Prayer is Warfare
December 6, 2015
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #467.
(Carole) So, I went to Ephesians 3:17, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with the saints, all the saints, what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” And then, because Martha brought this Scripture in several weeks ago, and it’s just reverberating in me, which is Colossians 2:9 and 10. This is the proclamation. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” And that is the, that is the reality. That is the reality of the Kingdom, which I have not believed in. I come to the crisis of my total inability, my nothingness, that I have nothing, and I have a choice to make. I go to the flesh and my faith in my flesh, which is convoluted, confusing, hopeless or I go to the Truth, which is that I am in Christ, “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” That is Who I go to and wait for that Godhead in me, that fullness in me to speak. I believe it in Martha. I believe it in John. I see it in Jen. I don’t have any problem with that, but the battle is to believe that that is the truth about me.
(Martha) We don’t have to be anything, because He is everything. It doesn’t matter how little we have. And in fact, the poverty in spirit, those who are poor in spirit have the Kingdom. But as I’m looking at the Bible in the perspective of, “God, show me the pictures of warfare.” One of the major ones is Gideon, and it represents what we’ve been talking about. It represents something even bigger than what we’ve shared, but Gideon was called. He was a scared man, hiding from the Syrian invasion, and God called him through the Captain of the Hosts to go to war. And he had 10,000 men, if I remember right. And the Lord put them to a test that had to do with drinking water that exposed whether they were they were number 1, afraid or had a divided heart, whether they were going to save self or whether they were going to fight for God. Those were the issues of fear and a divided heart. If you go to war and your heart is divided, you will save yourself, not your comrades, and you will not die. You will save yourself. And that’s that wonderful series, “A Band of Brothers” that I’m going through, considering a lot of things with that and what when you are in a war you become brothers. You have a brotherhood. But really, their training sifted out those of a divided heart, and those who are afraid. So when God got through sifting, He had only 300 men, and that is a picture of warfare, folks. We don’t war by strength. We war by purity of heart, that will do whatever the Lord calls for, that will die for Him, die to Him and to self. And so that qualifies you for war, and if you don’t that have that settled, you will not be able to fight the enemy. So God has in this group sifted, sifted down and sifted out those who want self and want God for self, and those who are so afraid that they’re hysterical among us.
(Jennifer) And it’s a never ending sifting. It keeps on going, so really, the biggest separation is who will continue to be sifted and who will not. That really is what it is. It’s one thing to say, “Oh, yes, yes, I want all of this.” And it’s another thing to step into the life that is sifted. And that means there is no, there is no day you’re going to wake up, and all is well and you don’t need God, and you don’t need anybody and anything because you are superman or superwoman. There’s no such thing, so if there’s a life of contemplative prayer, there is likewise the life of the cross, which is a life that is sifted day in and day out. And really the people who come in and leave are ones who don’t want a life that the sifting never stops.
(Martha) Great, great, Jennifer.
(J) The thing is about my writings, is that I thought I was a pauper, and God says, “You’re not poor enough.” That was the issue. I came as a pauper. I was writing as a pauper, but He was like, “No, no, not poor enough. I want you to have nothing. You think that you have something, because you have nothing.” You know, there’s a line that, you know, He’s saying, “Here, I want you at zero,” but I was at negative 32. Someone else could be at positive 85, but because I had something, I had my poverty. I had the pauperness.
(Martha) You had your effort. That was all you had. You had nothing behind the effort, but you had the effort.
(J) I could try.
(Martha) You could try. Remember when God said to you, “Effort is blasphemy?”
(Martha) And Nee has something; I couldn’t quote it accurately. But he made a statement. He said, “From this day, Lord, I will not try.” So, what do you do? You believe, and when you believe, you receive. You receive nothing until you believe. When you believe, then you receive. When you need, when you need, you don’t have it. But when you need and you believe He has it, and has given it, then you’ve got it. It’s the prosperity that Nehemiah prayed for, and that’s why he knew that God would prosper him. God would proper him, not me. So that’s our uniqueness as a little tiny army in nowhere.
(J) Well, Nehemiah, he didn’t say, “We’re going to build this beautiful wall. We’re going to fortress ourselves.” No, he said, “God is going to do this.” And that was his rebuttal to all the enemy’s blah, blah, blah is “No, God’s going to do this.”
(Martha) His mark was, “The hand of God is on me.” His life was a life of prayer. Go read it. That’s his secret. His secret was prayer, not courage, prayer. And he could commune with God, and he could hear Him and know what to do. But see, war is about prayer more than anything else, because in the prayer you get the courage, and in prayer you get the faith. In prayer you find the direction. In prayer you do everything, you get everything. And prayer according to Sparks is like breathing. It should be so, such a flow of the unconscious, and it can be without your even knowing that you’re living in prayer. That’s what is means, “Pray without ceasing.” But it’s the Spirit in you praying. He brings somebody to mind as you’re driving. He brings somebody else to mind when you’re cooking. He brings someone else to mind. The Spirit in you, if you allow Him to be the source of prayer, He is always praying.
(Jennifer) And what I confess I have been shocked by is how much less energy it takes to be on somebody other than me, to be where He wants me to be, then to be on myself. It is exhausting when I’m on myself, when I’m on my life, when I’m on what I can’t do, what I can’t do well, what I haven’t done, what I still need to do, what I failed to do, blah, blah. It literally sucks the marrow out of my bones. Whereas when I’m in Him and off me, then I have all the energy and all the time to pray for 10,000 people in one day. It is nothing, it’s not exhausting. It’s energizing.
(Carole) As we’re talking about Nehemiah, as we’re looking at the sifting, as we’re looking at how the Lord has brought us down into our nothingness and helplessness, I’m just seeing the picture in Scripture of how Israel left God through their rebellion and went to other gods, and their heart became more and more and more divided until the judgment of God came and said, “Ok, enough.” And he allowed Nebuchadnezzar to come in and destroy the Temple, the rule of God. He allowed him to come in and destroy the walls of protection around that rule and government of God, and the people were taken into captivity for seventy years. And He raised up men with a heart for God to pray for the rebuilding of that Temple, that rule, that government of God and those walls of protection, and He sent back Nehemiah. But the thing was all those, all those walls had to be torn down. All the faith and all the wrong things and all the faith and all their idols were torn down in order to finally bring back the rule of God again in the people, the protection, the walls of faith around that government and that realm. I’m just seeing such a picture of that is what He does in each of our lives. Everyday He is doing, working that scenario in our lives.
(Martha) And what I’m seeing for the first time is all that pressure that He put on Israel, all that breaking and destruction; and He comes to, He does come to destroy in your life.
(J) It’s a crushing.
(Martha) It’s a crushing… Produced Nehemiah, produced Daniel, produced Shadrach and Meshach and Abednigo. That pressure produced the sterling ones, who would bring it back in on God’s terms and be rebuilt on the right ground.
(Jennifer) No diamonds without pressure.
(Martha) No pearls without irritation.
(J) Jennifer was saying about the sifting and how the sifting that you’re sifted down to a point that there is absolutely no possibility of anything but God, and that how Gideon basically brought in these men and sent home sifted, sifted men and said, “Go home, go home, you’re fearful. Go home. You’ve got a double loyalty. You’re on your farm and you’ve got a harvest, so you go home.” And then he boils it down to the 300 men, which was an impossibility. There was no way 300 men could take down the whole. So he boils it down so it’s an utter impossibility. And so, I just thought that, you know, basically he took them down to a zero level. He sent home all the people that were beneath – saying “I can’t do this,” for whatever reason. He took down all the people that said I’ve got more than, you know, enough on me. I’ve gotta be doing this and this and this, and he took those… He just took the 300 to defeat the what? The Midianites? How many Midianites were there?
(Jennifer) That’s a heck of a drop!
(J) Sure enough!
(Martha) Ok, wait a minute though first. There’s something really important that happened before he was reduced. He’s called. The Angel of the Lord comes to Gideon and calls him, “The Lord is with you O valiant warrior.” And he wasn’t, because he’d been cowering in fear. If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened? Where are all the miracles of our fathers? The Lord looked at him and said,” and this could very well be a Christophany, an appearance of Christ, “Go, do this in your strength and deliver Israel from the land of Midian. Have I not sent you?” And then he says, “But I don’t have that strength. I’m the least. I’m in the least tribe.” And he says, “But the Lord said to him, surely I will be with you and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” So Gideon said, “If I’ve found favor, what is the sign that you’ll give me?” He did all this, not necessary here. But, you see, Gideon knew he couldn’t go in his strength.
(J) He said “I’m a pauper,” and He says, “You’re not poor enough; let’s take it down even further.”
(Martha) After that he comes to have only 300 chosen, chosen men; chosen because they chose. I just think it’s so funny that the Lord says, “Go in your strength,” and he says, “Oh, I don’t have any.” And so He says, “I’m with you.” The fact that He’s with you…
(Jennifer) The Lord was able to be with him because Gideon was in reality about himself. He told the truth about himself as far as he knew it. And that’s the thing. We may see through a mirror darkly; that’s the truth. I can’t even see the full truth, but I can tell the truth in so much as I can see it. That I can do. And he was rewarded for that.