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SEATED IN HEAVENLY PLACES 
Ephesians 2:6&7

Aim: God's people fulfilling God's plans in God's strength with God's power and God's provision.

1. A HOUSE FOR GOD'S PRESENCE TO DWELL
David had built his royal palace in Jerusalem, He now had the presence of the living God, dwelling in Jerusalem and we read in 2 Samuel 7:1 that God then gave David rest from his enemies. At this time David wanted to build a dwelling, a permanent building to house the Ark. But God said that David could not do this, because he had been a man of war, but David's son, who would be a man of peace would build a house:

2 Sam 7:11-16 "'The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.'" This was a case of a dual fulfilment of prophecy. In the physical, King Solomon, who was David's son and heir, built the temple according to the plans David had made, and with the materials David had provided. But in the spiritual, the Lord Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, also known as Son of David, was the one to build a house, a spiritual house, and a spiritual kingdom, where God could dwell with redeemed man in the power of His Holy Spirit.

2. LIVING STONES
God's plan from the beginning of time was the Church - He is building a temple made of Living Stones. 1 Peter 2:5-10. As Christians we are the building material He uses, as He shapes us, and puts us in place, when we cooperate with Him, and allow Him to be glorified through the circumstances of our lives. We then ALL take our place as a Royal Priesthood ministering to Him, and to the people, through Him.

3. SEATED IN HEAVENLY PLACES
God's ultimate plan is that all things should be brought together in Christ. Eph 1:10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-- in Him. Jesus is in Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father, and God has placed all things under his feet. As blood bought children, we have been crucified with Christ we have been raised together with Him to live a resurrection life, and the Bible tells we are also seated with Him in Heavenly places. Eph 2:4-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

i. A Place of Authority - the place of being seated denotes a place of authority. In the King's presence a person would normally stand, his throne would be raised. While we remain 'in Christ' He gives us that same place of authority that He has. We willingly choose to apply His Kingdom principles, His Kingdom rule and His Kingdom reign, into our own lives. So as we are seated with Him, we have the same power available to us, the power of His Holy Spirit.

ii. A Place of Rest - it is also a place of rest, because instead of trying to strive and struggle on, in our own strength, doing our own thing, with our own very limited capabilities and resources we suddenly become aware of the fact that we are SEATED IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS! All these good works that we should be doing are the ones that He has planned and prepared for us in advance and every provision will be given to us by the King of Kings! We just have to cooperate with Him, and obey Him, not because we have to, for we are under grace, not law, but because we willingly choose to do so. God's people fulfilling God's plans in God's strength with God's power and God's provision.

iii. A Place of Praise - David was only too aware that praise would bring the presence of God, into the situations in his life. In the Psalms he wrote we see the endorsement to praise the Lord time and again! Although God is omnipresent, as we begin to praise Him we are aware of His presence, we enter into the Heavenly Places and He is enthroned in our praises. It is here our relationship with Him grows, our loneliness, our depression, our problems are placed under feet where they belong, and He is exalted in our lives. This is the place of freedom, deliverance and wholeness, the place we can begin to see things from God's heavenly perspective, instead our own feeble earthly viewpoint. The presence of God's Kingdom power is directly related to the practice of God's praise, a theme we see time and again as we look into the book of psalms. When we exalt His Name, He is ready to manifest His Kingdom Power in the way most appropriate to the situation we are in. We are not manipulating God, merely lining up with His Truth, that His is the power, ours the privilege and responsibility to welcome Him. As the redeemed we are to welcome the Kingdom and administrative situations He gives us on earth by inviting God's Holy Spirit to move into those difficult or impossible situations or circumstances to transform them.

4. A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD
Looking back to the passage in 1 Peter 2 we see in verse 9 that we are to be a royal priesthood in this spiritual temple to minister praise to Jesus. 1 Pet 2:9 "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;" This is part of our ministerial duty as priest in the New Kingdom, in order to see that Kingdom advanced, and the powers of darkness overcome. In Acts 16 we see something of this in action. Paul and Silas have been imprisoned in Philippi for delivering a demon possessed servant girl, who was making a lot of money for her masters by fortune telling. They have had their clothes torn off and have been beaten with rods, thrown into the inner prison in jail, with their feet in stocks. Well, just the time to start feeling sorry for themselves? - No… perhaps they complained to God "What are you doing God - Here we are having been doing your work and this is how you repay us" - No. Verse 25 takes up the story - verse 31. A hymn of praise, from the heart to God brings supernatural deliverance through an earthquake, all the prisoners bonds freed, every door opened and the keeper of the prison and all his household, saved. WOW! In fact this was part of the foundation of the Church at Philippi.

5. A HOLY NATION
When we come before His throne, as Holy, called out people, in praise and adoration for who He is, for what He has done, in a close, and loving personal relationship with Him, then his glory comes. Our real desire is not just for visitation, that he should be with us this weekend, but for habitation, where his presence is with us every day, affecting the places we have come from. Paul Weaver, General Superintendent of Assemblies of God said "Holiness can overcome the darkness around us, because holiness is God!" Charles Finney was so filled with the presence of God, when he walked through the knitting mills of Uttica in the late 1800's the workers began to fall to their knees in repentance, before he had even spoken a word. In the Lewis Revival 75% were saved before they heard a sermon or came to a meeting. When the presence of God is over an area, the forces of darkness loose their ability to sway people. I've not seen that happen, but I want to, I want my town to be affected by the glorious presence of Almighty God.

6. OVERCOMERS
Let's come, not to seek for Revival, but to praise the God of Heaven and Earth, who is able to bring light to our darkness, and quicken the dead. When God comes to a place, He brings Revival, God wants us to know we are seated in heavenly places in Him. He wants us to turn from lukewarmness and be overcomers, this is His promise to those who overcome: Rev 3:20-21 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. Conclusion God is building us together into a house for His presence to abide. We are seated in Heavenly places with His authority. We can rest, when we move into what He has for us, knowing His empowering and provision. We come before Him as Holy called out people, ministering to God as a Royal Priesthood, with Jesus as our great High Priest. God will come, He will change us, He will restore our lives, transform our Churches, revive our towns.

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