coworker, unless you are in control of the situation. Anticipate your challenges, and train for them.

Dear one, it is time to get trained, and today is your training day.

Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…