Praising God is not asking God in prayer for something; it is declaring that Christ has won the victory. Our praising of God is a declaration of His victory. Our fervent praise of Him in unceasing prayers (1 The. 5:7) not only keeps us in the temple, bringing us into oneness with Him (1 Cor. 6:17), so we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) and move and function as His body (Eph. 4:12); but it declares God’s victory over heaven and earth. To gain this victory over the earth today, realize we don’t fight, we simply need to claim the victory in Christ.
Realize that the church is like Joshua today, entering into the good land to win its inhabitants over to Christ. When Christ is sown into unbelievers (Mark 4:1-20) and grows out of them so they have put on Christ (Gal. 3:27), we begin to enjoy the expression of Christ in His body. We enjoy the richness of the expressed Christ in each other. The reality of the Triune God expressed through the Spirit of reality (John 14:17) living inside each one of us is the milk and honey we enjoy flowing from this good land. This is the enjoyment of the all inclusive Christ expressed in His body today.
When Christ flows from us in our humanity, realize our flesh of sin is no more, we now express Christ in His holiness through the body. That is why when we are fed with manna, we don’t need to be circumcised in our flesh, just as the children of Israel, when they only fed on manna, remained uncircumcised. “For all the people who came out were circumcised; but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.” (Jos. 5:5) When the source of our strength in our life is based solely on manna, on Christ alone, we don’t need to be circumcised as our expression is only of Him and not of our flesh. So the expression of our flesh does not need to be cut, just like the hair on the high priests. “They shall not make any baldness on their heads; nor shave off the edges on their beards, nor make cuts in their flesh.” (Lev. 21:5) Realize when Christ is our all in all, and we only express Him, there is no expression of our flesh, so we do not cut it. When Christ is all that we express, we have “clothed ourselves in fine linen, bright and clean” (Rev 19:8). We have made ourselves ready as the bride for Christ (Rev. 19:7).
Unfortunately we are not there today. That is why we need to submit ourselves to Him. When we first believed, coming out of Egypt and being baptized in the Red Sea, we had lots of complaints about what will happen to us in the wilderness. But as we ate the manna daily, eating Christ as our daily bread (John 6:35), we were “being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:17) so we could be built into His church. On stepping into the Jordon, when the ark of the covenant was leading the way, the waters dried up as the priests’ feet touched the water. “And when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of the harvest), the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off.” (Jos. 3:15-16) On entering the waters of death in this world, when Christ works through His body, all we need to do is touch our feet to the waters and it will dry up. Then in the midst of the waters, we stand firm. “And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm of dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan.” (Jos. 3:17) It is in the midst of the waters of death that Joshua builds the church. “Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan at the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant were standing, and they are there to this day.” (Jos. 4:9) God begins His church in the midst of the Jordan, but then His body, represented by the twelve tribes of Israel who are God’s people, are to select twelve stones from the midst of the Jordan and bring it out to Gilgal. “Take for yourselves twelve man from the people, one man from each tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take up for yourselves twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet are standing firm, and carry them over with you and lay them down in the lodging place where you will lodge tonight.’” (Jos. 4:2-3) “Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal.” (Jos. 4:19-20) Realize the church as the body of Christ, which was built at first in the waters of death, has now come out of this world. Christ has sanctified it and placed it on the good land in victory. This good land Christ has already given to us. “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given to you, just as I spoke to Moses.” (Jos. 1:3) On this good land, we are to do nothing but follow Him. The ark of the covenant led the way to victory for Israel. The Spirit now leads us in victory over this world. That is how we possess this good land. That is how we win over the inhabitants of this earth to Christ .
On this good land, we are in one accord, following the Spirit. We don’t express ourselves, not to even let a word proceed out of our mouths (Jos. 6:19) until the Spirit within us gives us utterance, telling us to “Shout!,” because we are filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4). “Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to who belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Pet. 4:11) When we speak, we must be filled with the Spirit and it must be the Spirit giving us the utterance. “And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Eph. 6:19-20) When we talk to unbelievers, the Spirit speaking out of us will touches their spirit, so they will understand. Realize as a member of His body, we are only an ambassador of Christ in chains. We don’t speak from ourselves but from the Christ that is dwelling in us. That is how His body is maintained in one accord, speaking boldly as we ought to speak. There is no head but Christ. When we speak, it must represent Christ as we are ambassadors is chains. When we open our mouth, realize it must be Christ. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit so He speaks out of us. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) When the Spirit speaks out of us, we declare His victory.
When we use our mouths to declare His victory, we have shouted in unison. When the body speaks this way, the strongholds of the enemy will fall down. On the seventh day, the day of our Sabbath rest, the walls of Jericho fell. The strongholds of this world, no matter what it is, cannot withstand our shout of victory. No matter what circumstances in this world we find ourselves in, when we shout His praise in unison as His body, we have won the victory. That is why we simply need to claim the victory in Christ who has now sat down on the right hand of God and we are seated with Him. “These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Eph. 1:19-23) “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:4-7) Christ has already won the victory. We, as His body, simply need to claim it. Realize when all things are in subjection under His feet and we form His body, all thing are in subjection under His church. That is how we win over the inhabitants of this land to Christ.
Realize as Paul was praying, even in a prison cell by himself, he was one with the body. That is why he said, “And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Eph. 6:19) Paul never saw himself as being eloquent in speech or someone leading the way. “Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent.” (2 Cor. 10:1) In front of people, Paul is small. “For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.’ Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are in deed when present.” (2 Cor. 10:10-11) Paul is very small in his flesh before the saints. That is why, “To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3:8) Only when we are small, can God freely speak through our bodies. So to the smallest members of the body, be encouraged to “Shout” when the Spirit gives you utterance, to build up the body of Christ.
Through the Spirit, He is working in us, expressing Himself out of us for the enjoyment of all the members of Christ. Our testimonies of what God is doing in our lives is how we conquer the enemy. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their [soul]-life even when faced with death.” (Rev. 12:11) What we say is not only our testimony, but our declaration of Christ’s victory in our lives and over the inhabitants of this land. When we claim His victory by our testimonies, we have unfurled our banners (S.S. 4:12), blowing our trumpets declaring our victory, and praising Him.
As the body of Christ, let us shout together in praise, for Christ has led us to victory.
In His victory, Christ has not only brought divinity into humanity, freeing us from sin, but the fineness of our linen that is bright and clean, is because He has brought humanity into divinity.