God descended to reveal Himself through His Son to enable us to put on God in our humanity to become His sons and daughters and move in His power in this and the future world.
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18) is the claim made by our Lord and Savior before ascending to the heavens to be seated at the right hand of God the Father. This was not a vain claim made to impress the listeners but a statement to empower the believers for “He gave them the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Added to this is the promise made by God “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Joshua was appointed as leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death and God made a similar promise to him with strong advise to ‘Fear not’ and these two words are repeated five times in the same chapter. The Israelites had crossed the flooded river Jordan and were now poised to conquer the Promised Land. After circumcising all males, as commanded by God, Joshua moved out of the camp to reconnoiter the Jericho city defenses and prepare his plan. That is when he has an encounter with the “Commander of the heavenly host”.
This encounter provides many answers for us in our battles in life. Joshua suddenly finds ‘a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand’. His question about whose side is He on, them or their enemies, is met with a strange answer, “Neither, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come”. Lord Jesus is the Commander of the heavenly army and this Divine visit was in confirmation to the promise of God. The Commander does not fight for or against, “He takes charge of the battle” and others follow His directions. Joshua worships Him, takes off his sandals in submission and seeks guidance “What message does my Lord have for His servant”. Joshua receives his war plan for Jericho and explicitly follows the orders to emerge victorious (Joshua 5:13-15).
In like manner Jesus is forever willing to lead us in our battles, whatever be the case, for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is unchangeable and so are His promises. He dwells in us with the Holy Spirit and works His power in and through us to win battles for us. The right is given only to those who are ready to “believe and receive”. The story of the woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years is illustrative of this. As per the law, she was declared unclean with exact directions not to mingle with others. She had lost almost everything- money, health, family and social prestige and Jesus was her only hope. She took courage and moved in violation of established tradition to “touch His garment” to be made well. She had received her healing but the Lord wanted to give it to her as a matter of her right and not by stealth. As a result she gets “wholeness” which is much more than physical healing “Matthew 9:20-22).
Invariably the question we are asked is about the reason for not getting what was prayed for including healing from sickness. “You do not have because you do not ask. You do not receive because you ask with wrong motives” (James 4:2-3). Most of the time we do not ask for we think; we do not deserve or our sins are far too many or why would God answer our prayers or the demand is too audacious. The Lord was categorical in telling the sick woman mentioned above “Your faith has made you well”. St. James, the brother of our Lord, mentions the same thing “ask in faith, without doubting, for he who doubt s is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6). Jesus cast out the evil spirit from a young boy and “the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead”. But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him, and he arose” (Mark 9:26-27).
The Lord has defeated Satan and after undergoing great sufferings in His human form, to prove the lies of Satan being untrue, regained the lost dominion power. The empty tomb and the large “cloud of witnesses” is proof of this victory. As believers we are blessed by His very presence in and with us always and in every situation. He is not with us to witness what is happening to us in our lives- He can do that from heaven itself, for He is omnipresent and omniscient- the all knowing God. His presence is to empower us, for He first declares His authority over everything and then says “Therefore, go”. He gives us his power to act on by His Divine authority and His presence in us- that is why “Ask in My name” command. For it is His Name that has the authority and we move in ‘His Name’; the name of the Commander of the Lord’s army.
Right from the time of creation, “Our one need is, to know Jesus better; the one cure for all our feebleness, to look to Him on the throne of heaven, and really claim the heavenly life He waits to impart” Andrew Murray in “THE HOLIEST OF ALL”. Without having that deep intimacy, neither would the surrender be possible nor acceptable to Him.
Before receiving His authority, all that He demands is “Take off your sandals”; surrender to His authority and accept Him as Lord and Savior. Then and only then is He going to “move ahead of you to straighten the crooked paths, to break open the doors of brass and break the bars of iron” (Isaiah 45:2).
Are you ready to move in His mighty power to defeat your foes (the demonic forces of evil) and regain control over your life and claim back what you have lost!!!