Good day, Royal Ones!
This week I want to offer the second consideration in bodily intercession. That is, to know our weaknesses or triggers. Knowledge of our limits, weaknesses and vulnerable points gives us an advantage over our enemy. How? Well, because God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), we stay in His grace fully aware of our potential with the weakness and rely on Him to work through us in spite of it.
In these cases, we will not misdiagnose behavior or circumstance but we will exercise the fruit of the Spirit and personal accountability. For example, if my weakness is anger, I watch my involvement in certain situations and conversations. If I go off in a rage, then it wasn’t an excuse of “the devil is busy” but I left the gate open. I left an opening for my enemy to have an advantage against me.
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Reinforce Your Love Walk
In 2 Corinthians 2:1-11, Apostle Paul explains how satan gets the advantage over Christian community, and warns us not to be ignorant of his devices to not just divide us but to prolong suffering and strain and sadness among us.
(vv. 1-4) Paul defends his ministry integrity and tells how the time his visit is for joy, not sadness like a previous visit. He reasons that he wrote not to make this church or community sad, but so they can have common joy. He wrote so they may know how great his love is for them.
(vv. 5-8) Paul moves his focus to this community/church in Corinth, and how to handle one among them who causes sadness. Most in the community oppose and resist this person; Paul says this is punishment enough. Now, forgive and comfort and restore the one who caused sadness so this person does not grieve to the point of despair. Paul instructions the church to reaffirm their love for this person.
(vv. 9-11) Paul reveals his other reason for writing: a test of obedience. He agrees to forgive whomever the community forgives, in the presence of Christ. Here is the point of this passage — SO WE ARE NOT EXPLOITED BY SATAN, for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Knowing our personal weaknesses and triggers is for us, but in the larger context of relationships (in and out of the Body of Christ) forgiveness keeps us from holding our weaknesses against one another. When we fall into the trap of pointing out others’ weaknesses on the heels of their mistakes, then we leave an opening for satan to take advantage of the entire community.
We remain aware of our weaknesses and triggers to have good personal government. Meaning, we learn to possess our vessels — keep our temper, watch our mouths, and avoid the people, places and things that aggravate our weaknesses in the flesh. We also remain aware so that we can obey Holy Spirit when He creates situations that reveal weakness and limitation to give us deliverance, understanding and/or compassion for others.
What the passage implies is that for the one who makes mistakes in the community (at some time this was or will be all of us), love and forgiveness prevent overwhelming sadness that leads to despair. I include this as a preliminary disclaimer to bodily intercession because
- A broken spirit dries up the bones or takes a person’s strength (Proverbs 17:22)
- Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
- The words of a whisperer (talebearer or gossip) are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body. (Proverbs 18:8)
Sadness and despair as a result of a corporate rejection can affect the body. A grievance has permission to live on where there is no forgiveness, comfort or affirmation of love.
BOTTOM LINE: Let’s know ourselves, inside and out. Know what our weaknesses are and keep them before the Lord to help us not cause offense to others. And when we do cause offense, or witness another’s offense, let’s respond appropriately — less rehashing and more forgiveness, comfort and love. Let’s seek to restore one another and not let satan pick us apart through division and grief behind prolonged sadness.