Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual warfare’

Song of Praise

As they went out Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me oh Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets and you shall prosper.” And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. (2 Chron. 20:21-22)

The Song of Praise is a powerful prophetic tool that unlocks the mystery of strength in the midst of spiritual warfare!

  • It Declares- God’s ability in the midst of our frailty!
  • It Celebrates- victory in the face of apparent defeat!
  • It Thanks God- for strategies that have not yet been exposed!

Prophetic Songs:

The song of praise is prophetic; because it gives voice to the Word that God has spoken to you, concerning His outcome for your life. The prophetic song releases power, because it engages faith. We all have moments of desperation, but God remains undaunted by our apparent stress. He stands ready to go forward with His will and purpose for our lives, even when we feel paralyzed by fear. There may be no victory in sight, but there is always a hidden strength in God. Sometimes you just have to put it on or sing to release it.

We can choose to believe the Voice of God and unlock the power that obedience releases through praise!

Breakthrough Praise:

There is something about singing songs of praise that has a powerful magnetic pull on the resources of heaven. And this is why the Bible’s prescription for desperation is a song of praise. God has made the song of praise an instrument of breakthrough.

Unlocking Victory:

King Jehoshaphat received word that a vast army was coming against God’s People. Then, in answer to a prayer of desperation he received a prophetic word from Jahaziel: “The battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chron. 20:15). This Word was like a doorway to victory if the people could respond in faith… the key was the song of praise. Jehoshaphat sent out a choir singing praise to God in front of his army. He was not sending the praisers to their death, but to proclaim the victory that he had already received by God’s Word.

The Bible record is clear, “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes…”

The enemy armies turned on each other and victory was won with no weapon except a song of praise to God. Do you hear this… with no weapon, no strategy, no great army… The people of God prevailed with a song in their mouth (Ps. 149:6)! The key to your success is in the spirit, not in the natural!

When it feels as though everything is breaking loose against you, break heaven loose against the enemy and overcome with a song of praise.

The Warrior’s Focus

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Eph. 6:10-16)

3 Directions of the Warrior’s Focus in Spiritual WarfareFocus is Identity!
* 1st) Focus upon God’s Mighty Power!
* 2nd) Focus upon God’s Mighty Armor!
* 3rd) Focus upon God’s Supreme Authority!

The way you see spiritual warfare matters. I pray that you experience a boost in your faith today, as you meditate on these principles from God’s Word. Your focus will be the determining factor in your outcome… it will define how you fight, how you identify yourself in the midst of spiritual struggles and how you stand!

1. The Enemy Flees Away from You – You are designed to occupy and rule spiritual territory!

  • ‘Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.’ (Lev 26:8)

This is the Biblical direction of spiritual warfare: the enemy is at a disadvantage! He is fleeing before you… so where is your focus? We see it in the Old Testament, when God’s people were walking in obedience to Him, no enemy could stand before them.

  • ‘The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.’ (Deut 28:7)

This is the outcome of the blessed life and the warrior’s focus: as you resist, your enemies will flee. We must recognize our authority over the demonic realm.

  • ‘When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases’ (Luke 9:1)

Jesus has give you power and authority in His Name, over all the power of the enemy. Jesus’ disciples were able to cast out demons because they understood the focus of spiritual warfare and the goal as established in the Words of Jesus. And that was, that the enemy had to flee at their word! Notice this was not limited to the 12 Apostles… it was the unnamed seventy who returned rejoicing from a ministry trip saying amazing things… carrying testimonies of victory!

  • “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” (Luke 10:17)

2. Spiritual Warfare Comes Against You – It gets personal!

  • ‘For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.’ (Eph 6:12)

Don’t be surprised at the feelings you get when attacked. Satan wants to intimidate you and to overwhelm you physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is going to get personal and we must recognize that the battle is the Lord’s, not ours. The Greek word translated “wrestle” contains the imagery of a contest between two warriors where each is trying to throw the other and it is won when the victor is able to hold his opponent down with his hand upon his neck. Ouch, that sounds brutal – and it is! Many times, spiritual warfare gets up close and personal. You may relate to this as you experience a spiritual wrestling match right now… for your life, family, job, ministry or destiny. We must endure hardship as soldiers, warriors and leaders in fellowship with the King of Glory! The Bible does not promise that you will never experience demonic attack, pressure or spiritual warfare. However, Scripture does make clear that you have the ability to resist. In fact, we are commanded by God to oppose the enemy’s attacks.

  • ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…’ (1 Peter 5:8-9a)
  • ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7)

At times, the direction of spiritual warfare will be towards us, in our face and beyond our control; however, this reality is temporary! When the enemy comes against us, we can submit to God, resist the devil… and he must flee! What does it mean to ‘resist’? The Bible gives some clear instructions. Your action can result in a change of direction, for what the enemy means for evil God wants to release His “good” in it. The enemy who comes against you will find himself fleeing from you in seven directions.

  1. Be alert and recognize spiritual warfare when it arises (1 Peter 5:8)
  2. Submit to God (step into intimacy—listen and obey) (James 4:7)
  3. Don’t put up with spiritual warfare, step into an opposing position (James 4:7)
  4. Resisting means speaking—use Jesus’ Name (Luke 10:17)
  5. Have confidence in your authority, knowing that the enemy must flee as you continue to resist (1 Peter 5:8-9, James 4:7)

3. You Are the Victorious One: The Devil is Underneath Your Feet!

The ultimate end of spiritual warfare is for the enemy to be under your feet. The enemy being ‘under your feet’ speaks of defeat and subjugation (Joshua 10:24-25).

  • ‘The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.’ (Rom 16:20)

No matter what happens, there is hope! The promise of God is that ultimately every work of the enemy will fail (2 Tim 4:18). However, the enemy being ‘under our feet’ (in submission to, and defeated by us) is not something we have to wait for eternity to experience. Jesus said to His disciples: ‘I have given you authority’!

  • ‘I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.’ (Luke 10:19, also Psalm 91:13)

The Psalms of David can be your own Heavenly songs of rejoicing!

  • ‘I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.’ (Psalm 18:37-38)

Shall I Go Up?

  • Exodus 14:13… But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.
  • Deuteronomy 20:1… “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.
  • 1 Samuel 17:47… and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”

You have heard me say, “Believers, fight from a place of victory in Christ!” It is a truth worth repeating… and yet, rushing into spiritual warfare can lead to disaster and defeat. Although we are taught to remain on the offense, presuming to enter a battle God has not called us to fight… well, it can be a dangerous mistake. We all are in a spiritual war, but the battle really is the Lord’s! He fights for us… even when we are unaware.

The Battle is the Lord’s!

The Wise Spiritual Warrior:

Many Old Testament hero built quite a reputation for warfare… and it appears the Body of Christ has also. Wisdom is a vital key to victory. David asked the Lord time and time again, “Shall I go up?” (2 Sam. 5:19). It was his path of spiritual discernment… before running into the fierce unpredictable battlefront, he would confront his own heart. “Am I in the will of God… if I enter this battle?” Let that phrase enter your spirit – “Shall I go up?” I believe, every spiritual warrior needs to ask this question before engaging the enemy. In other words, we need to be lead by the Holy Spirit into battle, if we want God to show us His purpose and triumph over all that concerns us. If we lose a battle, get overwhelmed or find ourselves desperate… it could very well be that the Holy Spirit was not leading us into the spiritual struggle in the first place.

The Key is Humility in Warfare!

David displayed humility in his warfare, and I have learned to do the same. The Bible tells us the story of Ahab, Jezebel’s husband and a mighty warrior who posted many victories, who were certainly full of pride (1 Kings 22:17-23). God’s prophet Micaiah clearly told Ahab what no other person was saying: that he would lose if he went to battle in Ramoth Gilead . Instead of heeding the voice of God’s prophet, proud Ahab arrested the man of God and ran to the battle line anyway. As Micaiah prophetically warned… Ahab was defeated and killed in the end.

Obey the Father!

Before you run into the spiritual battles in your life, ask the Holy Spirit, “Shall I go up?” Then obey what the Father tells you. It could be that God has assigned someone else to “go up” and defeat the enemy. It could be that God is taking the battle into His own hands. Or it could be that you are not equipped or lack knowledge. Ask yourself, if your skill in battle is enough… is that really all you need to take on the enemy that rises up against you? The reason you go into battle does matter! It speaks of whose battle it really is! Obedience is better by far than sacrificing your time and energy in a questionable fight. What matters is being in the will of God, even in spiritual warfare.

Be in the Will of God!

The Working of Favor

“Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Lk. 2:52)

I have come to understand that God’s love is poured out toward all men equally, yet His favor is a resource which becomes hinged to other things like obedience, intimacy and character. Favor is a resource that we must see increasing in our lives. Notice Jesus’ example to us was increase! Jesus was obedient to His Father. The key to unlocking God’s favor is this kind of obedience. In any situation where you and I have the choice to trust God or take the shortcut that the enemy offers, there is the potential for favor to be accessed and increase.

If we do not choose the favor of God, we are exchanging God’s potential destiny – for our best efforts.

    • The Psalms tell us that the favor of God was the difference between life and death (Ps. 30:5-7)(Ps. 119:58)(Ps. 106:4).

    • The book of Proverbs tells us one way to find favor with God is to find a wife (Prov. 18:22)… for me that was a big one. Obviously that was not the method used by Jesus; but it is one way.
        • One of the things Solomon emphasized in the book of Proverbs is favor’s connection to finding wisdom (Prov. 8:35-36).

        Favor simply means that we are able to access kindness and are treated with a generosity and goodwill far beyond what would normally be expected.

        What does it Mean to Increase in Favor with God?

          Of course, every believer is favored by God to some degree; but we can increase as Jesus demonstrated. We must understand God’s favor comes to us in degrees. The more we please God, the more we will be favored by Him. Becoming “special” to God is not a love issue, its an alignment issue. When we live in agreement with the will and purposes of God, He orders our steps (Prov. 3:5-6) and illuminates our path (Prov. 4:18). It is important not to think of favor in material or worldly terms only. God’s favor is given in spiritual, as well as natural blessings (Eph. 1:3). The goal then, is to continue increasing; because His favor offers us supernatural resources… it even serves as my shield of protection on all levels of life. My shield is His favor.

          “For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield.” (Ps. 5:12)

          This shield of favor will not just protect you from all sides, it will bear you up. It is a shield that surrounds you, much like a cloak of invincibility. Even when you don’t know what battles are headed toward you, this divine favor will serve to insulate you from danger. Knowing the dynamics of the favor of God will encourage you in spiritual warfare and give confidence to never give up, back down or let go. If God be for us – who can stand against us? (Rom. 8:31)

          Favor – Your Platform for Boldness!

          You need to know where boldness comes from, so that you can access it when you need it! Have you considered your favor quotient? Are you mindful of favor when you make a decision? Its God who is able, God who is strong and mighty. You are called to the impossible, but its favor that offers you success and victory in every assignment!

          You and I can rely upon God’s “Fathering heart” – He is watching and looking in over our shoulders, to display His increased favor in our lives.

          The Reality of War

          Christians need to recognize the reality of spiritual conflict and warfare. We are born into conflict — against the world, against our carnal desires, and against the devil. If you do not know the nature of your enemy; if you do not know who your foes are, you cannot fight… much less walk in victory. It’s only when you realize what you’re up against that you can be victorious.

          Christian Soldiers are Called to War:

          The Bible says we must stand against our spiritual enemies as Christian soldiers (2 Tim. 2:4). When God calls you to Kingdom responsibility, you become part of the army of God. You can truthfully sing, “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war”, because you are at war and you have a target on your back. You need to remember that if you’re living for Jesus Christ, the powers of darkness are aligned against you. You are on Satan’s hit list!

          Get Equipped:

          Becoming equipped is more than gaining knowledge or taking a stance. It requires a transformed mind and a well developed character. You must become a person of faith and valor… a person who is equipped in the realities of war! Jesus, Himself said that the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Mt. 11:12). I want to offer four principles to help you be victorious in spiritual warfare as a Christian Soldier.

          1st) Learn to Endure Hardship.

          “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (2 Tim. 2:3)

          If you want to be a soldier, you need to get in shape. You can’t go out and fight hand-to-hand combat when you are little more than a fat little baby in Christ. While you’re sitting around in your diapers, the enemy is going to have you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You need to strengthen your spiritual muscles and gear up for spiritual realities. You need to be able to respond. If you can’t respond in physical combat, you die. It’s as simple as that. Likewise, you must learn to respond in spiritual ways, or you will become spiritually wounded.

          A key to strengthening spiritual muscles and enduring hardship is finding strength in the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Never forget this: ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of the Lord Jesus Christ. And ignorance of Christ is ignorance of your own defenses. You can’t defend yourself unless you are walking in the Light of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

          2nd) Be Self-Controlled and Alert.

          You must learn to “be self-controlled and alert” for “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

          He is looking for you! There’s no such thing as a sleepy, successful soldier. Sleepy soldiers — soldiers who are not alert — have one thing in common. They’re all dead! God says if you want to succeed in spiritual war, you must be self-controlled and alert. Being self-controlled is a fruit of the Spirit and it offers you the means to know what to do and the strength to do it. Only then will you be able to spiritually discern and resist the enemy’s subtle attacks.

          3rd) Build Your Faith in Christ.

          “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 Jn. 5:4-5).

          Faith is your victory! Its absolutely critical in spiritual conflict that you walk by faith, because it is an unseen war. Our faith is in the Ultimate Conqueror – Jesus Christ – who admonishes His followers: “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). Christ imparts the capacity to conquer every single day and all we have to do is believe in Him. You need to get up in the morning and say, “Lord Jesus, I believe You have conquered the world! Conquer today through me! I believe in you! Give me the capacity to see as You see. I am a person of faith and valor… remove my doubts and fill me with the boldness of faith that is necessary for victory today.”

          4th) Put On Spiritual Armor.

          “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11)

          Are you catching this? You can stand against Satan’s schemes and attacks. You can be victorious! Ephesians 6:10-20 speaks of the various pieces of spiritual armor God has provided. Nobody goes out to war in their pajamas; no, you go out with 30 or 40 pounds of equipment. Yet, I see so many immature Christians running around in their spiritual underwear, trying to do warfare against a powerful enemy. And they don’t understand why the flaming arrows of the wicked one are sticking out of their spiritual derrieres.

          You must put on the whole armor of God… the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the readiness to preach the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And Pray… with all kinds of prayers! These are God’s tools for taking spiritual dominion and reigning in all that He has promised.

          Note that every piece of armor in Ephesians 6 is for the front of the body. There isn’t a single piece for your backside. Do you know why? Because soldiers do not turn around in the middle of combat, they move forward. The reason many believers are weak and ineffective is that in the midst of battle, they fail to rely upon the armor God has made available in Christ. Fearing the enemy’s threats; they back away from their convictions, because they lack the faith and valor of Spiritual Soldiers.

          Take this to heart, my friend… Jesus Christ is the Exalted One! Its His Name that is above every name and His authority that is established as supreme over all. He is Our King… listen to Him, listen to the Holy Spirit and walk in the love of the Father. You will be strong and do great exploits by His power at work in you! (Dan. 11:32)

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