October 1, 2020
(1st, 2nd and 3rd Heavens)
Our Battle Is not with Man
Our world is in a state of flux, and sometimes it’s difficult to determine what is true and what is deception. Never has the time been so crucial for people of faith to pray and agree that only God's word is true and His truth sets us free! I have had opportunities to take part in group prayers both live and by Zoom/Conference calls, and it sounds counter productive at times when brothers pray against certain individuals or political parties.
So how are we supposed to pray? A good place to begin is found in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 of the Gospels where Jesus answered His disciples who ask Him how to pray to the Father, "…Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:19-23 that Jesus was placed in a position "… far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given… And God placed all things under His feet ..." In Ephesians 2:6 Paul affirmed, "... God raised us up together and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus."
If God wants His will done on earth as it is in heaven, and we are seated with Jesus in heavenly realms, then what?
First, our fight is not with the people (rioters, looters, politicians) we see on TV or social media- people we reason to be unrighteous. The fight is with unseen spiritual forces. How well we know the words in Ephesians 6:11-12; "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. [Because] our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Now for a little bit of spiritual astrophysics. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 "... I will come to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who 14 years ago was caught up to the third heaven." The third heaven is where God resides and where we, as believers, are seated with Christ. There are no devils or demonic forces in the third heaven, no pollution of the airwaves. Jesus said in Luke 10:18 "... I saw Satan falling like lightning from heaven." Satan was cast out of the third heaven when he and the angels who chose to follow him rebelled against God.
Well, we live on the earth and have direct exposure to the first (lowest) heaven. Satan and his fallen angels dwell in the second heaven. They have the ability to try to negatively influence the first heaven. Go back to Paul's writing in Ephesians 6 and remember that we are seated in the third heaven with heaven’s supernatural weapons. They are far superior to any power in the second heaven. We may physically live in the earthly first heaven realm, but as born-again Christians we have access to third heaven power and authority.
We recognize there are political parties and individuals today who are not operating to the benefit of God's people (or anyone but themselves for that matter). Our battle is not with them, but with the powers from the second heaven negatively influencing them. As an example, in Daniel 10:10-15, it took Daniel 21 days to receive a response to his prayers of intercession. What hindered his prayers? The Prince of Persia. It was not a physical battle here on earth, but a spiritual battle in the second heaven.
As we invite the guidance of the Holy Spirit when we pray, remember what Paul said, "our struggle is not against flesh and blood ..." We are exhorted in 1 Timothy 2, to pray and give thanks for all men… “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”. Jesus died for the whole world, not just the people we like.
Let’s take our rightful place next to Jesus and pray from a third heaven perspective with power and authority. When we do, we can take control over Satan and the demonic influences. That will change the world around us! When the love that the Father has for Jesus is demonstrated in us and through our prayers, we will see the Glory of God return to our land.
As we focus our prayer life through our growing relationship with the Father, let us pray for grace, mercy, peace and above all- love. Instead of name calling or debasing comments, pray for renewed hearts and new hope. Then the people blinded by deception will be free to receive the love and salvation of God.
Praying God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven can be a force for change.
Alan Schmook, President
Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship in America™