Saturday, February 24, 2007
"Victory Elements' - Disarming the darkness.
(Spiritual Survival Handbook: (Part Message) Chapter 8:
"God disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross of Christ."Colossians 2:15
In Mainland China during 2002, Pastor Li De Xian and his wife Zhao Xia refused to be silenced. "Christ was the first to suffer," Pastor Li De Xian said. We just follow him. There are many thorns, but we are just injured a little on our feet. This suffering is very little."
Despite continual pressure from the Public Security Bureau, Pastor Li refuses to miss a service unless he is in prison or change his message of salvation through Jesus Christ. He has been arrested so many times during the past two years that he has lost count. During one recent detention, jailers tied his arms and legs together and chained his arms and legs to a bedpost for three days. When they finally released him from this torture, he was forced to work on an assembly line in the prison factory putting bulbs into strings of Christmas lights to send to America.
"Don't feel sorry for us," Zhao Xia says of their lifestyle. "At least we are constantly reminded that we are in a spiritual war. We know for whom we are fighting. We know who the enemy is. And we are fighting. Perhaps we should pray for you Christians outside of China. In your leisure, in your affluence, in your freedom, sometimes you no longer realize that you are in spiritual warfare."
As members of Gods army living in enemy terrain, Christians are daily involved in a spiritual war between Gods kingdom of light and Satans kingdom of darkness. We are Christs foot soldiers and Jesus is the Captain of God's Army. As our Captain, He goes before us and with us as we do our part in taking dominion over and neutralizing the forces of darkness. As we do the practical with Gods anointing, the Lord does the supernatural.
The fearless confidence Pastor Li posesses is available to every Christian as we recognize the magnitude of Christs victory over Satan. Through Christs death and resurrection, the devils teeth and claws were pulled out. In spite of this, Satan presents himself as undefeated. He goes about "roaring" as a lion attempting to intimidate the soldiers in God's Army in to believing he can chew us up, spit us out, and shred us to pieces. The truth is Jesus crushed the Devil's authority over every Christian.
He (Jesus) is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe. Colossians 2:10
1. What is a satanic attack?
It is a deliberate and calculated assault by the devil with the intent to ultimately destroy or at least to cause harm spiritually, physically, mentally, materially, and emotionally. One of the focus of every attack is to cause us to doubt. Our thoughts are where our spiritual battles are either won or lost, so whatever the evil one is lying to you about, reject it. Then replace it with scriptural truths.
While Jesus lived on earth, he was not immune from Satans attacks. Jesus experienced spiritual battles on many occasions during his life. The first attack recorded came after his baptism:
Mark 1:12-13, "The Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness. He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him."Luke 4:1-13, "Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit to go out into the wilderness, where the Devil tempted him for forty days. He ate nothing all that time and was very hungry.
Then the Devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread."
But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, `People need more than bread for their life.'"
Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.The Devil told him, "I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them--because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me."
Jesus replied, "The Scriptures say, `You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.'"
Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, `He orders his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.'
"Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, `Do not test the Lord your God.'
When the Devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
Just as Jesus used the powerful Word of God to defeat the Devi's attacks, we can do the same. For every spiritual attack there is a scripture which helps resist temptation and win the battle. In addition to using scripture, we need to keep from talking about how the devil is attacking us. By keeping our focus and speech on the Lordship of Jesus, the evil one is deprived of the attention his pride and ego craves.
When you do the practical, God faithfully does the supernatural.
2. Where are spiritual battlefields?
Within our thoughts. Our thought life is rich soil for spiritual battles. This is where we either win or lose every battle.
"Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith." 1 Peter 5:8-93.
Are there character traits soldiers in God's army need to develop?
Yes. The following traits are powerful in advancing God's Kingdom on earth by overthrowing the kingdom of darkness:
Alertness: Be aware of spiritual events and respond with the right actions.
Discipline: A learned lifestyle that is imposed from within one's self.
Confidence: Lack of insecurity due to the fact physical and spiritual abilities are not dependent on a soldier alone, but dependent on God for His resources and strength to flow through them.
Wisdom: Practical application of knowledge and discernment in moral and spiritual matters within daily activities.Endurance: Able to persevere regardless of the physical and spiritual obstacles encountered.
You may want to measure yourself by your aspirations instead of your performance, but the conduct of your life is the only real proof of the sincerity of your heart.
4. What is spiritual armor?
It consists of invisible spiritual weapons supplied by the Holy Spirit to be used in defending one self from Satans attacks and used in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth. Each piece of spiritual armor needs only to be put on once.
It has been reported by a national deliverance ministry that demons see spiritual weapons.
Ephesians 6:14-17, "Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
A prepared soldier never lets his or her guard down. Every day spiritual preparedness is required for whatever confronts them. Before going into spiritual battle, ask the Holy Spirit to anoint your spiritual armor.
Without the Holy Spirits anointing, you end up relying on your own natural strength. The anointing keeps your armor working properly and free of holes.
The Devil also uses the 4 D's of discouragement, disillusionment, depression, and deception to knock us down and distract us from focusing on the path to victory.
If you fall for this tactic, refocus, get up, and grab your sword and shield.
6. What is the anointing?
It is the supernatural manifestation of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, which enables us to function beyond our natural abilities within our work, our relationships, and our ministries. It can be seen through the operation of our spiritual gifts and our ability to stand firm by faith in the face of trials. If we want this anointing, we need to simply ask for it and voluntary surrender our plans and desires in exchange for Gods. This produces more room for the Holy Spirit to reside within us.
Through surrender to Father God our intellect, emotions, and physical abilities become available to the Holy Spirit for achieving His purposes. Under His control our natural gifts are elevated to their highest potential. Surrender is the pivotal element to the increase of the anointing. Our surrender indicates a fight has taken place. Surrender frees us from our futile efforts to depend on ourselves.The anointing is maintained and grows by living a consistent holy lifestyle of worship and walking in love.
This is the price tag for the anointing ... choosing to forgive rather than take revenge or allow bitterness to find a home in our hearts ... choosing to praise and worship the Lord rather than complaining or doubting.
This lifestyle keeps our armor working properly and free of holes. Sin creates holes in our armor giving the devil the ability to hook on to our minds, bodies, or souls. By standing guard against sin and being filled with the Holy Spirit nothing can stop us from winning our spiritual battles.
* Due to length the remaining points of 6 - 13 have not been included in this post - It is strongly recommended when you have time that you use the link at the bottom of this message to complete the study.
A mind filled with doubt can't focus on the path to victory
13. What are the spiritual weapons of mass destruction used in obtaining victory for spiritual battles?
Gods spiritual weapons are not wimpy. They disperse and annihilate evil forces. They cause shifts in the spiritual realm. They dethrone wicked regional powers. When these mighty supernatural weapons are used, the forces of evil cringe and retreat.
In spite of this, the devil tries to convince us we are powerless and to ultimately give up, but the truth is God has given His children these five powerful spiritual weapons of mass destruction to defeat the devil's assaults.
~ The name of Jesus. Psalm 44:5, "Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes." While Jesus was on earth, everything he accomplished was through Father God's authority. As Christ's Dragon Slayers on earth, every spiritual victory we obtain is through the authority we exercise in His name.
The name of Jesus is powerful over the enemy of our soul as it represents the victory that redeemed us from Satan's ownership; it brings hope to the hopeless; and peace to the confused. When we call on the name of Jesus during a spiritual battle his very presence is manifested causing evil forces to scatter.
~ The scriptures. Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep." The whole universe was created through the spoken Word of God. When a verse is spoken and mixed with faith it accomplishes what it states it can.
As sons of God, our spoken words carry great power and authority. When we speak the Word of God into a spiritual battle it sends the evil forces running with their tails tucked like a submissive dog.
~ The blood Jesus shed on the cross. Revelation 12:11, "They have defeated him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony. And they were not afraid to die." The Devil fears the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ above every other power. Why? The hordes of hell don't want even a drop of Christ's blood to touch them. The blood of Jesus Christ is the most powerful element on earth.
It resurrects the dead, heals the sick, redeems sinners, and sets captives free from demonic bondage.
Spiritually applying Christs blood to a situation reverses it from a negative into a positive, meets the physical and financial need, and breaks off demonic bondage.
When we take communion in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice, it brings spiritual nourishment, a deeper identification with Christ, and the anointing we need to defeat the devil.
~The power of the Holy Spirit. 1 John 4:4, "The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."
~Trust in Jesus. Ephesians 6:16, "In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan." Another powerful step in response to a spiritual attack is worshipping God.
14. How does worship help in spiritual warfare?
Worship keeps our hearts focused on resting and trusting in the Lord to supernaturally fight for us as he accomplishes what we can't. Deuteronomy 1:30, "The LORD your God is going before you. He will fight for you." Deuteronomy 3:22, "Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the LORD your God will fight for you." When God steps into our battles we can count on them to always be won.
As we worship, the Holy Spirit scatters our enemies. In 2 Chronicles 20:14-24 is recorded an account of when praise and worship led the people of God into a victorious battle against their enemies. As a choir of people marched in front of the Israeli army, God began to ambush their enemy. Before the day was done, not one member of the enemy forces was left alive.
After the victories, we have the opportunity to build spiritual memorials. Memorials serve as a reminder to others and ourselves of God's faithfulness and his ability to deliver.
A Misfit looks for victory and refuses to settle for anything less in reaching his goals
15. What are spiritual memorials?
They are reminders of the victories we have won. With every spiritual victory, we can erect a monument to our victories as a spiritual landmark - a memorial. It can be an object established in memory of a person or an event worthy to be remembered. Memorials serve as a reminder to us and others of Gods faithfulness and his ability to deliver.
An Old Testament example, Joshua 4:1-9, is the time Joshua was instructed by the Lord to build a memorial out of twelve stones from the Jordan River as a reminder to the people of Gods victorious deliverance.
King David created his memorials through the writing of his Psalms. Thousand of years later these meaningful psalms continue to bring comfort and encouragement.
For us, a memorial can be an object that has special meaning such as a notation in our Bibles with the date of the answered prayer or just a memory we recall when giving our testimonies to others. Which ever itis, we are to celebrate our victories and build a memorial to God's glory. These memorials won't only be for our own encouragement in the future, but also to build up the faith of others and the generations to come as they face their spiritual battles.
As you face future spiritual battles, remind yourself of this truth: Spiritual battles are won through the words of "Yes" to God and "No" to Satan.
Dear Lord,Expose the evil ones working in my life. Bring what is hidden in darkness into Your holy light. I ask for strength and wisdom to release into Your care all that is uncovered. Keep me daily alert to the devils tactics and to resist from falling into his traps. Amen.
Victory consists of getting up just one time more than we've fallen down.
Spiritual Warfare Prayer
Heavenly Father, I praise and worship You. I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as my protection. I pray that the blessed Holy Spirit would enable me during this time of prayer. I take a stand against all the workings of Satan that would hinder my prayers. I address myself only to the True and Living God. I reject any involvement of Satan in my thoughts and words. Satan, I command you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to leave my presence with all your demons. I command every work of darkness to be subject to the name of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, I recognize that You are worthy to receive all glory, honor, and praise. I am thankful that You have loved me from past eternity. That You sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to die as my substitute. I am thankful that Jesus came as my representative and that through Him You have completely forgiven me; You have adopted me into your family; You have assumed all responsibility for me; You have given me eternal life; You have given me the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, so I am now justified. I am thankful that in Him, you have made me complete, and thatYou have offered Yourself to me to be my daily help and strength.
Heavenly Father, open my eyes that I might see how great You are and how complete Your provision is for me this day. I am thankful that the victory the Lord Jesus Christ won for me on the Cross and in His resurrection has been given to me seating me with the Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies. I recognize by faith that all wicked spirits and Satan himself are under myfeet. I declare, therefore, that Satan and his wicked spirits are subject to me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am thankful for the spiritual Armor You have provided. I put on the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Sandals of Peace, and the Helmet of Salvation. I lift up the Shield of Faith against all the fiery darts of the enemy; and I take in my hand the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. I choose to use Your Word against all the forces of evil in my life.
I put on this Armor and live in complete dependence on You. I refuse in this day to believe my feelings. I hold up the Shield of Faith against all the accusations, distortions, and insinuations that Satan would put into my mind. I claim the fullness of the will of God for my life today.
I am thankful, Heavenly Father, that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, to the casting down of imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge God, and to bring every thought into obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, in my own life today I tear down the strongholds of Satan and smash the plans of Satan that have been formed against me. I tear down the strongholds of Satan against my mind, and I surrender my mind to You, blessed Holy Spirit.
I affirm, Heavenly Father, that You have not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. I break and smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my emotions today and I give my emotions to you. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my will today, I give my will to You and choose to make the right decisions of faith. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my body today, I give my body to You recognizing that I am your temple. I rejoice in Your mercy and goodness.
I am grateful, Heavenly Father, that the Lord Jesus Christ spoiled all principalities and powers triumphing over them in Himself. I claim all that victory for my life today. I reject all the insinuations, accusations, and the temptations of Satan. I affirm that the Word of God is true. I choose to live today in the light of God's Word. I choose, Heavenly Father, to live inobedience to You and in fellowship with Yourself.
Open my eyes and show me the areas of my life that do not please You. Work in me to cleanse me from all areas in my life that would give Satan a foothold against me. I do in every way stand in all that it means to be Your adopted child. I welcome all the ministry of the Holy Spirit into my life. By faith and in dependence on You, I put off my fleshly works. I stand in all the victory of the resurrection and the provision He has made for me to live above sin.Today I put off all forms of selfishness and put on love. I put off all forms of fear and put on courage. I put off all forms of weakness and put on strength. I put off all forms of lust and put on righteousness, purity, and honesty. I am trusting You to show me how to make this practical in my daily life.
I stand in the victory of the ascension and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ, where all the principalities and powers were made subject to Him. I claim my place in Christ as victorious with Him over all the enemies of my soul. I completely surrender myself to You, Heavenly Father, as a living sacrifice. I choose not to be conformed to this world. I choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. I pray that You would show me Your will and enable me to walk in all the fullness of Your will today. Blessed Holy Spirit, I pray that You would fill me. Come into my life, break down every idol and cast out every foe.
I am thankful that You have made a provision, so that today I can live filled with the Spirit of God with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, and self-control in my life. I recognize that this is Your will for me. I therefore reject and resist all the endeavors of Satan to rob me of the will of God.
Heavenly Father, I pray that now and through this day You would strengthen and enlighten me. Show me the way Satan is hindering, tempting, lying, and distorting the truth in my life. Enable me to be the kind of person that would please You. Enable me to be aggressive in prayer and in trusting you. Enable me to be aggressive mentally, to think about and practice Your Word, and to give You Your rightful place in my life.
Again, I pray that You, blessed Holy Spirit, would bring all the work of the crucifixion, all the work of the resurrection, all the work of the glorification, and all the work of Pentecost into my life today. I surrender myself to You. I refuse to be discouraged. For You are the God of all hope. You have proven Your power by resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead, and I claim in every way this victory over all the satanic forces in my life. I pray this all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanks giving. Amen.
Copyright (c) 1999-2007 Spiritual Survival Handbook by Rev. K. A. Brown. All rights reserved. "Spiritual Survival Handbook Chapter 8 used with permission: Copyright (c) 1999-2007 Spiritual Survival Handbook by Rev. K. A. Brown. All rights reserved. To view complete 'Spiritual Handbook please go to the following link: http://www.spiritualsurvival.org