Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
Another gracious opportunity to learn at the feet of the Father. Thanking God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ for the non-scarcity of His word in our midst (Amos 8:11-12). At the last teaching, we considered eight (8) Spiritual Blessings that we as believers in Jesus Christ have received in heavenly places through Christ Jesus. It is very important for us to walk in this consciousness in order to effectively appropriate our authority in establishing and enforcing God’s Kingdom here on earth.
As great as this truth sounds, it is also important to know that we can only derive the benefits of this blessings only if they are acted upon. This is the core of our discussion as we consider the importance of acting on the truths of God’s words in enforcing the freedom that Jesus Christ has already paid for on the cross of Calvary.
1. Knowledge Is Important
Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. [Prov.10:14]
A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; [Prov.24:5]
Consciously or unconsciously, our daily decisions are based on what we do or do not know. This is one of the reasons why the bible says that:
Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, And he sins who hastens with his feet. [Prov.19:2]
This simply means making a decision without appropriate and godly knowledge (where applicable) is sin. God, the creator of Heavens and Earth laments about the people without knowledge. He gives ignorance as a basis of rejection. Need we say more about the importance of knowledge? Success in life is premised on the acquisition of knowledge.
2. Acting On The Knowledge (of the truth) You Know Is Even More Important
Any blessing, right, privilege, or authority can belong to you, but if you don't know about it, you won't act on it. Or if you don't act on what you know and exercise and appropriate what has been given to you, it won't benefit you. It won't become a reality to you even though it's your legal possession. That's why you need to have a knowledge of what belongs to you in Christ. But just knowledge of what belongs to you isn't enough. It's knowledge acted upon that brings results. The devil doesn't want the people of God to find out the authority that actually belongs to them in Christ. This is one way Satan tries to defeat the child of God. He knows when the child of God finds out ( and acts on) his legal, lawful authority in Christ, he will enjoy victory over him That's why Satan tries to obscure this knowledge and blind people's eyes and understanding and keep this vital knowledge from them. But when the child of God knows the truth and acts on that knowledge, he can no longer be dominated by the devil.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”[John 8:32]
You have to know the truth before the truth can make you free. That's what this verse is saying. Then once you know the truth of God's Word about who you are in Christ, it's acting on the truth you know that makes you free.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].
But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].” [James 1:22, 25 AMP]
Take note of the phrase “actively and continually obeying God’s precepts”. The words actively and continually can be summarised with the term diligently. It is good to note that results are only obtained through diligent and consistent efforts. This simply means that it is only a relentless, unfailing and unwavering acting on God’s words, despite opposing situations, circumstances, tests and trials that result in total freedom. Not an epileptic form of action. The Word you know that you act on makes you free. When you act on the Word you know, you will enjoy victory over satanic forces in every circumstance of life.
3. Some of the Truths Required To Be Acted Upon
Let us consider some vital spiritual truths that we need to consciously act on and live by as victorious believers.
a. Satan Shall Not Have Dominion Over Believers
The passion with which some so-called believers attribute control and power to Satan when faced with challenges is unbelievable. The Bible says we have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God's dear Son (Col. 1:13). Therefore, our inheritance includes the fact that the works of darkness have no legal authority or dominion over us. Paul wrote to the believers at Rome, saying, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Rom. 6:14). In a sense, sin and Satan are synonymous terms. Therefore, we could read this verse, "Satan shall not have dominion over you." Another translation reads, "Sin shall not lord it over you." You could read it: "Satan shall not lord it over you." Why can't Satan lord it over believers? Because he's not our lord, and he's been put under our feet! Jesus is our Lord and the Head of the Church, not Satan. So when next you’re in the company of a believer who still attributes their situations to the “power” of the Devil, be prompt to correct such person (in love) with this truth.
b. The Shadow of the Valley of Death [Psalm 23:4]
Once we understand that we have been delivered out of Satan's control and we are no longer under the dominion of Satan or spiritual death, we can understand more clearly what Psalm 23 is saying to us. There is a truth in Psalm 23 that the Body of Christ has failed to receive and appropriate for their lives. You understand, of course, that many of the psalms are prophetic or Messianic. But we are living in Psalm 23 right now. Psalm 23:4 is quoted all the time at funerals, but actually this is referring to Satan's domain here on earth, and it is referring to spiritual death, not physical death. You and I are walking through the valley of the shadow of death in this life because Satan is the god of this world. Spiritual death and its effects are on every side. Sin, sickness, disease, poverty, and everything else that Satan brings surround us in this life. But Jesus declared that we are in the world, but not of the world (John 17:16,18). That correlates with a valuable truth we find in Psalm 23:5: "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies....". Who are our enemies? The devil himself is certainly our enemy; the Bible calls him our adversary (1 Peter 5:8). Evil spirits, demons, sickness, disease, and poverty are all our enemies. Anything that would bind or hinder us is our enemy.
c. The Table of Provision [Psalm 23:5]
In Psalm 23:5, God is telling us that right in the midst of Satan's domain where the devil is ruling over those in darkness as the god of this world and where the effects of spiritual death are all around us—God prepares a table for us in the very presence of those enemies! Yes, demons, devils, and evil spirits are here and we sometimes feel their presence and their effect. But even so, God prepares a table for us right in the midst of them! Why does God prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies? Why don't we just get rid of our enemies? The scripture is very clear about the “tenancy” of the Devil and his demons in Jude 6,7. They are reserved in everlasting chains of darkness for the judgement of the great day. That's why it is so important for believers to stand in their victory and partake of the table of the Lord's provision, because those evil spirits will be here to try to hinder us, tempt us, and keep us from receiving God's best in life.
The reason many Christians are defeated in life is that even though they are seated with Christ in heavenly places at the table of the Lord's provision, they aren't appropriating what belongs to them at that table. All the riches of being in Christ are included at the table of the Lord's provision. Many believers are not even looking at the provisions God has made for them in the Word. Instead of looking at their rights and privileges in Christ, including their authority over the devil, they are looking at the enemy. Their focus in life is on the devil and his works, not on Jesus and His finished work of redemption. They are always talking about devils, demons, and demonic activity instead of the riches of God's abundant grace and the "all spiritual blessings" that belong to them in Christ. They're not standing in the finished work of the Cross as the triumphant Church, reigning in life through Jesus Christ.
We must be relentless in our pursuit of the knowledge of the truth as it relates to every area of our lives. We must also go further in appropriating and acting on these known truths to actualise and activate our already won victory in our spiritual, marital, emotional, financial, physical e.t.c lives in establishing the Kingdom of God in every sphere of lives here on the earth. We need to focus on God and what He has provided, instead of on the devil and what he's doing. We need to focus on the riches of our inheritance in Christ and the rights and privileges that legally belong to us as a result of being in Him. Appropriate for yourself the riches of being in Him. Focus on your heavenly position in Christ where we are seated far above all powers and principalities and all the evil works of the enemy.