[notice]Henda Marais is in Israel serving as a part time tour guide at one of the more recent biblical excavations next to the Sea of Galilea, Magdala – the home town of Mary Magdelene. While in Jerusalem, sounds of gunfire in the Old City reminded her that we as believers in Jesus Christ are all in a war to defend our inheritance.[/notice]
Israel is still the promised land today. Historically a place to follow in the footprints of the nation of Israel coming out of bondage (Egypt) into the land (Canaan) of promise, prophetically foreshadowing the journey of every believer from bondage and slavery into our inheritance: the presence and blessing of God and fellowship with Him.
As in the days of David, Nehemia, Gideon and Joshua, the people of the land of Israel are still in warfare every day – protecting their inheritance. Two days ago, I could hear gunshots from my flat not far from Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem and I knew immediately it was another onslaught by the enemy trying to steal, kill and destroy the peace of Jerusalem and its people. Ambulance sirens followed shortly and the next day I read the news of the shooting – two people killed at the Damascus Gate.
Knowing our Commander
I realised again that just as Jerusalem and the nation of Israel is in a war, every believer in Jesus Christ has to be on constant alert against the onslaught of the enemy that wants to steal, kill and destroy our inheritance in Christ. Failure to be alert and armed could mean death! For effective warfare we need to know our Commander (the Holy Spirit), the sound of His voice, His battle plan, and our enemy. We need to be able to discern the voice, the works and fruit of the enemy and stop his plans before it ends in death.
Many times we experience failure, setbacks, frustration and no breakthrough in various realms of influence because of strategically placed principalities and powers opposing the works of the Kingdom of heaven. For breakthrough we need to enter seasons where we contend with the enemy in the gates and we must not be satisfied until we have overwhelming victory. Sometimes we stop just before the breakthrough or even when the first signs of breakthrough can be seen. We are overcomers and to overcome is our portion, but we must let go of ignorance, shame, double mindedness and a form of godliness without power if we want to win the battle.
Peter warned us in 1 Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
It was prayer that opened the prison doors
The church is powerless if we are not plugged into the power source which is the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus overcame Satan in the wilderness He was empowered by the Holy Spirit AND He still spent nights in prayer in the mountains. Before the disciples were sent out, they were empowered by the Holy Spirit and even during their journeys and times of persecution they had to pray continuously for guidance and instruction form the Holy Spirit and for boldness. When they were persecuted and in prison, it was prayer that opened the prison doors. Like Jesus they had set hours of prayer and consequently a lifestyle of miracles, while combatting and overcoming the demonic. The kingdom of heaven, characterised by the power of the Holy Spirit, invaded every sphere of influence in cities and many came to salvation.
What they experienced then, is our portion today! The more we surrender to the Holy Spirit, the more sensitive we will become and the more strategic and powerful our warfare will be. To be empowered by the Holy Spirit we have to set apart extended times of prayer (and fasting). Ten minutes a day is not enough! We need to be trained as soldiers and only times of deep intercession, listening to our Commander for instructions, can equip us for warfare and miracles.
A fruitless fig tree
Once when Jesus was in Jerusalem He visited the temple. He became very angry when He saw that the temple had become a place for buying and selling instead of prayer. He drove out all the buyers and sellers and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves, saying to them, “My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” The next morning, as He again returned to Jerusalem, He became hungry and saw a fig tree with no fruit, only leaves. He cursed the fig tree for not having fruit, and immediately the fig tree withered away. His disciples were astonished that the fig tree withered away so quickly and Jesus then gave them a lesson on prayer and faith.
Our lives sometimes become fruitless and faithless because we are not praying. The world system of which the enemy is the father, is designed to keep us in bondage as slaves. We have to overcome his strategies by engaging in extended times of prayer, seeking the presence and power of God that will enable us to overcome the enemy and protect and experience a foretaste of our inheritance. While we will be enjoying His presence, His life-giving water will result in a fruitful life. If not, we will become like the fig tree and wither away.
It is time to fight for your inheritance!