Friends, do not be deceived by our enemy! There is a battle raging around us, and we have been silently watching it ensue. This battle is not just a physical one of rioters, violence, murders, stealing, and vandalism, but more specifically, it is a spiritual one. Our enemy has stirred up the heavens and our life on earth, and has whipped it into a frenzied feast of real warfare.
We have become too complacent and accepting of what is going on around us, and around the world. We as the sons and daughters of God have chosen to sit this one out, or not to get involved. I declare – NOW is the time to get involved! If we don’t, who will?
‘”Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
It is time for us to lay down our iPhones, turn off our TV’s, and pick up our Bibles. It’s time for us to enter the throne room of God and pray for our nation, our President, Vice President and their families, and for those that are working with them. It is time to pray earnestly for the Church to choose who it will serve – God or man. If the Church serves God, then it MUST put aside its pride, its weakness of man-made traditions, its watered-down gospel truths, and its laziness when it comes to intercession.
It is time for God’s children – those that have accepted the free gift of Jesus’ sacrifice – to begin to pay him back the only way we can: by interceding for those that are lost, those that are deceived by the evil one, those who are causing such dissension, and for those that are struggling to see God.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self discipline.”
2 Timothy 12:7
We need to show the world what it looks like to be a true christian by forgiving those that ridicule us, and by forgiving those that have hurt us in the past. In so doing, we are acting on what has been done for us by the Lord. The world doesn’t know how to forgive! It only knows how to react by inflicting pain back by words and by violent actions.
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
We wrestle daily with many things in our own lives; how to spend our money, depression, illness, addictions, pornography, social status, self control, etc. Yet, how are we conquering them? Are we actually winning those daily battles? We cannot win if we are not grounded and planted firmly. Our roots need to go deep, deep in God’s garden. He has planted us where we are, and feeds us through His Word, His relationship with us, and the Holy Spirit that fills us. To overcome our daily battles requires a fresh filling of the Spirit in our day, worshipping the King and having a courtside conversation with Him. If He is not first, then our focus is not on Him, and we will lose that wrestling match, not to mention we will certainly lose the bigger battle.
“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.”
Don’t think for even a minute that this battle is just in the larger cities, but that it is all around us – in our town, in our country, in the world, but especially in the spiritual places and realms that we cannot see. Does this make it less of a battle and one that we need not focus or dwell on? By no means! If anything, this is the ultimate fight – God’s way vs. the devil’s way. As believers in God the Father, his Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ who rose from the dead, we had better put our faith where our words are and start to fight as a soldier would for the Kingdom of God.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
We CAN make a difference in the lives of those around us and in this world if we begin to act. When in the grocery store, speak in love to the one that cuts in front of you and forgive them. When someone belittles or ridicules you for your hat or t-shirt that supports what you believe, don’t have a smart-aleck response back, but an understanding that we each have that freedom of choice. Return with a kind word, and silently pray for them, that the Lord would reach out to them and heal their pain that has caused such anger in the first place.
Every act of kindness repeals an act of hatred.
Every word spoken from a gentle heart softens words of venom.
Every gesture of friendship to your enemy reverses actions of hostility.
Every prayer spoken in earnest weakens the assaults of Satan.
I challenge you to pick up this prayer mantle for 1 hour a day:
– pray for our leaders to use wisdom and Godly judgment,
– pray for those that are acting out in violence to experience the peace of knowing Jesus,
– pray that the demons be subject to Jesus’ name and power,
– pray for the Church to wake up and join this spiritual battle rather than sit on the sidelines and watch, hoping for the best outcome,
– pray that the kingdom of God grow during this time,
– pray that we each learn how to use our God-given weapons to lead the lost to Jesus.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
2 Corinthians 10:4
We need to put down our own weapons of “words” and pick up the Lord’s weapons that change lives! He has given to us: the belt of truth (God is truth, and everything we believe is based on that foundation, as the belt holds our tools close and at the ready), the breastplate of righteousness (needed to protect our heart and lungs/breath in order to continue to fight), the gospel of peace on our feet (to be ready to share the good news of Jesus), use the shield of faith (to defend you against attacks of Satan by believing and trusting in the Lord completely), the helmet of salvation (protects our thoughts from being hit by doubts and lies), and the sword of the Spirit (the written and spoken Word of God which is useless to you unless you read and memorize it). With these readily available, we must stand in preparedness, and be vigilant by watching, and continually praying for our fellow brothers and sisters, whether near or far: to use their weapons and to fight, to stand and stay strong in the power of Jesus’ name, and to live a life worthy of Jesus’ name that we bear.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Food for thought: “If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you are fighting.”
Fun facts: (taken from Factinate.com)
– In 1795, as the French Revolutionary Army was advancing towards what is now the Netherlands, a fleet of Dutch ships attempted to flee, but the harbor was frozen and they got stuck. The French simply surrounded the ships and captured the Dutch by a cavalry charge.
– During a navy battle between Uruguay and Brazil in 1865, an Uruguayan ship ran out of cannon ammunition and reverted to stale cheese cannonballs. Even stranger? It worked. The dairy proved disastrous for the Brazilians and they were forced to retreat.
– One of the strangest battles of World War I took place on the longest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika in Central Africa. A strategic location dominated by the German navy, the British did not have direct access to the lake. This forced them to transport their shipping vessels through the African interior variously by steam tractors, oxen, and log rolling. Their persistence paid off: the versatile British motor boats were able to defeat two German battleships.
– With paranoia abounding after Pearl Harbor, 25 unidentified aircrafts were allegedly spotted above Los Angeles in 1942. The Americans responded by firing over 1,400 shells of ammunition, creating utter chaos and leading to 5 civilian deaths. The incident was later dismissed as a false alarm. The event is now known as the Battle of Los Angeles, and there are still conspiracy theories that it was actually an alien invasion.
– Patrolling the Pacific Ocean during WWII, the USS O’Bannon was confronted with a surfaced Japanese Submarine. As the ship pulled alongside the submarine, which was preparing for an attack on deck, the crew began pelting potatoes at the Japanese. The Japanese, distracted, scrambled to clear the “grenades” from the deck while the O’Bannon sailed away, opened up fire, and sunk the sub.
Photo by: Kari Wiseman – Heavenly clouds of light and dark