Tag Archives: spiritual warfare

Choosing To Love

One of the places I find myself at odds with mainstream Christianity in America (and maybe you too) is how we treat non-believers. In today’s culture, Christians are under attack for our faith. There is a war for the heart of this nation that we find ourselves in. The problem is that the enemy uses people and groups to attack us, and we fight back with these groups of people. We’ve forgotten that our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers of the unseen world. We never once read where Jesus attacked the people who were attacking Him. Instead, He loved them and fought against their spiritual darkness by bringing light.

We as Christians have been called to be salt and light. Who needs those? People who are living in the dark and need God’s flavors sprinkled in their life. How can we bring light when we are constantly attacking the person? How can we show them how to taste and see that the Lord is good when we consider them our foes? We’ve can’t afford to be distracted by the enemy and fall into the trap of attacking others. We are to be known for our love rather than our disdain. How can we show God’s love when we are meeting hate with hate?

In Colossians 4:5, Paul urges us, “Be wise in the way you act toward those who are not believers, making good use of every opportunity you have” (GNT). His message was to the Christians there to remind them of the roots of their faith. I believe we too need that reminder. We need to pray for wisdom in how we show God’s love to those who are against our faith, and that we do it in a manner that is pleasing to Him. Our mission hasn’t changed. If we want to turn this world upside down again, it’s going to come from God’s love through us not from our human attempts to force change.

Photo by Leighann Renee on Unsplash

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God Is Your Defender


All of us are prone to being attacked by the enemy. If you are a Christian, you can expect that the enemy will do whatever he can to disrupt your walk with God and ruin your witness. To help with that, Ephesians 6 describes the Armor of God that each of us can put on. I know people who physically do the motions of putting it on each day. They want to make sure that they are ready for an attack and ready to advance the Gospel.

Even with the armor on, the attacks of the enemy can be overwhelming. He uses circumstances, people around us and anything he can find to hurt us. If you’re in one of those battles, I want to remind you that you’re not fighting alone. God is not only there fighting with you, He’s also defending you from the enemy. Without Him defending us, we would all succumb to the enemy. Thankfully our God is a strong defender who protects His people.

Here are some Bible verses about God defending us.

1. The Lord will defend his people; he will take pity on his servants.
Psalm 135:14 GNT

2. When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way You send them, and they pray to the LORD toward the city which You have chosen and the house that I have built for Your Name and Presence, then hear in heaven their prayer and their pleading, and maintain their right and defend their cause.
1 KINGS 8:44-45 AMP

3. Come with great power, O God, and rescue me! Defend me with your might.
Psalms 54:1 NLT

4. How I love you, Lord! You are my defender.
Psalm 18:1 GNT

5. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated.
Psalm 62:2 GNT

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Victory In The Valley

  
When reading the story of David and Goliath recently, I noticed something I had read over. I Samuel 17:3 says, “So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them” (NLT). I had never picked up that there was a valley between the two sides. Then verse 40 says, “He (David) picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.” David had to go into the valley to win the victory.

You won’t win victory standing where you are. You are going to have to make the first move. For 40 days, the Israelites were paralyzed by fear. Each day Goliath invited them to fight him, but they stayed put. When David heard Goliath’s taunts, he didn’t get fearful, he got a righteous anger. He knew that this was a spiritual battle that had to be handled in the physical as well. To win the spiritual battle, he’d have to enter the valley and trust God.

Fast forward 14 generations, Jesus was fighting a spiritual battle that required Him to enter a valley as well. John 18:1 says, “After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees.” The battle He was fighting was to have the courage to do what God wanted while facing the fear of dying a torturous death on a cross. He could have stayed where He was, but He entered the valley to pray that God’s will be done.

Both David and Jesus recognized that the battle was the Lord’s. They both knew who was fighting on their behalf. That gave them the courage to walk into what seemed like certain death in order to obtain the victory. You and I have to have the same tenacity in prayer and desire to go into the valley if we are going to win our spiritual battles. We are going to have to let go of fear and embrace what God wants to do, enter the valley in front of us, and fight on our knees for victory.

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Winning Spiritual Warfare (Video)

It is true that we live in the world, but we do not fight from worldly motives. The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds.

II Corinthians 10:3-4 (GNB)

If you are having trouble watching this video, click here.

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Rental Gear

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My nephew is into Airsoft wars and invited me to go to one with him. If you’re not sure Airsoft is, it’s a lot like paintball only the guns look real and they shoot plastic BB’s at you. At this Airsoft war, we arrived early. I rented a gun, mask and vest. It wasn’t long before lots of other people started to arrive. Most were dressed in full U.S. Military fatigues or camouflage while I was in blue jeans and tennis shoes. As we were standing there waiting to start, a guy in his 20’s walked up and asked about my nephew’s gun. After talking about it, he started talking about his AK-47 and the history of how they were designed and manufactured. He spoke of how much his Airsoft designed AK-47 mimicked the real one.

As he spoke, I watched other people arrive with Sniper rifles, cargo boxes full of gear, grenades and smoke bombs. I began to look at my rental gear and realize I was out gunned. When the guy finished talking about his gun, I jokingly said, “I’ve got this standard rental issue so look out.” He didn’t think it was funny. Instead he said, “That’s an M4.” He then told me all about my gun. It didn’t make me feel better about my chances in the upcoming battles. I realized I had a gun that had been overused, a mask that had been worn a hundred times before by a hundred different people and no idea of what was coming.

I wonder if that’s how David felt when he went to meet his brothers on the battle front. Did he look around and see everyone in their military gear and then look at his everyday clothes? Did he look at their weapons for war and compare them to his sling? He didn’t go there to fight. We just wanted to deliver some food for his brothers. When he did decide he was going to fight, the others for sure looked at his clothes and sling as insufficient. Saul gave him rental gear to fight in. We all know it didn’t fit and would have hindered his ability in the battle. David gave up the rental gear for spiritual gear.

He realized that the battle in front of him was more than a physical one. It was a spiritual one. He knew that his physical gear wouldn’t help him in a spiritual battle so he gave back the rental gear. He was out gunned on the physical front, but had all the fire power he needed on the spiritual front. His victory wasn’t due to his slingshot or the stones he picked out at the creek. His victory was due to his ability to recognize when he was in a spiritual battle. He knew that when God is on your side, victory is assured. He knew that physical attributes don’t guarantee spiritual victories.

Are you in a spiritual battle today that is masked as a physical one? Have you felt out gunned as you’ve approached the situation? Don’t get caught up in the physical impossibilities of the situation. Don’t get lost in what the other side has versus what you don’t have. When we look at the physical side of a spiritual battle, it’s easy to give up or to be afraid. When we look at the spiritual side, it’s easy to be brave because if God is for us, who can be against us? We have all the fire power and tactical advantage we need. Give up the rental gear, God has given you all you need to win.

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Recognizing attacks

Are you falling behind or not doing what God has called you to do? You are not alone. Circumstances and situations seem to eat up our time and prevent us from doing what we are supposed to do. It happens to all of us. We get caught in a cycle of things happening that continues until we give up on our calling.

If you have plans to be effective for Christ, then you will be under attack. Things will happen in your life that will prevent you or slow you down and keep you from being effective. I’ve heard that 21 days makes a habit. If the enemy can keep you from your task for 3 weeks, he has a strong chance of keeping you from your mission.

There are some common tactics he uses and we can see them by looking at Job’s life.

1. He attacks your mind

If he can win the battle of your mind, he can render you ineffective. That’s why he attacks this first. He may attack you, your family, your job or your belongings to get your mind off of God. A lot of times when bad things happen, we even blame God for it. When you blame God, he has won.

This happened in my own life. I lost just about everything that was important to me in my life during the span of about 8 months. I lost the battle of the mind when that happened and I was rendered ineffective for nearly a decade. We need to recognize that when bad things are happening, it could be an attack and you need to guard your mind. When Job was attacked this way, he fell down and worshipped God and said, “Naked I came into this world and naked I’ll go out. The Lord gave to me and the Lord has taken away. Bless the name of the Lord.”

2. He attacks your body

If he can’t win the battle of the mind, he will try to attack your body. He did this to Job and he’ll do it to you too. He will afflict your body until you physically can’t accomplish what God has for you. When you are taken down through physical illness or injury, it is hard to move around or go where you are supposed to go.

This happened to me recently when my back went out. During that time, I spent less time in prayer, read scripture less, wrote less and couldn’t attend church. The attack kept me from all the things that feed my spirit. When your spirit isn’t fed, it grows weak. When it grows weak, you are able to be defeated. Job was not defeated when he was attacked physically. Scripture says that during that time, he did not sin against God with his lips.

3. He attacks through friends

Another tactic that is used against us is that our friends and family can be turned against us. When Satan can’t turn you against God, he will turn the closest people to you against you. They will tell you things that will break you down and break your heart. Their words become obstacles that will build doubt and keep you from your calling.

There is an old Irish proverb that says, “In times of trouble, friends are recognized.” When bad things start happening to you, a lot of “friends” seem to disappear from your life. You start to question each of the relationships you have and sometimes you are left with no one standing with you. Job experienced this. His wife and friends told him to curse God and die and even accused him of hidden sins. Still he did not let it sway him.

What’s going on in your life that you may not have recognized as an attack? Is something taking you away from what you are supposed to be doing for God? If so, then you are probably under attack. Don’t yield if you are being attacked. Stand up, fight back and get back to doing what you need to do for God!

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