MORE THOUGHTS ON CHOICES AS IT RELATES TO THE BATTLES WE FACE IN LIFE.
I remember visiting a church in Indiana while speaking at a Point Man conference. Every inch of wall space was covered in scripture and when you entered the sanctuary, they handed you a little bag akin to an airline barf bag. The service began with a man in the pulpit calling out every spirit imaginable (many of which were nowhere to be found in scripture), commanding them to come out. Raising his voice, veins popping in his neck, he zeroed in on specific people as they shook and threw up the named demons into the bag. It was quite the zoo, and frankly, in my opinion, is one of those situations that make Christians look like idiots. I’m quite sure the enemy was getting quite a kick out of it.
THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT? NOT!!
I am not one who sees a demon behind every bush, nor do I embrace the Flip Wilson theology of blaming everything on the enemy (“the devil made me do it!). Some of the battles in my life are a result of my own bad decisions… they are consequences not an attack of the enemy.
However, if we are set on pursuing God and really growing in Him, there WILL be opposition from the unholy one… you can count on that.
Some people like to argue away the reality of demonic activity in our lives with the statement “believers can’t be possessed by a demon.”
I agree. But come on. What does it matter if you have a gun stuck in your mouth or just up against your ribs? Pulling the trigger will have a very similar result. So I don’t quibble over semantics. The truth is, the devil roams around roaring like a lion, seeking who he can devour. He has his unholy spirits who do his bidding, and if you attempt to be obedient and a light for others to see Jesus, there will be specific strategies the enemy will use (based on our vulnerabilities) to try to wear us down and get us to give up. Count on it.
DON’T GIVE THE ENEMY A FOOTHOLD
The other important factor is making sure we haven’t opened a door to the enemy and given him a foothold. My pastor-husband had a man come to him asking him to pray against a spirit of lust, yet he wasn’t willing to repent of his addiction to pornography. Ummmm. Nope. It doesn’t work that way. If you are deliberately sinning, you open a door and invite the enemy into your life. No victory will come until the sin is repented for and you turn away from it and toward Jesus.
Just this morning, as I write this post, I’m preparing to start facilitating a Bible study on A. W. Tozer’s classic, “The Pursuit of God.” The direction was given, “This week, why not try relating God’s Word back to Him when you pray?”
THERE’S POWER IN PRAYING THE WORD
I realized that I learned how to do this early on in my walk, even though there have been seasons where I let my guard down and did not keep the practice up.
For most years in my Christian life (excluding the time of my detour into deception) I make a point of praying scripture as a foundation for being prepared to fight the daily battles that are sure to come. Having the Point Man experience, working with combat veterans and understanding the similarities between the Viet Cong and their guerilla warfare methods and satan’s tactics helped me to take the command to fight the good fight a little more literally than some folks do. The beginning of my daily prayer goes something like this, OUT LOUD…there’s just something powerful about the SPOKEN word. Also I’ve provided the scriptures the prayer is based on:
Today, I put on the belt of truth… Lord help me to speak only the truth today (Eph. 6:14)
I put on the breastplate of righteousness, that my heart might be right before You (Eph. 6:14)
Shod my feet in the preparation of the gospel of peace, that I might go wherever you send me today (Eph. 6:15)
I lift up the shield of faith to protect me from every fiery dart of the evil one (Eph. 6:16)
I put on the helmet of salvation, which is the mind of Christ, Lord let me have Your thoughts today (Eph. 6:17)
I take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, sharper than any two-edged sword…help me to use that sword against every lie of the evil one that comes my way (Eph. 6:17)
And I pray in the Spirit when I need to talk to You today… (Eph. 6:18)
Thank you Lord, that You don’t leave me unprotected, but You give me Your glory as a rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8)
I choose the will of God, and I refuse the will of satan. (Isaiah 7:14-15)
Spirit of God, rule and reign in my life. (Psalm 51:10)
Rule and reign in my thoughts, my attitudes, my emotions, my feelings…(2 Cor. 10:5)
In every area, Spirit of God, I seek first Your kingdom and give You permission to rule and reign.(Matt. 6:33)
I pray against every strategy of the evil one to rob my joy and faith and courage, and ask You to render every one of those unholy strategies ineffective, in the Name of Jesus. AMEN.(Eph. 6:10-13)
Lord, I pray for every woman reading this blog post, that You would meet her and help her to grow in You, to pray Your Word, to neither exaggerate nor minimize the reality of enemy activity in her life, and to begin to rise up and do battle…thank You for allowing us to be soldiers in Your army, and for walking with us through every battle we face…in Jesus’ Name, Amen.