Ephesians 6:12 “12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. “

The reality is that there will be difficult times, but God promises to be our refuge. When we are facing a challenge, it’s easy to want to run to a friend or talk about it with a neighbor, but at some point, you have to stop and say, “God, I rest in you. I know you have me in the palms of your hands.” Remember, our battles are spiritual battles.  We may not see it; we might forget it’s there. But the enemy would love nothing more than to fill our minds with discouragement and defeat.

If you’re a believer who is living like salt and light in a dark world, you won’t go for long without encountering spiritual warfare through obstacles and attacks he will hurl your direction. And though we can’t stop his cruel attacks, we don’t have to let him win. God reminds us in His word to stay aware of Satan’s schemes, to live alert in this world, and to stay close to Him.

God gives specific instructions in his Word, he gives us all we need to stand strong in this life and have victory over the battlefields of our mind, heart, and soul. Yet all too often we race through busy, full days, ill-equipped, unprepared, or simply not aware of what we’re up against, or who the real enemy even is.

The forces of darkness don’t wait for us to be ready for their attack. They’re ruthless, determined, and cunning. The devil could not care less if we “feel” prepared or prayed up for our day. In fact, he prefers we’re not.

But in a broken, dark world, how can we really know if we’re facing the expected difficulties of life as compared to true spiritual warfare attacks of the enemy? Jesus, Himself told us that in this life we would experience troubles (John 16:33), we know this to be true. And though many times, we may not fully know who or what is behind the struggles, we can be assured that God equips us for battle and He instructs us to live alert.

Some signs of spiritual welfare

Feelings of overwhelming despair, darkness, and fear-

We all have struggled with anxiety and fear at one point in our lives. Or may be sometimes faced depression or mood disorders, or mental illness. But often the attacks of spiritual forces against our lives raises the intensity to even greater degree than normal day to day struggles. It’s ruthless, unrelenting, we feel alone and completely overwhelmed and stuck in deep fear and despair. Recognize this darkness for what it is and stand strong!

This is where Satan will lead some to even contemplate taking their lives or making choices they never would have thought they’d make. It’s a cruel trap, but there’s hope from the pit because of Christ. He is the One who can lift us straight out of that darkness, He is the One who can calm our fears, and give us strength we didn’t even know was possible.

Elijah the prophet was a great man of God. He had led the battle against false idols and resisted those who stood against God. In all eyes, he was a hero, respected and honored. And yet, right after such great victory and success, he faced extreme warfare. He ran for his life, in fear. Despair and darkness had gripped his life and he couldn’t even think straight, it seemed that he’d forgotten everything God had just done on behalf of his people (1 Kings 19). But here’s what I love about God – He came to him right where he was. He provided for him. He took care of him. He strengthened him. He gave great mercy and grace to him. And then He did this - He called him to action. He gave him a plan to keep moving forward. He still had great purpose for the prophet in the coming days; there was still work to be done. And He does the same for us today too. If you find yourself running scared or stuck in despair, stop long enough to think through who you’re really running from. Don’t buy into the enemy’s pursuit and attacks. He has no lasting power over you and God will hold you strong for the road still ahead.

Various troubles,

This is a ruthless attack that Satan often brings against believers. It seems to come out of nowhere, and it’s just one thing after another. It’s hard to even see straight, you feel your life is suddenly spinning out of control. Job’s life is an example to us of what this may be like (Job 1-2). The devil went to God to ask him if he could torment Job, thinking he would try to lead him away from the Lord through the many struggles he faced. As we know from the book of Job, this righteous man stood strong. Though it seemed he was losing everything dear to him, he knew that God held him secure through all the loss and hardship around him. God will never allow the enemy to have full control, he doesn’t have the final say over our lives. We may face battles and attacks in this world, but we can trust in our Mighty God to be our shelter through it all.

 

Our weapons

The blood of Christ and the word of our testimony

We are overcomers in this life because He has overcome. And our lives are hidden in Christ with God. No enemy or obstacle can touch our souls. When we have been set free by the blood of Christ and the power of His sacrifice by death on the Cross, we have a new identity in Him. We've been bought with a price, we are not our own, but covered by the grace and forgiveness of Jesus. We live victorious, and no demon or darkness can ever separate us from the love of God which is in Christ our Lord. There is Power in the Name of Jesus.

"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (Revelation 12:11).

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Our praises

Praise invites God’s Presence. He dwells close to us when we praise Him. And praise is a powerful weapon as well. It makes the enemy flee. It pushes back the darkness the surrounds, and blocks the attacks and hissing lies over us. Evil will not stick around if we’re praising our God, who will fight our battles for us. In the story of Jehoshaphat, we see God miraculously defeat the enemy, because of the people’s obedience to praise Him.

“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (2 Chronicles 20:22).

“He inhabits the praises of His people.” (Psalm 22:3).

Obedience to Christ

Our willingness to obey the words and commandments of Christ in a world that would say to walk our own way is huge. It sets a powerful example that says we are willing to die to our own desires and live for the glory of God. But it will never happen naturally. Our very flesh, our own desires and sin nature will fight against it every step of the way. It’s a daily choice that says we will be careful of every thought, we will take up our cross daily and follow Christ’s ways, not our own.

Submit to God’s authority. Be ruthless with sin, which is an open door for the enemy to work. Resist him and he has to flee.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

His Word

He arms us with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, to stand against the enemy’s lies. Praying God’s words back to Him, is a powerful weapon against the forces of evil. It is Truth going out into enemy territory. It reminds us that God knows our way and understands what we face today. It builds our faith and our trust in God. It guards our hearts and focuses our minds back on Him.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16).

The gift of the Holy Spirit

God fills us with strength, wisdom, and discernment through His own Spirit to stay strong in the battle. He never leaves us to fend for ourselves and fight in our own strength. We need His fresh filling every day, we need the empowerment that only He can offer. Every believer has the gift of God’s Spirit dwelling within them. The same power that raised Lazarus from the dead, parted the sea, broke open prison doors, and caused the lame to walk, is the same powerful Spirit still alive and at work within us today.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26).

 

 

Comforting thought for the month

Spiritual warfare is not giving the devil more attention or focusing too much on his evil ways. Biblical warfare is making us more attentive to what God is doing and remembering to stand firm and let Him fight our fiercest battles. There’s power through His Spirit, His Word, and in prayer, and we can be confident that He is always with us, leading our way and covering us from behind.

God arms us with the sword, the Word of God, to stand against the enemy’s lies. He equips us with strength, wisdom, and discernment through His own Spirit to stay strong in the battle. He invites us to spend time in His Presence, through prayer and worship, pressing in to know Him more.

As we grow to know God’s Truth more and more, understanding what is real, we also grow to know more what is false. We’re able to quickly discern when something’s not right. We are stronger to stand against it in the powerful name of Jesus. He never leaves us to fend for ourselves in a dark world, but reminds us He is constantly with us, fighting for us, even when we cannot see.