In my previous blog, I touched on prayer, I challenged my readers and myself to be more intentional about how much time we pray.
Prayer is an essential spiritual discipline for us as Christians yet I don’t think we spend enough time understanding why it is so important that we pray.
Today we’re going to touch on Spiritual warfare so let us consider the following verse:
Ephesians 6:12 NIV (emphasis my own)
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
This verse highlights a few things.
- There is more than the physical world that we can see and touch.
- There is a wresting taking place, other versions include struggling.
- There are unseen spiritual forces of darkness.
So let’s begin here by understanding what spiritual warfare is.
We can define warfare in this way:
military operations between enemies, hostilities, also an activity undertaken by a political unit (such as a nation) to weaken or destroy another. struggle between competing entities conflict.
So if you are still following you will see that there is a fight going on between evil and good. The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.
It is vital to understand that there is a healthy response to this as well as an unhealthy one, some people see demon activity in everything and they are obsessed with it they live in crippling fear, while others don’t believe that evil exists and so they live their lives without the fear but in as much danger as those who overestimate the power of evil. We need to have a healthy approach and it starts by acknowledging this truth:
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil—
The devil is real. He is not some little guy in a red suit with a pitchfork, he has come to STEAL, KILL and ultimately DESTROY.
The enemy is crafty, he knows what each person is weak in mostly because he has a plan. The same way God has plans to prosper us the enemy has a plan to harm us and keep us from the truth.
The enemy uses fear.
“Fear is Satan’s primary weapon. It’s a spiritual force that begins inside you, and it is totally destructive because it robs you of your faith and peace. It keeps your focus on circumstances instead of the promises in God’s Word”
Where is your focus as you’re reading this? Do you fear for your family in these difficult times? Are you concerned about finances? Job security? Or just your life in general?
Instead of just moving in fear have you looked at God’s word? What promises do we have? One of them is this…
Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life…
The areas that you worry about the most is the same areas that you trust God the least.
Some days you might have to say the following out loud: “Lord I am afraid, for my future and my life but thank you that your Word says I don’t have to worry about my life, if birds are not having nervous breakdowns because they are taken care of I will also not be afraid or worry”
The enemy is very crafty, he knows exactly what to shake in your life…
“The enemy’s attacks are always wrapped in the packaging of deception, always designed to manipulate the truth about God, and about your value in Him. He desires to lead you into sin so that fellowship is broken between you and God—this way you’ll be disconnected from the Source of true power and strength,”
The enemy will lie to you, tempt you to sin, and make you prideful.
So what do we do? How do we overcome?
We do this by understanding that the most powerful weapon is RELATIONSHIP, real relationship, our spiritual armor and prayer is included in this, for years my spiritual life was just about ticking boxes, I just did things that a good Christian does and thought my mission is to stay out of hell, nothing else, we do not talk about the importance of relationship enough because it’s hard.
Relationships with people that we see aren’t easy, how much more with our Heavenly Father, but the same way we work hard to keep our worldly relationships thriving we should do the same with the relationship we have with God. This is the most important relationship of them all.
What does relationship look like?
For me it looks a little like this. It looks like being honest everyday that I believe in God, I believe that he sent his one and only Son to die for my sins. I believe that it isn’t my good works that qualify me for his goodness, I believe that God loves me more than my mind could ever comprehend and that nothing can separate me from his love. I believe that he has certain guidelines that he has put in place to protect me and that his Word is the most wonderful thing I have ever laid my hands, heart and eyes on and I will spend my whole life navigating through these truths. I believe he is the ultimate authority in my life.
I make honest prayers. I entrust all that I am to Christ. Even when I fail I remember nothing disqualifies me from his love. I am learning to Go to God about everything, even the most ridiculous things. Knowing that he’s a loving father who is crazy about me.
The armor of God:
- The belt of truth- Have you read it, do you know it? Do you carry with you in your heart, if not start today. Start by praying and ask God to open your eyes, your spiritual eyes so that you not only see what is written but also believe that it is true.
- The breastplate of righteousness- Our righteousness is Christ, without him we fail even before we begin, so knowing this with the help of the Holy Spirit we must pursue right standing with Christ and fill our lives with what glorifies.
- The shield of faith- “Faith is the shield of the believer. Trusting in God’s power and protection is imperative in remaining steadfast. When the battle rages, we must remember that God works all things for good. He is always true to His promises.”
- Helmet of salvation- “The believer’s helmet of salvation is the most crucial piece of armor for the Christian. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit that enters a believer at the moment of salvation, all other armor is useless. Salvation empowers believers to fight. It protects us in our weaknesses. Without salvation, there is no victory.”
- The Shield of faith- “Faith is the shield of the believer. Trusting in God’s power and protection is imperative in remaining steadfast. When the battle rages, we must remember that God works all things for good. He is always true to His promises.”
- The Sword of the spirit- The sword is the only piece of offensive armor it is so vital in the battle with evil, the enemy knows this, if Jesus responded with scripture to him in the wilderness how much more should we? However we cannot respond with what we do not know, do you know the word? Do you know it really?
And PRAYER… Not only before meals and before bed but at all times, for those you love, for every situation and no matter what happens.
So much can be said but as you read this I pray your spiritual eyes may be opened, I pray you may be encouraged and remember with Christ we will overcome.
2 Corinthians 10:5
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
So much can be said on this matter. But we’ll end here today.
As you read this I pray your eyes may be opened, I pray your spirit may be strengthened. I pray you may always remember that in Christ we have overcome.
Life is Art