Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
This ministry will focus on freedom from spiritual bondage as a result of spiritual warfare. In my walk I have found the closer that you get to the Lord the more the fiery darts and missiles are aimed in your direction. The Adversary uses a variety of things to steal our joy. Anything from circumstances we are dealing with such as our jobs, struggles within relationships; financial stresses, depressions, anxieties, losses, health problems, the list can go on and on. Plus we can at times be held back by our own self critiques and our own thoughts.
The Bible gives us wisdom to help us overcome this to find victory. Several Scriptures can be found here (1 Peter 4 John 16:33) Below I will touch more on spiritual warfare and how to combat it so we can all find a release from the spiritual bondage that happens as a result.
The Full Armor of God Ephesians 6:13-17
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.
What does it mean to put on the armor of God?
This armor is not a physical way of dressing but more of a spiritual way of offense and defense against the warfare that will take place within us spiritually. The armor in this Scripture is more of a metaphor. As believers we must stay on constant guard against things that will come an test our faith.
The 3 main things that the Adversary will use that are key parts of spiritual warfare are:
This is the most popular tool in the Adversary's arsenal. Sin itself started as a result of deception in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-15)The deception can come from thinking patterns either thoughts we think of ourselves, fellow believers, our pastoral leaders or even God. Often it starts small but as a result of our own thinking patterns can be blown into something more than what it should be . It can be used to hold us back spiritually and impede our growth spiritually and even our peace and joy. Deception is the most powerful tool in spiritual warfare and should be rebuked as quickly as possible.
#2 Temptation In Genesis 3 we see the pattern. First deception was used to "tickle the ears" (2 Timothy 4:3) of Eve then on the heels of it the route of temptation was used.
Temptations are all around us every day. From immorality to character weaknesses to ambitions to anything that the Adversary can use to take our minds away from God. The seed can be planted in deception. Whispers such as: One little sin is okay God's grace will cover it. I can miss one Sunday from Church it won't affect me. I can "borrow" this from work..they won't miss it. Once it is rooted then the yield to temptation begins.
Temptation can be resisted. Jesus our Lord was tempted by the Adversary while on earth (Matthew 4:1-11)and set an example on how we too can resist temptations. Temptations tho can be manageable if we keep in mind the promise that God will not allow us to be tempted past our breaking point if we trust in Him. God is Faithful in that promise. Just hold tight. (1 Corinthians 10:13)He is greater than the temptation and the Adversary's tactics (1 John 4:4)
#3 Accusations: The devil is known as the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). He is known to take a believer who has done an embarrassing or gross sin in their past, and continue to rub it in their faces and beat them down with guilt and condemnation over their past. Remember if that is what is happening with you that this all is rooted in deception. God has given us grace and forgiveness. In 1 John 1:9 we read: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Keep this in mind when those whispers start.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
From Holy Spirit Interactive comes a few segments that I will share below that are important in our walk. These are ways to examine ourselves and to strengthen our walk:
"A belt is what holds up your trousers. If it isn't buckled tight, your trousers aren't secured, and having them fall — as anyone who has ever had his trousers drop in public knows — is a sight both unseemly and embarrassing.
The belt — the belt of truth in our armory — is what the enemy always goes for in battle, especially when it is at its fiercest. He knows that if he succeeds in cutting it loose, not only does he make you the laughing stock in the battlefield, he renders your defenses without power. Draw a mental picture of yourself waving a sword at Satan with one hand while you clutch your pants with the other and you will see what I mean.
It becomes essential, therefore, to have our belt of truth on at all times, firmly buckled, so that we don't give the enemy the opportunity to incapacitate us. But what is this truth that we should wear?
In Scriptural usage, truth has three meanings. One is truth in word and deed — the opposite of falsehood. Another is truth in the heart — the opposite of hypocrisy. And the third is truth in God. All three truths are the links in the belt that God asks us to wear.
Truth in word and deed is essentially honesty. We normally associate honesty with not telling a lie, but honesty goes far beyond that. It involves complete truthfulness in every single thing that we say and do.
The second meaning is truth in heart. Christians have hypocrisy down to a fine art. We run down our brothers and sisters from other denominations as heretics, denouncing everything they preach as going against the teachings of God, and then we demonstrate our own grasp of Christ's teachings by trying to beat the "real" truth into them — verbally or otherwise.
There are other untruths in the heart as well like pride, selfishness, jealousy, envy, bitterness, hypocrisy, deceit and even worry. While sins in word and deed are corrected relatively easily, such sins of the heart can be remedied only by the Holy Spirit.
The final truth, and without the doubt the most important truth, is truth in God. "I am the truth," said Jesus. Our concepts of truth are not something that we decide by ourselves, but based on a truth outside of ourselves. It is often referred to as Absolute Truth. This truth is Jesus. Not only is He the third and most important link in the belt that we are asked to wear, He is the material that runs through the entire fabric.
When we accept the fact that Jesus is the truth, we accept that everything that he said is true and if we use what he said as a way of living our life, then we will assuredly be walking in the truth! "
Segments found at © Holy Spirit Interactive
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The fiery darts of the enemy in Ephesians 6:16 are accusations sent our way. For example, when the devil tries to accuse us of our past sins, we are to have faith in the work of the cross and know that they are forgiven and not to look back. Faith is what we use to put out the fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 6:16). We are not to meditate about our pasts, because God has received you upon repentance (2 Corinthians 5:17), and our sins have been forgotten (Hebrews 10:17 John 8:11).
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people
The best way to defeat the Adversary and spiritual warfare in general is to serve others. To seek out, bless and love others. To minister to their needs and to congregate and fellowship. (Hebrews 10:25)To place God as top priority and to be prayerful always. To pray without ceasing.(1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Through faith and determination we can be believers who are strong enough to withstand it all. To be over comers freed from spiritual bondage. To be able to withstand the force of any warfare sent in our direction. To be able in the end to truly persevere.
To read the ministry series in progression please go to these links:
I Hebrews 10:36 Part 1 focuses on being faithful to God in all things. Utmost importance!
II. Proverbs 4:23 Part 2 is focused on the role your thoughts and heart play into your spiritual walk.
III. Ephesians 6:10-18 Part 3 examines the role spiritual warfare plays in your walk. It identifies various methods of spiritual warfare and how to be freed from the grip of the spiritual bondage.
IV. ! Corinthians 9:24,25 Part 4 focuses on being "spiritually fit" and running the race successfully to reap the reward of eternal salvation. I use my history in running as an illustration.
I Surrender- Kim Walker