EXPANDING and RECOVERING
For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak (Isaiah 59:17).
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17)
Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—2 My lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me (Psalm 144:1-2).
There are many different types of TV shows: Cops, drama, news, comedies, and reality. Reality shows abound today. One of the originals had to do with restoration. Houses, furniture, cars, you name it, it was being restored. What about people? How does a person get restored?
This is important because the personal pursuit of God in salvation is the only way to ultimately realize the highest fulfillment of His purpose for us. Some things may continue to be refined in you for years, which is why we are to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2).
SALVATIONS AIM: RESTORATION FROM REJECTION
The spirit of this present age operates under an assumption of rejection. It began when Adam rejected his relationship with the LORD, choosing Eve (temporal pleasure) over God (eternal fellowship). In my opinion, rejection is the primary cause of most soul wounds that we need to be saved from. There are two primary types of rejection that we can identify:
1) Direct rejection: This type of rejection is overt and purposeful. It results from direct words or actions that wound a person’s spirit. Some examples of direct rejection are:
- Open rejection from being an unwanted child
- Prolonged absences by a parent from the child
- Physical, sexual, or verbal abuse
- Overt criticism (You’re no good, You can’t do anything right, You’ll never make it in life)
2) Veiled rejection: This type of rejection is usually the result of unintentional actions or words that wound us. Though not as obvious or dramatic as direct rejection, Veiled rejection wounds deeply. A person who has suffered from this type of rejection will have problems relating to others due to the inner hurt (heart wounds) and scars we can carry. Types of behavior that often indicate the influence of indirect rejection are:
- Psychosomatic illnesses
- Rebellious attitudes
- Excessive escapism through work, hobbies, etc.
- Chronic lust problems
- Obsessive thoughts
- Mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar conditions, and paranoia
- Extreme nervousness
SALVATIONS GOAL: RESTORATION OF COVERING
It is time to incorporate solid evangelical biblicism (theology) into the fiery practices of the Spirit filled life. When we are armed with the right spiritual weapons and trained to use them properly, we become a formidable force that can be used in the advancing of God’s Kingdom, making disciples who know how to think God’s thoughts after Him and work the works God desires to accomplish through us.
The tendency in our culture today is to blame our diminished circumstances or personal inadequacies on the failures of the preceding generation, and then look to support groups and self-help programs for recovery, but genuine restoration only comes through the corridor of salvation. Psalm 51:12, Restore unto me, the joy of Your salvation, and renew a right heart in me.
The objective of programs and counseling should be full independence of it and complete stabilization in the LORD. The constant use of human means to solve our problems is not fundamentally wrong, but it will not answer a person’s ultimate need; only the LORD can do that.
HELMETED (COVERED) WITH SALVATION
Our armament is a reflection of the soldier Paul was likely chained to (Ephesians 6:20), and it is a reflection of God’s personal armor, Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist… He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him. 17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay. 19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 11:5, 59:16-19).
You and I are not born armed to fight. We have to put our armor on. Once it is in place, don’t mess with it. Rest in it, labor in it, live in it. We receive power to do battle through prayer, fasting, storing up the Word of God in our hearts, through praise and worship, through the anointing and being filled over and over again by Holy Spirit, and by putting on the whole armor of God, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil… 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:10,11,17).
What this tells us is that the main battlefield is internal, not external. We fight our greatest battles in our minds. This is why we need head protection as well as heart protection. The helmet serves as our spiritual hardhat. Roman helmets were made of tough, hard metals, like Bronze or Iron and they had a hinged visor for ocular protection. So if the helmet serves to protect our mind, how is it that we bring our minds into captivity to Christ?
- The beginning point is the simplest, yet the hardest to apprehend, we possess the mind of Christ, For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
- The second thing we can do is to process what has happened to us throughout the day concerning our thoughts, emotions and feelings. Jesus knows what we have been through, so take advantage of your relationship with Him by asking Jesus what His perspective is about your day’s events. Ask and watch Him answer.
- Then (3) you can graft God’s thoughts into your thinking and evaluating process. This is why we study to show ourselves approved. The Word of God is a mighty weapon.
- When we do this, (4) we allow our mind to be renewed by His mind, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
- When we take on the mind of Christ, we are enabled to walk in honesty and transparency with those the LORD has led into relationship with, as we build Kingdom history together. The power of transparency has the unique ability to disarm forces of evil like lust, pride, greed and other temptations, as we walk in what we possess, and we possess the mind of Christ, For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
, SALVATIONS STRENGTH: EXPANSION
The NT Greek terms translated “to save” and “salvation” are sōzō and sōtēria. Sōtēria means snatching by force from serious peril. Sodzo can also mean saving from an illness, thus healing. The Hebrew yeshu’ah has the sense of deliverance. To deliver is to set free from constraint, confinement, or oppression so the one delivered can develop unhindered (Encyc. of Reformed Faith).
But salvation is more than what we have been saved from. More importantly, it’s focus is what we have been saved unto. The term for salvation in the OT can connote, in keeping with its root meaning of ‘broadening’ or ‘enlarging,’ the creation of space for life, conduct and faith (Harpers Bible Dict). Let’s look at a Old Testament figure, Jabez for a moment to see this aspect of salvation, Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez saying, “Because I bore him in painAnd Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested (1 CHRONICLES 4).
Jabez was born into a disgraced family. Jabez’s father brought disgrace and loss to his family—evidenced by the fact that his name does not appear in the genealogy. Jabez was born at a painful time in the life of his family—even his name means “pain.” Whatever Jabez’s father failure was established a pattern of dishonor that his brothers followed, but Jabez broke the family pattern. He distinguishes himself not by self-made honor, but because God recovered his state as a result of Jabez’s pursuit God as enlarger/savior. We can look to God to recover, enlarge and defend us by applying Jabez’ prayer, which is really the main aspect of salvation as we acquire restorations hardware:
- I) Ask God: “Bless me!”Pray with Hope and Faith: Oh, that You would bless me indeed
- With the sufficiency, realization and sense of future in God’s will for your life;
- With what is promised in the Word of God, provided for through the Cross;
- With goals, desires and aspirations prophesied or dreamed, spoken by the Holy Spirit to your heart, which you may have started doubting would ever be fulfilled;
- With new faith extensions that would bring new meaning and fulfillment.
Jabez’s prayer reminds us to seek the Lord’s face and know that we can say, “LORD, it IS right for me to ask you to bless me like this!”
II) Ask God to Expand and Recover: Enlarge my territory God always has more for you. For Jabez, it’s recovering what’s been lost, and expanding beyond that. What do you want to be enlarged and recovered? I want to be recovered from things that bind, restrict and hinder;
- I want restored to me what has been lost, taken or destroyed;
- I want enlarged areas that are weak, moderate or neglected.
III) Ask God to Defend and Expel: That You would keep me from evil, that I might not cause pain! Jabez asked for the LORD’s defense not only for his own sake, but to expel the residue of any evil in him that would inhibit God’s purpose for him and that becomes harmful to others:
- Things that tempt, attack or haunt my mind;
- Things from my past, my parents or my heritage;
- Things that condemn confuse or compromise me.
Believe that God will Bless, recover, enlarge and defend You — “So God granted him what he requested.” Genuine restoration only comes through the corridor of salvation. Believe that God will Bless, recover, enlarge and defend you!
Gay Christians: The term gay Christians is something we are going to have to get used to, as many high churches accept homosexuality as proper conduct. It is time to redefine what Christianity is and label these aberrations as cults, like Unitarianism. It is time to define what it means to be Christian and separate vocally and visually from those who have erred so egregiously. The liberal Christian agenda has gone too far, like the Unitarians did in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. The believers of that day separated them due to their issues and abandonment of basic Christianity.