Saturday, April 29, 2006

We Need To Listen!

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.

The city was roaring with noise. Car horns blasted, construction noise filled the air, radios blared, people shouted. As the day wore on, the noise steadily increased. After a while, you adjusted.

It wasn't until you were able to move into a quiet place that you realized how loud the noise had been. In the silence, everything seemed to change. Waves of calm and quiet rolled in. The silence was a little alarming and unsettling. In the silence, thoughts could creep out and be heard.

God comes to us in silence. We have lost the art of being still. Everything is rush, rush, rush, and few people take time to be still.

Noise provides us with a place to hide, where we don't have to face ourselves. Heavy schedules block honest reflection and renewal. Only through the still times in our lives can we hope for God to break through to help us make sense of our lives. Be still, and know that God is there.

Prayer: The day closes in on me, Lord, and I feel myself buried beneath a heavy layer of noise and activity. Break me free of the bondage of commotion. Bless me with quiet and peace. Amen.

'Wisdom from the Psalms'

Reflective Thoughts:

* "True silence is rest for the mind. It is to the spirit what sleep is to the body - nourishment and refreshment." (William Penn)

* "If you want to live life free, Take your time, go slowly, do few things, but do them well, Heart-felt joys are Holy. (Francis of Assisi)

* "The word is the instrument of the present world, and silence is the mystery of the future world." (Henri Nouwen) 'From The Way of the Heart'

* The first sign of intimacy with the Lord - is silence - There is a saying that goes: "You don't have to love in words, because even through the silences, love is always heard." (Author Unknown)

A Reason To Pray For Others: To Hear His Voice!

"SILENCE is BANISHED - We No Longer Listen" - 'The Watchman

'Sitting in traffic at a red light one day I was struck with the surreal image of almost every driver around my vehicle having a cell phone attached to the side of their head. The sight of these people reminded me of an Andy Warhol art display in which the miniscule parts of life are exaggerated to become the unavoidable focus of our attention. Each of the phone users was unaware of their surroundings, least of all the people and automobiles next to them.

Their thoughts were projected to distant places at the other end of the phone conversation. As I watched this almost comic scene in amusement, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the thought that even God could not get their attention. Along with this thought came a lesson in life from the throne of God. In Genesis 3:8 we are introduced to another scene which reveals the human reaction to sin. Adam had sinned against God and when he heard God's voice, he hid himself among the trees of the garden. He was ashamed of his sin and guilt drove him to attempt to block out that voice. This verse should cause us to ask questions about what was taking place. Jeremiah 23:24 opens a window that tells us much about ourselves today; "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord."

There is no place God cannot see us and yet in Genesis 3 we read that God asked Adam where he was. Did God not know? Or could we ask, "Was God only trying to get Adam's attention?" God has not changed since the fall of man. According to Malachi He changes not. God knew exactly where Adam was but it was Adam who had attempted to lose himself. We can see this today if we will but slow down our lives and watch through the eyes of our Lord. I believe Adam did exactly what we do today when we experience guilt or shame. We hide among the trees; only those trees are radios, TV sets, parties, shopping and phone calls.

I once worked with a young lady who was, as it can only be described, addicted to the phone. She spent all her time with a telephone attached to her ear. She was late to work because she sat in the parking lot until she finished her phone call. As soon as she came through the door she made a phone call. She walked around trying to wait on customers with a phone against her head. When she took her lunch break she was constantly on the phone. One day I asked if she had a telephone problem and her reply was, "No."

I told her she was afraid of the quiet and challenged her to go home and spend 2 hours with no noise; no phone, no TV, no radio, no people. The next day she returned and said she only lasted 15 minutes.

Adam did what we do today and hid among the trees to avoid hearing God's voice because he knew he had sinned. Today our trees are cell phones and any other "tree" that will shelter our hearts from hearing God's voice. Sin is running loose in the Body of Christ and we don't want to hear God nag us because it harms our self esteem. That still small voice in the heart of man can be silenced by hiding among the trees. We race home from work with cell phones at our ears and turn on Dr. Phil to assuage our troubled spirit. We fill our hearts and minds with the voice of the world to block out the voice of God. The heart of Christians has been so corrupted by the voices of the world we no longer know sin when it stands at our door and knocks. We hear the whispering voice that Eve heeded and open the door to an enemy who only brings death and pain. Jesus warned us that the only purpose Satan has is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) but we find new and convenient reasonings to avoid conflicts between right and wrong. Abraham had sin in his house that was destroying the child of promise and God said to drive Ishmael out. Abraham had resisted the voice of his wife because it made him feel bad. The Church has waxed its ears and turned away from the voice of God. We have hidden among the trees but God sees us and knows the 'thoughts and intents of the heart." The Church listens to the voice of the serpent but celebrates the cell phones as we block out that still small voice vying for our attention.

He still calls out to His Church, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

The light changed at the intersection that day and all those people drove away with cell phones still held against their heads. I was broken in spirit because I knew they could not hear my Savior's voice.

What Can We Do?

Exercising the Spirit: Silence by Anthony de Mellow -

When a man whose marriage was in trouble sought his advice, the Master said, "You must learn to listen to your wife."

The man took his advice to heart and returned after a month to say that he had learned to listen to every word his wife was saying.

Said the Master with a smile, "Now go home and listen to every word she isn't saying."

We live in a society that does not value or encourage silence. When is the last time you heard someone say, "Let's share some silence?" This kind of statement is rarely heard today, even in church settings or among the most intimate of friends or family.

There are a host of reasons why most Americans avoid silence at all costs. As the story above by Anthony de Mello indicates, most of us fail to realize how important listening and silence are until conflict or malaise surfaces in a relationship.

If we are attentive, we can sense "things aren't just right" and get back to the important discipline of deep listening -- not only to what others say, but also to the resounding silence that exists between the words. Of course, we can easily "turn up the noise" -- watching more TV, keeping the iPod going while exercising, and staying ever busier at work -- doing anything to avoid being still and silent.

What is true in our relationship with others is even truer in our friendship with God. If we do not make time to respond to God's invitation to "be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10), then our relationship with him will drift; we'll become like two ships passing in the night.

Being silent is likely one of the most difficult spiritual exercises we can attempt, at least initially. However, those who are trained in the discipline and grace of silence will testify that not only does silence serve as a balm to wounded relationships, the practicing of silence does wonders to prevent spiritual sluggishness or apathy."For God alone my soul waits in silence ...." (Psalm 62:1 & Psalm 62:7)

In Psalm 62, David addresses the how's and why's of this important, but seldom practiced discipline. He actually addresses it twice, first in verse 1 and than again in verse 7. Let's take a look at these passages in reverse order.

"Wait in Silence"

One of the reasons why silence is often avoided is because we do not like to wait for anything! We value instant gratification and do everything we can to avoid or speed up waiting. We consider waiting time to actually be wasted time! How easily we can become frustrated, antsy, or downright angry if we must wait in traffic, in the grocery line, or, heaven forbid, for a church activity to finish! David at prayer, however, paints another picture. During seasons, or even moments, of waiting, we can be drawn to silence; and when drawn to silence, we just may be able hear the "still, small voice of God."

"My Soul"

Most developed cultures of today live increasingly more compartmentalized lives. We have our business life, church life, home life, exercise life, hobby life, and so on. And while each of these dimensions can be good, the norm is to live compartmentally and busily in each of these arenas, often with very little overlap between them.
The result is our soul -- that central core of our being -- gets frazzled, dazed, and torn as we are pulled to the point of weariness in different directions. The Holy Spirit who longs to dwell within us points us through his servant David's words to another, albeitcounter-cultural way of living and integrating our lives. This is the way of silence.

The Spirit calls to our spirit to enter this silence so that we might live holistic, holy, and centred lives. As we practice this important discipline, slowly and gradually, we become increasingly aware of God's presence and grace. This presence and grace then calls us to love others."For God Alone"

Israel's most repeated sin was idolatry. (If I am honest with myself, I recognize this is my most repeated sin as well!) It's not that the people of God, then or now, stopped worshiping Yahweh. Rather, they worshipped him AND the other gods -- just to hedge their bets you might say. Before you discount this as primitive, consider how you may betempted to do the same -- following Christ, no doubt, but also depending on mutual funds, family, and military might to provide peace, security, and happiness.

Again, silence is invaluable in exposing our secret sins and lack of trust. As our soul waits in silence for God alone, many distracting thoughts, images, memories, and secret desires will surface to our conscious mind. However, if we will stay with the silence, allowing the Holy Spirit within us and our own impatient spirit to raise "our stuff" into our consciousness, it will eventually pass on by, like debris flowing down a river. As our soul waits on God alone, he will provide not only peace and joy and rest, but also theever-increasing awareness of his presence.

A few "silent" exercises:

* Five minute "sit" before (and/or after) reading Scripture. In this exercise, we are consciously stilling our soul so that we might hear the Word of God. If the silence is too distracting or "noisy," some have found it helpful to silently repeat one of the many names for God.

* Silent walk. Whether during the day or at night, by oneself or with a friend, a silent walk can be a wonderful time of centring oneself on God an his presence with us. As a suggestion, if you walk with someone else, you could agree to walk for the first 30minutes in complete silence, followed by a time of sharing what each "heard."

* Fasting from noise -- no radio, TV, movie. What would it be like to take one day off from external noise for the sake of listening to God?

* Sharing silence in community. Many have found sharing silence some what easier and enhanced with others. What if worship leaders, preachers, teachers, small group leaders, pray-ers, prefaced or ended their words with the phrase, "Let's share a few minutes of silence together with each other and God"?

* Weekend retreat for those who might want to explore being silent for an extended time for silence, meditation, and prayer.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Used by permission. (c) 2006 Scott Owings.

Wait On The Lord - Be Still

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:13-15

BE STILL - Hear His Voice Amidst The Rush Hour

Rev 3:20 Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him and he with me.

After praying I read Psalm 46 before racing to do all I had to do that day. "God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble." So true yet this morning verse 10 caught my attention. "Be still and know that I am God". I recall thinking, "that's fine Lord I have so much that I must do today". So off I rushed to do all that must be done the list was endless no time to stop and be still.

Lunchtime came I just had to go to the bank and pay some bills. I was about to cross the busy road when I saw a friend I hadn't seen in years. I was about to press on when I felt one of those impulses to stop and wait for her. There she was standing in the middle of busy traffic, a mobile phone clutched to her ear. In the other hand she was holding bags of shopping and a half eaten sandwich. We exchanged hellos and joy after so much time. Then she announced she could not stop she was on her lunch break. To busy to stop to eat lunch life was so hectic. She couldn't possibly make time to catch up as she was in the middle of a messy divorce. I gave her my contact details and a promise to pray for her. Then she dashed off.

Suddenly I felt tired and weary. I walked across to the park nearby and sat on a bench. After praying for my friend I reflected how awful it would be not to have the peace of the Lord in my life. As I lifted my gaze I noticed the beautiful blossoms on the cherry tree. A robin chirped at me on the branch nearby. I then noticed next to me was a beautiful well. The story of Jesus and the Woman of Samaria (John 4) came to mind. "Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour."

I reflected how Jesus always made time to be with His Father and when weary he always took time out. Was he being 'still' that day before the Samaritan Woman came? My friend was too busy to stop or make time to catch up. Wasn't this similar to my morning? Yes I needed to make time to listen and hear the Lord not pray and dash off. I needed to prioritise my time.

I sat immersed in the beauty of the flowers and blossoms. Suddenly I no longer needed to be in a rush I was enjoying the moment. Then I recalled the message "Be still …"

Amidst the background of distant traffic, people passing by, birds chirping and the hum of the bees I heard him speaking to me and it was good.

"Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Author Jan Lyall (C) 2004 - If you need prayer support please email Jan @ & I will pray for you.

Reflective Thought: Psalm 46 (NIV):
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.' The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress

Reflective Prayer: Lord please slow me down to be still with you. Help me be a wise steward of my time.

Slow Me Down Lord

Slow me down, Lord;
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me amid the confusion of the day the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles
with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations,
of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend,
to smile at a child, to read a few lines from a good book.

Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep
deep into the soil of life's enduring values,
that I may grow toward my greater destiny.
Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift,
that there is more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward to the towering oak
and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.
Author: Owen L.Crain

Saturday, April 22, 2006



The enemy is attacking!!!!

So many of the emails I receive every day are from good Christian people who are looking for God to help them through a difficult crisis in their life and wondering why they are going through the difficulties they are. Unfortunately, there is not always an explanation or good reason "why."

One reason I challenge and encourage you to follow the Lord each day is because we cause many of the problems in our lives by not following God's plan and ignoring the warnings that He has clearly laid out in His Word.

However, following Christ each day, living a Godly life does NOT mean you are immune from the trials and tribulations of life. You have to understand that there is a very real enemy named satan, who is actively trying to disrupt the work of God. In addition, Jesus told us what satan's goal is concerning YOU in John 10:10, to KILL STEAL, AND DESTROY.

The Bible clearly tells us that our battle isn't against flesh and blood, but that it is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE!

I am going to try to help you fight these spiritual battles. The most important thing you have to understand, no matter how intense the attacks may be on you right now, is that YOU HAVE ALREADY WON if you know Jesus as your personal Savior!

The most important battle is the one for your soul. Knowing Jesus insures you have won that battle and that knowledge alone should give you the confidence to fight whatever challenges this life may present knowing that in the end, YOU HAVE ALREADY WON!!!!!

*The lesson for today is that if you have put your faith and trust in Christ, no matter what battles you may be fighting today, YOU HAVE ALREADY WON!!!!!

God showed me when He gave me the vision for this Internet ministry that it was going to be a major battle since the Internet had largely been satan's playground and to a large extent still is. For all of the positive content the Internet provides, it is still far outweighed by the ungodly content that is available.

You would be amazed at the numbers of lives destroyed over the last 10 years by the Internet. Men and women in total bondage to Internet porn, addicted to Internet gambling, marriages and families destroyed by online romances that became real, people lured by the greed of online trading and losing everything they had. Every kind of evil and destructive thing in the world has found a place of prominence on the Internet. I had no illusions that this would be easy trying to use the Internet to share the hope and love of Christ with the lost and hurting in this world.

I tell you this to let you know something I learned early on in my ministry and it applies to your life. If you are not doing anything that is a threat to satan, he won't bother you. If you live for a while and aren't being attacked, you probably aren't doing anything that satan sees as a threat. Rejoice in the attacks because it is confirmation you are being effective!!!


Never forget that "greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world." God is still on the throne, still in control. Nothing is impossible with God! You need to have the same attitude. Don't let anything, especially the attacks of satan stop you from doing what God has called you to do with your life. The only way satan can win is if we let him!


God's protection plan. God, in His omniscience, knew that as we lived for Him we would face fierce attacks from satan. Therefore, He did not leave us without protection. Today's passage of scripture tells us about the armor of God, God's protection for His children as we fight the spiritual battles each day that we do. There are many eloquent and anointed teachings about this passage of scripture that will give you a full and concise teaching on God's armor. My purpose here is to encourage you to use the protection God has provided as you battle the enemy each day.

I do want to focus for a second on one aspect though. All of God's protection is defensive and He has only given us one offensive weapon to fight with ... His Word!!!!!

In past devotionals I have talked to you about overcoming sin in your life and having a battle plan. One of the most simple and effective battle plans I have ever found for handling those attacks that come throughout the course of a day is to carry a small New Testament at all times. In those moments of weakness when the attacks come, take it out, open it to any page and start reading. You will be amazed how in mere seconds those impure thoughts, the attacks on your mind, will be gone because they cannot stand up under the power of God's Word.

I have always been a very offensive minded person, not willing to just sit back and wait. While I appreciate the defensive armor God has provided us with, and I use it every day for protection, it is the Word of God I love so much because it is our greatest weapon in fighting the enemy. I can go boldly right into his backyard (the Internet or secular television) with no fear because God's Word tells me I am more than a conqueror. With God with me, who can be against me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Amen!!!!

God knows the battles we face each day in this evil and sin-filled world that we live in That is why He provided us with the spiritual armor He has. He has given us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, our feet fitted with the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation.

If you notice, there is nothing to protect your back. That is because God never intended for His children to RUN! You don't need protection for your back when you are moving forward. I want to encourage you today that as you fight those spiritual battles in your life, use those defensive tools God has provided you with, but do not neglect the one offensive weapon He gave you as well... HIS WORD!

It is time for God's people to get serious, to quit being so passive, and press forward in confidence knowing that God has given them all they need to go out and proclaim His Word in this sinful and dark world.

I will be praying for you that no matter what the spiritual battles you are fighting in your life today may be, PRESS FORWARD. Christ has already won the victory on Calvary 2,000 years ago. PRESS FORWARD, YOUR VICTORY IS JUST AHEAD!!!


Winning!!! In any war the objective is to win. In a spiritual war, the key to winning is prayer. Sound easy? Many of you tell me you have been praying but it doesn't work. Think about this. Maybe God has been answering, but you aren't listening. Let me ask you a question. When you pray, do you want your prayer answered, or do you want your prayer answered YOUR WAY? Big difference.

In the battle for Jericho, how do you think the great military minds felt about the battle plan of walking around the city blowing trumpets? Sounds like great military strategy doesn't it? The fact is, the prayers of the children of Israel were answered, but they were answered God's way!

The point I am making is when you are praying about a situation, you often have figured out how God is supposed to answer that prayer. Maybe God wants to answer your prayer another way, a way that is different than you expected. Do you want His answer, or do you want His answer your way?

When we pray, we are telling God we are dependent on Him. We need to share our needs with Him and trust His answer whether it is yes, no, or wait. Often, when God answers our prayers, it is in a way we never imagined. Why?

So He alone gets the glory!!!!!!

In part one of this series I talked about the attacks of the enemy and that our battle is a spiritual one. Part two dealt with the whole armor of God, both for defensive and offensive purposes. Today is about winning. WE WIN THROUGH PRAYER!

After all, the Bible tells us we are more than conquerors through Christ, we are the children of the King. We have a royal inheritance. If you know Jesus as your Savior you have a mansion waiting for you in Glory when this brief journey is over. You can live this life with full confidence, with no fear because you have already won the most important battle, and that is where you will spend eternity! With that knowledge, fight the battles that you are fighting in your life today knowing you have already won.

God has showed you who the enemy is. He has provided you with everything you need for protection and to fight with. Most important, He has already won the victory so that you can live this life each day victoriously! YOU WIN THE BATTLES OF LIFE THROUGH PRAYER!!!

Part message daily devotional (Mon. 3-22-2004) © Copyright 2004, Bill Keller Ministries.

Gods Weapons Of Warfare

Weapons Of Warfare - Spiritual Warfare:

The Bible clearly tells us that our battle isn't against flesh and blood, but that it is a SPIRITUAL BATTLE!

As Christ's followers we are called on to use a very different set of weapons: because we are to be instruments of peace. Paul refers to the shoes of the gospel of peace; the belt of truth; and the sword of the Spirit -- the word of God (Ephesians6:10-18). In ancient Judah, King Jehoshaphat took 'weapons of peace' literally : he sent out praise singers in front of the soldiers, causing such disarray that the enemy started slaughtering each other. Then as now, the lesson is that only God gives the victory over evil. (Bill Keller 2004)

From Davids time in the wilderness we read in the Psalms so many examples two of my favourites are Psalm 91 & 18

"For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength, and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds' feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze" (Ps 18:31-34).

Remember: "Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight" (Psalm 144:1)

A powerful quote by Robert Longman "The Christ who wins the spiritual battles is the same Christ who won the war." What could be more secure than that? It is God who wins the war, not ourselves. We just do what He gives us to do when we ask, hear & obey. Hear what the Spirit is saying.

Marty Gabler (2005) asks has anyone out there recently felt as though they are under attack? When we accept Jesus, we are inducted into the army of God. He puts a robe of righteousness on us and armor which become a conspicuous uniform identifying which army we belong to. For we battle not with flesh & blood. If we truly believe that we war against rulers and principalities that cannot be seen, then we must realize that their mandate is to hinder any believer who is seeking to walk in the fullness of God. However, "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 Jn. 4:4b KJV). Our focus must remain riveted upon becoming like Christ in all things. The Bible tells us that where sin abounds, the grace of God aboundsmore so (Romans 5:20). We might be overwhelmed by the flood of evil storming against us. Yet, the promise of God is that, when the enemy comes in like a flood, God shall raise a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19). Focus always on Jesus the Captain.

2 Cor 10: 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;.. (KJV)
In simpler words - 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (NIV)

God knows the battles we face each day in this evil and sin-filled world that we live in That is why He provided us with the spiritual armor He has. If you notice, there is nothing to protect your back. That is because God never intended for His children to RUN! You don't need protection for your back when you are moving forward focus on Jesus. (Bill Keller 2004)

Eph 6: 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (KJV)

In the NLT Eph 6: 10 A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power. 11 Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule thisworld, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13 Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.

The words from 'The Message' simplify yet say it all: Eph 6:10 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. 11 So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. 12 This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 13 Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, sothat when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. 14 Truth, righteousness, 15 peace, 16 faith, 17 and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. 18 In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers andsisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. 19 And don't forget to pray for me. Pray that I'll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, ..... 23 Good-bye, friends. Love mixed with faith be yours from God theFather and from the Master, Jesus Christ. 24 Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ.

Warfare in the Psalms :For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them O God; let them fall by their own councils; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. (Psalm 5:9,10).

Upon the wicked shall He rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: This shall be the portion of their cup. (Psalm 11:6).

Yea, He sent out His arrows, and scattered them; and He shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: For they were too strong for me. For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: Thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. The strangers shall fade away and be afraid out of their close places. (Psalm 18:14,17, 39,45).

Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. (Psalm 27:11).

Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: Fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: Let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the Angel of the Lord chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: And let the Angel of the Lord persecute them. For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they havedigged for my soul. Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
(Psalm 35:1-8).

Through God we shall do valiantly: For He it is that shall tread down our enemies. (Psalm 60:12).

Say unto God, how terrible art thou in thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. (Psalm 66:3).

O God thou art terrible out of thy holy places: The God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people. Blessed be God. (Psalm 68:35).

Make haste, O God, to deliver me, make haste to help me, O Lord. (Psalm 70:1).

Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. (Psalm 71:13).

He shall cut off the spirit of princes: He is terrible to the kings of the earth.
(Psalm 76:12).

All nations compassed me about: But in the name of the Lord will I destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: For in the name of the Lord I will destroy them. (Psalm 118:10,12).

To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: This honour have all His saints. Praise Ye the Lord! (Psalm 149:8,9).

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

Recomendation: Read & Pray Psalm 18 - Psalm 91

Remember: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 54:17.

Jesus says, "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:18-20)

Source: Gathered Thoughts Jan Lyall, All Quotes referenced. Other sources: The Bible

Fight against the Kingdom of Darkness effectively

Fight against the Kingdom of Darkness effectively

We need to know what the weapons of our warfare are in order to be able to fight against the Kingdom of Darkness effectively.

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ". (2 Corinthians 10:3,4)

The apostle Paul here states that we are engaged in a warfare, and that we have weapons with which we must fight. As Paul states in Ephesians 6:12, our fight is not with flesh and blood, with people, but with the host of demons that work to defile, destroy, harrass, tempt and enslave mankind. Part of the good news in Christ is that now, not only can we resist the devil's influence in our own lives, but we can destroy his influence in the lives of others. God has given us mighty weapons to counter satanic influence and activity. But in order to be effective in our warfare, we must know what these weapons are, and how to use them effectively.

Paul in this passage doesn't state what the weapons of our warfare are, but he does state what they do. They pull down strongholds. They cast down arguments (also translated imaginations) which come from Satan. They cast down every proud and high thing that seeks to stop us and others from knowing God. They bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. They also give us power to punish disobedience when we are obeying God (vs 6). Each of these results in worth considering in detail.

What are the Weapons of Our Warfare?

To discover the answer to this question, we need to search through the Bible and see how it is that God's men and women of faith overcame the enemy. There is no one word that gives the answer to this question, but if there was it would be "obedience" - obedience to God. It is not a mindless, heartless obedience that gains thevictory however. God does not want us to be ignorant.

We need to have a growing understanding of the nature of the conflict we are in. Otherwise we will not be able to determine the source of the suggestions within us. In warfare, soldiers must learn to obey the orders of their commanding officers. A major part of our challenge is firstly to know who is talking, which spirit is motivating us to behave or act in a certain way, and torespond intelligently in the light of what God reveals. We must develop spiritual discernment.

One of Satan's major strategies is to keep us from really perceiving with our hearts who God truly is. That is why Paul said our weapons cast down every high thing which exalts itself against the knowledge of God.

First Weapon - PRAISE

So what are the weapons of our warfare? Well, without a doubt, PRAISE is a major weapon against Satan. Satan and demons just HATE hearing people praise God, especially when they do so from a pure heart.

Praise releases the presence of God in a way that Satan cannot resist. If we would praise God more, we would have far less interference from demonic powers in our lives.

Praise Silences the Enemy"Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of your enemies, that you may silence the enemy and the avenger."

(Psalm 8:2).And Jesus said to them, "Yes, have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise.'"

(Matthew 21:16)The strength which God has ordained for us is perfect praise. Perfect praise SILENCES the enemy and the avenger.

Many of our problems would be solved if we could only get Satan and his demons to SHUT UP. They operate by injecting suggestions into our minds which seem plausible, but are rooted in unbelief and rebellion towards God. The suggestions come as if they were our own thoughts, when they are not at all! We lose battles when we believe andtrust these demonic suggestions. These suggestions, thoughts and imaginations work to sow discouragement, confusion, fear, doubt and unbelief in our minds.

PRAISE - be it spoken or sung to music, however, works to SILENCE the enemy. Perfect praise led by God's Holy Spirit will completely silence the enemy.

Here is one reason why we should consider how we might praise God better. There are many biblical ways whereby the people of God are exhorted to praise God. We can find these in the psalms. Shouting, dancing, singing, rejoicing, making music are all valid biblical ways to express praise to God.God dwells manifestly by His Spirit in the PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE.

"But You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel". (Psalm 22:3). The Kingdom of God will manifest through the presence of the King, which comes when we praise Him. The manifest presence of God drives demons OUT of the places near us where they can seek to gain influence over us. Let us therefore praise the Lord more than ever before!

On one occasion, Jehoshophat, the King of Israel, came against a vast opposing army of many nations bent on Israel's destruction (2 Chronicles 20). The King put at the front lines of the army people who PRAISED the LORD with singing saying, "Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever".It is no accident that David, perhaps the mightiest warrior for God in Old Testament times, was a man of praise. His strength was rooted in the joy he gave God through praising and worshiping God. How much more in these New Testament times, we, who are commanded to "continually offer up to God the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips which confess His Name" (Hebrews 13:15), are called to overcome the devil and his demons, and all theirworks, using PRAISE as a mighty God ordained weapon for the destruction of their plans and works.

Second Weapon - the Word of God

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan (see Luke 4:1-13), He overcame the devil using the one weapon of THE WORD OF GOD. Rather than arguing directly with Satan's suggestions, as many Christians try to do, Jesus simply quoted the Word of God as it applied to the suggestion. When Satan tried to suggest a course of action for Jesus to prove his divinity and simultaneously satisfy his hunger, Jesus answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'" (Luke 4:4). This silenced the enemy and ended the discussion on that point.

Jesus used the Word of God once for each of the three main temptations which every son of man must face. These are: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Once we have overcomethese fully, we have overcome Satan.

The apostle John wrote, "I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one." (1 John 2:14).We see then that we are called to grow up to the stage of being "young men", in whom the Word of God abides, and "no longer children, tossed about by every wind and wave of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14).

It is when, through much study and meditation on the Word of God, that word comes to live in us, and consume our thoughts, that we will be strong in the Lord. Jesus promised that if we abide in Him, and His Word abides in us, we will ask what we desire, and it will be done for us (John 15:7). This will include victory over Satan.Much more can be written on the power of the Word of God to overcome the devil.

Make sure you get into the Word of God for yourself.

Third Weapon - the Blood of Jesus

One of Satan's chief tactics is accusation. He is called "the Accuser of the brethren". When we sin we give Satan opportunity to accuse us, both directly and through others.The reality is, we have all sinned. I'm still looking for a Christian on the earth who never sins. I'd love to learn from someone who no longer falls short of the glory of God. Sin is costing us too much. When to our sin, Satan adds his accusations, we can become condemned and discouraged if we are ignorant of the power of the blood of Jesus as it may be applied to this issue.

Praise God, the blood of Jesus Christ, God's son, cleanses us from all sin. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9).We must believe that no matter what sin we may commit, the blood of Jesus is there to cleanse us. We can be restored by this blood to a place of acceptance with God and peace with ourselves. It is because Jesus paid the price for our sins, and took the punishment we deserve, that we can be forgiven and go on after temporary defeats. Praise God for the blood!

Much can be written on this subject. Remember to confess what the blood of Jesus does for you. "They overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the lamb, by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their own lives unto death" (Revelation 12:13).

Fourth Weapon - Prayer

Prayer is not preparation for the battle. Prayer is the battle. We are commanded to pray without ceasing, so we should at least aim for it. God has made so many promises regarding prayer and we need to fill our hearts and minds with these promises. Of course, volumes could be written on prayer and have been in various places. Learn to pray with power. When we prevail in prayer, Satan is defeated, miracles happen and people turn from the power of Satan to the power of God, their eyes having been opened.

Prayer is quite simply the key to revival. YOU MUST PRAY. To not pray is to surrender to Satan.

Fifth Weapon - the Power of Your Testimony

Tell other people what Christ has done for you. This will promote faith. Tell yourself - you need to encourage yourself in the Lord - "forget not all His benefits". Tell God - praise and thank Him for it. Paul used his testimony in confronting King Agrippa and the Roman Governor Festus when called to account for his activities and the reasons for which he was accused by the Jews (see Acts 26 - also Acts 22).They overcame came him [the devil] ... by the word of their testimony.

Sixth Weapon - the Power of the Holy Spirit expressed through the Gifts of the Spirit

We are commanded to "be continually filled with the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). Just keeping this one command of the Lord is a major part of our spiritual warfare, and we will need all the other weapons in order to stay in this place.

A person who is "filled with the Spirit" and has learned to be "led by the Spirit" can also receive and use the "gifts of the Holy Spirit". These are outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. Most of them are expressed through our mouths. They all operate through divine initiative.

These specialised weapons of the gifts of the Holy Spirit all work along with the other weapons of God to build up God's people, win people for Christ and to destroy the works of the devil. They all operate through faith. God does not want us to be ignorant of the mighty gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Source: Weapons Of Warfare (Part Message - 2004) -