Rule In The Midst Of Your Enemies
Articles - Christian Growth
by Francis Frangipane (from the Elijah List)
True peace does not come from extreme indifference, nor does it originate from becoming so "spiritual" that you fail to notice the world around you. Peace is the fruit of being confident in God's love; it is born of the revelation that, regardless of the battle, "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). You are not self-assured, you are God-assured.
The God of Peace Will Crush Satan
To wage effective spiritual warfare, we must understand and use spiritual authority. Spiritual authority, however, is not forcing your will upon another person. When you have spiritual authority, you have established God's peace in an area that once was full of conflict and oppression. Therefore, to truly be able to move in authority, we must first have peace.
The apostle Paul taught, "The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet" (Romans 16:20). When we maintain peace during warfare, it is a crushing deathblow to satanic oppression and fear. Our victory never comes from our emotions or our intellect. Our victory comes by refusing to judge by what our eyes see or our ears hear and by trusting that what God has promised will come to pass.
We will never know Christ's victory in its fullness until we stop reacting humanly to our circumstances. When you truly have authority over something you can look at that thing without worry, fear or intimidation. Your peace is the proof of your victory. Jesus' authority over the violent storm (see Matthew 8:23-27) was the exercise and expansion of His peace over the elements. He did not fight against the storm, nor did He fear it. In perfect peace, He faced its fury and subdued it with His authority.
In Pilate's court, in a world stirred to an emotional frenzy by the powers of Hell, a holy tranquility surrounded Christ – peace that was born out of His resolve to do God's will no matter what the cost. His Spirit emanated a calm that perfectly represented the peace at God's throne. In a matter of moments it was no longer Jesus who was on trial, but satan, Pilate and the religious establishment in Israel.
Satan's arsenal consists of such things as fear, worry, doubt and self-pity. Every one of these weapons robs us of peace and leaves us troubled inside. Do you want to discern where the enemy is coming against you? In the network of your relationships, wherever you do not have peace, you have war. Conversely, wherever you have peace, you have victory. When satan hurls his darts against you, the more peace you have during adversity, the more truly you are walking in Christ's victory.
Paul tells us to be "in no way alarmed by your opponents – which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you"(Philippians 1:28). Your peace, your immovable stand upon the Word of God is a sign that you are positioned correctly in focused submission to the will of God. The very fact that you are "in no way alarmed" by your adversary is a sign that you have authority over him.
Peacemakers Are Sons of God
Peace is Spirit power. Peace is an attribute of the Holy Spirit, and when you are walking in peace, you are walking in power. A peacemaker is not merely someone who protests against war; he is one who is inwardly so yielded to Christ in spirit and purpose that he can be called a son of God (see Matthew 5:9). Where he goes, God goes and where God goes, he goes. He is fearless, calm and bold. Peace emanates from him the way light and heat radiate from fire.
In the battles of life, your peace is actually a weapon. Indeed, your confidence declares that you are not falling for the lies of the devil. You see, the first step toward having spiritual authority over the adversary is having peace in spite of our circumstances. When Jesus confronted the devil, He did not confront satan with His emotions or in fear. Knowing that the devil was a liar, He simply refused to be influenced by any other voice than God's. His peace overwhelmed satan. His authority then shattered the lie, which sent demons fleeing.
Rest Before Rule
In the 23rd Psalm, David declared, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me" (verse 4). There is a place of walking with God where you simply "fear no evil." During his lifetime, David faced many enemies including a lion, a bear and a giant. In this psalm he stood in the "shadow of death" itself, yet he feared no evil. David's trust was in the Lord. He said, "You are with me." Because God is with you, every adversity you face will unfold in victory as you maintain your faith in God.
David continued, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies" (verse 5). The battle you are in will soon become a meal to you, an experience that will nourish and build you up spiritually.
Only God's peace will quell your fleshly reactions in battle. The source of God's peace is God Himself. Indeed, "before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal"(Revelation 4:6). The glass sea is a symbol: there are no ripples, no waves, no anxieties troubling God. The Lord is never worried, never in a hurry nor without an answer. The sea around Him is perfectly still and totally calm. All our victories flow out from being seated here with Him.
God is our Father. The heavenly Jerusalem is our mother, the birthplace of our new nature (see Galatians 4:26). And you, you are a beloved child of God, part of the Father's family and a member of His household (see Ephesians 2:19). You must know by revelation that you are not struggling to get into Heaven; rather, you were born there in spiritual rebirth (see John 3:1-8 AMP). Let your heart be settled and positioned correctly in your relationship with the Almighty.
To those who have been born again from above, He says, "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet" (Psalm 110:1). Before you go into warfare, recognize that it is not you that the devil is afraid of; it is Christ in you! We have been raised up and seated with Christ in heavenly places (see Ephesians 2:6). This is why the Holy Spirit continues to speak to us that worship of God is our first response in battle.
Position yourself in the presence of God. Sit, at rest, in the knowledge that Christ has already made your enemies the footstool for your feet. From a position of rest, the Word of the Lord continues, "The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, 'Rule in the midst of Your enemies'"(Psalm 110:2).
Rest precedes rule. Peace precedes power. Do not seek to rule over the devil until you are submitting to God's rule over you. The focal point of all victory comes from seeking God until you find Him, and after finding Him, allowing His presence to fill your spirit with His peace. From full assurance at His right hand, as you rest in His victory, so will you rule in the midst of your enemies.
The preceding message is adapted from a chapter in Francis' book, The Three Battlegrounds.