PT 3.a. Spiritual Warfare – The TACTICS and Defense!

RETAINING DELIVERANCE:

l. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)

2. Confess any sin immediately, but don’t dwell on it (I John 1:9)

3. Stay in the Scriptures (Psalm 1:1-3). The Word is a mirror (James 1:22-25) a lamp (Psalm 119:105) a cleanser (Ephesians 5;25-26) a sword (Hebrews 4:12) and food (I Peter 2:2; Matthew 4:4). Use it for all these,.

4. Break old patterns, habits, and sins or Satan will return (Matthew 12:43-45: Luke 11:24-26). Fill the void with God’s Spirit and His fruit (Galatians 5:9-24; John 15:3). Clean your house of unclean books and things that shouldn’t be there (Deuteronomy 14:7-19). Dedicate your home and life to God.

5. Develop a life of continuous praise & prayer (I Thessalonians 5:17).

6. Stay in close fellowship with other believers (Hebrews 13:5).

7. Commit yourself to totally follow God (Ephesians 6:16).

GROW SPIRITUALLY

We all are either moving ahead or moving back. We cannot be dead still at the same place. If you aren’t growing spiritually then you are fading. Continue to grow spiritually. Focus on the basics of the Christian life: prayer, Bible study, fellowship, worship, witnessing, etc. Sometimes growth comes in spurts, other times there doesn’t seem to be much outer change (it is during these times that your spiritual roots are going deeper, getting you ready for the next growth spurt). The same is true in nature, there isn’t always sustained growth, things grow in spurts.

Do NOT focus on Satan or demons, always thinking about them or fearing what they will do. Do not look for “a demon behind every bush.” They love this attention, even if it is negative. It keeps your eyes off Jesus and on them, and that’s what they want. It is important to have balance in this area of spiritual warfare. Keep it in balance. It is one of many important spiritual tools for growth. Don’t neglect the others for this one.

SUBMIT TO HOLY SPIRIT

Remember, when demons are gone the area must be filled with God’s Spirit or it will be an invitation for them to come back — more and worse than before (Matthew 12:43-45). Casting them out is one thing, keeping them out is another. Close the opening (by confession and covering with the blood of Jesus) and fill the space they occupied in your life with the Holy Spirit.

It isn’t my purpose here to go into detail about being filled with the Holy Spirit for many fine books cover that subject quite well. Suffice it to say that immediately at salvation each person receives the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13; I Corinthians 12:13). He never leaves (Ephesians 4:30). Each believer has the Holy Spirit indwelling him, but not each one has the Holy Spirit “filling” (literally “controlling”) him (Ephesians 5:18). Allowing Him to fill/control us is a moment-by-moment responsibility. It means we must be 100% yielded to God in all areas of life (I Thessalonians 5:19), not allow any known sin in life (Ephesians 4:30), and to depend on Him and His strength in every area of life (Galatians 5:16). This way there will be no strongholds (openings) reestablished (II Corinthians 10:3-5).

PRAYER OF SUBMISSION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

“Dear heavenly Father, You have said that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry (I Samuel 15:23), I know that in action and attitude I have sinned against You with a rebellious heart. I ask Your forgiveness for my rebellion and pray that by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ all ground gained by evil spirits because of my rebelliousness would be canceled. Show me any ways I continue to live in pride and help me to turn from them by Your strength. Fill me with Your Spirit and use for Your glory. In the name of Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.”

WEAR THE ARMOR

Satan does not trouble those who aren’t committed believers. They are his subjects (Col. 1:13) and serve him (Eph. 2:2). Only when one wants to turn from that path, having accepted Jesus as his Savior and wanting to make Him Lord of his life, does Satan oppose the person. Satan will not give up one of his subjects easily and will do all he can to gain that person back. He can’t take his salvation, but can have him live the same kind of life as before (one of service to Satan and sin). God does not want that for His children, however. He has defeated Satan and has made provision for us to share in that victory. As a good commander He provides the equipment we need to defeat Satan and to protect ourselves (Eph. 6:10-17, II Cor. 10:35, Mt. 12:29). The following is based on Ephesians 6:10-17. Open your Bible as your read the following.

I. ARMOR PROVIDED Ephesians 6:10-12

“FINALLY” (10): Paul builds to this throughout the whole Epistle.

“BE STRONG” (10): “Be continually strengthened” This is a command, not an option. It is passive, something we receive from outside ourselves. A soldier receives (passive) equipment from his commander, the commander is responsible to provide it, he must use it. The battle is between God & Satan, we are just privates and only get attacked because of joining God’s army, it’s not our personal battle but our commander who will make sure we can win it.

What makes a soldier strong so he can use his equipment? (1. Proper nourishment (food & drink) – for us the Word of God. (2. Regular exercise to stay fit – not spiritually fat or lazy. (3. Proper rest, meditation, relaxation, worship & praise times.

“IN THE LORD” (10): not “FROM” the Lord for He doesn’t just give us a portion of His strength (as great as that would be) to fight in our own strength and to add to our strength. We are actually “IN Christ” (a phrase used over 40 times just in Ephesians). This refers to total dependence, like a baby IN a womb. We are one, we share His foe and His victory. We must stay as close to Christ as possible or we will never have victory.

“HIS mighty power” (10): Never look at Satan’s power, or your own, just and only at Christ’s!

“MIGHTY” (10): The word means a special endowment of power and strength. It is inherent strength, ability, and authority that comes from being “in Christ.”

“POWER” (10): This word refers to manifested power, HIS power shown through us. The previous word would be used of the muscular ability a person naturally has, this word of that power shown in use. This power, by the way, comes through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). God is the sovereign general, we are “in Christ,” and the Holy Spirit is the power source given to us. What an unbeatable combination!

“PUT ON” (11): This verse tells HOW to be strong in Jesus. This, too, is a command – it is not an option., In the original language this speaks of a once-for-all action. The commander provides the armor, but the soldier must put it on-and then he must NEVER take it off for the warfare is continual. Each morning check out your armor to make sure it is well maintained, never take it off.

“FULL ARMOR” (11): If missing even just one piece Satan will attack there.

“TAKE YOUR STAND” (11): This same word is translated “resist” in James 4:7 and I Peter 5:8-9. We are NOT to run, fall back in fear or panic, surrender, sit, or fall asleep. We are to stand alert BEFORE attacked so we are ready to defend ourselves and beat it off.

“DEVIL” (11) “Devil” means “Slanderer,” and that is what he does. He slanders God to man (as to Eve in Eden) and man to God (as with Job).

“SCHEMES” (11): The picture behind this word is of a cunning, deceitful animal full of tricks and deceit. Paul commands us to not be ignorant of these tricks and traps (II Corinthians 2:11).

“STRUGGLE” (12): This word-picture of wrestlers shows the life-and-death struggle we are in with Satan. Wrestlers back then tried to pin each other’s neck to the ground. This is no innocent misunderstanding or friendly competition!

“NOT AGAINST FLESH & BLOOD” (12): Our main enemy is not other people, or even our own sin nature. We know how those operate from firsthand knowledge. Satan is in another realm that we are often unaware of, and have no idea how to fight.

“RULERS” (12): These are the demons on top of Satan’s organizational systems, the generals under him as the commanding officer. They have vast oversight responsibilities, some over geographical areas, others over philosophies or works, etc.

“AUTHORITIES” (12): These very powerful demons are like colonels. They are given authority (thus the name) over certain countries, areas, churches, groups of persons, etc. They don’t do the work but, like the Rulers, oversee and coordinate the activity of demons under them. They give power & authority to these lesser demons.

“POWERS OF THIS DARK WORLD” (12): These numerous, workhorse demons function on the command level, like lieutenants and sergeants. They oversee and work with small forces of demons assigned by ‘Authorities’ to a certain person, church, cult, location, idea, philosophy, etc. They receive their orders and power through the chain of command above them.

“SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS” (12): These very numerous demons are the daily working demons that carry out the work assigned to them by the above chain of command. These are the privates of Satan’s army, the ones we do battle with each day. They are not as smart or clever as the ones higher in the command, they simply carry out orders given them. They have a great variety in their intelligence level, abilities, etc. They each function in one main area of expertise, and are named accordingly (Greed, Listlessness, Self-Destruction, Fear, etc.)

“HEAVENLY REALMS” (12): In the atmosphere is where Satan sets up his kingdom, between this earth and the third heaven where God is. That is why Michael needed to help the other angels get past the Prince of Persia in Daniel (Daniel 10:13). Satan is the “ruler of the kingdom of the air.”

II ARMOR DESCRIBED Eph. 6:13-18

A. BELT OF TRUTH 14a

“BELT”: The belt was the KEY piece of equipment for a soldier because it held his other clothing and equipment in place. Clothing was tucked back out of the way to allow freedom of movement to fight, and it was the belt that gave them freedom. The belt held their valuables and personal possessions, too. It also held the sword, thus the close connection between the truth and God’s Word (sword).

“TRUTH” : As the belt allowed the soldier’s hands freedom, so the truth makes us free. Jesus is the “way, TRUTH and life” (Jn. 14:6) and only in Him (“IN CHRIST”) is truth found. He said “I am the truth” (Jn. 14:6; 1:14). When we put on Christ and are strong in Him we take the truth that comes from Him as revealed in His Word, the Bible (II Tim. 2:15, James 1:18, Ps. 119:41-43). It is through the Holy Spirit that this truth is applied to our hearts and lives, for He is called the “Spirit of Truth” (I Cor. 1:6-15).

By contrast Satan is a liar (Jn. 8:44). He works in deceit and counterfeits to get us to fear and be defeated. He tries to get us to be untruthful (Acts 5:3) and uses any untruth in us to gain access to us. Therefore we are to “stand firm” against anything not 100% honest and truthful in us or others.

B. BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS 14b

“BREASTPLATE” : This vital piece of equipment covered the vulnerable organs of the upper body. Enemy soldiers would grasp each other’s left forearms and with the right start stabbing each other in the breastplate. The first one to find or make an opening won!

Satan, too, first attacks our vulnerable areas. He knows where our weak and open spots are. That is why we are defeated over and over by the same besetting sin. Just as a soldier would make sure his breastplate was sound and perfect before the battle began, so we must make sure there are no areas in our life, thoughts, priorities or motives where Satan can defeat us. It doesn’t matter how small, he will use it. All openings must be closed and covered with the blood of Jesus.

“RIGHTEOUSNESS”: In contrast to our righteousness, which is like “filthy rags”, God is pure righteousness (Ps. 48:;10; 119:137; 145:17). One of His names is YHWH-TSIDEK (“The LORD Our Righteousness” Jer. 23:6). At the moment of salvation our sins are transferred to Jesus and His perfect righteousness is transferred to us. We must put faith in HIS provision, not our own good works/righteousness. We need to allow His righteousness to shine through us, and to accept His holiness (another word for righteousness) as ours “In Christ”. It is in this area we can’t have sin or Satan will use that to defeat us. Note that our back isn’t covered, just our front. A soldier of Christ cannot retreat or run but must move ahead in victory!

C. SANDALS OF PEACE

“FEET”: On their feet soldiers wore sandals which were VERY important. They had to be sturdy, dependable and tough. The soldier went everywhere on his feet, and was usually attacked on rough, rocky ground where getting a good footing would be very hard. Failure of his sandals to protect his feet or give him good stability would result in his defeat. Our standing, too, must be sure and ready.

“READINESS”: This word has the idea of establishment, a firm foundation.

“PEACE”: “Christ is our peace” (Eph. 2:13-14), and we only have peace “in Christ.” He provides peace with God (Rom. 5:1) and peace of God (Phil 4:6-9; Rom. 16:20; Prov. 16:7). Jesus is peace (Jn. 14:27) and we are to live in peace with God, self and others. This is our support, our foundation.

Satan tries to produce turmoil, chaos, and lack of peace in our lives. Then he comes along and offers false peace through drugs, alcohol, sex, compromise, etc.

D. SHIELD OF FAITH 16

“IN ADDITION”: Literally “above all,” meaning this is of the greatest importance. Faith, the helmet of salvation, and prayer, the next three, are even more important than the ones already described. The first 3 pieces of equipment are worn as part of the body, affixed to it. They are always to be there. These next ones are to be “taken up” to use when battle was near. The first we receive (passive), these we take up ourselves (active). These are our outer wall of defense.

“SHIELD”: The shield was 2 foot by 4 foot. Soldiers would gather behind a wall of shields side-by-side and use it for an outer wall of protection.. They would NOT go into battle without a shield!

“FAITH”: This is the substance of our shield. We, together with others of like faith, are to throw up a wall against Satan. We can still hear his roaring attacks, but faith keeps us from being defeated by them. It is not just ‘faith’ that protects, for faith must be in the right object – God.

“FLAMING ARROWS”: Burning pitch and arrows tipped with burning pitch would be hurled against soldiers, and only a shield could protect them from it. Satan shoots arrows of pride, temptation, fear, worry, guilt, suffering, etc, at us and only faith in God will get us through those times.

“YOU CAN EXTINGUISH ALL”: Some arrows get very close to us (like with Job), but God determines just how close they will fall (also like with Job.) Sometimes it seems like some of them even pierce our shield of faith. However when that happens they are no longer Satan’s flaming arrows but God’s refining and purifying messengers of love, as Paul’s thorn in the flesh (see also I Cor. 10:13; Rom. 8:28 etc.) If we keep our shield up the fire refines us. It is only when our faith is down that the fire harms us.

E. HELMET OF SALVATION 17a

“HELMET”: The helmet protected soldier’s heads from the broad sword their enemies carried. This sword was 3 to 4 feet long. The enemy held it with two hands and brought it straight down with all his might right on the soldier’s head. Thus the helmet was very important.

“SALVATION” : Our mind is very important, and Satan attacks that in a deadly and vigorous way. Therefore it is very important to protect our mind: its thoughts, ideas, goals, motives, priorities, values, decisions, etc. (Rom. 12:1-2; James 1:8; II Tim. 2:25-26). This is where Satan attacked Eve (Gen. 3:1-7, II Cor. 11:3) and he attacks us there through our pride, selfishness & self-centeredness, as well as through the influence of the world. It is only through salvation that we can have the “mind of Christ” and thus do His will. Being Christ-like starts in our mind, so it must be protected and filled with God’s word (studied and memorized).

F. SWORD OF THE WORD 17b

“SWORD”: The only offensive weapon (prayer, next verse, is the other weapon we have but that isn’t listed as a weapon the way the sword is in this soldier analogy). All the other pieces of equipment are defensive and for protection. It is only through the offensive weapons, Bible study and prayer, that we can forge ahead and defeat Satan. These weapons don’t work until the previous ones are taken care of, though, because if we have a way to be defeated Satan will seize the initiative and we will be driven back instead of driving him back.

“OF THE SPIRIT”: ANY weapon used in the flesh will not prosper. Peter used the sword of his flesh and cut Malchus’ ear, but on Pentecost he used the sword of the Spirit and thousands of ears were won and opened for Christ. The best defense is a good offense.

“WORD OF GOD”: Jesus, the living Word (John 1:1-14), is behind the Bible, the written Word. You need to know God’s Word in detail, with much of it memorized, so you can really use this weapon. Jesus won His battles when Satan tempted Him by quoting Scriptures. That is how we are to win, too.

G. PRAYER 18

“AND PRAY”: This is our other offensive weapon, equal in importance to knowing God’s Word. God doesn’t fully pour His Spirit into us in power until we fully pour our spirit out to him in prayer. In our military analogy, communication with the commander is key to receiving orders, help, strength, additional resources, support, etc.

“IN THE SPIRIT”: Our prayer must be directed by the Holy Spirit just as our Bible study is (“sword OF THE SPIRIT”). The Holy Spirit directs our praying when we let Him (Rom. 8:26). Prayer in our own strength and wisdom brings no answer (James 4:3). We must be sensitive to the Spirit as He leads us in how to pray and just what to pray for.

“ON ALL OCCASIONS”: “Without ceasing.” (Prov. 3:5-6). If you feel like it or not, are busy or not, know what to say or not – still pray. Prayer must be consistent and persistent (II Cor. 10:3-5).

PRAYER OF THE ARMOR OF GOD Heavenly Father, I desire to be obedient by being strong in the Lord and the power of Your might. I see that this is Your will and purpose for me. I recognize that it is essential to put on the armor that You have provided, and I do so now with gratitude and praise that You have provided all I need to stand in victory against Satan and his kingdom. Grant me wisdom to discern the tactics and sneakiness of Satan’s strategy against me. I delight to take the armor You have provided and by faith to put it on as effective spiritual protection against the spiritual forces of darkness present in the world today.

I confidently take the belt of truth that You offer me. I take Him who is the truth as my strength and protection. I reject Satan’s lies and deceiving ways to gain advantage against me. Grant me discernment and wisdom to recognize the subtle and sneaky ways in which Satan seeks to cause me to accept his lies as truth. I desire to believe only the truth, to live the truth, to speak the truth, and to know the truth. I worship and praise You that You lead me only in the ways of truth. Thank You that Satan cannot stand against the truth.

Thank You for the breastplate of righteousness which you offer me. I eagerly accept it and put it on as my protection. Thank you for reminding me again that all of my righteousness comes from You. I embrace that righteousness which is mine by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,. It is His righteousness that is mine through justification. I reject and repudiate all trust in my own righteousness which is as filthy rags. I ask You to cleanse me of all the times I have counted my own goodness as being acceptable before You. I bring the righteousness of my Lord directly against all of Satan’s workings against me. I express my desire to walk in righteousness before God today. By faith I appropriate the righteousness of Christ and invite Him to walk in His holiness in my life today that I might experience His righteousness in total context of ordinary living. I count upon the righteousness of my Lord to be my protection. I know that Satan must retreat from before God’s righteousness.

Thank You, Lord, for the sandals of peace You have provided. I desire that my feet should stand on the solid rock of the peace that You have provided. I claim the peace with God which is mine through justification. I desire the peace of God which touches my emotions and feelings through prayer and sanctification (Philippians 4:6). Thank You that as I walk in obedience to You the God of peace promises to walk with me (Philippians 4:9), I thank you that as the God of peace You are putting Satan under my feet (Romans 16:20). I will share this good news of peace with all others that Your Spirit will bring into my life today. Thank you that You have not given me a spirit of fear but of love and power and a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7). Thank you that Satan cannot stand against Your peace.

Eagerly, Lord, I lift up the shield of faith against all the blazing darts that Satan and his hosts fire at me. I recognize that You are my shield and that in Your incarnation and crucifixion You took the arrows of Satan which I deserved. By faith I count upon You to shield me from above and beneath; on my right and my left; in front of me and behind me, that I might be protected, walled in, and encapsulated by You that Satan may gain no way to hurt me or keep me from fulfilling Your will today.

I am willing that any fiery darts of Satan You wish to touch me should do so, but I shall look upon them as refining fires permitted in Your providence and by Your love for my refining and Your glory. Thank You, Lord, that You are a complete and perfect shield and that Satan cannot touch me apart from Your sovereign purpose.

I recognize that my mind is a particular target of Satan’s deceiving ways. I take from You the helmet of salvation. I cover my mind and my thoughts with Your salvation. I recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is my salvation. I fill my head with Him. I invite His mind to be in me. Let me think His thoughts, feel His love and compassion, and discern His will and leading in all things. Let my mind be occupied with the continuing, daily, saving work of my Lord in and through my life. May You meet and defeat all Satanic thoughts in my mind.

With joy I take hold upon the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. I affirm that Your Word is the trustworthy, infallible Word of God. I choose to believe it and to live in its truth and power. Grant me the love for Your Word which comes from the Holy Spirit. Forgive and cleanse me from the sin of neglecting Your Word. Create in me a hunger and thirst to study and know Your Word. Enable me to memorize it and to meditate upon its truth. Grant me proficient recall and skill in using Your Word against all of Satan’s subtle attacks against me, even as my Lord Jesus Christ used the Word against Satan. Enable me to use Your Word not only to defend me from Satan, but also to claim its promises and to wield the sword strong against Satan to defeat him, to take away from him ground he claims, and to win great victories God through Your Word. Thank You that Satan must retreat from Your Word applied against him.

Thank You, dear Lord, for prayer. Help me to keep this armor well oiled with prayer. I desire to pray at all times with depth and intensity as the Holy Spirit leads me. I trust the Holy Spirit to enable me and to intercede for me and through me. Grant me great supplication and burden for others in God’s family of blood-washed saints. Enable me to see their needs and to assist them through prayer as the enemy attacks them. All of these petitions, intercessions, and words of praise I offer up before the true and living God in the name and worthy merit of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. (Author unknown)

USE THE WORD OF GOD

Knowing and using God’s Word, the sword of the Spirit, is key for victory (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 77:12; I Chronicles 28:9; Matthew 22:37-38; I Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 4:8). That’s how Jesus defeated Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan tries to plant doubts about God’s word in man’s mind. This is how he got to Eve. She misquoted God’s Word to Satan and when he added to God’s Word (making God seem like He was keeping something good from her) she didn’t pick it up. Satan was undermining God’s Word, and he won! We must be skillful in the use of our sword to win. Below are some verses to memorize and use.

When Jesus was tempted He quoted Scripture to have victory over Satan’s temptations. Paul says our only offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Psalm 119:9,11 tell us that it’s through God’s Word that we have victory. When you have these thoughts and attacks use Scripture to have victory. Ask God to give you some verses that will help against these things, write them down and memorize them. Say them over and over when these thoughts attack you. That is the only way to victory, and God guarantees it will work!

BIBLE MEMORY VERSES

GOD’S LOVE & ACCEPTANCE The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8

THE BIBLE, GOD’S WORD The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

GOD’S TRUTH FREES “If you hold to my teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

LIVE IN HOLINESS Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Rom. 12:1

SUBMIT TO GOD, RESIST SATAN God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:6-8

GOD IS GREATER THAN SATAN The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. I John 4:4

GOD WILL MEET ALL OUR NEEDS My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

RENEW YOUR MIND WITH CHRIST Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

PRAYER The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

AUTHORITY OVER DEMONS Jesus replied: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 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 10:18-19

RESISTING SATAN Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23

SIN AS OPENINGS TO DEMONIZING Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

CURSES Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13

ANCESTRAL & CHILDHOOD OPENINGS Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! II Corinthians 5:17

OCCULT OPENINGS Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:31

NEW AGE OPENINGS Such men (who preach a Jesus other than the Jesus I preached) are false prophets, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. II Corinthians 11:13-15

DELIVERANCE FROM DEMONIZING Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God … This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. I John 4:1-2

DELAYED DELIVERANCE The Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” … For when I am weak, then I am strong. II Corinthians 12:9-10

CONTINUING VICTORY Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. I Peter 5:8-9

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RESIST, STAND FIRM

KEYS TO FREEDOM & VICTORY

There are 2 keys to attaining and keeping spiritual victory: 1. You have to want it so bad you are willing to pay any price to get it. You must be 100% committed to sticking it out no matter what. 2. The other key is that, as soon as you fail, you get right back up and start again. Don’t lay there in defeat but start over. It’s taken a lifetime to get into this, it’ll take awhile to get out. Gradually you will log more and more time ‘sober’ and less and less ‘under the influence.’ That’s how it works.

PERSEVERE, AS BAD AS IT GETS

Persevere no matter what. God can and will set you free from this. Deliverance is a process He uses to teach us things about Himself and ourselves. He wants us to persevere in faithfulness to Him no matter what for that helps us learn to depend on Him and trust Him. It’s also part of the way He works to make us more like Jesus.

I know God is greater and will give the victory. I know the victory comes gradually, as we learn to fight and take back ground that was given to the enemy. When the Jews entered the promised land under Joshua God gave them victory, but one battle at a time, even one generation at a time. He didn’t give it all to them at once. He wanted them to learn to fight, to need to keep trusting Him, to develop patience and perseverance. What was true of them physically is true of us spiritually. So don’t give up. Persevere. It may be hard to see progress but remember – there is improvement. Look back at your life and you’ll see improvement in the past to the present. You certainly wouldn’t want to go back! Progress is slow but steady, like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Also be encouraged because it’s obvious the enemy is now throwing everything at you he can. That means this is as bad as it gets, this is all he can do. If he could do more he would. While this is bad, knowing it is as bad as it gets and that it will gradually but certainly get better helps. It takes time. God is interested in the process you are going through as you grow, not just the final product. You do the same thing with your children.

We are told over and over again in the Bible to resist Satan (in Jesus’ strength), to stand firm and not give in. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7-8) is a promise to claim. The conditions for the promise to work, though, are that we are to submit to God (total commitment to God after salvation), draw near to God (quality and quantity time in prayer and meditation) and be pure (life a holy life, confessing all known sin). The key is keeping our eyes on Jesus.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devout. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. (I Peter 5:8-9). Alert means literally to “be sleepless,” it implies a purposeful and active state of awareness. It implies being active and watching out for anything that would tone down our alertness (like being seduced by the world’s pleasures). Resist is a strong word meaning to oppose. We aren’t to hide in fear, hoping he’ll leave us alone. Each must wage his own fight, you cannot expect a parent, mate, pastor or friend to resist for you. Stand firm means to stand solid, hard, unbending in the faith. Jesus prayed Peter would stand when attacked by Satan (Luke 22:32). Satan is like a bully. When he or his forces find someone who will give in they push them around. Taking a stand may mean a fight for awhile, but then the promise comes that he will flee. We are to be courageous and not fearful, taking our stand in the Lord (Joshua 1:9; 10:8; 23:9-11; Leviticus 26:8; Exodus 14:13; I Samuel 17:45-47; II Samuel 22:33-35,40-41).

Since Satan works through getting us to believe his lies, we must really resist and stand fast in this area. By knowing which lies Satan trips you up with you can better be prepared for them. Here are some common ones to look out for.

PRAY

Prayer is powerful (John 14:13-14; 15:7,16; Mark 11:24; 11:22-24; Luke 11:9-10; I John 5:14; Jeremiah 33:3). There should be six parts to your prayer life, all equally well developed. These are:

1. CONFESSION (I John 1:9; Psalm 66:18; 51:1). To confess means to agree with God that the issue at hand is sin (not a mistake, someone else’s fault, etc.) . Use the lists on page 15-17 to help in this. After you confess your sin make sure you accept God’s forgiveness (Daniel 9:9,19; Psalm 130:4; 86:5; 78:30; 99:8; 103:3; Amos 7:2). Only God can forgive sin (Mark 2:7; 11:25; Luke 23:24; 5:24; Matthew 6:14; Colossians 3:13). God doesn’t over look sin, he forgives because it was paid for with the blood of Jesus on the cross (Hebrews 9:22; Ephesians 4:32; 1:7; I Peter 2:24; 3:18; Luke 24:46-47; Colossians 1:14; John 19:30). This forgiveness is available to all (Isaiah 53:6; Colossians 2:13; Romans 8:1). When you confess/admit your sin God forgives it. This means He blots it out (Isaiah 43:25; 1:18; 44:22; Acts 3:19; Colossians 2:14; Psalm 32), casts it behind His back (a place He can’t see it – Isaiah 38:17; Jeremiah 31:34), forgets it (Hebrews 8:12; 10:17; Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 31:34), makes it disappear where it will never be found (Jeremiah 50:20), has it vanish like the morning mist at noon (Isaiah 44:22; John 20:31; Matthew 27:51), and casts it into the deepest part of the sea (Micah 7:19) which will then be gone forever (Revelation 21:1).

2. PRAISE (Psalm 34:1-3; 48:1; Hebrews 13:15). Praise is glorifying God for Who and What He is. It is different than thanking Him for things He has done. We will be praising God for all eternity, so we should start now! God is pleased with our praise (Psalm 22:3; Hebrews 13:5).

The Bible says there is power in praise (Psalm 22:3). Praise can be done by word or song. Make sure you develop a strong praise life (Philippians 4:4; Hebrews 13:15). Read the following passages and turn them into praise prayers: Exodus 15:1-2; Deuteronomy 10:21; 32:3-4,43; I Samuel 2:1-2; II Samuel 22:4, 50; I Chronicles 16:9,25,31; 29:10-12; II Chronicles 5:12-14; 20:21-22,27; Psalm 8:1-2; 9:1-3; 31:21; 44:8; 40:16; 47:1-3; 68:3-4; 72:18-19; 86:12-13; 104:33; 108:3; 117:1-2; 119:108,175; 138:1-4; 142:7; 149:1,3,6-9; 150:1-6; Isaiah 25:1,9; 38:18-19; 60:18; Daniel 2:20-23; Jeremiah 20:13; Habakkuk 3:17-19; Zechariah 9:9; Luke 1:46-47; Luke 10:21; John 4:23024; Ephesians 1:3; Jude 25; Revelation 4:10-11; 5:5,12-13; 15:3-4.

3. THANKSGIVING (Psalm 116:12; Philippians 4:6; I Thessalonians 5:18). Thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done, is doing and is going to do in your life (as well as the lives of others). We all appreciate being thanked for things we do, and so does God. Be specific in your thanksgiving. Remember, everything comes from Him and is for our good (Romans 8:28) so we should thank Him for everything!

4. INTERCESSION (Psalm 28:9; James 5:14-20; I Timothy 2:1-4; I Samuel 12:23). Intercession is prayer for others. Often it is good to keep a list of prayer requests so you remember to pray for them and so you can mark down the answer, too. Then thank God for the answer. Remember God answers EVERY prayer. The answer is either yes (now), wait (later) or no (never). Every prayer gets one of these answers. God is able to do anything, but He isn’t always willing to do what it is we think He should do to bail us out (Daniel 3:17). Therefore when you pray for others first be sensitive to how God would have you pray. Don’t be so quick to come up with a solution and make that your prayer. God may have another solution (better than ours). Don’t pray solutions to God, pray problems and let Him come up with His own solution. You’ll find prayers answered more often when you let Him figure out how to take care of something. Often instead of removing something He gives us grace to endure it (II Corinthians 12:7-10). Include that option in your prayers for others

CONFESSING THE SINS OF ANOTHER Praying for another person is important. Confessing the sins of another person can help free them from demonic oppression. Sin, especially certain sins, is like opening a door for demons to work in a person’s life. These sins can be an open invitation. Depression (self-pity), for example, can be almost a ‘prayer’ to Satan because one is so negative and sees everything from a very self-centered viewpoint about how it may affect them. It’s almost like they enjoy wallowing in this, so demons just help them move in that direction by putting thoughts in their mind and the person accepts and feeds on these thoughts. When that person tells God they are sorry for opening the door and confess (admit) that as sin, He forgives them and the sin no longer blocks fellowship between the person and God. However the door is still open and demons, who can get very technical and never want to give up access they have, will continue to use it. When you enter the picture and put the sins of that person under the blood of Jesus and state that demons can no longer use that sin as an access to the person you are closing the door. If the person hasn’t confessed the sin themselves that still blocks their relationship with God, but by interceding for them we can slow down or stop (at least temporarily) the demonic impact so the person can be free from that influence and be better able to turn to God for themselves. Now if they continue in the sin they keep opening the door. All you can do is keep trying to close it by putting the sin under the blood until the person does so themselves or it becomes evident they don’t want to and won’t do it.

5. PETITION (James 4:2; Hebrews 4:15-16; John 15:7). Petition means asking God for things for yourself. This is legitimate. We shouldn’t always pray just for ourselves, nor should we feel unworthy to ever pray for ourselves. Much of what I said under “Intercession” above fits in here. There are some things the Bible says we should ask for: an understanding heart (I Kings 3:7,9), fellowship with other believers (Philemon 4-6), forgiveness (Psalm 25:11,18,20), guidance (Psalm 25:4-5; 27:11), holiness (I Thessalonians 5:23), love (Philippians 1:9-11), mercy (Psalm 6:1-6), power (Ephesians 3:16), spiritual growth (Ephesians 1:17-19) and to know and do God’s will (Colossians 4:12). As you pray for yourself think of a Bible promise to claim for it. God promises He will not forget us (Isaiah 49:15), not fail us (Joshua 1:5), will show us what to do (I Samuel 16:3), will help us (Isaiah 41:10) and will strengthen us (Isaiah 41:10).

Remember, its always good to pray the problem, not the solution. Let God come up with His own solution. Often we miss it because He answers a different way then we expected. He is God. He can answer any way He wants. Just think of the ultimate result: God being glorified and you growing. Pray for that – God to be glorified in the situation no matter what.

6. LISTEN (I Samuel 3:10; Hebrews 1:1-2; 3:15; Psalm 62:5; 46:10) Good communication is a two-way street. Pause a few minutes and listen to God talk to you. You should do that throughout your day. After all, which is more important: you passing on information to God or Him passing on information to you? Be still in your mind, let Him put in thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc., that you need. Be sensitive to His leading. As with any relationship, the better you know the person the better the communication. Good, deep communication is difficult with a stranger, but the more time you spend with a person the better you can ‘hear’ them, and that’s true with God, too. This is an art that takes time to develop, but won’t happen if you don’t work on it! For more information on this important art read Appendixes 7 & 8, pages 101-108.

PRAYER FOR SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN GENERAL

“Gracious God, I acknowledge that You are worthy of all honor, glory and praise. I am thankful for the victorious work of Your Son, Jesus Christ at Calvary for me. I apply His victory to my life now as I willingly surrender every area of my life to Your will.

“Thank you for the forgiveness and righteousness that has been given to me as Your adopted child. I trust in Your protection and provision daily. I know that your love for me never ceases. I rejoice in Your victory, my Lord, over all the principalities and powers in the heavenlies. In faith I stand in Your victory and commit myself to live obediently for You my King.

“I desire that my fellowship with You become greater. Reveal to me those things that grieve You and enables the enemy to secure an advantage in my life. I need the Holy Spirit’s powerful ministry in my life; bringing conviction of sin, repentance of heart, strengthening my faith and increasing perseverance in resisting temptation.

“Help me to die to self and walk in the victory of the new creation You have provided for me. Let the fruits of the Spirit flow out of my life so that You will be glorified through my life. Fill me with your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

“Please place your hedge of protection around me, my possession, my family and all my descendants. Protect us from anything the enemy would try to do against us.

“I know that it is Your will that I should stand firm and resist all of the enemy’s work against me. Help me to discern the attacks upon my thoughts and emotions. Enable me to stand upon Your Word and resist all the accusations, distortions and condemnations that are hurled against me.

“It is my desire to be transformed through the renewing of my mind, so that I will not compromise with the ways of the world, or yield to the enemy’s attacks, but be obedient to Your will. So give me the mind of Christ in order that I may have His perspective, wisdom, compassion, holiness and truth.

“I draw upon those spiritual resources that You have provided me and I attack the strongholds and plans of the enemy that have been put in place against me. I command in the name of Jesus Christ that the enemy must release my mind, will, emotions and body completely. They have been yielded to the Lord and I belong to Him.

“Lord, enable me to become the person You created me to be. Help me as I pray to be strong in faith. Show me how to apply Your Word in my life each day. I know that I wear the full armor of God when I am committed to and stand firmly upon Your Word. I want You to have the supreme place in my life. Give me a hunger and thirst to know You better, to read Your Word more deeply, to pray more readily and to keep you first in all my thoughts all day long.

“I surrender myself completely to You, Lord. You are always faithful and You extend Your grace to me constantly, even when I do not realize it. I claim Your promise of forgiveness and cleansing in its fullness. In faith, I receive the victory today that you have already put in place for me. I do this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior with a grateful heart. AMEN” (Don Rogers, Spiritual Warfare Ministries, Warrington, PA)

HELPING OTHERS

Once you get involved in deliverance, you’ll start to see how it can help those around you. You’ll want to share with others what you’ve found. That’s great! Remember, though, there is a cost of your time (Mark 7:24), energy (Mark 6:31) and patience (Matthew 17:17). Count the cost first (Mark 3:8-15). Getting involved in spiritual warfare for others may bring attacks against you but do not fear such a thing (Matthew 10:24-27). Often the worse part, though, is the criticism and rejection you get from others, believers and unbelievers alike (Matthew 9:32-34); Matthew 10:24-27). Don’t fear that, either (Luke 13:31-32).

One danger to watch out for is thoughts popping into your mind of how spiritual you are, or feelings of pride because of having power over demons. Others may see you as more spiritual, too. This is a real danger. Jesus makes it clear that being able to administer deliverance is no sign of spirituality or even salvation (Matthew 7:21-23).

Keep in mind, too, that others minister deliverance in different ways. I feel strongly that what I have written here is what God has for me according to His Word. However I am not to judge or reject those who do it differently (Mark 9:38-40).

Follow the steps for deliverance outlined in this book on pages 48-54.

When you find yourself in a situation where you feel God wants you to talk or pray about deliverance just go ahead! Don’t worry about your lack of knowledge or experience (that’s a lie from the demons to silence you). It’s God’s power and He will give you the right words and wisdom at the right time. Nothing is worse than not doing anything and allowing the demons to continue their work. Just do your best, trusting God for each step of the way. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way, no magic formula. God is greater, so just bring His power against the evil forces.

One thing to be careful of, though, is your own time and schedule. Don’t allow yourself to be a crutch to anyone, for that isn’t helping them. Wean them from you and onto God quickly. Don’t become too involved with the one you are ministering too. It can become too draining on you and make it hard for you to be objective, plus harder to wean them. At first feeling needed can be very nice, but it is God they should need, not you.

Always consider the big picture when praying for deliverance. Keep deliverance in balance. Should they see a counselor? Would a physical from a doctor be helpful? Are they perhaps not giving you the complete, total picture, but just what they want you to know? Do they REALLY want to be free or are they more interested in having your attention? Is their any sin they aren’t willing to get rid of?

OUR ROLE IN HELPING OTHERS (What God Expects)

I see myself as a quarterback (football) who throws passes to his receivers. The quarterback must throw the best pass he can – a nice, tight spiral right into the hands of the receiver. But ones the quarterback lets go of the ball it is no longer up to him if it is caught or not. Some receivers drop excellent passes, others make miraculous catches of poorly thrown balls. I used to be very concerned about the results but had to realize that isn’t up to me. Now there must almost be callousness over my heart to some extent or I would get burnt out quickly. I give the best advice I can, with God’s help, and know that is all God holds me accountable for – but He doesn’t hold me accountable to do my best, to throw the best pass I can. If it is caught or not is not up to me but between the persona and God. Many times I don’t if the pass is dropped or caught, but I keep throwing them anyway. And the more one practices the better he gets at it. I keep a list of all the people who wrote me and the emails beck and forth. There are hundreds and hundreds of names and almost all have more than one or two emails. Some I’ve been in touch with for years. They have become a core group to whom I send prayer requests, especially about my India trip. They are the ones I ask to pray for me when special needs come up. They keep me updated, sometimes every few months, and we write more regularly when things get difficult. Jesus spoke to millions, thousands liked what He said, hundreds believed, a dozen gave up everything to follow Him (and one of those turned back), three became His inner core and one His best friend (John). That’s about how it goes. In the parable of the sower and the seed Jesus points out that only about one fourth of the seed sown grows, so if that’s true of Jesus I can’t expect better! One more factor is that I know I am only the servant and Jesus expects me to be faithful. He doesn’t look at numbers.

I throw the best pass I can and then pray for them. For the most part that bit of callous self-protection that all people in the service ministries have to have takes care of it. Now when it’s a person I know well, a really bad situation, especially a relative, then it can get to me more. But that motivates me to be the more faithful in prayer and ministry. Even Jesus had Judas.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP THOSE STRUGGLING:

PRAY continually and regularly for them. Exercise your authority as a believer.

LOVE them unconditionally and let them know that over and over. Unconditional love conveys God’s love. That is very, very important to do.

PROTECT them from unwise decisions if you are in a position to do so. Protect them from others, even from themselves.

LOWER your expectations of them. Give them time to understand, grow, act. Be patient, as patient as God has been with you. Don’t baby them or keep bailing them out of situations, but accept them as they are and let God work in them at His pace.

Are you feeling GOOD!!! You Should! 🙂

IN CLOSING

If you’ve made it to this point in this series you must be serious about learning to win your battles. God’s blessing to you! Just remember to be patient with yourself. One doesn’t become an experienced, top-notch fighter overnight. It takes time. It takes practice. And it takes failures as well. That’s how we all learn. For the Christian, though, none of our failures are fatal, and neither are their final. Victory will come, in this life and the next.

When you lose a battle, and you will (we all do) get up and keep going. Remember, the race is not to the swift but to those who keep on running!

——————————–
You’ve a race before you. It’s called the Christian life. One of the tools God has provided to help us through to the end is spiritual warfare. Prayer, worship, sharing the gospel, helping others, learning the Word, all these and many more are other tools He has given us as well. Keep all your tools sharp and use the correct one for the job at hand. But when the job is spiritual warfare, make sure you use your weapon to the best of you ability. Each battle will sharpen your skills for the next battle.
_________________________________________

It’s my prayer that you are found faithful by the One Who has called you and Who works in you to conform you to the image of His Son!!!!!!

I’d love to hear from you. If you have questions, comments, suggestions, experiences you can share or anything you’d like to write about I’d truly love to hear from you.

May God bless you and use you for the glory of His Kingdom. If we never meet in this life we’ll meet in heaven and share stories of the victories our Savior and Lord have given us!

Now, Hit it and Hit it Hard! GP! Rough357

Special Thanks to Pastor Jerry!

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About Defender of the Faith

A Direct Action Motivational and Missions Based Ministry serving God's people where so ever dispersed!! Rev. Gerald F. Poe Jr.

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