John 16:33 "...In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
The greek word used for tribulation in this verse is thlipsis, which means: afflicted(-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble. Jesus tells us we will, without a doubt face tribulation on this earth, and he expects our response to be "of good cheer". How is it we can be of good cheer while face to face with tribulation? Because of Christ's victory on the cross, we've been given access and authority in heaven! With this access we can rebuke oppression, change spiritual climates, and receive supernatural insight that ordain our steps. And when you know the tribulation is coming by God's permission, you can rejoice knowing God's will is being done!
The goal of this teaching isn't to address the scope of our authority through Christ, it's to explain what to do next! The end goal is graduating from the knowledge of spiritual weapons, to learning how to apply them on a situational basis.
As you face situations and events in life, they will fall under four main categories. Your job is to identify the situation, discover the category and respond appropriately.
The Four Main Categories:
In God's will
Out of God's will
Against God's will
Unsure of God's will
Seems simple right? The problem is when people mix these up and pray over situations that are not in God's will as though they are! In nearly every scenario when there is a lack of change or response from God, the individual is incorrectly judging the situation. (This is under the assumption that you're a born-again Christian who is only praying to Jesus Christ and not using beads, not praying to angels, not praying to dead people, or anything like that. It's obvious to the body of Christ, but because this is the internet I figured it's useful to mention.)
In God's Will
When Paul was shipwrecked on the Island of Malta in Acts 28 and Publius became ill, Paul operated in his authority in Christ laying hands on him and healing him! This led to the whole Island coming to Paul with their diseased, and ending with them all getting healed!
Is the situation you're facing in God's will? Did God promise you something that you're actively living in, or through? Then your job is to fight for keeps, defend what's yours, and pray for it to grow! Slacking in this area is why the enemy seems to just, "come out of the blue" and is the culprit to blessings go missing. Things that often get overlooked that fall under God's will is, faithful marriages filled with love, the peace of Christ resting in your home/ living area, job security, and health.
The worst decision to make is to be a weekend prayer warrior, who only calls on God when things go wrong. It's hard to expand your territory in Christ when you only pick up the sword after the enemy steals the socks off your feet! Adopting the mentality of enforcing your borders is usually where most prayer warriors start, and the next phase is getting more territory under God's will!
Prayer Points to "keep it" in God's will:
ask for strength to fight to keep it in God's will
ask for endurance to keep pushing for God's will to be done
ask for increase so it can grow under God's will
ask for focus to not get distracted by any other will
ask for more faith to trust in God's will
Out of God's will
In Luke 9:54-56, James and John wanted to call fire down from heaven to destroy a village because they wouldn't receive Jesus. Christ's response teaches us a lot, Jesus tells them they are under the wrong spirit, then gives them wisdom , "For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
Things that are "out of God's will" often get confused with things that are "against God's will". It might be better to look at this as, things that are "misaligned with God's will". Things that are out of God's will often need God's wisdom an council. Just like James and John received correction on how they were wrong and were taught about Christ's true purpose, many things that are out of God's will need the same hand of instruction. The truth is, most of us live in this category due to ignorance and our own flaws!
Things that fall under this category range from people flirting with sin, to arguments between spouses. You're not going to be rebuking this person or situation, rather asking God to help and direct it back under His will.
Prayer Points when it's out of God's will:
ask the Lord to give council to the individual or yourself
ask God to correct the person's heart, or reorient the situation back under God's grace
ask God for mercy and patience when that person is you!
ask God to open a door for you to be a vessel of teaching or godly instruction
Against God's Will
In Mark 1:21-25, Jesus is preaching on the sabbath and an unclean spirit interrupts Him as it manifests in a person. Did Jesus call for the guards to escort the person out? Nope, he rebuked it immediately, and our response has to be the same!
All too often we ask God to stop something or to intervene, but God's waiting on us to take our authority and rebuke it! So the next time you see something that is against God's will, rebuke it in the name of Jesus Christ! Is it a demonic attack in a dream? Rebuke that demon in Jesus name! Is it sickness or illness? Rebuke it in the name of Jesus Christ!
Because of the broad range of things that can be against God's will, I usually treat rebuking as a two part process, prayer and presence.
Rebuke it in prayer then confront it, God's presence is on you and when you present yourself in confrontation, God's presence is most notably felt by the enemy. I've done this a handful of times, most notably with people trying to do witchcraft against me. Like everything in our life, we MUST be led by the Spirit, and on occasion I've rebuked witchcraft in prayer and the Holy Spirit led me to confront the warlock and rebuke them face to face.
Prayer Points when it's against God's will:
rebuke any spirits operating over the situation in the name of Jesus Christ
ask God to give you strength to resist any temptation by the enemy
be prepared to confront the situation in full confidence and faith
Unsure of God's Will
in 2 Samuel 5:17-23 David is just anointed king and is attacked by the Philistines. His immediate response is to ask God if He will deliver the Philistines into his hand. Even though David is king and has the authority and anointing to run into battle, he still check with God two times in this passage.
I have applied this lesson and is now where I spend a lot of my time, unsure if a situation is in God's will or not. Why? Because although I might have an idea, I know the power of waiting on the Lord for instruction! Isaiah 40:31 "...they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Waiting on God to reveal his will can save you from incorrect judgments and falling to error! Waiting on God is a must! With Jesus, there is no such thing as a dumb question, the real ignorance is thinking you have it figured out without him! James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
If you don't know, just ask. Praying for patience is needed because God doesn't work on our timescale! God works in mysterious ways, I've seen him use cancer to teach people lessons, allow devastating car accidents to reveal His hand of protection, and make prophet Isaiah prophesy naked for three years, just to be a sign of the coming shame for the Egyptian's prisoners (Isaiah 20:1-4)!!
It's extremely important to note, you need to be constantly seeking God's will in the bible! There has been countless times I've read a verse and the Spirit revealed it's relevance to a specific situation. As well as the fact that filling yourself with God's word teaches you more about Him and you learn to identify His will in more situations by this knowledge.
Prayer Points when unsure of God's will:
ask God to reveal His will
ask the Lord for wisdom and revelation
seek God's general will through scripture continually
All in all, I pray this has been a blessing and I hope it's clarified our responsibility as vessels of God. Feel free to share this teaching and use it as a resource in your walk!