This week my wife slipped on the floor at church and broke her kneecap. After an adventurous journey by fire brigade and ambulance, she arrived at the hospital where she still waits for the operation. It looks like our ministry in Europe this year, will be cancelled.
During the week a friend of mine rang to say that his wife was flat on her back and he had lost his voice. Their new church plant was only six weeks old and Easter Sunday approaching. It was a challenging time for them so I encouraged them from Mark one.
This week I had been reading where John the Baptist went from an outdoor revival to the inside of a prison. Jesus was publicly acclaimed as the Beloved Son of God and ends up in a wilderness for 40 days being tempted by the devil. God had my attention. The intriguing key and hopeful thing about that story is that Jesus is led there by the Holy Spirit.
Your wilderness or your prison is not a sign that God’s love and favour has shifted from you. The reason Jesus went into the wilderness was to establish his authority over the Serpent as the last Adam and the Second man. The troubles we face in life are never a reflection of God’s love and care for us, but always an opportunity for us to establish our authority over the enemy by an attitude of faith and a steadfast conviction that the devil is a liar and that God can always be trusted. Jesus came out of the wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit and having established His authority over Satan on the earth went straight into the synagogue to teach. The immediate reaction of those who heard Him was “Where did he get that authority?” He got it from His father. Father’s love is declared and inevitable Fathers authority must be established. Jesus then turns His attention to an unclean spirit and took authority over it. After church, He goes across to Peter’s house and had authority over Peter’s mother in laws sickness.
My friend went on to have the most awesome Sunday because he refused to be intimidated by Satan’s temptations to fear or doubt. My wife and I are expecting that God will release a new level of authority, greater than and as a result of, any trial or trouble the enemy brings upon us because we trust His character and believe what He has written. I’m sure “New levels – New devils” is true but certainly saying,”No devil!” brings new levels!
Friend, you too are His beloved child in whom He is well pleased. Father said that to Jesus before Jesus had done anything. Because God is love, He can only love you. Never question that. All the enemy can do is tempt you to disbelieve it, to keep you from assuming your rightful authority over him. Father isn’t stopping the testing and tempting because it’s your opportunity to rise to new levels of authority but His angels are with you to minister to you. Stay strong, receive His refreshing and come out in the power of the Spirit. Your new ministry is about to begin.