Category Archives: Spiritual Warfare

God’s Life

          The life of God comes from the word of God. Not listening to preachers and teachers; those are for our equipping. Reading books from our favorite Christian authors, watching Christian TV, or listening to Christian radio are all leavened bread and should be considered supplements to the pure spiritual food of God’s written word. We can survive off those other things, but we cannot thrive. The life of God comes from the unleavened bread of the Bible.

Just like a newborn baby will cry for life-giving milk every few hours, we should hunger and thirst for God’s holy word the same way.

1 Peter 2:2-3 (NKJV) as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

          God’s word should be the joy and rejoicing of our hearts. The bread from Heaven gives us life and strength for spiritual warfare. If we are not fully engaged with God’s word, we will not be thoroughly equipped for spiritual warfare.

Jesus said when tempted by the devil, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). How will we know what is written unless we read it for ourselves?

Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

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The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto: Practical Lessons in Supernatural Christianity

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Spiritual Warfare #15 ~ Finger In The Sand

Some of the most powerful teachings of Jesus are when the religious leaders are trying to catch Him in His words to bring an accusation against Him. He always seems to use those opportunities to demonstrate the kingdom of God that He is ushering in. This is one of my favorites.

In John 8 we see Jesus teaching in the temple and the Pharisees interrupt His reading to bring Him a woman caught in the act of adultery. Pay attention to how Jesus deals with this.

John 8:2-8 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 

          They were testing Jesus. They were squeezing Him, hoping for something to come out of Him that they could use against Him.

Our heart is revealed through testing. When we get squeezed by life and circumstance, what is inside of us comes out.

        There is much to be learned from this passage, but there are two key phrases in this verse that we will focus on; “they said to test Him,” and “He bent down and wrote on the ground.” How are they related? What was Jesus doing when He bent down to write on the ground? What is the Lord saying to us through this encounter?

James 1:19-20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

Being slow to speak is just one of the many valuable lessons to learn here. When Jesus got squeezed, what did He do? He bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground. Giving us a living example of how to deal with testing, and how to find the answers we need when our feet are being held to the fire.

Most teachers would be quick to get angry for bursting into the temple and interrupting the service. They would be quick to rebuke and correct such brash and irreverent actions, but that is not what Jesus did.

          Instead of answering out of anger and His own understanding, Jesus bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground, focusing on what the Spirit had to say. I doubt that Jesus was writing anything significant on the ground. I believe He was simply checking what the Father had to say about it, how He should respond, and what He should do. I believe He was seeking wisdom and understanding.

They continued to pressure Him, we don’t know how long, but when He finally stood up He had the heart of the Father, and the Spirit gave Him the words to say. “He who is without sin, cast the first stone,” Then once more, He bent back down and wrote on the ground, waiting for further instruction asking the Father about the next step, waiting for those powerful words to have their full effect.

Proverbs 4:7-9 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

The principle thing in every test, every battle, and every encounter is getting wisdom and getting understanding. Wisdom and understanding are always available to us if we ask, seek, and wait. Many times we don’t think about waiting and speak before we seek. We try to answer or act from the shallow well of our limited understanding instead waiting , watching, and listening for direction from the Holy Spirit.

James 1:2-5 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 

          Testing will always come, and we are to count it all joy when it does. The closer we get to Him, the greater our testing will be. What comes forth from us during testing and trials indicates what we believe and who we trust. Testing is an essential part of the gospel. It causes us to grow spiritually and increase in our authority in the kingdom of God.

          We know from scripture that in Jesus’s mind, He could do nothing of Himself. Since He is our model for Christian living, it would behoove us to adopt the same line of thinking. The life of Jesus is perfect theology. What we see Him doing, we should be practicing in our churches and in our personal lives. If we cannot see it in the life of Jesus, it doesn’t belong in ours.

John 5:30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”

Luke 12:11-12 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

          Jesus modeled this passage in Luke 12 in His encounter with the woman caught in adultery. Jesus always modeled the word that He preached.

          Many times throughout the gospels, Jesus separated Himself in between times of ministry to pray and fellowship with the Father. Without this component in our lives, we will not be mindful enough, or strong enough to keep our finger in the sand when difficult tests arise.

The world is watching all of us that profess to be Christians to see our true character. Our response to trials and testing should produce wisdom and grace, seasoned with salt and in step with God’s character.

If we are not intimate with the Father, we will not produce the fruit of who He is when it counts the most.

Lets keep our sword in our hand, and our finger in the sand, remembering that a test of character usually comes in the form of a “pop quiz.”

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Spiritual Warfare #14 ~ The Power of Stillness

          Practicing stillness before the Lord may be one of the hardest disciplines to master. One thing that seems to make us uncomfortable in prayer, especially in a corporate prayer setting, are times of stillness and quietness before the Lord. Somehow, we feel the need to do something or say something. Yet prayer is a two way communication, not a one way dialogue. If we neglect giving God an opportunity to speak, how are we to receive instruction, direction or correction?

          In a Father / child relationship, the burden of communication falls on the Father, the burden of listening, being attentive, and doing what He says falls on the child. We have a responsibility as sons and daughters of God to take time to listen in silence, purposely giving time to have a hearing ear.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 7 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;

          Waiting in silent expectation before God is a powerful, fruitful endeavor. Quiet meditation on who He is and His written word is an amazing exercise of our faith that is pleasing to the Lord. Clearing our head of any thought and listening to what the Spirit is saying may be more pleasing still.

Psalm 23:2-3 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

          The Lord is always leading us to a place of green pastures and still waters. A place of refreshing and restoration. It is a place we find direction and discernment from the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

          It is in stillness that God is known. Reading and studying God’s word helps us to know about God, but spending time in His presence is what we need to actually know Him intimately. God is raising us up to live life from the overflow of His indwelling presence, rather than merely living by the principles in His written word. We desperately need both.

“In our stillness before Him, He prepares us to host His presence.”

Psalm 62:1 Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation.

Psalm 62:5-6 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

“Silently waiting on God anchors our soul.”

          When we are pressed on every side with problems, trials, and attacks of the enemy, silent waiting on God gives us strength to stand in faith. It reinforces our trust in His mercies and His power to deliver us out of all our troubles. It purifies our motives and gives us a proper perspective.

Isaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not,

          The Lord is speaking a strong word of correction through the prophet Isaiah. The Lord rebuked His people for trusting in Egypt for strength and salvation instead of Him. Isaiah said by the word of the Lord that in returning and rest they would be saved and in quietness and confidence they would be strengthened, but they refused to do it. This was recorded so we could learn from their mistakes.

          Quietness and stillness should be practiced individually and corporately to keep us from trusting in the world and its systems. How many gatherings have we seen where we corporately wait in silence before the Lord?

          We live in an age of distractions and constant movement. It is vitally important that we practice stillness before the Lord to help us cut through the clamor and chaos of our generation. Stillness is the frequency of God. It positions our hearts to hear the still small voice of the Spirit.

How much of our prayer life is spent in stillness?

“Be still and know that I am God

For more teaching on Spiritual Warfare, CLICK HERE.

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Spiritual Warfare #13 ~ Keeping Watch

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

          What did Jesus mean when He said “Watch and Pray?” Here is a true story from a friend of mine that I believe will help us understand what Jesus was talking about.

While going to a grocery store one day the Lord prompted me to remain in the car while my friends went in to do some shopping. In the car next to me was a little dog sitting in the driver’s seat, staring intently at the sliding glass doors of the store. This dog would not take his eyes off that door. Every time the automatic doors would slide open the little dog’s ears would perk up. He would stand with his front paws on the steering wheel, panting, wide eyed, and tail wagging expectantly. Many times people would come out of that door and the dog would get excited until he realized that it was not his master. Then the dog would return to his intense watchful position, not disappointed, but with an obvious understanding that one of these times his master would appear, he had only to wait patiently.

I knew the Lord was Fathering me. My attention was on this dog like his attention was on the door. Through this little dog, the Lord showed me what He meant when He said “watch.”

Eventually the little dog’s master exited the door. His excitement and enthusiasm came completely unhinged! I could hear his happy little whines and yelps as he watched his owner walk to the car. His love and appreciation for his master was unquestionable.

         They could not have been apart for more than 30 minutes, yet the dog greeted his master like he had been missing him for a month. To this dog, his master was the most precious person on the planet. He desperately wanted to be with his master. It was obvious this dog was longing for another opportunity to love on his master with everything that was in him. I wept as I watched this unfold before me.

         After hearing this story of the little dog, I was convicted that we often take the Lord for granted. That our attention is often on the wrong things. We may not fully understand what it means to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30) But this little dog understood.

Do we really see Him as our master, the one who paid for us with His very own blood? Are our hearts divided? Our minds distracted? Do we allow other things matter more than what should matter most?

         What would it be like if we saw our Heavenly Father the way this little dog saw his master? What difference would it make in our lives? How would it affect our relationships with the Lord and others? What would it do to our perspectives? How would it affect our faith?

         The Bible says to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all our needs will be met. (Matt 6:33) Yet we often approach God with our laundry list of needs and wants like He wasn’t serious when He said that.

         The Christian faith is a very focused perspective. A Christian has a narrow way of thinking, believing, speaking and behaving. This cannot be fully realized without practicing watchfulness.

John 5:19-20 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

         Jesus only did what He saw the Father do. Jesus was able to do what He did because He constantly practiced watching the Father. Could this be a reason that we don’t see the level of supernatural life that we read about in the gospels and the book of Acts?

         The discipline of watching helps move us from being a child to a mature son or daughter. It is only the mature ones that can receive their full inheritance. (Gal 4:1-2)

         The discipline of watching creates an awareness of God that puts life in proper perspective. The more we keep our attention and focus on Him, the clearer we become on who He is and who we are to Him.

        Being watchful births humility, and He gives His grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5James 4:6-7)

         Being watchful produces an integrity of heart that makes resisting temptation easy. It keeps us prepared to face anything that life would dish out. Watchfulness is one of the most important parts of prayer. When we practice watching, we know better what to pray for and how to pray. We know what to do and how to do it. It positions us to be a vessel that the Father can move through. Watchfulness sanctifies us.

Luke 21:34-36  “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Mark 13:33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

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