Seated with ChristOctober 24, 2015 | Written by Maureen Stanek
As many of you know, Bastrop County recently experienced another wildfire called the Hidden Pines Fire. In this fire, 4,582 acres burned and 64 homes and structures were lost. The fire brought back many memories and images to those who lost homes during the September 2011 Bastrop County Complex Fire, which destroyed over 1,600, homes in our area. Our church prayed fervently throughout the days of the Hidden Pines fire for the firefighters and for our community. Nobody wanted to go through the loss that we experienced back in 2011.
We are very grateful that none of our church members lost any homes during this second major fire. Our hearts go out to those who lost property and possessions during this disaster. We believe God is the God of restoration and He will bring restoration and comfort to all those whose homes were destroyed (see Isaiah 61:7 and Joel 2:25).
I was reminded during the past few weeks of the importance of knowing who we are in Christ and the authority that He has granted every believer. The Lord impressed upon my heart that we should not wait until trouble comes to begin to meditate on scriptures that remind us of the covenant protection God promises us. We need to daily take time in the Word of God and sow seeds in our heart of how big and great our God is and what He has done for us in Christ. John Wesley once said, “It seems God is limited by our prayer life – that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone ask Him.” God needs us to lift our voices to Him in faith and in expectation that He will intervene in the behalf of mankind.
I encourage you today to take the time to read the excerpt below from John A. MacMillan’s (1873-1956) book, The Authority of the Believer that was first published in 1932. Let these words feed your spirit and strengthen you in the troubled times we are living in.
In His Love,
Pastor Scott & Maureen
P.S. If you are interested in helping those affected by the Hidden Pines Fire, please visit http://www.bastropcountylongtermrecovery.org/. Please continue to pray for those who have suffered loss and ask the Lord what you can do to help.
The Authority of the Believer Excerpt
“Do we believe that God “hath quickened us together with Christ and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-6)? If we do, our reaction to it will be a fervent,
“Lord, I accept Thy gracious word. I believe that Thou hast thus wrought for me. In humble faith I do now take my seat in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus at Thy right hand. Teach me how to fulfill this sacred ministry, how to exercise the authority which thou hast entrusted to me. Train me day by day that I may attain to the full stature of the perfect man in Christ, so that in me Thy purpose of the ages may be fulfilled. Amen.”
If we are walking in the Spirit, our normal life is in the heavenliest. To secure the consciousness of this, there must be the daily acceptance of the fact.
Let us morning by morning, as one of our first acts of worship, take our seat with Christ (as suggested in the previous paragraph) and return thanks to God for all that it implies. Let us often remind ourselves that we are seated far above all powers of the air, and that they are in subjection to us. As our faith learns to use the Name and the Authority of Jesus, we shall find the spiritual forces yielding obedience in ways that will surprise us.
As we continue to abide closely in Him, our prayers for the advancement of the kingdom will become less and less the uttering of petitions and will increasingly manifest the exercise of spiritual authority that recognizes no national boundaries, but fearlessly binds the forces of darkness in any part of the world.”
The Authority of the Believer, Pages 27-28
Author: John A. MacMillan (1873-1956)
First Published 1932
John A. MacMillan, missionary to China and the Philippines
“Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, ‘above all that we ask or think’. Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory.
Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!” –
Andrew Murray (http://www.pearlofgreatvalue.com/prayerquotes_000.php)