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Shifting Atmospheres Through Intercession – Understanding Our Authority

Being successful in spiritual warfare is about knowing who you are in Christ.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He encouraged us with these empowering words, “All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

When we engage in spiritual warfare, we must do so from the third heaven — where we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies.

“… when he [God]… seated him [Jesus] at his right hand in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1:19-21 ESV).

The third heaven is believed to be the spiritual domain where God resides. It represents the highest level of spiritual authority and is the correct position from where we should war.

We get hints of the third heaven in 2 Corinthians. The Apostle Paul writes:

“I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows.” (2 Corinthians 12:2 NIV).

I have had many people ask me, “Dawna, why didn’t God protect me when I went out and prayed against a regional spirit?”

In my opinion, this happens when we step outside of God’s covering. We should never try to “take on” the enemy in our own strength. We should simply serve as obedient intercessors asking the Lord what He wants to impart over a situation, person, or region. Partnering with the Lord in battle, we can successfully combat the enemy’s influence.

As we worship and intercede from this higher perspective, we come into alignment with the power of heaven and step into our identities as beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. If we truly believe that we are “seated with Christ in the heavenlies” far above every “rule and authority,”, then spiritual warfare should simply be a matter of seeing what God is doing and releasing His goodness over a situation.

Jesus is our role model as the ultimate atmosphere shifter

Jesus’ calming of the storm when He was with His disciples is a perfect example of how to shift atmospheres.

One of my favorite passages from Scripture is the story about Jesus calming the storm. Found in Mark 4:35-41, the famous passage shows Jesus and His disciples crossing the sea after ministering all day.

Falling asleep in the bottom of the boat, Jesus rests completely at peace. But a storm soon comes, and the disciples, afraid of dying, rushed down and wake Him, saying, “Master, do you not care that we are drowning?”

Whereas the storm was dangerous to the disciples, Jesus lived in complete peace. He released His peace over the storm and the situation and it calmed instantly.

International speaker and pastor, Bill Johnson, has a wonderful quote. I use it often, “You will only have peace over the storms you can sleep through.”

I love this story about Jesus and the storm because it shows that Jesus truly was the Prince of Peace. Interestingly, the Bible tells us:

“It is the God of Peace who will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Romans 16:20).

Most of us tend to think of peace as the absence of conflict, but for Jesus, peace was an interior state that remained, whether surrounded by evil or blessing. David’s famous passage from the Psalms, “you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” speaks to this reality.

Often we view ourselves as peaceful when we “feel” safe and healthy, when everything seems to be going our way. We don’t consider the reality that even in our darkest moments the Lord is with us, and His peace passes all understanding.

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (see John 5:19 NIV). 

We need to practice being atmosphere shifter like Jesus. He only did and said what His Father was doing. He actively sought after what the Lord was after and imparted that reality onto His situations.

Obviously, His relationship with the Holy Spirit made a huge difference, but even before that, Jesus was showing His complete surrender to the Lord’s will.

When we abide in our relationship with Jesus, we can shift the atmospheres around us and see what He is wanting to provide. As we stay connected to the Holy Spirit, we will truly be able to step out in faith and shift the storms that are happening in our lives.