Late last week I had the privilege of attending a conference at Bethel with two of my dearest friends. Well over a thousand attended and the atmosphere was charged with the Holy Spirit, praise and expectation. Miracles took place, faith grew and the Lord touched each of us in a very personal and dynamic way. When ever I come back from a conference or retreat where I am challenged and inspired re-entry can be a bit tricky. This week was no different. I came home to a house full of very sick kids and grandkids as well as other mountains to declare moved. Not surprising the enemy was on hand to challenge me.
Seeking the Lord for both myself and later a good friend the Holy Spirit highlighted a few concepts around spiritual warfare that I want to share with you.
John 10:10 The Passion Translation (TPT)
10 A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter,[a] and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, [b] more than you expect[c]—life in its fullness until you overflow!
When we receive a new truth that changes us and perhaps the course of our ministry, the enemy has only one thing in mind ~ to steal and destroy it. However If we are able to remember this and prepare ourselves with the armor that God has provided we will never be defeated and will always live in that place of abundance rather than scarcity and fear.
Ephesians 6:10 instructs us to find our strength not in our selves but remembering we are strong in the Lord and empowered by our union with Him.
Ephesians 6:10 The Passion Translation (TPT)
10 Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force[a] of his explosive power flowing in and through you.
This teaching reminds me of our study last week covering our covenant promises in Psalm 103, not forgetting one of God’s benefits which include both complete forgiveness and inner and physical healing.
Psalm 103:1-3 The Passion Translation (TPT)
1 With my whole heart, with my whole life,
and with my innermost being,
I bow in wonder and love before you, the holy God!
2 Yahweh, you are my soul’s celebration.
How could I ever forget the miracles of kindness
you’ve done for me?
3 You kissed my heart with forgiveness, in spite of all I’ve done.[a]
You’ve healed me inside and out from every disease
When the enemy comes at us with condemnation we remind him that God has infused our heart with forgiveness and healed us from all the “dis eases” Satan brings our way.
We all have different areas where we are vulnerable to the enemies attack. So it is vitally important to acknowledge them so that we are able to create a ready defense.
It seems to be the heart and mind that are most commonly under siege. Old lies emerge telling us we are not all that powerful but rather victims of our past mistakes or wounds. The pastor we heard and the miracles that took place are not for us. Then our heart sinks and heaviness or fear flood in threatening to take over.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive study on spiritual warfare but rather a brief look at a few pieces of armor that will help us in times of these kinds of attacks.
Ephesians 6:14-17 The Passion Translation (TPT)
14 Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. 15 Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace.
16 In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the Evil One![a] 17–18 Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword[b] of the spoken Word of God.
In other versions we are instructed to put on the breastplate of righteousness. It is the covering that protects our heart made up of the truths of our new identity in Christ, we are holy and set apart, more than conquerors because we are covered by His power and authority.
As I was praying for a friend the Lord showed me a picture of what a shield might look like. It was made up of a patchwork of metal pieces soldered together. Each patch of iron was a truth that would combat a lying arrow from the enemy, familiar teaching with a new and powerful visual. Identify the lie and find the corresponding truth to combat it. I encourage you to create your own shield, draw it or write it out and record it so that you are able to look at it or listen to it until you know it intimately. Name the arrows the enemy usually throws your way and create a shield of truths to deflect them.
Add to that amazing shield your declarations of the spoken word of God. Declare the truths and promises you need most often. Again, record them and listen to them over and over if you can. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the preached word of God. We are able to create and preach a very customized message of faith to ourselves!
Ephesians 6:11 (AMPC)
11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
The enemy wants to steal from us but if we remember these and other elements given to us to combat his crafty strategies and deceptions we will always be victorious.