Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Weapons of Our Warfare

Have you ever prayed and declared the Word of God over your life and circumstances, only to have things go from bad to worse?  Did you step out in faith in obedience to God, only to encounter one obstacle after another?  Have you ever encountered opposition so strong that you begin to wonder if you ever heard God at all?  I have.  I have experienced all of these and the conflicting emotions and inner turmoil that often comes with these questions.  But I've discovered one thing:  the problem isn't that I did something wrong or that I didn't have faith; the problem was my perspective.  How did I see and process the opposition I was experiencing, and more importantly, how would I respond.  God has answered my prayer, and I'd like to share the revelation with you.

Sometimes chaos and difficult circumstances are evidence of our faith being mixed with the Word of God we received.  You see, it's not our lack of faith.  Quite the contrary; we really do believe God!  It's because of our faith that spiritual warfare ensues.  So often, the challenge for us is to determine if we believe God enough to provoke us to act on what we believe - no matter how crazy and desperate things look.

A great door and effectual is open to us, but there are many adversaries.  We think those adversaries look like us: flesh and blood; but that is how we are deceived by the enemy of our souls.  The facts may say one thing, but the "truth" is our adversaries manifest in the form of:

            Distractions                           False Accusation
            Criticism                                Illness
            Workplace Conflict                Financial Crisis
            Discouragement                   Fear
            Anxiety                                   Intimidation
            Busyness                             Temptation to Quit

In the passage, it is clear that we are not left to our own defenses.  God has given us the weapons of our warfare, and they are mighty through God 's power to destroy every stronghold and bring the enemy to his wicked knees!  The thing to remember is that in this battle, we can never let our guard down - not in this day and time.  The older I get, I realize that being "out of uniform" can be most costly to my God-given assignment.  I've learned that I need to appropriate the whole Armor of God every day in order to walk in victory.

So I returned to the disciplines of the faith with a renewed passion to seek His face:  spending time praying in the Spirit and reading the Word of God; serving Him and His people with my spiritual gifts, giving, and most importantly, spending time in worship and solitude - cultivating His Presence.  I began to feed my faith on every occasion; keeping my relationships clear of division/strife or unforgiveness; and living a holy life - seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.  The scripture says to put on the "full" Armor of God - not just part of it.  We have to be fully dressed so that the enemy cannot take advantage of us.  That is the key to victory.  The attack is certain to come if you dare to "believe God" and then "act" on what you believe. In "acting" on what I believe, I've come to realize that it involves risk; I have to trust God for the variables that I can't see or control.  Everything isn't comfortable for me to make some of the decisions I have to make. Standing for righteousness means I have to take a stand without regard for my personal circumstances, and I intend to do just that.  And God will get all of the Glory!

TIP:  When the inner turmoil stops, the peace of God is made manifest.  Then you will know what to do.

Beloved, you can't always stop or prevent spiritual warfare; in fact, it comes with the territory; but, you can take the offensive by being prepared for the attack.  Don't let the enemy steal your time, talent and resources! If you've gotten off track, ask God for wisdom and refocus.  Dare to trust Him no matter what it looks like.  He will restore and redirect your path (Prov. 3:5-6).  Submit to God; the devil must flee.

Whatever you do, DON'T GIVE UP! He will fulfill His purpose for your life! Show up dressed for battle every day, and having done all, STAND!

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