Fortification of Spirit: Inner Strength and Impervious Spirit
God's intention is for us to be strong in spirit, unshakable and able to stand through all things. I questioned how this could be, as my life seemed to be full of many trials that kept throwing me into turmoil and angst. So I set my heart to understand what it means in Ephesians6:13:
when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Personal Spiritual Experience: A descent through realms
I found myself one day, standing with Jesus on balcony next to some angelic sanctuaries in the heavenly realms. We looked over the edge, and beneath us were clouds that filled a sky above the Earth. Jesus told me I was about to see all the realms and witness the covering of God in all realms, and to know the height at which a Christian has been placed, seated in the heavenly realms.
Immediately I was whisked into the air by an invisible force and I found myself falling. At first, I fell through the clouds, and then they disappeared and I saw fields and plains full of angels. Some were working, some were reading scrolls, some were eating fruits, others were playing and others training for war. The angelic realms disappeared and a new realm appeared, it was full of lakes, oceans, trees and forests, high mountains and amazing buildings and structures that looked so unlike anything I had seen on Earth. Some buildings were upside down, others were circular and it appeared that gravity was pulling in all directions, so they would walk on the ceilings.
Some angels travelled through portals, and others travelled on angelic transport systems that seemed like they were powered by etheric blue lightning on golden trails that shimmered in the sunlight.
I descended further and I saw darker realms appear, with fortresses made from sharp, jagged rocks, they were suspended in the air above the Earth. Dark clouds hovered above, shielding this realm from the light in the realms above, and creatures hid among the shadows. I descended further through the Earth and I landed in a dark palace, where I stood on a balcony looking up at a purple moon, through a darkened silver sky. Next to me stood Satan, who was none the wiser about my presence. He then turned and when he saw me, he was startled and asked how I had got there without him knowing.
The spirit immediately whisked me away and I found myself standing next to Jesus again. Jesus then told me that I had seen the power of the authority in him, that if I abide in him and remain in his love, I would be seated with authority over all realms, with the ability to be hidden from the eyes of those within the lower realms and not be noticed, for he would keep me invisible.
The Apostle Paul's intention was that we become strong in spirit, so when the day of evil comes, it would not shift or move us. He wanted us to get to the point where we could stand, and continue to stand when assailed by the day of evil.
When we come under all forms of assault on us, whether it is a spiritual attack, a physical assault, or going through other types of persecution, God intends for us to have the ability to stand and not be moved. Just as if these difficult things have no power over us.
The questions are, how do we become that strong, and what does immovability look like?
Dwell in The Holy Sanctuary
Psalm 15 begins with asking questions:
who may dwell in your sacred tent (dwelling place)?
who may live on your holy mountain?
The remainder of the psalm gives us an indication of the type of people who live on the holy mountain of God... that is, those who will constantly live within his presence. It gives us an idea of what it takes to be found within the Holy mountain - where no profane thing can come to.
This all sounds wonderful, but when we look at the list in the Psalm, we may begin to tick off the things we haven't done, and wonder if we are dwelling on his holy mountain? That thought can be quite scary. The Psalm, however, has a heart behind it, and the heart is not to condemn but to reveal a spiritual principle at work.
To understand the psalm, we need to look at Jesus, and John 14:30 gives us a clue as to what this psalm means.
the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me
The secret here is that the prince of this world (Satan) had no hold over Jesus, or as some other translations put it, "no hold in me".
The secret to the meaning of the psalm is that those who have trained themselves by way of righteousness, putting off the old ways, the ways of the soul and our human desires, to continue to live by the Holy Spirit, crucify the soul, spiritually speaking. As we crucify our soul and its desires, we give way to the Holy Spirit in a spiritual resurrection.
For example, we may be deciding not to live by jealousy and strife, but choose to crucify those desires, in other words, decide to put them to death and no longer live by them. In their place, we give in to the Holy Spirit, being transformed by him and so resurrecting that part of our selves into God's righteous way - or in terms of the psalm symbolism, ascending the Holy Hill of God:
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart...
So by choosing to live by the Holy Spirit, moment by moment, we follow Jesus and spiritually, we ascend the hill of the Lord and dwell within his sanctuary. Satan, therefore, can have no hold over, or in us, if we dwell within the sanctuary of God by living by the Holy Spirit.
But what does it mean that Satan might have a hold over us?
Personal Spiritual Experience
I found myself taken in spirit into a heavenly place, and I was walking on the surface of a lake. I saw a boat ahead of me, and in the boat was one of my mentors in the heavenly realms. He beckoned me into the boat, and as I stepped in, he showed me that the boat was being pulled all over the place by an anchor that had been caught in a large fish.
The boat rocked to the side, letting water in as it was pulled around by the large fish, and it almost capsized.
I asked my mentor how this anchor had got caught in the fish, and he said:
"Lee, this anchor is your heart. You have allowed yourself to get hooked into other people, and they are pulling and pushing you around. We need to cut this anchor, so you become strong because if you do not remove these anchors from your heart, and instead anchor them in Christ, you will end up in the lake!
I immediately agreed to cut the tether and the fish swam away, happy. My mentor then told me I needed to work on healing my heart so that it did not get caught unnecessarily on other things that are not Jesus. He said I had things in me that we catching fish that would pull me off course and derail my journey if I did not get healed.
To understand the spiritual experience:
A small fishing boat - this represents my small ministry of helping feed people spiritually.
The activity was fishing - this represents helping people, who are represented as fish.
My anchor - where I put my value and my worth, got caught up in people instead of Jesus.
This was allowing my heart to find value in what others thought/said/needed from me, as opposed to "doing the will of our Father in heaven", and so my boat was being pulled in all directions by the needs of the people, not what our Father in heaven was doing.
In a similar way, we need to heal our hearts so that we do not have hooks or anchors that get caught in the wrong things. We need to work on healing our hearts with God, so that Satan has no hook or anchor in us, to lure us in and derail the boats of our lives.
We may have hooks or anchors in us that allow us to be pulled off by demonic attack too. These chinks in our spiritual armour can come in through many forms. We can not say every form of spiritual attack is caused by having a chink in our armour, or by a hook in us that gives Satan a hold because the principles of spirit are extremely dynamic and it requires discernment and wisdom to perceive the truth of a matter.
There are ways, however, to ensure we are as impervious as possible to these sources of attacks, that allow us to be impervious to the hooks Satan may have in us.
Fortification of Spirit
One of David's prayers in Psalm 51 outlines how to form within us a fortified (strong) spirit. Using a lexicon, we can see the meaning of each of the words in David's prayer. The word used for the heart can mean inner person, the mind, the will and the heart, or emotions.
David knew the secret to spiritual strength was to be totally cleaned, made pure and renewed in his spirit. His soul, or inner man, being renewed daily was not enough for him to be able to stand and have maximum strength in spirit.
He needed a renewed spirit.
Jesus has made us pure according to the word he has spoken to us, which in reality is his constant word (or spirit) renewing us on the inside. He continually washes us and makes us pure by his spirit. Our spirit is renewed on a daily basis.
We are instructed, however, to keep in step with the spirit of God. Through the constant renewal of our inner being and conscious decision to live in alignment with the character and nature of God. By doing this, we develop a deep spiritual deposit of treasure (2 Timothy 1:14), and this treasure fills up until it overflows (Luke 6:38). Fortification strengthens us through our conscious decisions and behaviour according to the nature and character of God. Then, when we are faced with evil or even a demonic spiritual being that confronts us, we may feel their effect but they will not be able to persuade us from keeping in spirit with the spirit, through temptation or other means. By keeping in step with the spirit of God, we will eventually become strong against temptation.
There is also another depth to this, and that is being invisible in spirit. That is, the gift from God to be hidden from assaults, attacks and those who would do us harm. This is a mystic reality and seems to be something that is gifted to us for specific purposes and assignments.
Being impervious in this way is something that we can seek God for, sitting in his presence, presenting our hearts before him and asking to be coated in an impervious armour. Sitting in his presence in this way, galvanising our spirit, may take prolonged periods of time. Through the process, we align our hearts, mind, soul and spirit into the heartbeat of God, in tune with what we are about to go through in life.
This impervious spirit is a gift from God that serves a purpose, to enable us to walk without being spotted by the enemy (Satan and demons) or those who would cause us harm... even seers and prophetic people may not be able to get a read on us.
To put the impervious spirit into context, we only see Jesus walking through a crowd without being apprehended, once in the gospels. We are also shown that he could not be arrested until it was his time for crucifixion. So there is a heavenly authority that presided over Jesus, which kept him safe within the will of God, until such a time as it was permitted that he should suffer.
In a similar way, it is important to know this is not a magic formula that can grant us invisibility in spirit, but it is a spiritual mystic practice that as we spend more time with our Father, walk in step with his spirit and move according to the heartbeat of our father, doing what he is doing, he will grant us the promise of Psalm 91 - to dwell in the shadow of the almighty and have no harm come near us.
Being impervious does not mean that we can not be tempted. Rather, it means that in temptation, in struggles and persecution, we have an inner strength and resolve that keeps us standing and not faltering according to our faith.
This is especially important for the seer because we deal with the spirit realm, see the reality that is hidden from the eyes and see as God sees. Our enemy, Satan, especially wants to prevent the seer and prophetic gifting from being active and effective because we offer the voice of God, the revelation of God, to his people. We also see what God is doing, and often see the enemy activity long before others are aware of it.
We are instruments of God for his church, and we need each other. If Satan takes us out, we can become ineffective and leave a breach in the spiritual wall of the church. It is, therefore, so important for the seer and prophetic person to specialise in fortification of their spirit, so when the day of evil comes, they may stand.