Hopelessness, depression, relational conflict, worrying debts, misunderstanding, betrayal, people problems, personal failure, deep insecurities, the bombardment of shaming accusations … all sometimes accompanied by unusual levels of emotional tension and unrest.
Ever been there? There now?
What’s going on?
Well, it may just be a bit of something quite practical taking place – but I also want to counsel the Christian – remember there’s a war on.
Ephesian 6:12 reminds us “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.”
“Bad angels” (demons), authorities, rulers, all engage us in a struggle in the unseen realm fighting against the purposes of God and Church. We feel it, we get stirred up by it all – but we don’t always recognize it. Maybe we need to pray and ask God for a gift of discernment as to what is going on – and then fight back!
Here’s a few fight back principles:
1. Praise and worship – I stick praise and worship CDs on in my house 24/7 in fight seasons. It lifts my spirit, fixes my eyes on God and invites Him into the fight – and according to Psalm 149 it paralyses the enemy.
2. Love violently – If the fight involves people then love violently & forgive aggressively – “Love covers over a multitude of sins”. Remember, the devil uses people, but they are not the devil. Forgive them. They are in a fight too.
3. Pray in tongues – Praying in tongues edifies and strengthens you. Get aggressive with it – “The effective FERVENT prayer of a righteous man does much” James teaches us! Praying in tongues draws the warrior out of you.
4. Speak the Bible – Jesus used his “Bible” in His time of oppression. “It is written…” he said (Matt 4). When the accuser speaks to shame you – speak the truth of God’s word to counter it.
5. Be Clean – God will use struggles and battles to get us cleaned up. Repent of everything you need to, let God examine your heart – and let the battle make you strong.
6. But … Don’t focus on the battle – Remember we are not Jesus and we are not warring angels – our job is actually to fix our eyes on Jesus and let His will be done! So chill, laugh, worship, smile and ignore the devil. Nothing will annoy him more!
Wesley was once sleeping and felt the presence of evil in his room. Turning over in bed he saw the devil sat at the end of the bed. “O, it’s only you” he mumbled, turned back over and went to sleep. There’s a giant in God.
Here’s some great promises for your battle: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Roman 16:20
Fix your eyes on Jesus, worship, pray in tongues, consciously love, be clean and speak out the bible … And you’ll get through … He promises it!