How do you find out WHO you are? There are many people today that want to know their roots, hence the sale of DNA testing. We as a people need roots. Maybe that is why the Word used trees to explain people at times. We want roots, we want desperately to know where we come from, who we are, what made us, our lineage, our history. We are always searching because, I believe, God put that desire in us to search Him out. What a priceless gift from a Father that dearly loves the whole world (all people).
Yet, knowing who you are is invaluable. Sure we know we are humans, we have a history and a unique DNA that makes us…well us. Yet, there is so much more to our story than that. As a believer in Jesus Christ I truly believe when we receive His free gift we are made into a new creation in Him (2 Cor 5:17). I believe this impacts all parts of us: spirit, soul and body. Remember we have been created in His image (Gen 1:27) and now through the death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus, we once again have the ability to be whole as we rest (Sabbath) in Him. As we begin to fully understand who we are in Christ the gates of hell will not prevail.
My intention with this blog and my life is to help believers know WHO they really are and to WALK in that core understanding. Not just say it but really, truly believe it– From the INSIDE-OUT. Living with the value of who you are is the key, I believe, to binding and loosing talked about in Matthew. How do we fight…and are we on the defense or the offense???? Are we praying what the Holy Spirit has asked for us to pray or for what we want? What did Paul and the other disciples pray? I think these questions and their answers are a sign as to whether or not our core values line up with what we say we believe. These answers for myself show where I am standing and what I actually believe. Don’t think I haven’t faltered and need reminding of who I am….yet the longer I walk in the truth as the Holy Spirit nudges me I can much easier repent (change my way of thinking to God’s way) and rest in Him. Isn’t that really what we want. See God never promised us no evil days….yet He did give us weapons for the warfare so that when the evil days come we would stand–not in our strength or our righteousness or even our great big faith…..but in His.
There are a few topics that I have here: one is the binding and loosing; the armor of God; and how these tie to prayer. I think I need to start with binding and loosing, the keys to the kingdom of heaven and what this means to the believer……
A long time ago the Lord had told me that we (the Christian church) have lost our roots. I didn’t fully understand what He meant back then and I probably still don’t fully understand. But I do know He was talking about the Jewish part of our roots. So, I began studying what did Jews believe in the time of Jesus. What did the parables mean to the Jewish people in those times. How would what Jesus said or the words of Paul be taken? I had questions and I began looking for answers and have continued looking. For me the Lord has had to tear down old belief systems I had been taught as a believer; so that He could rebuild them (my understanding) on a firm foundation which begins with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ– all of what He did on the Cross and in His resurrection. When you build your house on a faulty foundation it crumbles; yet when built on the firm foundation of the Truth you can withstand any storm. What is so interesting to me is once I understood the foundation of exactly WHAT Jesus accomplished in His death and resurrection when I went back to the readings I had done in the past, which I hadn’t really understood, now all of a sudden were clear. They made sense!!!! It fit together like a beautiful puzzle. I was amazed…so much so that I began to cry for the beauty of God and His plan.
This is the clarity I want to share with you. This is a simple foundational truth. There have been things that I was taught to believe and things I was taught not to believe; I am now finding out were not built on the foundational truth of the New Covenant. The things I am sharing here are the rebuilding that God is doing starting on the right foundation.
Two years ago this is what I wrote:
The church was birthed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that realign those that believe/trust (faith) in Who Jesus is, back into the lineage of Abraham’s righteousness through faith (believe/trust). #grace
This is such a foundational truth that I didn’t see its fullness (maybe still don’t) until now. A friend had asked me my opinion on binding and loosing and I didn’t realize at the time this was going to tie into everything I have written thus far. I went to one of my favorite books,” Jesus The Jewish Theologian”(*) written by Brad H. Young. I am going to utilize this book to help our understanding of Jewish understanding back in the time of Jesus walking this earth. The scripture we are looking at is in Matthew 16, specifically verses 13-20. This is when Jesus asks the disciples Who He is and Peter answers, “you are Christ the Son of the living God.” One of the elements we need to understand as Gentiles is that when a student answered an intriguing question correctly the disciple would be given a blessing by the teacher or rabbi. This is exactly what happened to Peter with Jesus. Jesus’ next words are, ” Blessed are you Simon bar Jonah….”. Here is the blessing:
“And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”” Matthew 16:17-19 NASB
Just like Abraham was considered the foundation stone or ‘little rock to Israel (remember Abraham’s faith or trust in God was accounted to Him as righteousness). “According to Jewish thought Abraham was the foundation stone upon which other stones would be constructed into a living community of faith. Abrahams faith in the one true God of Israel provided the foundation.”, * pg. 201. When we understand this we can see how Jesus was explaining the New Covenant to His disciples. “Like Abraham, Peter possessed faith; he also recognized the character of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was of God. He was anointed to fulfill the divine purpose. He was the anointed one of God. Peter’s faith is the foundation stone of God’s witnessing congregation of believers. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the people of God.”, * pg 201. As believers in Jesus, knowing exactly who we are in Him helps us to understand:
- The gates of hell are not weapons attacking the people of God but the contrary.
- God’s people should be plundering or attacking the strongholds of the enemy.
- When we acknowledge the foundation of the kingdom=faith, belief, trust in Who Jesus is—-NOTHING CAN STOP YOU–JUST LIKE PETER
As believers, we need to understand both what the keys are and what binding and loosing entails. We need to understand our righteousness in and of our own self (our behavior) doesn’t make us powerful (that is living in the law); BUT our FAITH in Him, Jesus, causes us to be righteous. This righteousness then gives us the authority in the earth realm (keys to the kingdom of heaven) to prohibit (bind) or allow (loose) on earth. We have keys to the kingdom of heaven ONLY because of what Jesus Christ did on the Cross for us. What we declare on earth has the power of Heaven with it.
Now I need to make this a little clearer because well…I have to. As disciples of Jesus we do what we see or hear Him doing. This means that our prayers will be Holy Spirit led not ‘me or man led’. There is a difference and not many believers want it this way. So many times I have been told by a person what they want prayed….and many time the Holy Spirit has led me a different way. I have story upon story like this. When I have prayed the way the Lord has asked me to than those things have come to pass….just the way He has told me. Here is why:
“For Jesus, the kingdom of heaven is:
- The power of God-that is, God doing what he wants.
- The people of God- that is people doing what God wants.”,*pg.202
This is an extension of Jesus’ ministry. Many times people think doing what God wants equates to behavior…but what it really means is following Him through His Spirit within you to bring about His Master plan. Simply staying connected to the vine. His master plan is for the whole world to know Who He is and for us to know who we become (a new creation in Him) when we have faith or trust in Who He says He is. So, I follow Him as He followed God and this puts me in the stance of offense not defense in my position of prayer because I have received the same blessing as Peter for my trust and the gates of hell will not prevail. 🍷
Define Prevail: verb (used without object)
1. to be widespread or current; exist everywhere or generally:
Silence prevailed along the funeral route.
2. to appear or occur as the more important or frequent feature or element; predominate:
Green tints prevail in the upholstery.
3. to be or prove superior in strength, power, or influence (usually followed by over):
They prevailed over their enemies in the battle.
4. to succeed; become dominant; win out:
to wish that the right side might prevail.
5. to use persuasion or inducement successfully:
He prevailed upon us to accompany him.
There are a couple more posts I will be tackling to finish my other points and questions…..stay tuned
*=Quotes taken from Jesus The Jewish Theologian, Brad H. Young