Spiritual Warfare: The Word, Our Weapon

Sword & Shield SmallIf you and I lived in a different time and we woke up in a tent on the hard ground in the middle of a vast encampment of soldiers and were told to get ready because today was the day of battle, we would jump up and scramble to find our armor and most importantly, our sword. There’s no way we would leave our weapon behind.

Do We Leave Our Weapon Behind?

Our weapon in spiritual warfare is the Bible, the Word of God, but sometimes we head out the front door and into our day and we leave it behind. Not that we have to physically carry a Bible with us at all times (although if it’s on our phone or tablet, it is with us!) but we need to be hiding God’s Word in our heart so we are ready to use it in battle. Which means, we need to be reading it every day.

Even though we may agree with this concept or even deeply believe it, it’s so easy to have days slip by without reading the Word. Our lives are busy and we have a flood of incoming information every day. Sometimes it’s that flood that crowds out what we really need to be taking in: our best defense against the enemy in times of trial or temptation.

Our Spiritual Defense

We have the same spiritual defense that Jesus had. He is our example and He withstood the most vicious assault of temptation ever loosed on a man. (Matt. 4:1-11.) Jesus had been fasting for 40 days. He was at the end of that fast and He was hungry. His body was ready to eat. That’s when the enemy came to tempt Him, at a very weak physical point. Satan tempted him with three powerful temptations (including food!) but Jesus replied every time with one weapon and one weapon only: the Word of God. He quoted Scripture to the devil and the devil had no reply. Three tries and the devil left Him. Jesus had won!

Read the Word

What if Jesus had not studied the Word? He didn’t arrive on the earth with all the Scriptures that had been written to that point downloaded and stored in His mind just because He came from heaven and was the Son of God. He started out as a baby, just like us, and had to learn the Scriptures, just like us. He knew the verses He quoted to the devil because He studied ahead of time. He memorized them. He went to the synagogue. On one trip to Jerusalem, Jesus stayed in the temple so long “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,” that his parents left for home and didn’t realize he wasn’t with them! (Luke 2:41-52)

We need to be reading the Word of God and studying it as well. We especially need to be memorizing it. Bible verses are like arrows that we need to have ready to pull out and fire at a moment’s notice. They are like every swing, every thrust and jab, of a sword in battle.

Weapons!

If we are afraid, we remember II Tim. 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

If we need forgiveness, we know that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” according to I John 1:9.

If we are anxious, we remember Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.”

If we are tempted, we know that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it,” (I Cor. 10:13.) Then, we take the way out!

If we need encouragement that we will overcome the enemy and have victory:

“For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Duet. 20:4

“With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” Psalm 108:13

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 5:7)

Whether we  have been studying the Bible our whole life or if we met Jesus yesterday, each of us need to be in the Word every day. We need to be reading and learning more. We need to meditate and memorize, so we already know the verses we need to use in the heat of battle to reply to any accusation or attack or temptation of the enemy. For with our God and with His weapons, our victory is sure.

Can I get an “Amen?”

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Spiritual Warfare: Open Our Eyes

Sword & Shield SmallAn amazing story takes place in II Kings 6:8-22. The king of Aram was trying to attack the king of Israel’s territory. But the prophet Elisha kept warning the king of Israel where the attacks would come. The king of Aram became so frustrated, he asked his men if one of them was a spy. They told him the problem was the prophet Elisha who knew their every move. So the king of Aram sent his army to capture Elisha.

What a Sight!

Elisha’s servant stepped out the front door onto the porch one day, probably to get the morning paper, and was surprised to see an army surrounding the city. He was, understandably, afraid. He asked the prophet what they should do. But Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid … Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Spiritual Vision

I wonder if the servant looked around and then gave Elisha a look that said, “Dude, there’s only two of us!” Because the next thing Elisha did was to pray. “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” And then! “…the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” And God gave Elisha great victory over that entire army that day.

We talked last week about needing to acknowledge that we have an enemy, but knowing we have the victory. We need to ask the Lord to open our eyes to both. We need to be able to see when and where the enemy is at work, but we must always be firmly rooted in the fact that, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Focus

I talked to a lady once who was in love with the enemy. Truly. She didn’t realize that at the time, but all she wanted to talk about was the enemy and his work. She wanted to tell me about all the different times she had been attacked by him and times she had seen demons, etc. Never once did she talk about the Lord and His power.

We are not in a relationship with the enemy. We are in a relationship with Jesus Christ, who has already defeated the enemy. Even when we find ourselves in spiritual warfare, either standing against the enemy or declaring the victory in worship or battling in prayer for someone’s salvation, we keep our eyes on the Lord. We focus on the work He wants to do and the fact that He has the power to do it. We are merely partnering with Him.

God’s Army

So, before we look at the weapons of warfare God has given us, such as the armor and prayer and fasting and the Word, we need to clear. We need to ask the Lord to give us sight like Elisha. He received wisdom from the Lord regarding the enemy’s attacks, but he wasn’t afraid. He knew he was serving in the greatest army of all. And so are we.

Was there a time the Lord gave you supernatural insight into the spiritual battle behind a situation?

 

Slicing Ears Off?

Peter:  From the Garden to the Courtyard

Part of the Sunday school lesson I taught yesterday was from John 18 where Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and when Peter denied the Lord three times–just as Jesus predicted a couple hours before.

I found it fascinating to think about how Peter must have been feeling. He went through quite a change from the Garden to the Courtyard.

Arrested in the Garden

A contingent of soldiers and men sent from the high priest, a crowd carrying torches and weapons, came to arrest Jesus in an olive grove where Jesus and his disciples had been praying. Jesus was not surprised, but fully expected this to happen. The soldiers were ready to seize Jesus and arrest him when Peter pulled out a sword and cut a servant’s ear off!

All four of the Gospels record this, but only John names Peter as the one wielding the sword. Only Luke tells us that Jesus picked up the man’s ear and healed him (which means, reattached it!) Perhaps because Luke was a doctor, this was important for him to note. I’m so glad he did. I like knowing that Jesus healed that servant, even as He put a stop to the violence with his words.

Rebuked by Jesus

Luke also tells us, “When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, ‘Lord, should we strike with our swords?” (Luke 22:49). Since when do all the disciples carry swords?! And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear” (Luke 22:50) Not surprising that Peter was the one to take action. BUT, there’s a problem. “But Jesus answered, ‘No more of this’!” (Luke 22:51)

Jesus said, “No.” Peter was sure he was being brave and loyal, but Jesus said, “No.” Peter was ready for a big, physical fight, but he didn’t understand this battle would be waged in spirit by a different set of rules entirely. Peter still thought Jesus’ kingdom would come through force, by resisting men. Jesus didn’t receive Peter’s act of “bravery” and he rebuked him in front of the disciples and a huge crowd of enemies.

Disillusion Led to Denial

Peter was deflated, defeated and very disillusioned by the time he and John got to the residence of the high priest where Jesus was taken. John went inside. Peter stayed outside in the courtyard. Peter thought he was ready to defend Jesus to the death, but only if he could do it his way, only if he could go down swinging. He was ready to do some damage with a sword, but he wasn’t ready for a servant girl to ask him who he was. He wasn’t ready to identify with Jesus with his words and leave the results up to God. So, Peter denied Jesus three times, calling down curses on himself and declaring in the strongest language that he didn’t even know “the man.”

This is only one step along the way of Peter’s journey and we know that he is later fully restored and becomes a mighty man of God…

God’s Ways, Not Our Ways

But we need to remember that we can’t come to God our own way. He doesn’t need us to defend Him in our flesh. We can’t say we will do what God wants us to do, but we will use our own methods. We must follow the example of Jesus and do the Father’s will the Father’s way, according to His plan and by His strength.

God’s ways and plans are always different (higher!) than ours. We need to learn His ways and then surrender and obey. This is always the way to victory, even if it doesn’t seem so at first.

Is there an area where you are trying to do the right thing for God your own way?


  • Hi, I'm Erica ~ a wife, a mom, a Christian speaker, singer, author, and worship leader. I love coffee & chocolate, reading & writing, music & more music, Facebook & Twitter, time with family & friends! Thanks for dropping by ~ I hope you are encouraged here.

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