Go! and these signs…

“And Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18

Go – I can understand that. As we are still in the “lock-down” or “social distancing” or whatever we call this, we cannot physically go.  But with technology we can still reach the ends of the Earth.  So, Go.  And now that we have the easy part down – what about the rest?

Preach the gospel – I probably have that one down.  I have to be very careful because in the place where I work it is literally against the rules to talk about our beliefs.  Yet, I am known as the good church girl.  I started working there 6 months before I gave my life back to God. They had 6 months of me: jagged, edgy, cursing, heartless, etc.  Yet, I haven’t yet worked there for 2 years and they have forgotten the old me and I am known for who God made me into, by those I work with daily.  Preaching isn’t always speaking the Word – sometimes it is living the Word.
Preaching isn’t so much my problem – I speak the Word in truth and love far too often. I have also learned to wait on the Lord to tell me when to speak.  Yes, the Word need to come in season. God can reveal when to speak and when not to.

To every creature – um…. I talk to the puppy about Jesus all the time. But I might be crazy.

I believe and have been baptized.  I am save! And I do pray in tongues – baptized with the Holy Spirit!

BUT… where are the signs? I have not cast out demons (not for lack of trying).  I have not taken up serpents. I have not drank anything deadly. I have not laid hands on the sick and watched them recover.  Have you?  (I really hope that whole serpent thing is metaphorical, but if not I’ll do it!)

I pray that God teaches me to pray and how to do these things.  I read – reread – study the Bible, searching for how – why are these signs not following me?!?! Have I failed?

First of all – God is the all-powerful – He is love, yes, but he is MIGHTY and just. And His Day of Judgment shall come. All power, love and goodness come from him. Which is fantastic!!!

“That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:19-23 NIV

So God the Father raised Christ – put him above (which is a simple way of saying gave him the authority over) all. The he put all things under his feet, which almost sounds redundant but keep with this… He is the head.  We are the body, an entire body – we are the arms and hand, torso and legs, AND feet.  This is important because ALL THINGS are under the feet.
If all things are under the feet, then why am I not putting my foot down – not stand for the lack of miracles in my life?

Hold up!!! I am blessed – all the spectacular ways that God keeps providing for me – all of it is miraculous and God gets all the glory!  I am not undervaluing those things.  I am studying how to be a better disciple and “The signs that follow.”  

I am getting off track. God the all-powerful sets up this structure of Him at the top, then Jesus, then us followers, and then all things. God gave Jesus all authority and he gave it to us as joint heirs, as children of God. 

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” Luke 10:19 ESV

It’s time to put my foot down so to speak. Time to tread on snakes and scorpions. And did you see the next part? “And over all the power of the enemy” – All. All. ALL!

OK – So, remember when the Coronavirus wasn’t called Covid and it first appeared on our continent and depending on when you had first heard of it – I was following national news for a while and it was on my radar long before… But I would have to say it was in March, Mid-March.  All of a sudden a thick blanket covered the nation. It was like a fog. Everyone became dazed and confused – full of unbelief (in this virus) and fear.  I heard preacher after preacher say something is going on and something is happening.  Yes.  The principality (demonic forces that own territories) just swept over the entire Earth and is gaining power.

(BTW – Stop participating in the fear talk! Let’s not call this ‘uncertain times’ or ‘unprecedented times’.  We should say in such a time as this – we are here (like Esther). Or let’s say during the social distancing – while Governor Cuomo has us under a PAUSE Order – during the here and now.  I don’t know, anything except words that the media uses to sell their stories while praying on your fear and feeding this beast.)

Let be honest – prayers slowed, it was more difficult to read and pray.  The spiritual battle for Earth has been kicked up a notch.  I am hungrier for God, and learning to navigate it.
It isn’t going away, this fear.  The Bible says in the end times (and we have been in the end times for quite a while but we are definitely in the end times) fear will come over the Earth and people’s hearts will fail them from the fear.  Sorry folks. This is written in The Book – his spirit is here to stay – even with us given authority over all the powers of the enemy. We cannot stop this. But we can hold it back. We can pierce through this darkness with our Sword (the word of God) and send our prayers up. We can Pierce it back open to pray down the answers to our prayers. We can hold it back from our friends, family and church families.  (This is why I say, come Lord Jesus come! While also saying, wait, let’s get a few more people saved.)

In such a time as this we need our full armor on. We need to understand our job in this, our authority (not our power but Jesus in us and not our will, but Thy Will).  Do you understand this structure?

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NIV

Now before we run out the front door of our house and go practice casting out demons, let me remind you:
Firsthand I have learned, you should only speak when He tells you to speak and not until He tells you to speak.
And let me remind you of a group of Jews who did not quite understand – we only have authority by being a disciple of Jesus and child of God. The Power comes from Jesus’ filling and the filling of the Holy Spirit = FROM God, through Jesus, through us.

“13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 
14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 
15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 
16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”

Acts 19:13-16 NIV

You see, if you aren’t actually a child of God – it doesn’t work. But also, if you are a child of God, then the demons know about you.  They know they are subject to your authority and if they do not submit they will be dealt with by the justice of God All-Mighty. In James 2:19 the Bible shows us the demons believe in God and Jesus and the work of the cross – and shudder! They know the Bible better than we do. They are masters at manipulating it to cause you to doubt or back down.

But the time for doubt has long since passed.  It is time to be brave and bold. It’s time to “Go”.

Go ye therefore in spirit and truth – Cast out the demons – slice holes in the principalities oppressing us – Fear, you have a name – and the NAME OF JESUS is ABOVE all names – he has given me power to slice you open to let my answers to prayer through! Step aside and let the Lords messenger through, unharmed, to deliver the good news. Not by my power but by the name above names – the sweet name of Jesus who has written my name in the Lambs Book of Life! Maranatha! Amen! Glory!

Thank you Jesus – teach me more!

“Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~