Posts Tagged ‘wiles of the devil’

Serious Alignment

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!” (Ephesians 6:10)

Thought for Today: “Becoming Armed and Dangerous”

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we have been given supernatural tools for warring against spiritual forces (Eph. 6:13-18). He first says, “put on the whole armor of God so that you can stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11). We find ourselves wrestling with principalities and powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. I believe we can be armed and dangerous. We can be equipped, shod and gird about with the most impressive sounding weapons God has in His arsenal, but it all works through prayer and fasting. Praying, watching and persevering with all kinds of prayers.

Not by Human Might:

We are ambassadors of Christ with amazing potential to do exploits and achieve the impossible things Jesus did, but it only happens with the help of the Holy Spirit (Zech 4:6). You see, we are battling invisible forces. Spiritual enemies that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. We can see the effects, but never get to the source of the real battle unless we are trained through prayer and fasting.

The Apostle’s Boldness:

Notice how the Apostle Paul writes these words to the Church in Ephesus while he was in prison, saying “I am an ambassador in chains”. He is making the point that his warfare is not fought in the flesh, but in the spiritual realm (Eph 3:10). His boldness was based upon an awareness that God’s grace was flowing through his life (Eph 3:8). Being armed does not necessarily make us dangerous to the devil, unless we are trained in the use of the weapons of our warfare… trained in prayer and sharpened by fasting.

Delegated Authority:

Its all about knowing who you represent! God has chosen you, called you by name and He will work in and through you… but your standard of training is up to you. Jesus was always calling His disciples up higher! He lived with them and taught as one holding the authority, but in a new season, new skills are needed. In John 15 a new season was about to begin. They would no longer be called “servants”. They would begin to discover what their Master was doing (Jn 15:15). As servants, they followed according to commands, but as “friends” they would follow the “heart” of their Master. Jesus was now shifting the relationship, deepening the responsibility and trusting that they would begin to live from what they understood – heart to heart. Friends discover the secrets that give them an advantage in how they walk together. Jesus wanted His disciples to achieve victory in every area of their spiritual journey. Knowing the heart of God is a key to real spiritual trained and impact in the spiritual battles we face. When we know the heart of our friend Jesus, we are able to carry our delegated authority into any challenge. One of the greatest spiritual truths is that your authority gets established through your intimacy with God.

Representing Heaven on Earth:

Becoming a dangerous threat to the devil means you will need some serious alignment with heaven. You are an ambassador for the Kingdom of God… you must represent heaven on earth in a way that makes the devil nervous and demons flee. That is what prayer and fasting will produce in you… the capacity to be armed and dangerous.

Submit to God (through prayer), resist the devil (through fasting) and he will flee from you (Jms 4:7).

No Name Like Jesus

What have we labeled “IMPOSSIBLE”?

There is a name like no other… its above every name that can be named among men (Phil 2:9-11). Its the name of “Jesus” that allows access into heavenly resources, breaks through in difficult circumstances and pulls the believer into new seasons of influence. The name, “Jesus” on the lips of the believing heart is the most amazing force in the universe… for in that name is power and authority.

Access – Breakthrough – Purpose:

Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and in earth“ (Mt 28:18). “In My name they shall cast out devils” (Mk 16:17). He literally gave us His own authority when He gave us His name. An authority to deal with the Devil. Every act of stealing, killing and deception is now abruptly held to a new standard of authority. The authority of the most recognized name in Heaven, the most powerful name on Earth and the most significant name in history… has been delegated to our use.

Authority is delegated power.

A person’s authority is only as great as the power that stands behind them! The police officer directing traffic in the middle of the street is wearing a badge that represents the power of the governing laws that he enforces. A large truck could easily crush him in the middle of the busy street, but because the driver understands the power of the badge, he quickly yields his will and submits the power of his large vehicle to the authority of the badge.

The Name of Jesus is like a “Badge of Authority”!

God knew that you needed a weapon of defense against all that the wiles of the Devil (Eph 6:16). What we must come to understand is how to use the name to our benefit. His name represents His person, His position, His seating, and His influence over all things. His promise to the believer is clear, ”If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). Jesus’ name can accomplish things that might feel impossible in the natural; yet when we live in intimacy with Him, we experience a growing awareness of how the natural is dominated by the Spirit.

Faith-filled and Lead by the Spirit:

The early Church recognized the incredible power they carried in the name of Jesus. Look at how Peter and John address the crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful of the temple, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The beggar immediately received strength in his feet and ankle bones and as Peter grabbed his hand, he leaped to his feet with joy and praise to God. Later Peter needed to explain the miracle to some critics saying, “It was His name, through faith in His name, that made this man strong whom you see and know.” Amazingly the critics were familiar with this beggar and all of Isreal knew him, because they had passed him daily going into the temple. Yet this was a new day and demonstrated a new authority, where faith in the name of Jesus was confronting what they had seen as normal.

Confronting Normal:

God was and still is, breaking in at the very gate of all that humanity has labeled impossible; simply because we have adjusted our seeing. He has handed the world an opportunity to experience the “New Normal”, where the name of Jesus offers access to all the authority of Heaven. This new normal confronts all that we see as familiar, impossible and overwhelming. But it offers hope, beyond the limitations. The new normal is living by faith in the name of Jesus.

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)

Chosen & Appointed

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit… fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name.” (Jn. 15:16)

What carries the label – “IMPOSSIBLE”? There is a Name like no other, that God – “the Father” stands behind. Its above every other name that can be named among men (Phil 2:9-11). Its the Name of “Jesus” that allows access into heavenly resources, breaks through in difficult circumstances and pulls the believer into new seasons of influence. The Name, “Jesus” on the lips of the believing heart is the most amazing force in the universe… for in that name is the power and authority to confront all that is called “normal”.

Power & Authority… Means Access, Breakthrough and Kingdom Advantage!

Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto Me in heaven and in earth” (Mt 28:18). “In My Name they shall cast out devils” (Mk 16:17). He literally gave us His own authority when He gave us His Name. A Kingdom resource to deal with the devil. Every act of demonic theft, killing and deception can now be held to a new standard… heaven’s standard. The authority of the most recognized Name in Heaven, the most powerful Name on Earth and the most significant Name in history… has been delegated to our use.

Delegated Power:

A person’s authority is only as great as the power that stands behind them! The police officer directing traffic in the middle of the street is wearing a badge that represents the power of the governing laws that he enforces. A large truck could easily crush him in the middle of the busy street, but because the driver understands the power of the badge, he quickly yields his will and submits the power of his large vehicle to the authority of the badge.

You’re Called to Bear Fruit!

The Name of Jesus is like a “badge of authority”! God knew that you needed a weapon of defense against the ruthless attacks that wage war against you… unprovoked wiles of the devil (Eph 6:16). What we must come to understand is how to use the Name to our benefit. His Name represents His person, His position, His seating (if you will) and influence over all things. His promise to the believer is clear, “If you ask anything in My Name, I will do it” (Jn 14:14). Jesus’ Name can accomplish things that might feel impossible in the natural! Yet when we live in intimacy with Christ, we experience a growing awareness of how the natural is dominated by God, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Faith-filled Reality:

The Early Church recognized the incredible power they carried in the Name of Jesus. Look at how the Apostles, Peter and John address the crippled beggar at the Gate Beautiful of the temple, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). The beggar immediately received strength in his feet and ankle bones and as Peter grabbed his hand, he leaped to his feet with joy and praise to God. Later Peter needed to explain the miracle to some critics saying, “It was His Name, through faith in His Name, that made this man strong whom you see and know” (Acts 3:16). Amazingly, the critics were familiar with this beggar and all of Israel knew him, because they had passed him daily going into the temple. Yet this was a new day and demonstrated a new authority, where faith in the Name of Jesus was confronting what they had seen as normal.

The New Normal:

God is still breaking in at the “gate” of all that humanity has labeled “normal” or “impossible”… simply because He wants to adjust our seeing. The doors of opportunity are wide open, because the heavens are wide open! He has handed the Church an opportunity to experience a “New Normal”, where the name of Jesus offers access to all the authority of Heaven. This new normal confronts all that we see as familiar, impossible and overwhelming. It also offers hope, beyond all the limitations of the past. This new normal is living by faith in the Name of Jesus.

“These things I have written to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the Name of the Son of God.” (1 Jn. 5:13)

Stand As the Victor

“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)

When you look at the battlefield, you may be intimidated by the volume of enemies that have gathered to battle against you. You may look at your small sword and your well weathered armor and feel that the odds are against you… perhaps you see no chance of victory. However, you need to remember who stands at your side… The Victorious One!

When you see only yourself, and your skills and abilities… they will never be enough. But if you see the battle… the real battle of the spirit, with the Victor at your side: then all the authority and resources of heaven are within reach. Indeed, the battlefield will look completely different.

So today, do not place your trust in what you think you can do, but what the Victorious One has already done! Think about what He can do! Look and consider the strength of His mighty right hand, consider the passion of His heart toward you and stand up with His righteous indignation. He is against your foes and chooses to stand in holy and proven strength.

Know this – that the power of the enemy to defeat you lies in your own mind. So take your position, take every thought captive to the mind of Christ and know that you are His anointed vessel, favored and secure in His hands… nothing is impossible. This is just another opportunity to see His proven character on display. Victory is as much a “stance” as it is an activity!

Stand on that battlefield as the victor – “I have called you to be My valiant soldier!” says the Lord.

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