“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
The Power of T-N-T, by Randall D. Kittle

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” — 1 Corinthians 4:20

As I was reading Isaiah 12:4, I heard the Lord say, “I came not only to make a way for salvation, but to destroy the works of the enemy. I have given My Church all they need to be victorious overcomers, and I am calling them to use the power of ‘T’ … ‘N’ … ‘T’ that I have given them.” With that, I saw a few sticks of T-N-T bundled together. Looking more closely, I noticed that the letters written on them were actually words. The first “T” said “Thankfulness,” the “N” was the phrase “Name of Jesus,” and the second “T” was the word “Testimony.”

Jesus came not only to reconcile us to God, but also
“… to destroy the works of the Devil” (1 John 3:8). You don’t have to look far in our world to see how Satan has warped, twisted, and damaged the thinking and the ways of mankind. We know His desire is “to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Morally, he entices us to sin. Physically, he inflicts disease and seeks to cripple and kill. Intellectually, he deceives us into error. And spiritually, he blinds the minds of unbelievers so they struggle to see and believe the gospel, and attempts to stop believers from realizing the goodness and faithfulness of God.

In Isaiah 12:4, we can see three powerful weapons God has given us to overcome the enemy’s onslaught. It says,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the peoples, proclaim that His name is exalted.” This verse instructs us to be Thankful, to proclaim the Lord’s Name, and to give Testimony of what God has done for us.

The Power of a Thank-filled Heart
Possessing a thank-filled heart is a weapon of vast power. Yet, it is overlooked and untapped by most believers. When our hearts regularly express thanks to God, it works to overcome three of the most common and powerful attacks of the enemy — pride, anxiety, and the victim mentality.

One of the strongholds the enemy uses to ensnare the Church is that of
pride. No one knows better than Satan how well pride works to make one fall and become far from God. If the enemy can get us to operate in pride, he knows it will both distance us from God and cause God to resist what we are doing, “for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).

When we operate in pride, we are focused on self. “‘I’ have accomplished this, and ‘I’ am responsible for that.” But the Bible commands us to 
“be clothed with humility” (1 Peter 5:5). You cannot wear pride and humility at the same time. The one will always remove the other.  

One way we can actively pursue humility is to be thankful. Thankfulness lowers our opinion of ourselves and elevates others and God. Thankfulness gets our focus off ourselves and acknowledges that others have had an important part in our successes and victories. Thankful hearts are a death blow to the prideful image of the “self-made man.” They help us to become God-made men — those who realize we have received many blessings from God and are dependent upon His grace. 

Overcoming Anxiety
Another scheme the enemy uses to keep us from being all God created us to be is to invade our thought-lives with
anxious concerns. Never before has there been a time when mankind is so bombarded by the thoughts of others. Through the newspaper, radio, television, billboards, internet, smartphones and more, our senses are being continually presented with the anxious thoughts of others. Many of these thoughts present concerns, unanswered questions, or accusations. These tend to create worrisome and anxious thoughts. With the worldwide news of wars, natural disasters, tragedies, economic downturns, etc., it would seem only natural for us to be anxious about the days in which we live. But remember, we are not called to be natural but supernatural!

In the Scriptures, it is just as clear that we are not to worry as it is that we are to love! Look at God’s exhortation not to worry found in the Sermon on the Mount: 
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life … So why do you worry about clothing? … Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things” (Matthew 6:25–34). It seems clear from Jesus’ teaching here that He expects us not to worry or be anxious. Jesus doesn’t say, “Try not to worry.” No, He clearly commands three separate times in this passage, “Do not worry!”  It is always possible for us not to worry (or Jesus would not have commanded it), and just as clearly, we are sinning by breaking His command if we do worry.

When we have anxious thoughts, we are focused on our circumstances — what threatening or concerning things are happening around us. But being thankful makes our thoughts obedient to Christ by putting our focus on the blessings, provision, and opportunities we have been given.  
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). This proper perspective can transform days of worry into days of worship.

Overcoming the Victim Mentality
A third tactic the enemy uses to push back and prevent the Church from advancing in our day is the victim mentality. You can’t be part of any church for very long before you begin to discover those whose thinking has become ensnared in the enemy’s trap of a victim mentality. They are no longer overcomers — they have been overcome! Betrayal, rejection, falls, and failure have left them only a shell of the men and women of God they used to be, and a mere shadow of who they are called to be in Christ.

When someone has a victim mentality, they are focused on others and how they have been wronged by them. Once they allow this weapon to be deployed in their life, they will soon find it a ready excuse for anything and everything that is not going their way. If they hadn’t been betrayed by so-and-so, this would’ve happened. They were unable to do something remarkable here because they were recovering from the rejection they received over there. Everything undone, every failure, every disappointment is viewed through the distortion of what has been done 
to them.

But a thankful spirit quickly erodes the victim mentality because it causes us to view life in light of what has been done 
for us. Instead of seeing things we deserved but never attained, we begin to see things we have attained but never deserved. It is impossible to have a truly thank-filled heart toward others and God, and at the same time maintain a victim mentality. The ongoing practice of being thankful will destroy the false argument that you are some pitiful victim every time!
Having a thank-filled heart toward the Lord helps us overcome the three-pronged attack of the pride, anxiety, and the victim mentality. Let us willingly pick up God’s powerful weapon of a being thankful. As it tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, 
“… give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 

The Name of Jesus
The “N” in T-N-T stood for the name of Jesus. Down through the centuries, great names have endured whose very mention identifies the grandeur of the person’s endeavors and accomplishments. Just the mention of these names brings to mind pictures of their achievements and triumphs. Aristotle … Gutenberg … da Vinci … Shakespeare … Napoleon … Beethoven, and Einstein to name a few. Yet no name is as universally recognized as the name of Jesus, for no name has come anywhere close to doing for mankind what the name of Jesus has done for us.

In Philippians 2:9-11 we find this declaration of the absolute supremacy of the name of Jesus.
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” No other name has the significance and power that we find in the name of Jesus. At the mention of Jesus’ name, all principalities and powers will bow.

Bearers of His Name
The Scriptures tell us that as believers we have been commissioned,
“… we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). An ambassador is entrusted by those in authority to speak on their behalf. Through their appointed position, they exercise great authority to make critical decisions — signing and implementing important treaties and agreements. An ambassador has been given the “power-of-attorney” so their signature has the same authority as the president or king of that country.

In John 14:13-14 Jesus tells us,
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” Jesus himself has given to all believers the power of attorney to invoke His powerful name. Again, in John 16:23-24, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

First John 3:8 tells us,
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” When we pray in Jesus’ name against the schemes of Satan, we have the full authority of His name on our side. When we take the name of Jesus and operate in it, we destroy the works of Satan just like Jesus destroyed the works of Satan when He walked upon earth! Remember, although the devil is already defeated, we have to enforce the Lord’s victory!

The power and authority of the name of Jesus rightfully belong to you as a born-again Christian, and He expects you to use it! There is far more power wrapped up in the name of Jesus than you may even realize. Smith Wigglesworth once said,
“There is power to overcome everything in the world through the name of Jesus.” That means you can put the name of Jesus to work in every area of your life — big or small. Here are three times when you should use the name of Jesus.

#1 – Put Sickness to Flight
“In my name … they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17-18). Notice this verse doesn’t say the sick may recover. It says they will recover! No matter how minor or severe, every sickness and disease must bow to the name of Jesus. Because of the finished work of the Cross, we can be healed and pray for others to be healed as well!

When we use the name of Jesus to lay hands on the sick, we are ministering the love of Jesus to them. It is the love of Jesus within us that causes us to put our own reservations aside and gives us the boldness to pray publically for others to be healed. This provides God with the opportunity to touch the lives of others. Healing is often God’s “calling card” to the lost. He uses it to open their eyes to His existence and love for them.

#2 – Rebuke Lack
Philippians 2:9-10 says,
“Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Just like every sickness has to bow to the name of Jesus, so does any area where you are in lack — peace in your family, joy in your spirit, finances — every lack the enemy wants to put in your life has to bow to His name.

As a child of God, blessing is your lot — that is what you should expect … and nothing less. How do you contend for it? By using the name of Jesus when the devil comes to steal from you. Just as you wouldn’t tolerate someone barging into your home and taking your goods, you can’t tolerate the devil and his attempts to take what is rightfully yours in the name of Jesus.

So, when lack tries to come into your family, rebuke it. When you use the name of Jesus, Satan must back off. He has no choice. Say, “Lack, I rebuke you in Jesus’ name. You’re not coming into my family. You can’t come into my bank account or investments. Jesus came that I might have life and have it more abundantly. I am blessed in the Name of Jesus.” Stand your ground in every area.

#3 – Supernatural Protection
“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). The devil doesn’t want you to know this, for his entire profession is to steal, kill, and destroy. So, when you start using the name of Jesus to protect yourself, your family, and your property — he will be unable to operate in your life. Saturating his plans with the name of Jesus will stop him from oppressing you and your family, and keep you safe.

The name of Jesus is your supernatural protection … your emergency number … and your rescue vehicle all wrapped up in one. Therefore, it should always be your first line of defense when there seems to be no way out. That is the power of the name of Jesus. As you use the name of Jesus, you will discover for yourself what that exalted name can do. Begin to speak it with confidence and authority. It’s a mighty weapon of warfare!

The Word of Testimony
The last “T” in the vision was the word “Testimony.” Revelation 12:11 tells us that one of the ways believers overcome the enemy is
“… by the word of their testimony.” I believe this spiritual weapon has been overlooked because we don’t understand the power of the spoken word in the mouth of the redeemed. 

Think of the power of the words God declared in the first chapter of Genesis. They created the world and everything in it simply by being spoken!  Now remember, we were created in God’s image and are called to be like Him! Our words are powerful! Testimonies create hope, question, hunger, thirst, and desire.

What is a Testimony?
But what is “the word of their testimony”? It is not some formularized program that leads to nervous, tense, sweating people rudely mumbling some canned speech. It is declaring what Jesus has done for you ... how He has changed you and helped you. Whenever a new life has been attained or a breakthrough is achieved and the Lord is given the credit, people with an interest in God are drawn!

Every true believer has a testimony — a story of God’s faithfulness that defines, shapes, stirs or motivates their life. From a spiritual perspective, our stories might center on a salvation experience, a physical healing, an emotional breakthrough, or an encounter with the power of God.

For example, in the fourth chapter of the Book of John, the woman at the well had an encounter with Jesus. Following this, she didn’t recite some canned speech;
she announced an excited invitation to meet this one who had changed her life. The results were powerful — the whole city came out to see. All true spiritual encounters create an “urge to share.” Like the woman by the well, we share and invite others to “Come and see” (John 4:28).

This can happen at any time. A conversation with a friend or family member somehow turns to spiritual questions, and suddenly you find yourself with an opportunity to explain what the Lord has done for you. No matter where your comfort level rests in terms of sharing your testimony, the reality is that God has opened the door of opportunity, and He desires to use you to impact someone’s life. This is what Peter warned us about in 1 Peter 3:15, which says “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 

An incredible thought isn’t it. The infinite God of the universe opens the doors of people’s lives and then expects you and me to share with them the riches of His love and grace. How can we do that? Well, the most effective way for you to share the Good News of Jesus’ love is to tell your own story. This may sound trivial, but the results are often potent. Share candidly and personally how your life has changed since you gave your life to Christ or how Jesus has helped you in your day-to-day life. People are looking for evidence that God exists and that He is personally involved in peoples’ lives. Your story shows them that God has a relationship with you, and you can let them know He wants a relationship with them, too.

Tell your story by sharing three snapshots of your life: your life before God moved, how He responded, and how your life changed because of this.

#1 – What were things like before God moved in your life. This should be the shortest part of your testimony. Don’t dwell on the past, but let the listener know why you needed the Lord to intervene — whether it was a hopeless situation, a healing you needed, the story of your conversion, or a personal encounter with God. Try to identify with the listener, but be honest and don’t exaggerate.

#2 –
How Christ responded. Explain how you asked the Lord to intervene in your life and what happened.

#3 –
Explain how your life changed. Give examples of how God answer your cry for help. Be specific. Share the blessings of His love, goodness, and faithfulness to you, and what it feels like to be a child of the “King.”

When we’re excited about something, the words spill out excitedly, and it should be the same when we testify about what Jesus’ has done for us. It should be a spring of joy bubbling over. A testimony is like striking a match … it starts a burning flame of desire for more of God in others. Let us overcome the plans of the enemy by using the powerful testimony of what Jesus has done for us to bring hope and create a hunger in others for the living God.

Jesus is calling us to destroy the works of the enemy and build His kingdom on this earth, and He has not left us powerless in this endeavor. The Lord is calling us to use the powerful spiritual T-N-T He has entrusted us with to destroy the works of the enemy and advance as victorious overcomers in the days ahead. Let us hear His word and heed His call to pick up the powerful weapons of thankfulness, the name of Jesus, and our testimony and truly impact this world for Christ. While this may not be easy, the results will be eternal.

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