Ron Sawka Ministries
Sept 13, 2023; Elul 27, 5783
“And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him” (Mark 1:13).
Breaking Family Strongholds
I want to continue the theme from last week about the forty days from the beginning of Elul (Aug. 18) to the Day of Atonement (Sept. 25), which were the dates Jesus spent in the wilderness with the Lord and being tempted by Satan. Mark 1:12 states, “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.” When He reemerged forty days later, we read, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region” (Luke 4:14). Those are two amazing results—being in the power of the Spirit, and news of Him spreading—that the Lord longs for all of us to have. Several points are as follows:
1. Move powerfully and confidently in the Holy Spirit. On the day Jesus was baptized in water, he was also baptized in the Holy Spirit, and then went immediately into the wilderness. But after those forty days in the wilderness, He moved in great power and confidence. This confidence was so deep that when He reached His hometown of Nazareth, He read Isaiah 61:1–3 about the Spirit of the Lord being “upon Me” to heal the sick and set the captives free. We read, “Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20–21). Can you imagine that? Announcing that to His hometown—the people He had grown up with. Incredible confidence.
2. Open heavens. Not only did He have confidence and boldness to announce He was filled and would heal the sick and set captives free, but He also had an audience. Note again, “The eyes of all … were fixed on Him” (Luke 4:20). This is not surprising. From the moment He emerged from the wilderness, the news about Him spread. Why? Because He had gained an open heaven. Demonic forces and darkness could no longer squelch the news or keep Him hidden. This is what God wants for us—that same confidence and boldness to announce, “Yes, we are filled with the Holy Spirit and are sent to heal the sick and set people free.” He also wants every eye on us. We are not to be a voice crying in the wilderness with no one to hear. Rather, He wants the heavens to be opened over us and the good news to spread rapidly.
3. It really is a time of demonic strongholds being pulled down. Moving in the power of the Holy Spirit and having the good news spread quickly are direct results of spiritual strongholds being dismantled and destroyed. “And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him” (Mark 1:13). Wild beasts clearly refers to demonic forces and strongholds. What did Jesus do to gain victory? He remained obedient. He did not give in to Satan and His temptations. Because He remained obedient and faithful, the Satanic strongholds that would have blocked and hindered Him and His ministry were bound and rendered ineffective.
4. Personal and family strongholds. We know Jesus had no personal strongholds like we do. But the principles are the same. We have strongholds—caused by combinations of personal and family sins, ungodly belief systems, soul- and spirit hurts, and demonic oppression—that negatively hinder us. There are also strongholds that hinder and very negatively affect our families. These forty days should be seen as special times of waiting on the Lord with the expectation that those strongholds can be identified and broken.
5. The battleground is myself. When it comes to spiritual warfare and pulling down strongholds, we sometimes overlook the most important thing. The biggest battleground is myself personally. If there is victory within me, then the power of Satan gets dealt a serious, serious blow. That is all that Jesus did. Her remained true and faithful, and thus came out in the power of the Holy Spirit with the heavens opened all around Him.
The Lord knows the strongholds resisting you personally, as well as those strongholds causing great issues in your family. He knows very well those “wild beasts” that have been afflicting you. So as we spend time with the Lord, just draw near to Him in faith and obedience. You will be amazed at strongholds in you and in your family being exposed and pulled down simply because you are keeping your eyes on Jesus.
6. Alone with the Lord. Yes, Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness, but wasn’t most of His time spent in prayer and fellowship with His Father? Yes, there was warfare and He did face off with Satan and faced “wild beasts.” Again, Mark 1:13 states, “And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.” I think perhaps the most important point in all of this preparation during these forty days until the Day of Atonement is that we are spending time with our Father, the Lord. Whenever we take time to be with Him, great blessing and breakthrough occur. Enjoy your time of preparation. Answer the call to be alone with Him.
Thanks for praying,
Ron and Teddy
The Month of Hope and Great Expectation!
Elul The 6th Hebrew Month of 5783, August 18–September 15
Elul is connected to the tribe of Gad, whose name means “a troop is coming” (Gen. 30:11). God wants us to know help is on the way. The Lord has troops of angels that He sends to aid, help, and minister to us (see Heb. 1:14). Expect help and increase.
More about Elul may be found here.
Sept. 17–18, Japan, Kobe Eiko Kirisuto Kyokai
Sept. 22–24, Malaysia, Sibu, Hosanna Church
Sept. 25–28, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Agape School of Ministry
Sept. 29–Oct. 1, Malaysia, Bintulu, Canaan Assembly
Oct. 2–8, Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu
MPP (Mondays–Fridays, 6:00–6:45 a.m.)
Next scheduled days off: Monday, Sept. 18, Sept. 25–29
Weekly Broadcast Schedule (Times are listed in Japan Time, UTC+9:00.)
Apostolic for Russia—Fridays, twice monthly: Sept 15, Oct 13 7:00–8:00 p.m. Join us on Zoom (Meeting ID: 840 2016 0640, Code: 219951), or watch on YouTube.
Wisdom, Anointing, and Supply for the New Era—Apostolic for China—Saturday, September 16, 8:00–9:30 p.m. Join us on Zoom (ID: 823 7276 5237, Code: 878174)
Note, I usually post links to my public Facebook page.
Ron’s new book, How to Activate Prophecy and Revelation Gifts, the first title in our new “Apostolic Center Training Series,” is intended as a tool for training others in prophetic activation. It is now available for Kindle. Print copies can also be obtained from our office in Sano. Contact email@example.com for information about ordering copies, or to obtain any of the four books from the “Building Apostolic-Prophetic Foundations” series, which are also available on Kindle:
• Judah Goes First: The Power of Apostolic-Prophetic Praise
• Activated to Prophesy: The Essential Experience for This New Church Era
• Apostles and Apostolic Anointing: Raising Up the End-Times Believers
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