Keys to the Kingdom

When what we say lifts Jesus as God and acknowledges ourselves as servants then we have the keys of Kingdom. When speaking in independence we lose them. Spiritual authority is based on submission to Jesus, ‘Son of the living God.’

In Matthew 16 following Peter’s confession:

16 …, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’

Jesus states:

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

It seems Jesus gave Peter Carte Blanche; whatever he says goes. So, many believers pray believing they will get what is asked with an authoritative voice. However Peter immediately uses this authority and is rebuffed –

23 …  ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’

Isaiah 33:5-6 coming from a different angle illuminates –

The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; … He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.

Isaiah lifts up the Lord, as Peter has, great things are promised on the basis of the fear of the Lord. If I put this thinking into Matthew 16 I see Jesus saying, while you acknowledge Me as God and take Me seriously, then you have the keys of the kingdom.

 

For the complete study – Key to the Kingdom

Freedom from Slavery

Psalm 114 (Message)

After Israel left Egypt, the clan of Jacob left those barbarians behind;

Judah became holy land for him, Israel the place of holy rule.

Leaving the land of slavery, Israel became God’s holy people and the land the place of holy rule. This was a first step to their being made Holy.

This move from slavery to holiness is not a process we are good at. We lurch between slaveries. People who have encountered the Lord and been freed often develop a path through which others can find their freedom that is upheld legalistically.

The freedom described here is not gained through repeating steps in a plan, but calling out to the Lord for mercy and waiting for Him.

Sea took one look and ran the other way; River Jordan turned around and ran off.

The mountains turned playful and skipped like rams, the hills frolicked like spring lambs.

When the Lord intervenes, then nothing will be an obstacle to Him. Discussing this with someone from Africa he commented that, in the face of corrupt officials, if the Lord wants something to happen it will.  It may take longer, but the Lord will fulfil his word.

Tremble, Earth! You’re in the Lord’s presence! in the presence of Jacob’s God.

He turned the rock into a pool of cool water, turned flint into fresh spring water.

The transforming effect is not because of the skill of the people of Israel, it is because the presence of the Lord is there. The earth trembles when the Lord approaches.

 

The more complete Study of this passage can be found at –Freedom from Legalism

Surrender to the Light of a Child

The oppression of our self-focused, secular rooted religion is crushing us. We need the freedom only Christ can bring. As Isaiah says,

Isaiah 9:4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, You have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.

It is not the Lord’s servant but Christ Himself who shatters the yoke. Spiritual battle, and ministry strategy need wisdom and strategic thinking.  The one who gains the victory however is a child!

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And He will be called, Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

We need to surrender our strategies and entrust ourselves to this child. For those who consider themselves wise, this is humbling. Children’s answers can sound so naïve.

What the child brings, however is a completely new dimension.

Isaiah 9:2 On those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Our land is in the shadow of death where godliness is being replaced by secular thinking. Among many Christians the secular world’s values, such as being ‘nice,’ are embraced as if they were Christian ones.

We are desperate for His light to dawn. This wave of secular beliefs and values engulfs us, and drowns out God’s Word. Lord Jesus, please come, please give me grace to humble myself and receive You and your light.

For the whole Bible study

Offensive Spiritual Warfare

Who is willing and patient enough to engage with God in offensive spiritual warfare?  Psalm 110 shows how.

‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’

It begins with sitting at God’s right hand! Amazing! Instead of action, it is spent waiting with the Father in prayer. This period of the warfare continues until the Father has won the victory, He alone knows when and can release the prayer warrior.

‘The Lord will extend your mighty sceptre from Zion.’

Through sitting at God’s right hand in prayer, the Lord extends the authority of the prayer warrior. This authority is spiritual, it comes from Zion where God dwells,  rather than organisational, it is a place of humility that may not be recognised by others.

‘Your troops will be willing on the day of battle.’

The victory becomes visible when the Lord raises up troops to fight in the day of battle. The troops are the Lord’s and they are willing to fight for Him.

‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.’

Those who have sat with God in prayer, not only participate in great victories, they are given a title of honour.

‘The Lord is at your right hand, he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.’

The victory is assured and it looks like it has been gained through this lord. Only God and the prayer warrior know that the victory was gained months or even years earlier when they sat together in prayer.