Book Review: Authority In Prayer by Dutch Sheets

This book is a good study on the source of authority, the purpose of authority, and the application of authority in prayer. The author gives good, Biblical principles for utilizing authority in prayer. He issues a challenge that to Christians today to pray with more authority and use prayer as a weapon in spiritual realms.

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I do need to say that much of the book is personal stories and examples of the power of prayer from the author’s life. While I do believe that, through prayer, the types of claims the author makes are entirely possible, I cannot verify the validity of his personal stories. I wish that the author would have spent more time proving his points and building his case from the Word of God which is entirely valid and cannot be disproven.

If you pick this book up, please be prepared to “spit out the bones.” There is some meat in there that will make it worth your time.

God’s Property

Studies in First Corinthians – XI

Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
– 1 Corinthians 6:15-17

Those redeemed by the blood of Christ are His body. We are the channels through which He works. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit,” Paul says. Wherever He can find a body surrendered to Him, He has found an instrument through which He can impact the world.

You will find that God always works through a body. “We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ…” (Hebrews 10:9,10). We sin in the body. Christ came to earth in a body; He was “manifest in the flesh.” It was in the body that He overcame where we had been overcome. It was in the body that He died and rose again. Now He lives by His Spirit in the body of His people.

The question for every Christian is: Will I take that which is intended for Christ and give it to sinful purposes? If we are joined to Christ, we are enabled by His indwelling Spirit to control the body. But if we give our body to sinful purposes, we become one body with that which is sinful.

This is the constant battle that rages; either the Spirit of God is to triumph and the life of the flesh die out, or that which is of sin and the flesh will control us until the Spirit is no longer effecting us. Everything is lawful for the child of God, but only when properly under the authority of Jesus Christ. What He allows, I will do. What He rejects, I will reject. What His Word tells me is right, I will accept. What His Word tells me is wrong, I will refuse.

However, this is certainly not attainable in the flesh. Paul tells us how to win the battle. He brings us back, once again, to the cross. He is not afraid to expose sin but he always takes it to the cross!

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

This is how we stand when on our own we would fall. We are filled with the Holy Ghost! We are bought with a price! We were not “redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Remember that you have been bought. You do not belong to yourself. The flesh struggles for freedom but the spirit takes comfort in these words. If He bought you, if He paid the highest price for you, it is because He finds value in you. If you are not your own, it is only because you belong to Him.

I am God’s property. The feet which once led me into sin now lead me into the presence of God. The eyes which once looked to this world are now looking to my Savior, my help. The tongue which once spoke evil now sings the praises of God. The heart which was once full of fear and darkness is now the temple of the Holy Ghost!

Jesus Christ, And Him Crucified

Studies in First Corinthians – V

“I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (2:2).

Paul had identified a goal for the church at Corinth: “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (2:5). He knew this group of Christians could not face the challenge of presenting Christ if their faith was based only on intellectual assent. Their faith must stand on the rock of revelation rather than on the sands of human philosophy.

Corinthians would not be influenced by a well crafted argument. Nothing but the miracle of the grace of God revealed in the lives of those who had been transformed by the Spirit of God would impact this city for the Kingdom.

The same is true today. If we are going to impact our communities and our world, it will not be by winning a theological argument (though we should always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us). The world we live in is far too clever and sinful to be persuaded by a debate that appeals to their intellect alone. What our world needs is the evidence of a life dramatically and completely changed by the power of the cross.

What is the impact of your faith? Do others see in you the miracle of the grace of God? As you live, surrounded by the evil of this world, you have a mission that must be fulfilled, to stand in the power of God. This is possible only as we live in the revelation presented to us at Calvary. We must grasp the futility of anything untouched by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I believe that God is teaching us that nothing less than the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in revival can ever meet the need of this day. There can be nothing else; no false gods, no misplaced confidence in something or someone, no compromise, no unconfessed sin, no unsurrendered life, no critical spirit, no worldliness, no self can be allowed. For “I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

Honor’s Reward

I just finished Honor’s Reward by John Bevere.  This book teaches a principle that is increasingly rare in western culture and, I am sad to say, in many churches as well.

Matthew 10:40-42 serves as a rough outline for the books main points.

Jesus teaches his disciples that they should honor all; the One who sent Him, the prophet, the righteous man, and the little ones.  Bevere makes the parallel to us today showing the importance of giving honor to God, honor  to those that have authority over us, honor to our peers, and honor to those who are under our care.

We are no longer a nation and a society of honor (generally speaking).  There is often a disrespect for the house of God, the man of God, and the Word of God.  Employees constantly complain of the treatment of their employers, employers take advantage of their employees.  Children disobey and disrespect their parents and parents do not properly honor their children according to the Word of God.

Bevere points out, and I believe he is right, that this issue of honor plays a major role in the blessings of God in our lives.  When we show honor to God, to the man of God, to God’s Word, and to our fellow-man, it opens the door for God to work in our lives in the manner which He desires.

Time for an honor check!  Where do you need to do better?  Honor God.  Honor those in authority over you.  Honor your peers.  Honor those under your authority.

Be Blessed.

Attitude Trumps Authority

When it comes to leadership, my guess would be that most of you feel inadequate.  You don’t believe that you have what it takes to really be a leader.  Or maybe you feel limited in who, when, and where you can lead and you feel that you have already reached a plateau in your leadership potential.  Or, could it be that you feel like the “low man on the totem pole” at your church, in your ministry, at your school, or on the job – why would they listen to you?

The reason you feel this way is because you, and many others, have confused authority with leadership.  We believe that before we can lead, we have to have authority over those we are leading.  That is, very simply, not the case.  It is possible to lead from the middle, or even the bottom!

Jesus teaches us how to lead.  When it came to leading people, Jesus was much more about attitude that He was about authority.  He had more authority than anybody, but He knew that authority was not the source of true leadership.  Jesus lead with an attitude of a servant.  This is just simply amazing to me, all power was given to Him in Heaven and in Earth, yet He served the sinner!

In doing this, Jesus demonstrated that anyone can be a leader.  We lead by our attitude.  We lead with love.  We lead best when we serve.  So whatever your context may be, don’t believe that you can’t be a leader.  Find a need.  Be a servant.  You are a leader.

Hey, don’t look now, but that person you just served is following you!

Do you have any examples of leading through serving?