Day 21

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God, Give Me Faith to See Your Church Advance.

Matthew 16:19 ESV
18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 

For as long as the Bible has been in print and people have had differing opinions about how to follow Jesus there has been debate about what Matthew 16:19 really means.  Simultaneously it is abundantly clear that this verse is written for the benefit of the Church.  

Leading up to this passage Jesus is interviewing His disciples after they had seen Him perform a number of miraculous signs, healing miracles, and heard Him make claims about who He is and what He came to do (John 6:26-59 ESV).  It tells us that many who had been following Him, believing He was the messiah, left him, as He laid out what is meant to see Him and accept Him for who He was. And it is in the midst of this that Jesus Peter confesses who he believes Jesus to be.  The “rock,” I believe, refers both to Peter’s recognition of Jesus and a move forward theologically that breaks away from a purely Hebrew view of the messiah.  Here is my take on what Jesus is declaring as I think it would have been understood by the original hearers.

You are Petros (greek for a rock cut or hewn from a larger rock, as in a ledge/quarry shelf) but let me show you the true rock, the source rock from which each following rock finds its form.  I am building these stones together to form my church which is the council of heaven’s citizens on the earth.  I am building these rocks into an assembly of called out ones, called out to make binding declarations and deliberations. The strategies and worldly wisdoms of Hell will come against them but they will not be victorious.  I am giving you Peter, you, first amongst the assembly of rocks, and all those who follow after you (that's you and me), a key that will stand in the way of hell’s onslaught.  This key is to bind things up according to the laws and promises of this new covenant in me.  This key is also for loosing things according to the authority of the laws and promises of the new covenant in me.  But you and all those who follow after you must work this key.

Here are a couple of take aways:
As Christ-followers, Jesus considers you as extensions of himself established to bear witness of His claims as Messiah God.
If we are really going to operate as the Church of His construction we must believe Him, obeying and following Him where others are simply unwilling to go.
Agreement is powerful in the Church assembly.  When the Church binds up or looses something in the spirit, on the earth, mighty things happen because the results of these actionable agreements substantiate Christ claims and glorify His name.
We must work this key in the Spirit of Holiness.  This means for there to be power in this practice there must be active corporate Spirit led, Spirit formed deliberations by the church body.  You know them as corporate prayer meetings.  We must pray together, so that the Spirit of unity empowers our laboring in the place of prayer because we corporately, as the ekklesia, the assembly, the council of heaven on the earth, agree before the Lord.  
This idea of binding and loosing is so integral to the world receiving a clear revelation of Christ that He instructs Peter, this is what I am building my Church on. 

So what is binding and loosing?  According to Barclay’s commentary, “Binding” and “loosing” were administrative terms in daily Jewish life; whenever a Jew came up against the Law of Moses, that Jewish person was either “bound” or “loosed” in regard to that law. To loose was to permit; to bind was to prohibit. To loose was to free from the law, to bind was to put under the law. “Their regular sense, which any Jew would recognize, was to allow and to forbid. To bind something was to declare it forbidden; to loose was to declare it allowed. These were the regular phrases for taking decisions in regard to the law.” 

If you were to attend a prayer meeting with the old time saints there would be passionate declarations and agreements from all participants on beginning and loosing according to the promises of God, the authority He lends to us in Christ, and empowers us with through the Spirit.  It would have sounded something like this;
Father we bind up sickness and disease from off of Sister ____________ according to your promise from Isaiah 53:5, 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace and with his wounds we are healed.  And so we loose the power of the chastisement and piercing You bore for our sakes.  We plead the blood of Jesus over her and loose the promise of God on her life. We rebuke the enemy in Jesus.  We bind discouragement and weakness in this body in the name of Jesus.  Father, right now, we speak healing, we stand on the promises of God. We gather our faith up at your feet and we say be healed in Jesus' mighty name! We believe you for healing right now, because of the blood of Jesus!

Or maybe if you listened in on parents praying for the children it would sound something link this:

Jesus we bring our child before you.  Lord, you see the choices they are making.  You see the slippery slope they are on.  You see the enemy’s plan at work.  We bind the enemies' plans and strategies against them in the name of Jesus.  Lord, we ask that you’d make them miserable for anything but you.  God, we ask you to make them desperate for you.  Pour out your grace and mercy.  Cause the eyes of their understanding to be opened to it.   Father, we pray for a hedge of protection around them. God while we wait on You in this situation, keep them from destruction and glorify yourself. According to Psalm 91:11 we pray; Lord, we loose your angels to keep their charge over them and to keep them in all their ways.  God we bind up wounds and offenses that have caused them to look away from you.  Lord, we loose your healing over their lives.  We loose Hunger for your presence and your ways in their lives.  God we pray that they would come to their senses like the prodigal son.  God, we ask you to bring them back.  

Or maybe if you were praying for your city:

Father in Jesus name we lift up the Bloomington/Normal area.  God you see how this transportation corridor has become an avenue for human trafficking.  God we pray according to Proverbs 14:34 (ESV)
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.  So Lord we pray that you would pour out righteousness in the hearts of your people.  Loose the responsibility to stand in the gap on behalf of the lost.  God, we ask you for souls and saved lives. We bind the principality that sits in this area and declare Jesus to be Lord over central Illinois! Your word says; “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land 2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV).”   We are asking you to forgive us or turning a blind eye and choosing disinterest.  God we bind up complacency and loose attentiveness to the heart of God.  Come and have your way.  Expose these works of darkness.  Throw the enemies’’ plan into confusion. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
Sometimes when I have been ministering to people and I come into contact with demon possessed people I bind up the enemy and loose the captive in the name of Jesus.
When I feel like God is moving but there is something standing in the way of break through, I stand on the promises of God.  I loose the supply and help of heaven and I bind the enemy standing in the way resisting the work of the Lord.
In Acts 13:1-17 we see the Apostle Paul bind and loose as an act of God’s judgement.  While he doesn’t use the words specifically it is definitely what is happening.  The result was a miraculous sign that glorified God, destroyed the working of the enemy, and affirmed the gospel with power.
Consider this my friends.   If you are a Christ-follower you have been given the foundational tools that reveal Christ as Lord in the form of binding and loosing.  Practice this element of faith as the Church in prayer.  In your personal lives, are you binding and loosing because of the promises and instruction of God’s word?  
Step out and utilize this tool of binding and loosing to get your eyes off of what you can make happen and onto what God and His authority can do.  Pray for you family.  Write out what you are binding and loosing based on the promises and instruction of God’s word.  Declare what you have written in faith and watch God move in your situation.  If there is a pressing issue in your life that is demanding attention and causing you to lose focus on God, practice prayers of binding and loosing in the name of Jesus.  If someone in your household is sick, anoint them with oil and prayer prayers that bind and loose.  If you are praying for open doors and Spirit led decisions binding a loosing.  If you are confused, binding and loosing.  All in the name of Jesus!  Write it down and declare it.  Be consistent with your prayer closet my friends.  What I mean by that is make a place reserved for prayer and get after it!  Let the report of the Lord roll in as He glorifies Himself through the prayer of the Saints.

Written by James Haffenerfor Kingdom Venture 22-21 Days of fasting and Prayer Emphasis