I rarely ever, in fact, have never done this before but I'm doing it this week because this message is so important for us to embrace. In preparing for my podcast this week I came across a powerful message from Tony Evans titled, The Authority of Binding and Loosing. I encourage you to take a few minutes to go and listen to it.
What follows is the manuscript to my podcast. Feel free to go listen to me share it, and then enjoy having the notes for yourself. TEACH THIS!! It's important! And if you haven't already started a Prayer Clinic ministry at your church consider doing so. And let me help you succeed. It's what I'm here to do. :)
In Matthew 16:19 Jesus said, “ I 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.”
Many times we hear this verse and take it terribly out of context. We go about binding in Jesus’ Name and loosing in Jesus’ Name and wondering in Jesus’ Name why nothing is happening.
In his message Tony Evans explained what Jesus meant when He declared that we have the powerful privilege and responsibility to bind and loose while living on earth. Let me quote him,
Think about that.
Kingdom prayer is us being welcome to show up in the throne room of God, not only with access, but with confidence–and from that privileged position, we get to ask for, and receive heaven’s response to earth’s desperate need.
Evans said, “Prayer is powerful because heaven responds.”
So, How do we exercise authority when we pray?
Binding and loosing is not a magical formula for you to get God to do what you want Him to do. Prayer is not some kind of white magic, or hocus-pocus that if we just figure it out we get to have the power to control situations that might otherwise be out of our control.
I have to confess that some of my initial interest in prayer ministry was a baptized pursuit for the power to control my life! If I could just figure out the secret to get God to do what I wanted Him to do, think of how I could fix things!!
Isn’t this the root of sin? Choosing to live life on our own terms rather than God’s? We have to be careful to understand that prayer is powerful when its Christ-centered not me-centered.
Evans made emphasis of the word WHATEVER in Matthew 16:19.
“whatever” you bind and “whatever” you loose will be bound and loosed. Think about the –look scope of this! There is no exception, no escape clause, no “whatever except for that…”
When we operate in our God-given authority in prayer, heaven is going to back us up.. God, in essence, says, “I got you.”
You are the one doing the binding.
You are the one doing the loosing.
THIS IS WHAT WE DO IN THE PRAYER CLINIC MINISTRY.
WHATEVER you bind and loose will be done in heaven.
God will back up legitimate binding and loosing. And whatever God binds and looses is bound and loosed indeed!
Evans explained that to bind means to restrict, lock, tie-down, hold back, keep it from doing what it wants to do. To loose means to unlock, release, permit, free something up.
We bind the schemes of the enemy that are coming our way. The temptations, the threats, the beginnings of disaster that come after us. We loose the strongholds that have already tied us up–the relationships that are already broken and the addictions that are already stealing killing and destroying us.
Leading up to this verse, we see that this authority is given to the church. Look at Matthew 16:13-18.
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[b] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[c] shall not prevail against it.
Jesus took his disciples away from the crowds to Caesarea Philippi. A focal point in the city was a cave where the headwaters of the Jordan River came out. Jesus and his disciples were most likely sitting where they could see the cave. It was a place of pagan worship called…
...are you ready for this?
You can visit this spot today and we do when we take groups to Israel. Let me quote from an article about this place:
"The pagans of Jesus' day commonly believed that their fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth each spring. They saw water as a symbol of the underworld and thought that their gods traveled to and from that world through caves.
To the pagan mind, then, the cave and spring water at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld. They believed that their city was literally at the gates of the underworld%u2014the gates of hell. In order to entice the return of their god, Pan, each year, the people of Caesarea Philippi engaged in horrible deeds, including prostitution and sexual interaction between humans and goats."
Can you imagine?
This was where Peter declared Jesus the Messiah, and Jesus proclaimed that on the rock of Peter’s faith He would build His Church. His Church would hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
When you hold the keys, you have authority to open and shut, to lock and unlock. Jesus gave his disciples the authority to open and shut, to bind and loose heaven’s authority on earth.
Evans made this point about the Church.
Jesus said, “I will build my Church…”
Remember this: you come to church for preaching and singing and fellowship but there’s another purpose of the church that is critical:
To bring heaven to earth. When we pray we are “spiritually legislating” eternity into time. Evans warned his listeners that If you are disconnected from the Church, you are disconnected from its legal authority in the spiritual realm.
“The gates of hell shall not overpower the Church.” Hell can hinder you or me apart from the Church, but hell doesn’t stand a chance against the Church.
Imagine being Jesus’ disciples, knowing what went on at the Gates of Hell in Caesarea Philippi and then discovering that Jesus was giving you the power to prevail even over the pagan world.
Evans taught that the “gates of hell” was also a legal term familiar to his audience.
In biblical times, legislation was made at “the gates.” –the elders met at the gate it was like “city hall.” Remember Ruth and Boaz?
He then explained that Hell doesn’t defeat you with power, Hell defeats you with legality.
The gates of hell shall not overpower “the Church.” The keys of the kingdom–full access to God, and authority to legislate His will on earth (as it is in heaven) has been given to us.
When we exercise this authority, Jesus is assuring us that He’s got our back!
When we pray we are binding and loosing what’s coming out of hell.
When you’re binding something, you’re tying it up. Something is coming after you that you want held back from you. You want to hold evil back.
We loose the things that have already got us! The devil’s work is already controlling something…
You’re already living in defeat, or relational discord, the addiction is holding tight, you are miserable
Hell influences everything! To bind it is to keep it from having an illegitimate dominant influence.
To loose is to release it from the illegitimate dominant influence that it already has.
It is our responsibility and our job to bind and loose! And whatever we bind, whatever we loose, God’s got this!
The Prayer Clinic is the Church binding and loosing. As a member of the Prayer Clinic Team, you hold the keys! Because you are in fellowship/an active, participating, contributing member of The Church. Those are the only keys that will work for your situation.
And before we finish, I want to include this part of what Tony Evans shared.
It’s from Matthew 18:18-19
Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[f] in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Look at the promise! This is what we do in the Prayer Clinic! Where 2 or 3 of you agree on earth, it shall be done! 2 or 3 witnesses is a biblical concept. Often witnesses were used to confirm something legally–in trying civil cases. We are seeking to do in the spiritual realm what the civil realm does. Not just 2 or 3 people out of nowhere–but 2 or 3 people in the Church! The Church is the authorized legal entity from heaven to earth. Binding and Loosing has been delegated to the Church!
THIS IS WHAT WE DO!!
We are 2 or 3 gathered!! Hebrews 10:25 urges us to gather together because together is where the binding and loosing happen! Jesus also promises ANYTHING they ask…
I don’t know about you, but as an active member of a dynamic prayer team operating in our Church–we are seeing this truth in real time! Every week we ask heaven to intervene on our behalf, binding what Satan’s bringing against our people and loosing them from what he’s already done to them. His hold is illegitimate, and his influence is losing its power.
When we bind and loose we are asking heaven to intervene on our behalf in this moment-in-time defeating the gates of hell. The 2 or 3 must agree with the authority of Jesus and whatever and anything will be done for them.
To illustrate this point, Evans asked us to remember how Moses held up the rod as the Israelites fought in the valley below? You can find the story in Exodus 17.
Israel’s battle with the Amelakites was fought in the valley but won on the mountain. They won because of God’s authority. We are trying to win in the valley, but the problem is solved up there. Moses got sick and tired. He started to droop–and the enemy began to prevail because the symbol of authority was lost.
When Moses grew tired, two other men, Aaron and Hur, came to hold his arms up and Israel prevailed. What was happening on the ground was not ultimately determined by what they were doing on the ground. The power and victory and authority came from the invisible realm because of what was happening on the hilltop.
Read Exodus 17:13-16.
What might God have done if Joshua came up to the top of the hill and started boasting in the strength of his warriors and the strategy of his leaders?
Joshua knew the victory belonged to the LORD!
What I love is that the enemy of me is the enemy of the LORD, and I can count on God to be my banner–the One who watches over, binds and looses, fulfills His promises, keeps His Word, intervenes in response to our prayers and demonstrates His power and His love on the platform of our ministry.
Too many churches are missing out on the authority we have to bind Satan’s illegitimate attack against us; and to loose his illegitimate hold on us. People need to know that they attend church to develop relationships with other believers, to worship God, to grow in biblical knowledge and understanding AND to defeat Satan when he schemes against us.