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: Faithful in Trial

Sword & Shield SmallNothing pulls us to prayer faster than crisis. As it should. And these days, it seems there are so many difficult situations to take before the Lord. It is a critical time in the lives of our loved ones and in the life of our nation. As the return of Jesus draws ever closer, we will see an increase in pressure, problems, even persecution. The Bible tells us that clearly. (Matt. 24)

Maybe it’s just where I live and the people I know, but there are many who feel they are under an attack from the enemy. And that does happen. It is not our imagination. The enemy comes to “steal, kill and destroy,” (John 10:10.) He also comes to distract and draw off course. He comes to tempt, for sin will destroy us as sure as a deadly disease. The enemy will try anything to weaken our faith, to cause us to question God’s goodness, anything to get us to turn away from our Lord.

Satan’s Motivation

Remember Job? Satan’s motivation is revealed to us in this story. Satan, speaking of Job, says to the Lord, “But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face,” (Job 1:11.) When that didn’t work and Job, by God’s own testimony, “maintained his integrity,” (Job 2:3) Satan wanted to try again. “But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face,” (Job 2:5.)

Satan wanted God to take everything away from Job and to put him in physical agony just so that Job would turn away from God and stop serving and loving Him. Satan wanted Job to curse God to his face. He wanted Job to strike out against God in anger and rebellion and to sever their relationship. Job didn’t do that. Job clung to his knowledge of God in faith. God, in return, used the situation to teach Job, bringing him even deeper in his knowledge of God and then healed him and blessed his life twice as much. (Job 42:10.)

Faithful Under Attack

In the midst of our trials, we need to remember Job. We need to remember that it is Satan who wants us to turn away from God in doubt. We must remember to always turn TO the Lord and never away. We must remember that John 10:10 does not end with the thief coming to steal and kill and destroy. Jesus Himself was speaking and He said, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

When we are under attack and are suffering loss or suffering in our body, we need to be like Job and remain faithful to God, refusing to turn and curse Him. Instead, we remain faithful in our love for Him. Faithful in trusting Him. Faithful in prayer. I saw someone post on Facebook recently that she didn’t understand God’s plan for her life, but she loved Him still. That is a beautiful statement of faith. We have to remember that while God may have allowed this trial to come, He is with us and He will bring us through it. If we will trust Him, we will come out stronger and twice as blessed.

Spiritual Warfare: Stand Firm

Sword & Shield SmallEver have days when you’re so tired you feel you’re dragging yourself through the day? Ever face a situation that seemed so long and difficult you felt you were dragging yourself through life?

When Will It Change?

Sometimes when we feel we are treading water (or maybe going under for the third time!), we are not really drowning; we just need a breakthrough. When we feel we are in a holding pattern, and an unpleasant one at that, we need to remember that we are only walking through an in-between season; the season between “the now” and “the not yet.”

The situation will change; it just hasn’t yet. The victory will come; it just hasn’t arrived yet. It’s like when the angel was sent right away with the answer Daniel prayed for, but it took 21 days for the angel to battle through enemy forces to get to Daniel. (Story found in Daniel 10.) We need to remember we are not stuck; we are patiently waiting on the Lord and His timing. Better yet, we are actively waiting in faith to see how the Lord is moving on our behalf.

Stand in Faith

When we are in these places of waiting for victory, we must not become complacent and think there is nothing we can do in this battle. Persevering is doing something. Waiting in faith and faithfully waiting is doing something. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand,” (Eph. 6:13.) Standing our ground is doing something. We stand on the promises of God and we are not moved. We stand. We persevere. We keep putting one foot in front of the other. We do not give up.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” (Gal. 6:9.) To persevere means to “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty.”  We must not become weary, but we must keep on. For the victory will come, the harvest will peak.

Stand Your Ground

If you feel like it’s all you can do to hang on, that’s ok. Just hang on and believe. Trust and obey. Keep going. If you feel like all you can do is stand, that is enough. Stand firm then in your faith. Persevering. Getting up, putting one foot in front of the other, asking the Lord to help you and believing that He will, is spiritual warfare too.

Stand firm. The answer is on its way.

 

What is the breakthrough you are waiting in faith for today?

Spiritual Warfare: Time to Pray! –Pt. 1

DesperateA young father came home from work one day exhausted. Nothing had gone right at the office, his boss was angry, and there was an accident on the freeway making him late for dinner. At the table, he told his wife and two kids about how his project at work wasn’t coming together the way it should. Suddenly, his five-year-old daughter put down her fork and put her hand on his arm. She looked up at him with big serious eyes and said, “Did you pray about it, Daddy?”  That stopped him in his tracks. No, he hadn’t. He hadn’t done the most obvious thing in the world.

Remember to Pray

Prayer is the heart of spiritual warfare. It seems obvious, but the first thing to remember is to pray. Sometimes it’s easy to talk about how we’re under an attack of the enemy. (As someone once said, “Well, what are you doing under there?!”) It’s easy to think about all the things that aren’t going right, but we forget to pray! (For more on thinking versus praying, go here.) A great place to start in prayer is with praise. We talked about this when we started this series back in November with “Spiritual Weapons: Praise.” Praise and worship are powerful. Taking time to exalt the Lord gets our eyes on Him and on His power.

In Jesus’ Name

As we move into praying specifically to break any chains of the enemy, we need to always remember that we pray “in Jesus’ Name.” We have no power on our own. We always stand under the umbrella of the authority of Jesus. Our Lord Jesus, who was born of a virgin, crucified on a cross for our sins and raised from the dead to life by the power of God, is the One with all the power.

By Faith in the Name

Peter spoke and healed people by the authority of Jesus name in Acts 3. He came by a lame man who was crippled from birth. Peter said to him, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” (Act. 3:6b.) The man stood up and walked. Later, talking about this miracle, Peter said, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see,” (Acts 3:16.)

Great explanation, Peter! 😉 Notice he didn’t say, “Because I am Peter and I walked with Jesus, I was able to heal you myself.” Um … no. In the same way, just because we are Christians and we know that Lord doesn’t mean we can work miracles ourselves or that we can make Satan vacate the premises ourselves. “It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him…”

By Faith in His Power

Notice it’s not that Jesus’ Name is a good luck charm or the magic word. The name of Jesus is not a talisman of any kind. It’s not like, as long as you say that when you pray, you can make things come true. See the difference in that statement? We do not make things happen. We are submitted to God’s will in prayer and we are really declaring His power over the enemy that He has already defeated.

I often pray something like this: “In Jesus name, I stand against the enemy and I cast down all of his works. Anything he would bring against me, I completely destroy. I will not accept this attack on (fill in the blank!) my body, my marriage, my family, my bank account, my career, etc. By the power of the blood of Jesus, I command him to be gone! He has no place in my life. I am a child of God and I walk in His ways. I am forgiven and the Bible says, ‘No weapon formed against me will prosper,’ so I call this attempt to derail me, ‘Done!’ In Jesus Name, Amen.”

This is taking a stand against the enemy in prayer and in Jesus’ Name. We need to pray! We need to pray about everything and we need to pray specifically. The Lord is ready and waiting to answer our prayers.

For a three-minute video on asking the Lord for what we need, join me on my YouTube channel here.

For an amazing song by Darlene Zschech called “In Jesus Name,” click here.

Take a stand against the enemy this week. In prayer. In Jesus Name. Amen!

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?

 

Spiritual Warfare: Basics

Sword & Shield SmallBack in November, I posted about “Spiritual Weapons: Praise”  and I wanted to continue on this topic with some more thoughts about spiritual warfare. So, I’m going to post about this on Fridays for awhile. I hope you’ll join me!

I’m really blessed because I’ve grown up with a knowledge of spiritual warfare. I’ve heard a lot of teaching on it, read some excellent books and have had a fair amount of my own experience in it. But the concept of spiritual warfare is new to many people, even some who have been in the church for years.

Satan is Real

The fact is we have an enemy. This is a reality that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. We don’t need to be afraid of him; he is defeated by the cross of Christ. But he does exist. The Bible says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” (I Peter 5:8.) And we know from John 10:10 that, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;”

The Enemy’s Plans

Satan hates God’s children and he doesn’t want anyone to go to heaven. This means he is going to cause death and destruction whenever he can. He is going to pull people away from God however he can. He is going to try to discourage the saints and get their eyes off God. His ultimate goal is that we would turn away from the Lord and call Him unfaithful. That’s what he tried to accomplish with Job, but he failed miserably. Satan took (with God’s permission) everything from Job and even afflicted his body, but Job would not turn away from the Lord. This is what we are up against.

The Enemy Defeated!

Now, the good news. Satan is already defeated by the cross of Christ and the blood that Jesus shed for us. “He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross,” (Colossians 2:13b-15.) Satan is defeated in that now there is a way for anyone to come to God through Jesus, but the battle still goes on for the souls of all people. In the end, Satan will be completely vanquished and banished from the earth, but for now, we need to know our enemy and yet operate in the victory God has for us.

Our Victory is Real

We do not need to fall for Satan’s tricks or temptations. We do not need to be discouraged when it seems he is at work. We must remember this:  “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world,” (I John 4:4, italics mine.) That’s right. The Lord who dwells in us is SO much greater than any evil spirit in this world. Our victory is sure. But we must stand up and claim that victory in a daily basis. We must remember that it is ours. We must remember to walk by God’s principles and not the world’s because that’s where the victory is found. So, let’s thank God that He is in us and He is greater than the enemy. Let’s focus on Him and give Him praise and ask Him to help us grow in our ability to prevail in the midst of spiritual warfare!

Can you think of a time when you knew you were in a battle against the enemy? Would you share it with us?

Spiritual Weapons: Praise

Girl raising hands in praise

Revelation

I like to start my day by praying and putting on the armor of God and standing against the enemy. I think it’s very important and something all Christians should do. As I was diving in to do this one morning last week, I felt this rush in my spirit to give God praise first. To exalt Him, to give thanks and to proclaim His goodness and love. I realized right away, God was showing me and reminding me that praise is a powerful prayer weapon as well!

The enemy does not like to hear us giving praise to the Lord. I’m sure it grates on his nerves like nails on a chalkboard and none of his forces like to be around it either. So, let’s give God praise! Loudly!

Real War

In the Bible, in II Chron. 20, we see the people of Judah facing three (not one, but three!) armies who have come to war against them and to destroy them. But the Lord says to not be afraid because He will fight for them. He says the people only need to march down to where the armies have gathered against them because the Lord will handle this. So the King, “Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness– as they went out at the head of the army, saying,

“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”

 22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men…who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (II Chron. 20:21, 22)

Reality Check

Did you catch that? They put the worship team at the head of the army! The front lines of an actual battle is not where the singers usually find themselves. Professional soldiers usually handle those assignments. But “as they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes…”

The same is true today. We need to remember that we are also in a Real War. Just because we can’t see the enemy taking a stand against us doesn’t mean he’s not there. AND, as we begin to sing and praise, the Lord will move against the work of the enemy in our lives. And he will be defeated.

Are you facing many trials? Feel like you are hard pressed on every side? Start to give God praise. Proclaim His goodness. Out loud. Give Him thanks in prayer.

As we begin the season of giving thanks, let’s remember that as we exalt Him and give Him praise, we are also pushing back against the enemy and advancing the kingdom of God.

The Power of Our Words

Creating Our World

I think one of the most amazing principles at work in our world is the creative power of our words. We can literally create a great deal of our world, of our lives, by what we say.

Sound like hocus-pocus? Not all all. (This is a Biblical blog. No hocus-pocus here.) We have all experienced this to one degree or another already. I have literally pulled myself up out of the doldrums by making my mouth speak the praises of God out loud even though I didn’t feel like it. My feelings followed my words. Conversely, we have all probably had a time or two we pulled ourselves into a downward spiral by rehearsing the negative over and over.

Worldly Principles = Half Truths

The world acknowledges this principle even though it doesn’t understand it or the Power behind it. The world says to throw your expectations out to the universe, and they will return to you fulfilled. They say we must always build ourselves up with affirming self-talk. We are told to draw positive vibes to ourselves by being positive. There is an element of truth here, but only a half-truth because Satan will always have a counterfeit to what is Real and Created by God. For example, we do need affirming self-talk, but only when that self-talk is based on the Word and what God says about us.

God’s Idea: Powerful Words

God gave us this powerful little instrument called the tongue. Powerful words were His idea. In Genesis, God spoke…and it was. God spoke…and it came to be. God spoke…and it was good. But on the last day of creation, day 6, God did not speak. He stooped down and he formed man in His image and breathed His very own breath–and whoosh! Man lived. We are made in God’s image, in His likeness. Do our words have power as well?

The Bible tells us, “Yes.”

  • “From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.” Prov. 12:14
  • “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.” Prov. 18:20.
  • “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Prov. 18:21.

Agree with God

If we speak in faith, in agreement with God’s Word, principles and blessings, we will indeed be filled and satisfied. We will see the power of God in our lives when we speak out in faith what He has for us.

I was first intrigued by this principle when I read Charles’ Capps’ book, “Tongue: A Creative Force.” He talks about the fact that our words have creative power. “Words are the most powerful thing in the universe! The words you speak will either put you over in life or hold you in bondage. Those that say they can and those that say they can’t are both right.”[i]

Wow. Did you catch that last line?! We do talk ourselves in and out of abilities and competence, don’t we?

Speak in Faith

Charles Capps also says, “…the absence of God’s Word in your life will rob you of faith in His ability. Put yourself in a position to receive God’s best for you by speaking His Word. God’s creative power is still just as it was in the beginning of time when He stood there and said, ‘Light—be,’ and light was. His Word spoken from your mouth and conceived in your heart becomes a spiritual force releasing His ability within you. Learn to speak His faith-filled words to your situation and see your life transformed!”

That’s exactly it. When we speak His Word to our situation out loud in prayer, we will see God act on our behalf.

More to come on this subject…for now, let’s remember—we have what we say!

Did you realize your words were so powerful? What have you been speaking into your life lately?


[i] “The Tongue, A Creative Force,” by Charles Capps, 1995, Harrison House, Inc., Tulsa, AR, Amazon excerpt

You Asked for Spiritual Warfare?

You Prayed for What?

I did the craziest thing at the end of Sunday school yesterday. I prayed at the conclusion of the lesson and I heard myself say, “Lord, help us to grow in spiritual warfare and to learn to use the tools You’ve given us.” Part of my brain was already sending up red flags. “What are you saying? That’s like asking for patience! You pretty much asked for spiritual attack.” Yep, I sure did. No, I don’t know what I was thinking. I do know there was no time wasted in the answer to this prayer!

Old Ways

I could feel something was “off” in my conversation with my daughter this afternoon and it felt like so many times before when we’ve gotten into fights. But I couldn’t stop myself long enough to really recognize and deal with that feeling. I should’ve stopped; prayed and cast the enemy out of the conversation. I didn’t.

Next thing you know, we’re yelling at each other and crying and hurting each other’s feelings, like we haven’t done in months. Over nothing. Over misinterpretation. Over not hearing what was really being said.

Angry, angry, angry. We parted ways for awhile (always a good idea) and then we tried talking about it again. More anger. More tears. Still not working.

Enemy in the Midst

Finally I said, “Can we acknowledge that the enemy is probably coming between us right now because we can’t hear what the other person is really saying? For real.” That does happen. I think one way my daughter and I can recognize this is happening with us is when we are both saying, “What are you talking about?!”

After we agreed that the enemy was involved on some level, we were able to talk more reasonably and apologize and get back to the truth—neither of us wanted to hurt the other person’s feelings. Then we prayed together and bound the enemy and took the opportunity to break old patterns that he has “worked us over with” before.

Victory is Sure

Yesterday, I talked about those old tracks and patterns the enemy lays in our lives and how he pulls us back to them. We talked about how he thinks he “has us” and how his purpose is our destruction. But praise be to God through Christ Jesus, we are always victorious!

I’m kind of excited now. Because the enemy “showed his hand” like that today, we were able to destroy a long-term pattern in our relationship that he won’t be able to pull us back into. We both agreed if we feel that particular explosive feeling during a conversation, we will stop and pray. But it probably won’t happen again, because the power of the enemy has been broken. We do have weapons of warfare and they are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. (II Cor. 10:4)

That’s what we did today: pull down an old stronghold. Hallelujah! More freedom.

Is the enemy trying to pull you back to an old pattern today? Is there a stronghold you need to demolish through prayer?


  • 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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