He Overcomes! . . . The Promise of Luke 1019

soldiers in a prayer circleOften when I pass out my ministry card to people they ask, “What’s the 1019 stand for?”

I respond with Luke 10:19 where Jesus says to His disciples,

I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (NIV)

It’s a truth that is central to our faith yet seemingly known by few and lived out by fewer.

I run into believer after believer, ministry leader after ministry leader, and church after church who are more comfortable with explaining away or misdiagnosing spiritual oppression in their life and in the life of their church body rather than calling it for what it is and biblically dealing with it through a long season of prayer, typically 40 days.

I’m not talking about looking for a demon behind every rock nor am I seeking to simplify the complex spiritual attacks which often beset us.

I am challenging us as believers to take the example given us in Mark 9:14-29 where Jesus explains to His disciples concerning the demonic spirit that they couldn’t drive out of a boy,

And He said to them,“This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:29

When we’re unwilling to deal with spiritual oppression through a long season of prayer, we spiritually limp around beset by fierce spiritual attack the remains undealt with.

Is the enemy coming against your church body with a flood of spiritual warfare and attack? Is. 59:19

If so, then it is possible that the enemy has established a stronghold or a series of strongholds that can be dealt with through a 40-day prayer focus.

Are you a pastor or ministry leader who is silently struggling with:

  • heavy depression
  • weighty and unexplainable emotional struggle
  • repetitive and persisting spiritual attacks
  • unexplainable delays in personal and spiritual progress

Prayerfully consider if spiritual oppression is a hidden reason behind these things (Mark 4:22). Consider a 40-day prayer focus.

We follow a Leader and Guide who wears the victor’s crown! He has overcome and has given us authority to overcome all the power of the enemy!

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For More: Does Your Calling Compel You to Live with Urgency

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Pastors, Has the Enemy Come In Like a Flood?

WRR mudslideWhen the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. — Is. 59:19 (KJV)

I had the privilege of interceding over a pastors’ conference at Wind River Ranch in Estes Park, Colorado during the rain and flooding of early September.

When I arrived at the ranch on Monday prior to the arrival of the pastors and their wives, Father directed me to intercede several times up and down the main road that ran through ranch. Father continued to have me do this daily. By Thursday morning the road was becoming a steadily moving stream. By Thursday afternoon, the road I had walked became a raging river and the first mudslide roared down the mountain into the ranch.

As the ranch staff, pastors and their wives used shovels, a tractor, and a bulldozer to shore up the land on either side of the road to prevent further erosion and more extensive flooding, Father had me continue to intercede on whatever dry land I could find, praying His promises found in Isaiah 59:19 and 1 Kings 18:37.

Thursday night at 11:15 PM a second mud/landslide of a three-to-four foot wall of water and thousands of pine trees raced down the mountainside. The roads and land sustained a great deal of damage, yet none of the 70 staff and guests were injured nor were the ranch’s buildings or cabins damaged.

As I think back on what God accomplished in our midst, I wonder how many of us are praying for, looking for and expectantly anticipating God to raise up a standard against the Enemy when he comes in like a flood.

Is the Enemy coming against your church body with a flood of spiritual warfare and attack?

If so, then it is possible that the Enemy has established a stronghold or a series of strongholds that can be dealt with through a 40-day prayer focus.

10 ways to Keep Going When You’re Taking Spiritual Ground [Called Series]

knight kneelingYou know you’re committed when you don’t turn back when the spiritual backlash comes with fiendish ferocity while you’re taking spiritual ground.

Some years ago, I was teaching at a Christian school. During one of the daily staff devotional times, I heard the Enemy menacingly say in my ear five times,

“I will silence you.”

What followed in the next year was the most ugly betrayal and fiercest personal and spiritual attack I have experienced in my Christian walk of 30+ years. Several times I was tempted to give in and be silent.

Being a part of taking spiritual ground is a sure way to experience fierce spiritual attack to the point that you will be tempted to be silent. A common way spiritual attack will come is through personal attacks from people who know and love us, often who are dear Christian brothers and sisters.

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.

But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers. – Psalm 55:12-14 (NIV)

As He was taking spiritual ground, Jesus experienced the fierce spiritual attack. Judas, one of His beloved disciples, who had co-labored by His side day in, day out for three years betrayed him (Luke 22:1-5, 47-53). People who He had taught, healed, and loved turned back and no longer followed Him (John 6:60-70).

So how do you continue on when you’re experiencing the inevitable spiritual attack that comes with taking spiritual ground?

  • Surround yourself with truth
  • Receive support from your foxhole friends
  • Battle with praise
  • Focus your gaze on what is unseen (2 Cor 4:16-18)
  • Pray Scripture
  • Let the Healer bandage your battle wounds
  • Fix your eyes on what God has called you to (Does Your Calling Consume You?)
  • Remember those who have battled before you (Heb 12:1-3)
  • Fight from victory not for victory – The Invisible War, Chip Ingram
  • Give grace when others don’t understand or minimize what you’re going through

Read More: Finishing (Adventures in Faith series)

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Do You Long to Experience More of Jesus? [Called Series]

abounding explorationMore of Jesus . . . we long to experience more of Him as we grow closer to Him. Jesus longs for you to experience more of Himself too.

Yet often when Jesus leads us into an experience of more of Himself we hold back.

If more of Jesus is truly what we are longing for it will involve the:

  • Stretching of our faith
  • Deepening of our prayer life
  • Strengthening of our willingness to obey His voice at a moment’s notice
  • Developing a daily practice of going to places and into situations that He is inviting us to join Him in

In our longing, Jesus’ offer to us is often that of Jeremiah 33:3

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Also see Colossians 2:1-3)

In answer to our longing, Jesus invitation to our hearts is often that of Isaiah 50:4-5 (ESV)

The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. 

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward.

And yet in both Jesus’ offer and invitation to our longing, sadly we do turn backward and go no further.

In my work as a prophetic intercessor, partnering and interacting with ministry leaders, I have the privilege of interacting with many mature believers who have long ago committed their lives to serving and following Jesus wholeheartedly and unwaveringly.

Again and again through conversation, I have heard their heart cry of longing to experience Jesus in a deeper way.

In talking with one of my mentors and friends, a pastor of 30+ years, he described this tug-of-war of the heart as:

All I know Angela is that if you’re crazy, then I must be just as crazy as you. We all long for more of God and biblical Christianity, and then when Father reveals Himself and speaks, we question and doubt.

It is in our questions and doubts that we have the opportunity to go forward in faith or backward into our comfort zone.

Jesus always has and always will challenged His dearly Beloved children’s comfort zones.

What comfort zone is Jesus confronting in your life?

What comfortable beliefs is Jesus challenging in your heart?

Like the father of the son with a demonic spirit, do you need to cry:

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Is Jesus reassuring your heart as He did with Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue whose daughter was dying:

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Jesus longs for you to experience more of Himself and His hand is reaching out for you to take hold and join Him in an adventure that will transform your heart and life to the point that you will never be the same.

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Does Your Calling Compel You to Live with Urgency? [Called Series]

sunset of decisionAt the end of the day, what are you living for? What compels you? What drives you?

Does your calling compel you to live with urgency?

I lived the first 32 years of my life with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression. In 2007, Father miraculously set me free from this oppression.

I am compelled to live every day with an urgency to be a part of Father’s work of bringing freedom to His dearly Beloved sons and daughters who also live with a high degree of spiritual oppression.

I grew up in Asia where my parents were missionaries until I was eight years old. Upon our return to the United States I thought my experiences of recurring nightmares of being strangled by a demonic presence, uncontrollable shaking, and hearing driven voices telling me to do things were just part of the spiritual attack that comes along with being a follower of Christ. When these attacks would occur, I would rebuke the Enemy “in the name of Jesus” and eventually the attacks would subside.

In 2003, I started going through a series of 3 four-hour prayer sessions with the Omaha Vineyard intercessory prayer team. As they prayed over me, it became evident that I was dealing with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression that stemmed from the time my family spent in Asia.

I struggled with why God had allowed me to live with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression for 32 years. In the process of Father freeing me from this spiritual oppression, He showed me how many of His dearly Beloved sons and daughters live with a substantial amount of spiritual oppression. Specifically, how many pastors and ministry leaders are silently struggling with a great deal of spiritual oppression that is often masked as:

  • heavy depression
  • weighty and unexplainable emotional struggle
  • repetitive and persisting spiritual attacks
  • unexplainable delays in personal and spiritual progress

Are you a pastor or ministry leader who is dealing with the above?

Prayerfully consider if spiritual oppression is a hidden reason behind these things (Mark 4:22). Consider a 40 Day Prayer Focus.

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Does Your Calling Consume You? [Called Series]

flight

And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ . . . – Ephesians 4:11-12 (ESV)

Does your calling consume you?

In your every waking moment, do you know what He has created you for?

Are you daily and hourly walking in your calling?

The weight of your calling can be likened to an airplane — it is indeed weighty in regard to its responsibility.

Luke 12:48 speaks to this tension:

Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Yet the enabling power Father has so richly bestowed on you is much like how an aircraft is able to take off and fly tens of thousands of feet in the sky.

2 Corinthians 9:8 describes this promise:

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (NIV)

The prophet Jeremiah’s calling consumed him:

“If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.'” – Jeremiah 20:9

The combination of the pressures of our lives, the demands of ministry, and the inevitable discouragement from those who don’t understand, believe in or appreciate our calling, at times can feel like an unbearable weight.

As a prophetic intercessor, the weight of my calling often weighs heavy on my heart and mind. During a particular heavy season of spiritual and personal attack, the weight of my calling seemed unbearable.

I was sitting on the stairs in my deserted place of work. I held out my hands and prayed, “Father this calling is too heavy, please take it back.”

As I prayed, I sensed a weight was lifted from out of my outstretched hands and yet in its place a feeling of a vacuum. After a half hour passed Father spoke, “You have no idea what stood in the balance of eternity with your request.”

And as the weight returned to the palms of my hands Father continued, “Never give your gift back to Me again.”

In the here and now, it often seems easier to lay our calling aside than to continue on in it.

And yet only by daily embracing our calling, only moment by moment letting Father’s calling on our lives consume our waking moments will we be able to say with confidence and passion along with the apostle Paul:

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7

Standing in the balance of eternity – does your calling consume you?

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40 Day Prayer Focuses for Churches & Ministries: Targeting Spiritual Warfare

Prayer and PraiseThe Question:

Is your church body or ministry being faced with an abnormal amount of spiritual warfare and attack?

If so, then it is possible that the Enemy has established a stronghold or a series of strongholds that can be dealt with through a 40 Day prayer focus.

Is your church body or ministry living in the victory of these promises?

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; He answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of His right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. – Psalm 20:6-8

There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens to help you and on the clouds in His majesty.  The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.  He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, “Destroy him!” – Deuteronomy 33:26-27

“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him.  “For there are more on our side than on theirs!”  Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!”  — 2 Kings 6:16-17

The Need:

The following questions are for your leadership team to consider as you pray and discern.

1. What strongholds has the Enemy possibly been able to fortify a position of attack against our church or ministry?

2. Have there been any ongoing, undealt-with sins amongst our leadership?

There’s no formula to determine these, they must be revealed to you by the Spirit of the Living God.

For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. – Mark 4:22

3. Is there a spiritual heaviness that’s very noticeable on our church or ministry campus?

4. Have we noticed a pattern of repeated satanic attack during a similar time or against a specific ministry area?

5. In last decade or so of our church or ministry history, can we identify undealt-with sins that have created a figurative pile of dysfunction, disorder, disclosed and hidden things, death, and decay that have been “swept under the rug,” glossed over, and ignored. Has God been trying to get our attention concerning it so that He can bring healing, wholeness and redemption?

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. – Proverbs 28:13

6. Are we consistently grieving the Holy Spirit by our unwillingness to allow Him to move in biblical but also supernatural ways within our body?

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

7. As leadership do we have hearts of stone that Jesus needs to turn into hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26)? As leadership are we in the consistent practice of listening to God?

The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.

He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears,
and I have not been rebellious;
I have not drawn back. – Isaiah 50:4-5

8. Is our church or ministry in a “life or death” spiritual battle that needs a 2 Chronicles 20:12-17 victory?

9. Are we on the brink of Father using our church body in mighty way?

What promises has Father spoken over our church body? What has He impressed upon our hearts as to what He is about to do in our midst?

 For thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.” – Isaiah 49:25

The Bottom Line:

Jesus wants to use your church body or ministry mightily for the saving of many lives (Genesis 50:20), but first requires that we rid ourselves of any existing piles of death and curses (Deuteronomy 30:19-20) so we can stand against the enemies coming against us (Joshua 7:13, Ephesians 6:12-13).  Dealing with the spiritual strongholds or getting rid of your pile will follow clearly-stated biblical principles. At the same time, your church’s or your ministry’s 40 Day Prayer Focus will be tailor-fit by Jesus’ guidance and direction.

40 Day Prayer Support given through our 40 Day workbook and through 4 meetings (more meetings may be necessary depending on situation) which can be done via phone or online video call.

Angela Sansone is a knowledgeable, experienced, Spirit-led, and biblically-directed intercessor. She provides invaluable support and direction as well as helpful follow-up during 40 Day prayer process. Angela humbly assisted and supported our leadership team with written helps as well as interceding alongside us. She stood by us before, during, and after 40 Day process. — Artie Davis, Lead Pastor Cornerstone Church

40 Days in Bible:

Moses – Ex 24:18, Num 14: 34, Exploring the Promised Land – Num 13:25, Elijah – 1 Kings 19:8, Goliath vs. Israelites – 1 Sam 17:16, Jesus – Mt 4:1-2

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