Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ignatius to the Ephesians - Meet together often

This is a continuation of my series on Ignatius and the seven letters he wrote while on his way to be martyred in Rome. If you are unfamiliar with Ignatius, you may want to start with the introduction to this series.

Ignatius exhorts the Ephesians to come together often.
"Take heed, then, often to come together to give thanks to God, and show forth His praise. For when ye assemble frequently in the same place, the powers of Satan are destroyed, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith. Nothing is more precious than peace, by which all war, both in heaven and earth, is brought to an end." (Ignatius to the Ephesians, Chapter 13)
The reasons for coming together may be as varied as the number of people who meet together, but Ignatius mentions two very interesting one here. When we meet together frequently (or regularly) the power of Satan over a place is destroyed and his work of destruction is thwarted. There is real power in our coming together  and that power is felt both in heaven and on earth. Its a power to overthrow the forces of evil and to establish the reign of God in our midst and in our communities. 

What is also interesting is the aspects of our coming together that accomplishes this spiritual warfare. They are our praise and our unity. When we meet in unity to show forth God's praise, power is released and the enemy is defeated and, in time, real change becomes apparent all around us. Knowing this, perhaps these things, praise and unity, should become central in our meeting together. We currently live in a time when the Word and teaching has become central in our meetings. Often praise is seen as the prelude or the lead-in to the teaching. I'm not saying teaching is not important, for it can produce great change in our lives, but we must never loose sight of the importance of praise and unity, for they can bring great change to our communities and even in the heavens.

David Robison

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