MaranathaMRC.com
Home Site Map   Don's Page Contact Us

 

Maranatha Revival Crusade, PO Box 218, APPLECROSS, Western Australia   6953       

       

Main Menu

Home

MRC
Contact Us
Don's Page
Links
Site Map
 

New Postings

Headlines

Publications
MRC Articles
Books
Millennium Alert
Maranatha! Hope of Glory

Our World

Preparations for War
The New World Order
International Economic Order
Israel & US

God's Word

Prayer/Praise
Prophecy

 

 

 

CONSTANT COMBAT PART 4

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL WARFARE and KINGDOM STRATEGY

 

PART FOUR

KNOW YOUR WEAPONS!

We are not unaware of the schemes of the devil. He certainly has ways to distract, to create doubts and to hinder the reception of the truth of the Word of God. So as we come to ‘KNOW YOUR WEAPONS’, and how to effectively wage spiritual warfare, let us look to our Sovereign Master in prayer and by faith, take His authority. Let us praise God for every provision that He has made for the victory of His people.

“Our Almighty God, we exalt You in our midst. Our testimony is that You are Yahweh El Shaddai. Father, we praise You for the provision that You have made for our victory in the Messiah. We testify, Lord Jesus, that You are the Victorious Saviour. You shed Your blood on the cross of Calvary, and You rose again from the dead, and You are now seated on the throne of God in the place of authority, above every power.

“In Your mighty Name, Y’shua Messiah, we resist the powers of darkness seeking to hinder the truth as we study this subject. Take control of our minds and concentration, Master, and lead us into greater understanding and application of our spiritual weap­ons. We ask this in the authority of the Name which is above all names - the Name of Y’shua. And we give Him the glory, for He is LORD, our victorious Conqueror, the Most High. Hallelujah! Amen!”

IT’S NOT A GAME!

You may sometimes feel you are a pawn in a game; a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. But we are in a spiritual warfare. It is not merely like a warfare, it is a warfare. It is not a game that God and Satan are playing. It’s war between holiness and righteousness, and evil and corruption!

Read Ephesians chapter 6:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Master, and in the strength of His power. Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes and strategies of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against authorities, the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armour of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

“Stand then, having fastened the Belt of TRUTH around your waist, and having put on the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having put shoes on your feet in preparation and readiness to proclaim the Good News of Peace; above all, having taken up the SHIELD OF FAITH with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

“Take also the HELMET OF SALVA­TION, and the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT which is the Word of God, PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT at all times, with every prayer and supplication. To this end, keep alert and watch with all perseverance, interceding for all the set-apart people of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

This war is not only real, it is TRAGIC; and we well know that millions of people have already perished, and are in Hell right now. How many are waiting for the final judgment! Some people preach universal restoration - that is, that everybody will eventually come back to God.  But I do not find that in the Bible.

There are a few verses that may seem to suggest ultimate sal­vation for everybody, but as we study the Word of God, we see that the Lake of Fire is permanent, and there is NO way out.

COMBAT IS CONSTANT

The war in which we participate is also CONTINU­OUS. It is not an odd fight, now and then, although at times the battle may be fiercer. This is a war that goes on every minute of every hour, 24 hours a day, 366 days in a year. It’s non-stop! Constant! In this war there are no breaks; there is no time when you can say, “I’ll lay aside my weapons and rest awhile.” There are no days off; no tea breaks. One of the strategies of Satan is, of course, to get you to take breaks, and to lay down your weapons - for some time at least. (Your REST is in the LORD, and that should be continuous in spite of the combat.)

 

FIFTEEN STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS

We have often been defeated because we have not understood or heeded the basic exhortations of the Word of God. We have not recognised the principles, cautions, and commands, as strategic directions. We have allowed ourselves to be backed into a corner by the enemy, and have been forced to fight on the wrong ground. We have foolishly resorted to carnal strategy and weapons and left ourselves open for needless defeat; we have failed in understanding Kingdom Strategy, including the basic requirement that we . . .

1.   Start with Victory

At the very beginning, let us recognise, VICTORY IS THE LORD’S. Hallelujah ! The Victory is THE LORD’s! Our Master is NOT defeated. He is not half-victorious He is THE VICTOR!

“His right hand and his holy arm have gained the victory for Him.” (Psalm 98:1). “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Master, Y'shua the Messiah.”  (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Of course, we do encounter angels of light who tell us that we are on the LOSING side. And I am not surprised if you have had doubts, and feel at times that YOU are defeated, and that everything is a big fail­ure. But the victory is the Messiah’s, and you must proceed FROM VICTORY to Victory. You may feel defeated, and indeed you may be defeated. But while you feel that you must begin with YOUR DEFEAT and must try to press on to Victory, you are at a great disadvantage. We are to fight, not from defeat to Victory, but from VICTORY to Victory.

You may say, “But I myself, am defeated. That’s reality! I have these habits that bind me. I have a beset­ting sin. I am a big loss - no use to God.” Beloved, your eyes are upon yourself! You’re not looking at Y’shua. You’re not recognising who and what your Master is. Your Master is VICTOR, and YOU must take your place in Y’SHUA, the Victor. This battle is not merely your battle. The battle is the LORD’S. Satan is not primarily fighting against you. His war is against your Master. Satan hates you, yes; but he hates you because you belong to his enemy.

Never think of yourself as separate to the Messiah. If you belong to Him, you are part of Him. What happens to Him, happens to you; and what happens to you, happens to Him. You are in this battle together! And as the Messiah’s victory is also YOUR victory, take your position in Him, and START with HIS VICTORY and proceed to the Victory He gives.

When we say, ‘The victory is the LORD’S’, it does not mean to say that we must take a passive position and simply sit and do nothing. Some people do indeed adopt that easy, false attitude which says, “There’s nothing you can do anyway. You can’t win the Victory, so just sit down and leave it to the Lord. Don’t worry your­self about it.” But we ARE involved in the battles of the Lord. His participation in the spiritual warfare means our participation in the warfare.

There are times in the warfare when the Master says to us, “Be still. Do nothing but trust. Stand and see the Salvation of the LORD.” For the most part, however, we are actively involved in wrestling and fighting; but notice what Paul says; our wrestle is against spiritual powers of darkness; and we don’t fight in a carnal way.

2.   IDENTIFY THE REAL ENEMY

The apostle Paul says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against authorities, the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

This we must constantly remember; our combat is never against people. Our fight is against spiritual powers of darkness. You say, “This man is my enemy.” No friend, he is not your enemy. If he is an evil man, it is because there is an evil power influencing and control­ling him. That unseen power is your enemy! If every believer has a guardian angel, you can be sure every unbeliever has a patron demon to encourage him, and that’s why you cannot expect the world to be really friendly towards you, as a sincere believer in Messiah.

You may say, “But it’s not the world. It’s a Christian brother who is proving to be my enemy.” Don’t be sur­prised! Satan deputes at least one demon to influencing, hindering, harassing and defeating each believer, or potential believer. The man you regard as an enemy, may simply be a defeated believer who has not learned to reject satanic influences in his life. You have to look behind the person who you think is your enemy and see the power influencing him ... your supposed enemy may be converted in a moment, so pray for him.

Saul, who became the apostle Paul, was first the enemy of the people of God; and yet it wasn’t Saul him­self, it was Satan who was using him. In spite of all his theological training, his upbringing and position, Saul was being manipulated by demonic powers. But he was converted in a moment.

Never see any human as your enemy, even though he may display all the traits of an enemy. We are told to pray for our enemies. So pray that God will bind the demonic activity in them, and that they will be delivered. In-as-much as they are still in the human race on earth, they are potentially open to the gospel, and to being saved and changed by our Redeemer. The real enemies are the demonic powers of darkness. And it’s not just one devil but HOSTS OF WICKEDNESS, working behind individ­uals and behind circumstances.

3.   BE ALWAYS ON THE ALERT

The apostle Peter says:

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, for your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

To be on the alert means to be extremely watchful. We must be discerning so that we can recognise any activity of Satan. If that activity is identified early, it can be nipped in the bud. Reader, learn to see circumstances from a spirit­ual point of view. Things are not happening by accident. We can almost say, nothing happens by accident. Believers know that in their lives, God is working everything together for good. And of course, Satan seeks to work everything together for evil. So be on the alert and discern his activity, and then take up the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit.

Be on the alert against subtle temptations. For example; the temptation to believe that the spiritual prin­ciples of warfare can be applied successfully, except in this particular case I’m facing. Or the temptation to think, “I’ve made a terrible hash of the situation. There’s no hope now. I’ve forfeited my chances. There’s no alternative left to giving up.”

In times of severe combat, Satan will keep suggesting, “It doesn’t work. See! It doesn’t work.” And instead of recognising the devilish origin of these thoughts, we think that it’s only our own mind telling us so.

Be on the alert, particularly after any period of marked blessing. Satan must withdraw, but he will give a kick on the way out.

After we have weathered a time of crisis, we may be inclined to think things should now go smoothly. Don’t forget the enemy is persistent, and he will always seek to make a come-back.

4.   RESIST, DON’T RUN!

Peter says, “Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Satan cannot devour the believer. He can intimidate him, he can harass him, he can discourage him, he can trip him up, but he can NOT devour, or destroy him, because the believer is in the hands of the Messiah. But Satan does have a lot of success through the roar he makes. In one sense, the roar of a lion never hurts anyone; but it is possible for someone to hear the roar of the lion and drop dead from heart failure.

Now Satan is not a lion. He’s a demon. But he goes about like a roaring lion. One of his strategies is to discourage and to cause people, especially the Lord’s people, to give up. He roars and we run. And to run away is not good strategy by any means.

If you are going through the jungle . . . thick bushes all around . . . just a small track . . . and coming around a bend, you see a lion striding towards you. What would you do? Would you turn tail and run as fast as you could? Would you try to leap up the closest tree? What would you do? To turn and run, would be the worst thing to do? With a few quick leaps the lion would be upon you. And although the presence of a lion might help you climb a tree in record time, you know you would not have enough time to succeed. Most of us would freeze on the spot - automatically. You say YOU would be praying. Of course! But in this situation, I am told, the best thing to do is to stand absolutely still and to stare into the eyes of lion. He may still jump on you, but to stand firm is your best bet, for your bold posture can confuse the lion.

Now the tactic of Satan is to roar - to stir up trouble, pressure, criticism, accusations, problems - a disturbance in any type of way, to create fear and to cause us to turn tail and run. I suppose you have been in situations like that. I’ve been in situations where I felt I just had to get away from it; to retreat from the battle, to give up and let whatever, have its way. Satan wants us to retreat. And tragically, his ROAR can cause believers to do that. Don’t be intimidated by the roar of the devil!

5.   BE STRONG IN THE LORD  (Eph. 6:10)

You may be inclined to say, “But I am very weak.” Of course you are weak! You have no spiritual strength of yourself, and if you think you are strong of yourself, and if you think your own physical, intellectual or persuasive power is what you use in spiritual warfare, then you’ve got a big defeat coming. Yes, you need to know your own weaknesses, but your favourite song should not be, “I am weak but thou art strong ...”

That’s the song of the drunkard - every day he sings it, “I am weak.” Every day it’s the same song. Are we like that?

The Bible says, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Don’t harp on your own weaknesses, but become strong in the Messiah. If there is weakness, seek the Master so that He will make you mighty in spirit. Be strong in Y’shua!

6.   DOT NOT GIVE THE DEVIL AN OPPORTUNITY  (Eph. 4:27)

It’s very easy to open the door for the devil. Just a few words of criticism will do it; just a wrong reaction will open the door for Satan. And that’s all the serpent needs. It does not need to be a big thing; even small things can open the door for the devil. Particularly, we have to watch our tongue, our emotions and our reactions.

It is so common for Satan to maintain his influence over a believer by means of various mediums of temptation.

The mind must decide, rationally and deliberately, to close the door to bondage, and to tie off any loose wires.

By this I mean, if there are any objects, or any rel­ationships that we have that are a source of temptation to us, we must reject them. Anything that causes you to stumble; anything that Satan may use to trip you up; any relationship that hinders your obedience to God, must be removed, if we would avoid giving opportunity to the devil.

For example, a believer who has had an alcohol problem had better remove the bottles, (full or even empty ones) from his home. Remove the objects that stir up wrong desires. Make no provision for the flesh, Paul says, to fulfil its lusts. (Romans 13:14)

If you want to keep the lion out, don’t leave the door open. If you don’t want to get an electric shock, tie off any loose wires - don’t leave live wires exposed. You need to check your life and home, to see what mediums of temptation still exist. Then remove them.

Any charms, or superstitious objects; anything used in occult or magic practices; any idol or object of false worship, should be disposed of. Anything that the conscience tells us is doubtful; any doubtful books or literature; any doubtful art; recordings that could have demonic influence; any cassettes or videos that the conscience is uneasy about, and that could be mediums of temptation - get rid of them! Don’t give the devil an opportunity to weaken you!

7.   PLUG THE CRACKS IMMEDIATELY

Any sin will make a crack in the wall of our testimony. My friend, take a wall around a compound. Why was the wall made? To keep the wrong people out. Right! But what about that big crack in the wall? See, a whole section of the wall is breaking down. There’s a hole in the right side, and another on the left where the rascals come in. The wall is in bad shape. It no longer keeps wrong people out.

The wall of Christian Testimony and Christian Authority can be broken down by our own actions. Any sin, I repeat, will put a crack in that wall, and it doesn’t have to be the sin of murder, adultery, drunken­ness and the like. Even criticism will damage the wall. Pride is disastrous. Bitterness, selfishness, dis­honesty, lies, any underhandedness; all these things will start cracks; and cracks develop into gaping holes. It easily happens if we do not maintain “the wall.”

“You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates are burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem that we may no longer be a reproach.” (Nehemiah 2:17)

Jerusalem represents the church; and we each one have a responsibility in maintaining the wall. When something happens; when we realise that we have caused some cracks; when we see any activity, anywhere, that’s breaking down our testimony and faith, let us seek to plug the cracks and rebuild the wall.

Often this can be done simply through confession; but often the damage cannot be rectified until matters are put right between ourselves and others - relationships, in the church and outside. Cracks not plugged will widen. If there is even a small conflict between two brothers and it is not put right, it may go on for years and become ever bigger. Things happen, plans and relationships go amiss, but we must seek to rectify the divisions as early as possible. It calls for humility on our part, but whatever it costs, we must be willing to humble ourselves for the Messiah’s sake, because conflicts, or sin of any kind, enables Satan to slip in to build a demonic fortress in our lives, and to cause havoc.

8.   PRE-EMPT SATAN’S ACTIVITY

This means to hit before your enemy can hit you.

“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” (Matthew 12:29)

Remember the 1967, 6-day war, when Israel captured the Sinai? Trouble was brewing. Egypt, Syria and Jordan were preparing to attack Israel. Then in a brilliant move, Israel pre-empted the attack and destroyed the air-force - the planes of those three nations on the ground, before they could start. Good strategy! And we should not wait until Satan attacks to take up our weapons.

If you are going to work for the Messiah, you know that Satan is going to attack. So you must pre-empt his schemes. You must take steps, beforehand, to counter his attacks. Don’t fall for the temptation to think the devil is going to be kind to YOU. And don’t try to make a bargain with him - “I’ll leave you alone if you leave me alone.” It won’t work! Even if he signed a bond, he would have no intention whatever of keeping it.

9.   KEEP YOURSELF IN COMBAT-READINESS

We don’t send all our cripples to the battlefront, do we? We don’t starve and treat our soldiers badly, so that they suffer from malnutrition or are demoralised, and then send them out. We don’t give them the poorest food; we give them meat so that they will be strong. And that’s what I am seeking to do in these messages - to give you some meat so that you will go out to the front, strong in the Lord. But I repeat, these things we are learning - the truths and principles in the Word of God, must be put into practice.

Your fitness and combat-readiness will depend upon your relationship to your King, Messiah Y’shua.

“Fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good con­science, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.”                                                                          

                                                                                                (1 Timothy 1:18-19)

“No soldier in active service entangles himself with the everyday affairs of day life, because he wants to please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”  (2 Timothy 2:4)

10.    BE SOBER

Again brother Peter says:

 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, for your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8)

To be sober does not mean to be gloomy. True, some Christians interpret it that way; “Be gloomy!” No, the Bible is not saying be gloomy, it says, be SOBER; and you can be filled with the joy of the Lord even while you are sober. But if you are not sober, your mind is not under full control. A man given to drink­ing for example, is sometimes sober, sometimes drunk. When he is sober, you can talk to him rationally. When he is drunk, you can’t get a sensible word out of him. We must be SERIOUS-MINDED because these things are vital and serious.

11.    DON’T DESTROY YOUR GOOD WORK

What do you think of a man who spends ten years building a beautiful house, and then dynamites the whole thing in a few minutes? And that we can do through our pride, falsehood or unwholesome talk. Wonderful works we may accomplish, and then boast about it and bring it all down. The spiritual blessing vanishes.

Dishonesty or any devious method in the work of God can destroy the results. The prophet Malachi said, “Cursed is the one who does the work of God deceitfully.” So whatever we do, let us not be so foolish as to attempt anything for God in a deceitful way.

So then, putting away falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbour, for we are members of one another . . . Let no corrupt word come out of your mouth, but only what is good and needful for building up - words that may give grace to those who hear.”  (Ephesians 4:25, 29)

12.   DON’T SHOOT YOUR OWN MEN

You will agree, I believe, that this is very important. Soldiers are sent out to paralyse the enemy. Of course, in some wars, soldiers take personal revenge by shooting a fellow soldier, or an officer. And unfortunately, Chris­tians are very notorious at shooting their own people. They do not shoot them with a gun, but they draw a sword. They take the sword of SLANDER, and slash and cut fellow-believers down. It’s often pride or self-righteous­ness, or a hurt feeling that causes believers to attack each other. Slander is a false weapon. Yes, we are to take up a sword - but which sword? Not the sword of slander, but the Sword of the Spirit of God. Never try to cut your brothers and sisters down. That’s not your job, and you will be held accountable for taking it upon yourself to do so.

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, uproar, and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)

13.   ATTEND TO CASUALTIES

What a type of kingdom is it that leaves its wounded soldiers to die on the battlefront? No nation will do that. To see its soldiers dying, unattended will lead to a complete break­down of the morale of the army. And we, as people of God, as soldiers, have to attend to our casualties in this battle. If any fellow-believer has had a fall, let us go and lift him up. If he has been wounded, let’s help him to the “fountain filled with blood.” Let us encourage one another. Here is a brother who has fallen into sin - a casualty. Let us go out of the way, with compassion, to restore that brother.

“Brethren, if a man is caught in any trespass - in any sin - you who are spiritual, restore him in a spirit of gentleness. But watch yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

My heart is heavy, believer, when I look around and see believers who have fallen and have been left by the wayside. This situation emphasizes the casualties within the church itself. If you have people in the church, who seem to be very religious and spiritual, but are self-righteously indifferent to brothers and sisters lying on the wayside, I would say, they are casualties. They are like the man Y’shua told about - the one who was in the temple and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like these other people.” Let us attend to our casualties! Let’s encourage and build them up, that they might become strong and victorious in the Master.

14. PRACTICE RIGHT REACTION

“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love.”  (Ephesians 4:1-2)

Circumstances face you every day, and you are com­pelled to react in one way or another. Always seek, by the grace of the Lord, to make a right - a spiritual - reaction. If someone curses you, bless them. If they hit you on the cheek, let them hit the other cheek, also. If they steal from you, bless them. Always seek to have the mind of Christ, in every reaction. It is so easy to fail in our reactions, both in the split-second reaction as well as the premeditated action. We may fail a hundred times in a day, but sometimes it’s simply because we don’t even realise that our reactions are part of the spiritual warfare.

Never take up any weapon that is not spiritual. Never resort to carnal weapons, weapons like RETALI­ATION or REVENGE – they are very evil weapons! Somebody does something to me, so I return evil for evil. Oh how quickly that breaks down the walls of my testimony. HEATEDNESS which leads to bitter arguments and fighting. UNDER-HANDEDNESS in any way, COR­RUPTION, BRIBERY, are all carnal weapons.

The above are preliminary instructions that we must follow and be careful about. A fifteenth point is, the necessity to ...

15. BE FULLY ARMED

The Master has not left us defenceless. He has not said, “OK, get out there and do something; make the most of what you’ve got and do whatever you can.” No! The Master trains us; He gives us weapons and He shows us how to use them, and shows what His strategy is. Our legitimate weapons are SPIRITUAL weapons and they all come from the King of Kings. The Master will never give you weapons that are not spiritual.

 

THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE

Ephesians six says; “Take the full armour of God.” In this passage, seven pieces of armour are mentioned. And we need all of them. The Apostle is not saying, “Here’s seven pieces of armour. Use one or two of them.” No! We need the full armour.

i. The belt of truth (v 14). Our whole armour and demeanor is to be girt with truth. Truth needs to surround you. You must KNOW the truth, and you must PRACTICE the truth. If you try to do the work of God in an untruthful way, you will fail. You’ll be doing something, but it will be stubble.

Be careful; exaggeration is not truth. Truth is truth! Compromise of the Word of God is not truth. Compromise of the Truth is, in fact, unbuckling the belt that we must wear, and this means our whole attire will be flimsy.

ii. The breastplate of righteousness (v 14). This breastplate is, firstly the righteousness of Christ imputed to us; and secondly, our positive attitude of righteousness, which is expressed in a walk of righteousness.

The righteousness of Christ protects our heart - our most vital part.

“And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘YHWH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS’.”  (Jeremiah 23:6)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for right­eousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)

iii. The shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of Peace (v 15). This is the good news we have experienced, and the good news we must share. We must be prepared to GO for God.

“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news; who announces peace and brings good news of happiness; who announces salvation, and says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’!”             (Isaiah 52; 7)

There are many gospels - false gospels that men preach, but we preach the gospel of peace of the King of Peace. We don’t preach a worldly liberation theology, or a gospel of violence. Ours is the gospel of the power of God that liberates people from the violence of sin.

iv. The Shield of Faith (v 16). God has given us the seeds of faith, and this must grow into a shield. We need a practical experience of faith. Our little faith must grow, and it will - as we trust God.

The Shield of Faith is defensive, and it enables us to extinguish the flaming missiles of Satan. Reader, this is not a slogan or imagination. This is a reality. The old-time warrior shield may seem archaic these days when we talk about nuclear shields, and nuclear umbrellas. Well, we need a mighty umbrella shield of faith. I don’t mean a flimsy umbrella that will turn inside out with a heavy gust of wind. I mean one that will withstand the spiritual cyclones of these end times.

What is faith? It is simply TRUSTING God. The Word says, “God has spoken” and we believe him. So whenever a missile is launched against us, we say, “Father, I trust in You.” And not only do we say it, but we do it. We know WHO we are trusting, and it’s this exercise of faith, this trusting in our mighty Master that enables Him to bring about the correct results. Now that may all seem very easy but remember, you have to put it into practice.

When anything happens, when any attack comes, don’t throw up your arms in the air; don’t start crying; don’t start running here and there looking for HUMAN aid! Lift up the shield of faith, and say, ‘Master, I trust YOU, for You are the Sovereign Master, my victorious Saviour, in this situation. I am trusting You for the answer! I am trusting You for protection, peace, wisdom, sanctification and victory.”

We need to put faith into practice so that we might ward off the attacks of the powers of darkness.

v. The Helmet of Salvation (v 17). Those of us who have ridden regularly on two-wheeled vehicles in our modern mad-rush thoroughfares, realize the value of a helmet. One heavy crack of the skull, and it’s all over. Yet many foolishly refuse to protect their head. A spiritual helmet is indispensable for the protection of the mind, where our decisions and responses are be made.

The mind is the main arena of spiritual battle, and our minds must be protected by the Salvation of the Lord - a practical knowledge of His Salvation - daily ex­perience of His salvation - so that our mind is free from the exploitation and accusations of the devil. When Satan tries to put a guided missile into our minds; when Satan comes and says; “You are a low-down dirty Christian,” we can immediately say, “I am cleansed and saved by the precious blood of the Lamb, Y’shua, My Master and Saviour, and I know it!” It is not a theoretical knowl­edge of Salvation, but a demonstration of God’s saving power in our life that is required.

vi. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (v 17). The sword is for offensive use. It is a very powerful weapon, so we must KNOW the Word, and be filled and motivated by the Word, and then we must use it authoritatively. It is not a collection of opinions. It is AUTHORITY - a powerful weapon, if it is used as such.

“For the Word of God is alive! It is powerful, active and sharper than any double-edged sword; it cuts right through even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow; and it judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12)

vii. All Prayer and Petition (v 18). Prayer is not a begging bowl. God already knows what we need. He knows our problems and situations. We don’t have to wail before God, as though He were reluctant to answer our prayers. Prayer - the prayer of faith - is a weapon. It is a spiritual principle. It pleases God, for it is something that He uses to open doors, and to set in operation the circumstances that will bring about victory for the Kingdom of Light. When we call to the Lord IN FAITH, He responds and does battle with demonic forces.

So that’s the seven-piece armour-equipment. There is an EIGHTH part of our equipment, which we will emphasize later in this chapter.

Sometimes we think, “Let me choose a couple of the weapons that I can handle. I think I’ll be OK with numbers three and four. That should suffice.” No, says Paul take the FULL armour of God.

And now, the seventh weapon - “all prayer,” we should expand …

 

FIVE ASPECTS OF PRAYER

AS A MEANS OF WAGING WARFARE

1.   PRAYER  IN THE SPIRIT

“Praying in the Spirit at all times, with every prayer and supplication. To this end, keep alert and watch with all perseverance, interceding for all the set-apart people of God.”  (Ephesians 6:18)

In learning to pray in the Spirit, we have to break some of the habits that we have already learned. Let us start with the ABC of WHAT NOT TO DO.

A.  Don’t Lecture God. It is so common for believers to engage in a historical type of prayer, telling God everything that He already knows. We don’t have to give God a history lesson, especially on the events that happened five thousand years ago.

B.  Don’t Waffle On. That is, don’t pray vaguely and with lots of words that don’t mean very much and with irrelevancies that do not express the real needs.  Don’t pray to be heard for your much talking. Don’t fill up the time with a lot of empty words. Come to the point. Be specific.

There is a time for long prayers. The Master spent hours in prayer. He had a lot to pray for. So have we!  One who is strong in Spirit, in one hour, will effectively pray for very many needs, while another man will pray for one hour with many words, but will have actually prayed very little, because of his waffle. There is indeed much to pray for - many aspects of needs. And we need to learn through practice, to bring the specific prayer points to the Father.

We need to make PETITION to the LORD and we do need to be SPECIFIC. Some details of the situation need to be spelled out, for the purpose of focusing faith on those details.

If you don’t ask, you won’t receive (James 4:2). But if you ask in a vague way, then you can expect a vague answer. For example: If you pray “I pray for all my family and my country. Meet all their needs, I pray.” What do you mean? What are you really asking? How would you ever know when that vague prayer is answered? Be specific, and continue to focus in on those specifics!

C. Do not turn your Prayer Time into a Worry Session. I confess, I am inclined to do that – I start praying about problems, and then turn prayer into a worry session. When I do so, my prayer time is of little use. I may as well go and have a good sleep.

If we come to God in prayer and express our worries and then continue to worry, it means we are expressing our doubts, not faith. And doubt does not obtain the blessing. But more, Satan is able to manipulate our expressions of doubt, and turn them against us. He will fan our doubts, and encourage us, if we don’t recognise his strategy, to end up with bigger worries at the end of our prayer, than when we started. Worry can become a satanic stronghold. So don’t turn your sessions of prayer into times of worry. Trust the LORD! Tell your Heavenly Father the problems, and then express your faith that He will answer and solve them.

Now to list the ABC of HOW WE SHOULD PRAY:

A.  PRAYER IN THE SPIRIT IS PRAYER GUIDED

      AND ENERGISED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

 “In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the set-apart people according to the will of God.”  (Romans 8:26-27)

But do not think that prayer should be unintelligible - in groaning or in an unknown tongue. Our prayers must be intelligent and must focus on specifics so that faith might be applied to the details.

The Spirit of God guides us, to keep us from asking amiss. He prompts us also, bringing to mind the matters for prayer. He motivates us so that we learn to pray according to the will of God. But the Spirit also energizes our prayers. When we yield ourselves to God, He turns our prayers into something powerful. He enables us to pray with sincere, uncluttered hearts and minds.

B.  PRAYER IN THE SPIRIT WILL BE THE PRAYER OF FAITH

The prayer of unbelief never obtains God’s answer. In Nazareth the Messiah Y’shua could do no miracles. He was powerless, as it were, in His own town, because of their unbelief. (Mark 6:5-6). And that’s why the Master  does not do much in some of our churches; because of our unbelief. That’s may be the reason He doesn’t do much in our lives; because of our little faith or even our absence of faith. When we come in doubt, we don’t express faith! But when we do come in faith, when we express faith, then the Saviour can move. If there’s any doubt about the fact that faith in God is the principle He has ordained, and to which He has committed Himself, read Hebrews chapter 11.

Prayer in the Spirit is coming to God with deliberate faith, expectant faith, enabled by the Spirit. This type of prayer believes the promises of God, and stands upon those promises. It takes up the Shield of Faith; it takes up the Sword of the Spirit, and dares to believe, and to ask. It is confident that God is on the Throne, and not only is He “able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Ephesians 3:20), but also that God will do it - He will answer - in His perfect way and time.

C.  PRAYER IN THE SPIRIT WILL BE PRAYER WITH AUTHORITY

We are not taking authority over God. God forbid! But in prayer, we take the weapons of faith and we take the authority the He has delegated to us, to do battle against spiritual forces. It is taking our throne rights. It is standing firm in His authority.

This authority is not something we “work up.” It is already there. It is not a matter of shouting, or demanding with a loud voice, or fast talk. It is acting in the authority given to us. And it is praying out of a quality of life - a holy quality. That quality enables us to pray with authority.

How do you think prayer works? Do you just come to God and say, “My God I need this,” and then God thinks for a moment or two and makes a snap decision, yes or no? No!  It’s not like that. God works in a very ORDERLY way, and there are far more circumstances that He ties in than we can imagine. God lines up the circumstances. I may pray for my son to be saved. He may be involved in this and that, so I pray, “God, save my son.” Do I expect God to look up His predestination register and say, “Yes, he will be saved?” Or do we expect God to say, “Leave it with me for some time. I’ll think it over.” No!  God responds to our faith and then “works things together” for the fulfilment of the prayer.

Sometimes we imagine that God’s attitude is; “You’re asking a bit too much, aren’t you?” Or it may even be that we make His answer conditional on our own efforts, payments or probation, as though God were saying, “Let’s make a deal on this issue.” No! And it’s not a matter of getting God to sign on the dotted line.

He says, “If you have faith in Me, all things are possible. And if you will enter into the realm of authority where battles are won, and if you will wait on Me, and persevere in prayer and faith, then you’ll find that I work all things together for good.”

The process operates like this: A certain situation, provocation or problem arises. By God’s grace we are able to react in the right way; we come to God in faith, telling Him about the situation, and asking for the release of His power and for His solution in the matter. God hears our prayer - if our hearts are right with Him, and if we have not shelved our authority. God hears our prayers, and responding to our faith, He sets in operation the CIRCUMSTANCES, and delegates ANGELIC BEINGS, where necessary, to bring about the answer in the right way and the right time. He thus defeats the schemes of demonic powers that are influencing men and situations.

God must SET IN OPERATION the circumstances that, for example, will bring my son to the Saviour. If I had my way, I would say, “Lord, please do it on the spot.” But God says, “My ways are not your ways, neither my timings, your timings. Your ways, your timings are imperfect. My way, My timing is perfect. You have asked me for the salvation of your son. I have heard your prayer; I see your heart; I see your faith; and because of your FAITH, I will move heaven and earth to fulfil your prayer. But you must KEEP ON TRUSTING ME to bring it about in the PERFECT way and time that I know best.”

Sometimes God deputes angelic beings to bring about the circumstances. These are ministering angels. And I am sure, if the Father opened our eyes, we would be amazed to see the guardian angels round about us. There are instances no doubt, where angels keep us from stepping in front of a car, or cause other circumstances to work for our good. It doesn’t mean that God always saves from accidents. God allows all types of circumstan­ces in our lives, but He works them together for good.

2.   UNITED PRAYER

When I say, united prayer, I do not simply mean people gathering together in one place. Unity in prayer must be of the heart, in the Spirit, with a right relation­ship, one with another, so that we agree on the things that we ask for. The fact that we may be five hundred people seated in one place, does not neces­sarily mean that we are praying in the unity of the Spirit.

It is important, from the viewpoint of spiritual warfare, to converse together, in one place, physically, or online, by phone, or by post, and to seek God together in spirit.  Y’shua said:

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they may ask, it will be done for them by My Father who is in heavens. For where two or three have gathered together in My Name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:19-20)

Two or three joining together in prayer, means a combination of faith. A joining together in prayer, helps to build a stronger faith. I think you will agree that strong faith is better than weak faith. Right? Our faith starts as a grain of mustard seed, but we must grow in faith. The Lord doesn’t say, ‘Be little in faith.’ He says, “Be strong in faith.” “Grow in faith.”

The Scripture speaks about perfect faith, which very few seem to reach. In fact, many of us don’t seem to even reach strong faith. But a coming together combines our faith, and stimulates it to become stronger faith; and this God uses as a means to break the obstacles that are hindering His work.

3.   CONTINUOUS PERSEVERANCE IN FERVENT PRAYER

The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, says James. We must keep on in persevering prayer, because FAITH needs to keep on. Faith is not for a few days or for some select circumstances. Faith must keep on going on. With the believer, it is a constant expression of faith in a prayer-answering God. There­fore let our faith be persevering. The heathen practice constant repetition without true faith attached to it. But that is not what we are talking about.

Prayer is part of the Spiritual Warfare. Persevering prayer is not negotiating with God. It is not trying to persuade God. We don’t need to try to twist the arm of God. God is longing to hear our prayers. He loves to see a person expressing faith, because when you express faith, He can move into your situation.

We are not heard because of our much talking, but it is correct for us to KEEP ON in prayer. “Why should we keep on in prayer?” you ask. “If He hears us the first time, why should we repeat the prayer?” Look­ing at this from a warfare point of view, it’s because God is saying, “Keep on praying, because when you keep on praying, you keep on expressing faith, to which I can respond.” And therefore the Spirit of God keeps on moving.

Don’t be surprised if the going gets tough before the breakthrough comes. This is to be expected because satanic forces react violently when their authority is challenged. They seek to hold sway a little longer, to try to prove they are not a defeated foe. So don’t give up! Don’t give up praying. Keep on, until the battle is won, and the answer is given.

4.    FASTING IN PRAYER

Fasting does not persuade God, but it helps us realize and feel the urgency of a situation that calls for spiritual battle. Fasting is not intended to be a ritual that is practised once a week, twice a month or whatever. Fast­ing speaks about the seriousness of a situation, and the need to wait urgently upon God. When you are doing battle in prayer, you don’t want to interrupt your intercession by resorting to food. God does not answer because you deprive yourself of food, but because fasting prayer is a concentrated exercise of faith - of throne rights - when you leave worldly nourishment aside and participate in the manna from heaven, in the life that He lives in you, and in the battles that concern His Kingdom.

5.    CONTINUOUS PRAISE

Praise is an essential part of our weapons’ “equipment.” Praise exalts the LORD and proclaims His worth. It has a tremendous power because it is very positive and because it is very right; it is full of faith; and it gives God the glory due to His name. It recognises who Yahweh is; it affirms faith in the victory of the Messiah, and it puts circum­stances into their right perspective. Praise expresses a positive, faith-building, God-is-on-the-Throne attitude.

This of course, is something that Satan does not appreci­ate; not only the fact that God receives praise, but also the positive strengthening of believers who praise the Lord. Praise is a tremendous power; it is a vital part of victory; so count it as one of your chief weapons. As an example of praise, let’s read from 2 Chronicles 20:

“Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of YHWH came upon Jahaziel ... and he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat:  thus says YHWH to you.

‘ “DO NOT FEAR or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Look, they will come up the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. YOU NEED NOT FIGHT IN THIS BATTLE; STATION YOURSELVES, STAND and SEE THE SALVATION of YHWH on your behalf. O Judah and Jerusalem, Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow GO OUT TO FACE THEM, FOR YHWH IS WITH YOU”.’

“And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, fell down before YHWH, WORSHIPING YHWH. And the Levites ... stood up to PRAISE YHWH GOD OF ISRAEL, with a very loud voice. And they rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said:

“‘Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your TRUST in YHWH your God, and you will be established. Put your TRUST in His prophets and succeed.’

“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to YHWH and THOSE WHO PRAISED HIM IN HOLY ATTIRE, as they went out before the army and said, ‘GIVE THANKS to YHWH, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.’ And WHEN THEY BEGAN SINGING AND PRAISING, YHWH SET AMBUSHES against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.”  (2 Chronicles 20:14-22)

Hallelujah! Praise Yah! The strategy in that battle was to send out the PRAISERS first. ‘What a strange thing to do,’ you say, ‘surely you should send out the artillery first, and your most valiant soldiers.’ No! Jehoshaphat sent out the praisers, and as they began to praise God, Yahweh moved in and defeated the enemy.

In this battle, Israel did not need to fight, but they did need TO STAND. The army did not take the day off, and go on “rest and recreation.” They had to face the enemy - to stand, and to see. In many other battles they did have to fight. But in THIS battle, the STRATEGY was simply to PRAISE GOD, in an attitude of faith – of, STAND and SEE.

There’s power in praise. There’s victory in praise. Praise is an essential part of our weapons’ system.

THE NECESSITY OF A HOLY LIFE IN WARFARE

A final vital weapon which we cannot ignore, is a holy life. This is the eighth piece of equipment. In Ephesians 6, we see the provision of the shoes, the belt, the breastplate, the helmet, the shield and the sword. But what about the soldier’s clothes? The clothes are the believer’s testimony. We are to be clothed with holiness and humility. This is not holiness of our own making but that which is produced in us as a result of the Blood (the redemptive work of the Lamb of God), and the ministry of the Spirit of God.

The clothes of holiness and humility are not listed in Ephesians 6:13-18 but they are emphasised, throughout the whole book.

“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love.”  (Ephesians 4:1-2)

Peter also says, “Clothe yourselves with humility.”  (1 Peter 5:5)

The believer’s holy testimony is a weapon against powers of darkness. And the authority of God and the weapons that we exercise, must be backed by this testimony.

How can we put a divine, spiritual armour on over the filthy rags of carnality?

Any unholiness will soil and fragment our garments of testimony, so that we cannot effectively exercise faith or authority. We must live a holy life. You say, “But it is very difficult to be holy.” And yet GOD commands, “Be holy.” God wants us to participate - to share His holiness - to live in the power of holiness.

The question comes up, what comes first, victory or holiness?  Psalm 89:1 says:

“His right hand and His holy arm gained victory for Him.”

His right hand carries the sceptre - a symbol of authority. His holy arm is the strength of holiness. So holiness brings victory. But in another sense, they go together - holiness~victory, just as repentance~faith go together. We begin with the holiness imputed to us by Christ, and then press on to “perfect holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

We need to walk with the Master so that whenever we become conscious of anything that is tarnishing our life; any failure; we will immediately seek to get right with God. If you have a fall, you can’t afford to sit down and cry, and wait two years to get right with God. Satan will hammer you all the more, as you lie down and feel miserable for yourself.

No! Get right immediately and go forward in His holiness. Always remember, your holy living, backing the use of spiritual weapons, is essential. I repeat, any­thing of carnality, of sin; anything of the self-life, will rob us of the authority and ability to use the weapons that God has given us.

And sure, Satan will take advantage of any sin we do, or any wrong reaction, and of any carnality in our life. He will accuse us, he will harass us, he will rob us, he will throw us down, discourage us, and put us out of action. So watch your life, and contin­ually surrender yourself to God. Grow in the love, grace and holiness of Yahweh.

These are our main divine weapons and equipment. Like soldiers who check their equipment every day, it is necessary for us, as believers, to check our weapons - that we have not laid any aside, and that we maintain combat-readiness, taking the full armour of God, including prayer; prayer in the Spirit, the prayer of authority guided by the Spirit of God, united prayer; continuous perseverance in prayer; prayer and fasting; continuous praise; and with a holy life to back it up.

EXERCISE DIVINE AUTHORITY

In our earlier chapter we dealt with the authority of the believer. Here I need to emphasize that our authority to live, work and fight as citizens and soldiers of the Kingdom of God, is the authority of the Messiah.

Y’shua is seated on the throne, the place of authority; and because believers are “in Christ,” they are also on the throne. He has placed us in that position, and is train­ing us to reign in life, in association with Himself. Authority is exercised by faith, on the basis of who Y’shua is, what He has done, and the position He occupies.

1.      The WORD of God is authority, because Yahweh is the supreme Ruler of the universe. He planned it, He created it, and He made the rules.  He prescribed the laws – the scientific laws, laws of nature, the laws of holiness, the laws of morality, the laws of spiritual life, the laws of faith. His Word is supreme authority. Y’shua, Jesus, is the Word made flesh (John 1:14).  He is authority because of who He is.

2.      The BLOOD of the Lamb of God, (which stands for His work on the cross), provides authority, first, because it was shed at Calvary, and provides the basis of redemption. It proclaims Messiah’s victory.

Secondly it has power because it cleanses, heals, defends, and defeats the schemes of Satan. The Blood of the Lamb is the defence system against evil. In Revelation 12:11 we read, they overcame the dragon by the Blood of Lamb and the Word of their Testimony.  Their testimony was to who Jesus is; and their testimony, as holy-living people, testified to the power of the Blood working in their lives.

3.      The NAME of Jesus, Y’shua, is authority, because He has been given a NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME. (Phil. 2:9). Not only is His Name the highest, but His Position is above all. (Eph. 1:20-21)

When it comes to spiritual warfare, it is not enough to KNOW our commander is the Sovereign Master, our victorious Master, the LORD Most High - we must ACT on that reality! It is not enough just to know there is authority in the Word, the Blood and the Name.  By FAITH we must act and exercise that divine authority.

I repeat, authority is not the tone of voice. Satan is not impressed by people shouting at him. But he is disturbed, and defeated, by a believer living a holy life and who stands firm and resists him in the authority of the Messiah.

A policeman, a judge, an ambassador - all act, not on the basis of their feelings, but on the basis of the authority invested in them. And as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we must act, live, work and fight on the basis of the authority given to us by our exalted Sovereign.

Exercising divine authority is the means of binding the activity of the strong man. And that, we must now surely recognise, is essential. It is part of the work of the Messiah which we share in - the destroying of the works of darkness.

THE POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORD

You agree, God’s Word is very powerful. God speaks and things happen. Through His word, the worlds were created. Through the spoken word of the Messiah, people were healed, storms were stilled, and the dead were raised to life. Through the power of the Word - the Truth, people are liberated, set free (John 8:32). Through the word, men are analysed, judged and sentenced (Heb. 4:12 Rev. 19:15). But the spoken word of God never violates the principles and laws that the Almighty has established.

God does not use His word power, for example, to pronounce everybody saved, or evil contained. Where FAITH is needed, God will not overrule and say, “It’s done . . .  regardless.”

The power of speech must be used rightly. The Lord Jesus used the power of the Word to resist the devil. He did not use brute force, or even “almighty power.” He used the Word - He applied it by the principle of faith and on the basis of His inherent authority. We also have been given authority to apply the power of God’s Word. When we speak the Word with conviction, openly, and in faith, our words are taken up by the Spirit of God, and they become a means of power to fulfil divine strategy. It is not enough simply to believe the Word, or to think the Word. We must SPEAK the Word OPENLY. Don’t be afraid to speak aloud when you resist the devil. Speak out in the authority of the Messiah, resist the devil, and use the Sword the Spirit against him.

When you pray, it’s often good to pray aloud. That is also a help to keep your mind from wandering thoughts. Praying aloud helps you to concentrate. Don’t always pray on your knees or sitting. Sometimes, go out walk­ing and pray as you walk before the Lord. If you are inclined to go to sleep on your knees, then get up, stand up, walk around and pray. Pray aloud and talk to the Lord.

Now I want you to note a verse about the spoken word.  

“THE POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH IS IN THE TONGUE.” (Proverbs 15:4. A.V.)

Our spoken word, when it expresses FAITH and is SPIRIT-GUIDED, can release tremendous divine power which generates life. On the other hand, our spoken word can be a power of evil, if we permit our attitudes, tongues and words to be manipulated by powers of dark­ness which, of course, they always seek to do.

The spoken word has power, and they who speak, must bear responsibility for what they say. Men will be judged for what they say. (Matthew 12:34-37). The spoken word of man can release power; it can bring blessing, or it can bring cursing, depending on who is directing the particular words and motivating the thoughts behind the words.

Related to this sobering fact, is James 3:10-14:

“From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, this should not happen! Does a spring send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water. Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water . . . But if you have bitter jealousy, rivalry, contention and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and do not deny the truth. This type of wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, natural, unspiritual and demonic.”  (James 3 :10-12, 14-15)

From the same mouth, these two things should not come, but tragically, they do! Cursing and blessing. Don’t we try it? Here is one brother; we pray, “Bless this brother.” Here is another, and we curse him. We may not pronounce a demonic curse upon him, but through our attitude and carnal words we can curse and harm a person.

You believe it is possible to bless someone, don’t you? You pray and expect God to bless. You’ve got to believe that, otherwise, why pray for anyone? You believe God takes your words of faith, and answers, bringing blessing to another’s life. This is the power of life in the tongue.

On the other hand, it’s possible through constant criticism, slander, bitterness, evil speaking about a person, to harm that person. It is possible for Satan to take your words of cursing, bitterness and anger and to set those things up against a person. You can do inestimable harm to people through constant evil talk. A person who is given to constant evil talk becomes a force of evil - a collaborator with Satan - to hinder the spiritual life of another person, or the spiritual life of a group or assembly. Anger, slander, maligning, malicious gossip, can all be listed as associates of witchcraft and murder. This is the power of death in the tongue.

Occultists are learned in cursing through demonic power. They knowingly use words, to bring a curse on others.

So much potential good is cancelled out by the tongue. Many a victory is nullified by the tongue. How stupid it is to think that what we say is not important. The effectiveness of a prayer meeting can be cancel­led out in very short time.

Here is a group of people who have come together for two hours of solid prayer. They pray in the Spirit, and do battle against powers of darkness. God starts to set in operation the powers and circumstances to bring about the results agreed upon during the two hours prayer meeting. But if after the prayer meeting, those same people go outside the church and start engaging in gossip and evil talk, they virtually cancel out everything that could have been accomplished through their prayers.

That’s possible because their faith comes to an end by all the negative talk. You can destroy your own faith and the effective­ness of your faith through nonsense talk. Your evil talk can also bring terrible damage. So never justify any type of evil talk. It has no place in the Christian’s mouth!

There is power in your tongue - the power of life and the power of death. Your tongue can be used either as the sword of the Lord or as a sword of Satan. If you use it to slander, it becomes a sword of Satan. If you place your tongue under the control of the Lord, it will become a Sword of the Spirit. So choose on which side your tongue is going to fight. The tongue is so important. But don’t say, “Well, I’ll just keep my mouth shut.” You can also bring death by not talking. People are going to hell because you don’t pray for them. You agree, don’t you, that through your lack of prayers, some people must be going to hell? So let your tongue be dedicated to God.

Let us use it to pray in the Spirit, and let’s be careful not to cancel out the faith that we have exercised, by the things that we say and do afterwards.

When we pray led by the Spirit, God sets in operation, the forces that will bring about the best results in due time. He causes all things to work together. He sends angels to help in the ministry. He brings about the circumstances. But on the other hand, if we are filled with negative words and carnal actions, Satan takes up our words and actions, and sets them up as stumbling blocks along the way; roadblocks, hindrances both to ourselves and to others; and these enable demonic forces to operate and to bring destruction.

Satan, you can be sure, will set all types of circumstances in array, to bring lives into bondage. He is so subtle he will use our own words against us. So we must choose to surrender ourselves to our Master, and not let ourselves, and particularly our tongues, be manipulated by Satan.

SEVEN STEPS TO DELIVERANCE

Once we understand Satan’s strategy to build strong­holds in our minds and lives, we can correctly diagnose many happenings in our own lives and in the lives of others. Habits have become strongholds; ways of thinking and behaviour have become strongholds, and as long as we think, “Oh it’s just ME. I can’t change, I’ll never be any different,” we are where Satan wants to us to be. We need to be set free from bondage. Strongholds need to be broken in the Name of the Messiah. Praise the Lord, the provision is there, in the divine weapons and authority.

“For though we walk in the flesh as human beings, we do not wage war according to the flesh by using carnal and physical weapons; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal and physical, but mighty in God for overthrowing strongholds, for refuting arguments and casting down every proud and lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and for capturing every thought, and bringing it into obedience to the Messiah.”  (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5)

Here are seven steps to deliverance from strongholds in our lives:

1.   A HUMBLE ATTITUDE before God

“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble’.”  (James 4:6)

This demands a recognition that of ourselves, WE CAN DO NOTHING. It is not trying to work our way out of a situation. It’s not trying in our own brute strength, to break down the strongholds, and to break the chains that Satan has been putting around us. It’s not trying to break down strong­holds in our mind by our own intellectual reasoning and determination. It’s a coming to the Heavenly Master, humbly recog­nising that He alone can deliver.

“But to this one I will look; to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”  (Isaiah 66:2)

2.  There must be an HONESTY BEFORE GOD

Whatever the stronghold is in our life, we must confess it as evil. It may be some habit that has developed. It may be fear. Whatever the stronghold, let us not excuse it and let us not blame others. Don’t tell God that you are sick when you are drunk. Don’t blame your wife, when YOU have made the choice to go on the bottle. Don’t blame others! Don’t excuse it, but recognise it as YOUR sin, and that it is evil before the Holy One. Then seek His deliverance.

“I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to YHWH’; and You, yes You, forgave the guilt and iniquity of my sin.”  (Psalm 32:5)

“Deliver us from evil.”  (Matthew 6:13)

3.  CONFESSION  

“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Y'shua the Messiah, His Son, cleanses us from all sin ... If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   (I John 1:7, 9)

It’s the blood of Y’shua that cleanses from all sins. You need to have this firm confidence; the blood of Y’shua is not a cliché or a slogan. It is a reality; it means the atoning work of the Messiah on the cross. That work is the power and defence system of God, that cleanses, defeats, and protects us from satanic activities and strongholds.

So confess your sin and claim the promise here, that if you confess, He will not only FORGIVE; He will CLEANSE, because the power of His blood – His atoning work - is applied to your life. From our side, it is FAITH that receives the provision. From God’s side, it’s THE SPIRIT OF GOD who comes into us when we believe, bringing all the benefits of the Atonement to us. He imparts the benefits of the cleans­ing power into our lives.

4.    RENUNCIATION. When habits have formed, we must come to a point of deliberate renunciation of them. We must deliberately reject and renounce the stronghold, otherwise it will keep coming back and building up again in our minds.

Don’t continue building bridges to the areas which cause bondage. Be done with the habits and enslaving practices. Break down the castles of imagination. Destroy the speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. Make every thought captive to the obedience of the Messiah.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)

“Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and … be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Ephesians 4:22-23)

“Let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us.”    (Hebrews 12:1)

5.   FORGIVENESS. This means not only RECEIVING forgiveness, but also FORGIVING OTHERS - those who have wrongfully used us, or who have done something despiteful against us.

“And be kind towards one another, tenderhearted, for­giving each other, just as God in the Messiah also has forgiven you.”  (Ephesians 4:32)

The Messiah, Y’shua, said if you know of anything between you and your brother, then go and put it right. If you can’t rectify it, then pray that the Master will sort it out. But by all means, forgive! Yes, people may do evil things against us, but if we refuse to forgive them, the resentment builds up in our own hearts, in our own minds, and that itself becomes another satanic stronghold in us. Satan will use your feelings of bitterness and resentment to defeat you.

YOU MUST FORGIVE! For your own well-being, for your own spiritual victory, you MUST forgive. No matter what anybody has done against you; no matter what they have said against you; no matter how much they have slandered you, you MUST forgive. Otherwise you will just go on living in defeat, and you will never get rid of the strongholds that are tormenting you.

6.   FAITH.  Trusting God. Trusting God for the breaking down of the strongholds.    Again, I cannot do it. God can!  But I must TRUST! 

“We should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; and who delivered us from such a deadly peril. He, the One in whom we trust, does indeed deliver us, and He will continue to deliver.”  (2 Corinthians 1:9-10)

7.   When we seek deliverance, we usually need the FELLOWSHIP OF A FEW BELIEVERS, who will stand with us.  We need someone with whom we can share the problem in confidence.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

 (Please Note: I must emphasise to everyone; if another person shares something of their own life and problems with you, you MUST keep it CONFIDENTIAL! Pray with the person about the problem, and don’t sin against the Lord by going and telling the neighborhood, by broadcasting it abroad. Don’t even tell a single person, unless it is a person who is being brought into the circle of intercession. When somebody approaches you and feels that they can confide in you, please respect their trust and share their burden in the spirit of gentleness. (Galatians 6:1)

“But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Y'shua the Messiah, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

Two or three joining together with you in prayer means a unity of faith, and this will help to break the stronghold.

This unity of faith and authority over the stronghold needs to persevere. Sometimes it may involve a prolonged battle. There may be deliverance and then relapses, for Satanic forces will always seek to come back in greater numbers or power. But we must proceed from victory to victory, knowing that this battle is the LORD’s.

As well as cleansing, and brotherly understanding, a person who has been afflicted and defeated by a demonic stronghold, needs a BUILDUP OF SPIRITUAL LIFE and PERSONALITY, and for this reason, the fellowship of spiritual believers is important. The person’s mind needs to be renewed, his conscience re-sensitised, his faith strengthened, his appetite for and enjoyment of spiritual food stimulated, and his participation in the life of God restored. He needs to become strong in the Messiah. He needs a gracious TOUCH by the hand of the Master.

In closing, remember, in this warfare, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE to him who believes. It comes back to FAITH all the time. So friend, take the divine weapons that God has given to you. Remember the dangers, and never take up the wrong weapons. Use only the ones that are appointed to bring about the defeat of satanic forces.

PRAYER

Our Father in Heaven,

We praise You for the Victory in the Messiah. We praise Your Name because we are encouraged by Your grace. Father, You have not left us to do the best we can; and we recognise that You have made us so much a part of Yourself, a part of Your strategy, Your plans, and You have made every provision for our victory.

Oh Father, our prayer, as we complete these lessons, is that You will enable us to put these things into practice; that we will remember them this very day, as circumstances are set up to discourage and hinder us; that we might grow strong in the Messiah and in the power of His Might.

Deliver us, oh God, from any strongholds in our lives that are hindering our walk with You. We bring them to You Father, and in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we cast them down, and bind the activity of darkness in our lives. Almighty One, we take Your deliverance by faith.

Help us, Heavenly Father, to walk humbly with our Redeemer and in fellowship with His people. We bless You, Holy Father, for the Truth of Your Word, and for the victory of our Saviour. We give You the glory, and ask in the authority of the Name of Y’shua the Messiah. Amen!

 

POSTSCRIPT

My dear Reader,

This book is quite different to our usual prophecy and current events-type messages, but it is an essential complement to the teaching on the endtimes and the near return of the Messiah.

To know about endtime conditions; to know about the progress of the doomsday generation; to know the prophesied scenario of the nations and the events that are soon to afflict the world; to know about the Bible revelations of the Great Tribulation and the rise of Anti­christ; to know all these things, I say, can be very depressing and unsettling if we do not know how to stand against the satanic forces and how to combat the fiery missiles of the enemy.

If we were obliged to take a pessimistic view and to act as powerless spectators of the distressing conditions, and simply take encouragement in the coming of Y’shua to save us from the wrath to come, then we may as well NOT know the prophecies. But God has made every provision for the triumphant victory of His people in these last days.

The Rapture of the Church is not intended to be the “Removal of the Casualties.” It is a triumphant home­coming of the Church Victorious. The chorus says, “When the saints go marching in.” It’s not, “When the saints, all bandaged up, get carried in!” God forbid! It must be, “God has given us the victory.”

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”    (2 Timothy 4:7)

God is giving each one of us the opportunity to be saved, to learn His ways, and to share His life. He gives us an opportunity to progress in the Spirit, to learn “the holds,” and to learn to combat satanic strategy. Some believers will do well. Some will excel! Others will be mediocre, or remain dwarfed. Some will be casualties, others will be ‘‘shelved.” What we become, how we end up, depends to a great degree on whether we learn, appro­priate and apply the principles of the Word of God.

My prayer for each reader, is that he or she will know those principles and instructions, and will stand firm and faithful, and successfully combat the works of darkness.

ARE YOU READY FOR TESTING?

After reading and absorbing this message, my reader, I am sure you will determine to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. But remember, you will find yourself tested on the points you have learned. God will test you to see if it’s only theory you’ve learned, or whether you are ready for the live, battleground tests. And Satan will, of course, consider it his duty to contest the application of the truths and principles you have learned. So my reader, remind yourself of the realities of this message, constantly. And obey the Word of God;

“Be strong in the LORD and in the strength of His might.”  (Eph. 6:10)

“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Master.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

“Be faithful unto death.”   (Revelation 2:10)

“Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” (2 Peter 3:12)

“Encourage one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  (Hebrews 10:25)

A TESTIMONY OF DELIVERANCE

Just before the original edition of this book was completed, a testimony of a sister in Victoria, Australia, reached my desk - just in time to include in this postscript. The testimony illustrates several points in the message:

1.      The buildup of a stronghold in the mind.

2.      The “medium of temptation” that Satan used to keep the person in bondage.

3.      Deliverance involved a crying out to God, receiving a “word from the Lord,” believing it, then a determin­ation to burn the medium of temptation.

4.      The association of supportive believers.

The sister started her letter by giving praise to God for His deliverance. Then she says:

“Praise the Lord that we may take our burdens to Him in prayer, and find His solution. I was deeply addicted to reading novels. I could not start the day, or finish the day, or endure the day, or even sit down to a meal without reading.

“My family suffered with neglect; my health suffered (lack of exercise, headaches); my fellowship with other Christians suffered (no communication); other people (unsaved friends) I simply forgot; my marriage suffered (no ordinary man is as exciting as the one in the pages of romantic novels); my children suffered because I didn’t talk to them or play with them or go anywhere with them. When we went out in the car on the occasional picnic, I would read in the car.

“I started to dislike myself, because I didn’t measure up in any way to the women in the books. I had absolutely no willpower. Instead of doing housework, I would hunt for something to read, and then another day would go by with nothing getting done. I became very introverted, and didn’t want to talk to anyone or see anyone. I really resented visitors who took my time away from my books. I was thoroughly miserable and trapped.

“Then, about 6 weeks ago I asked the Lord again to help me, after asking so many times before, but this time was different. I had been given the opportunity to do some work for the Lord as administrator for our school office and I was wondering whether I could do it. When I asked the Lord for an answer in the Bible, I promised that I would do whatever He asked of me.

(I had about $700 worth of books at this time and I had tried to sell them at a market and in newspaper stores and at a shop for second-hand books, but I failed.) I prayed very hard that day and then I opened my Bible. Immediately Psalm 97 was found and when I read verse 3, I knew that the Lord had spoken to me.  It says:

“A fire goes before him and burns up his enemies round about.”

“So, I burned my enemies on a Christian friend’s rubbish pit and with their help.

“I haven’t read one of these books since. Freedom from addiction is wonderful, but I have to pray constantly for continued strength. I love the Lord for His patience with me and I hope that what I have testified may help others with similar problems. There are a lot of us out there.

“A very wise Christian friend suggested I replace my books with something and not leave a vacuum. So I have been busy with handcrafts and paintings to sell at the market. I also have been reading the Bible every day and putting my armour on. I know that had I not obeyed the Lord and burnt the books that I would again be addict­ed and would probably never have known the joy of serving the Lord.”

                                                                                                   Sister A., Victoria

Praise God! My reader, you also can call upon the Almighty in any need and situation that troubles you. Trust the Master, remove any mediums of temptation, put on the whole armour of God, and be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

With prayers for every sincere reader, in the Mighty Name of Y’shua.

        Your brother, Don Stanton

 

 “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the worldwide fellowship of those who are in Y'shua the Messiah, throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

 

 

THE END OF THE 4-PART SERIES

 
 

Expression Web Templates

The One who is coming will come, He will not delay