Successful Spiritual Warfare

Prayer is our lifeline to the Trinity. We continually communicate with God in prayer through each moment of the day (Matthew 7:8). We do not need a quiet place to kneel and pray.

We pray through the storms of life, the serene times of play, the busyness of our own making and the unforeseeable issues, which life unexpectedly throws at us.

Prayer changes us, the people we pray for, the circumstances surrounding us and the spiritual principalities and powers all around us.

In chapters nine and ten, the Bible records Daniel’s experience concerning answers to his prayer. One was a quick response and the other a delay of about three weeks.

In the later, when God’s archangel finally broke through Satan’s lines of hindrance drawn in high places to prevent the answer from being delivered, he explained all of this to Daniel in detail.

These are some of the most amazing verses in the Old Testament. It enables us to realize the spiritual warfare going on around us as a reality and an entity to take seriously.

These verses encourage us to “pray-through” in every situation and to persevere until God delivers His answer, rather than to give up after a weak attempt to petition our Deliverer.

Sometimes, our prayers are carnal and self-centered; designed too heap on our self the riches of this world (James 4:3). God does not always provide what we want, especially if He knows it is not for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Yet at other times, Satan steps up his resistance in order to discourage us from believing in God, trusting Him with our life and walking in His order for our day.

God inspired James to tell us that if we submit to God’s will and resist the devil, he has no option but to flee from our presence (James 4:7-9). This is the secret to successful spiritual warfare.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for deigning to form an intimate, personal relationship with us – the Creator with the created. You desire our continual fellowship while we live on this earth and look forward to our death when we come to abide in Your presence forever (Psalm 116:15).

Your angels rejoice when one sinner repents and crosses over from eternal death into life, adding yet another Saint to Your Kingdom (Luke 15:7). You rejoice over us with singing and You love us with an everlasting love (Zephaniah 3:17). We can barely grasp the full meaning of this relationship, which You offer to everyone ever born on this earth.

Thought for the Day:
Most people never avail our self the opportunity to enter into this intimate union with our Creator and King, because we despise the shame of the cross and resist the opportunity to totally surrender our will to His.

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God Calls Us All

God calls the foolish, weak, dishonorable and despised person in order to shame the wise, strong and important, so that we will not boast in our abilities and take credit for what God accomplishes in and through us (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Satan will attempt to influence us to take the credit, but it belongs to God (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we hear Satan’s whisper in our mind, we realize the lie that it is and humbly thank God for using us.

Gideon was an illegitimate son in an insignificant clan of the tribe of Manasseh, and he even called himself the least in the family. Yet, God called Him to deliver Israel from the Midianite bondage.

David was a little shepherd boy when he killed Goliath. Moses was a murderer and could not speak well. Paul was very educated and had many accomplishments to his credit.

Yet, they all realized they were nothing without our Almighty God (Philippians 3:7-8). God even uses children and babies to prove His existence and to silence the God-haters (Psalm 8:2).

God foils the plans of the wise, exposes the supposed miracles of false prophets and plainly reveals the nonsense of pseudo-intellectuals (Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 8:9).

God shows us the foolishness of the wisdom of the world, and saves us through what the world considers the foolishness of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:20-21, 2:12).

God chooses the poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the riches in His Kingdom, which He promises to those who love Him and keep His commandments (James 2:5; John 14:15).

Prayer:
Father God, You expose the lofty who take credit for what You do for us and You continually do marvelous works on our behalf (Isaiah 26:5-6; 29:14, 19). The poor are always with us, to remind us that we are just a breath away from destitution, unless we trust in You (Matthew 26:11; Zephaniah 3:12).

You give us wisdom when we ask for it and hide Your treasure within us, in order to prove Your authority and Kingship over our life (James 1:5-6; Luke 19:39-40; 2 Corinthians 4:7). Then you give us weapons that are not for carnal warfare, but spiritual; so that we can triumph over all of our enemies (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5, 10).

Thought for the Day:
In the Kingdom of God, there are no big “I’s” and little “U’s”, but we are all equal with the same Holy Spirit residing within us and leading us throughout every moment of our day.

Set Apart for God

Without God’s Spirit within, we do not belong to Christ or His family (Romans 8:9). God’s Spirit us makes us His children. We no longer live under the dominion of the flesh, the world or the devil, and we are not our own.

God owns our time, energy and resources (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are set apart for God. Though we live on this earth, we no longer have anything in common with sinners or the world (Psalm 4:3; 2 Corinthians 6:16).

If we continue to offer our self as slaves to sin, it leads to death; if we obey the dictates of holiness, we are part of God’s holy temple and He dwells in us by His Spirit (Romans 6:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16-18).

We are more concerned with spiritual aspects in our life than carnal ones. We have a new heavenly name (Revelation 2:17). Do you know the meaning of your earthly name? ( http://www.ohbabynames.com )

I like my name, Kathleen Anne. It means: pure one, innocent, God’s favor and grace. Someone with this name is usually dependable, solid, practical, hard-working, industrious, studious, conservative, spiritual, wise, peculiar, intuitive, imaginative, philosophical and solitary. This fits me to a “T”.

As a child, I yearned to be a good girl, so my parents would love me. I even wished on the first star every night that I would be a good girl, so I could be cherished and accepted.

At 18, I realized that that no one is ever good (Romans 7:18-25), and that I could not do enough good to be valued and approved. That is when I turned to Jesus Christ as my Savior. He loves me unconditionally (1 John 4:16).

God takes up residence in our spirit. He abides in His children and walks with us. He is our God and we are His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). We live as the church of the living God, and are the pillar and foundation of His truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

Prayer:

Father God, You accept us as part of Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:5-7). Our spirit, once dead in Adam’s sin, was Born Again by Your Spirit, and You came to live in us for the rest of our life and throughout eternity (Romans 8:10; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thank You for building us into Your house, as we firmly hold to our confidence and hope in Your glory. Christ is the faithful caretaker of Your House (Hebrews 3:6) and we realize the privilege, which You afford us, to allow us to take a part in all of Your plans.

Thought for the Day:

Anyone who leaves their sinful lifestyle, and believes that Jesus in God who came in human flesh as Emmanuel, will have a new name written down in Heaven. – 1 John 4:4

God is Our Defense

There is little to no peace or security in our current world economy and civilization. We never know what catastrophe the news will publicize with the rising of the sun. The atrocities we humans perpetrate on one another are unthinkable; yet, they happen every day. Since sin entered the picture through Adam and Eve, wickedness abounds (Matthew 24:12).

The pride, selfishness and rebellion of the human heart allow sin to perpetuate throughout every generation (Romans 8:6). In some twisted way, people who are hurting will hurt other people to try to alleviate their own pain. Even if we distance our self from those who hurt us, we will only find true peace when we surrender our life to Jesus Christ and forgive our enemies (Philippians 4:4-8).

Trusting God, with gratitude in our heart and on our lips for all He already did for us, will allow us to transcend the daily grind of life and move us into the realm of viewing life from an eternal perspective. Then the peace of God, which cannot be found in the world or by thinking about carnal aspects of life, will flood our soul with serenity (John 14:27).

We will experience peace, even in the most horrific earthly trials, as we draw near to God and put our complete faith in His faithfulness (1 Peter 2:23). We gain our perspective by focusing on Jesus’ example through His betrayal, persecution, crucifixion and resurrection. He teaches us to suffer victoriously and He reminds us that Heaven awaits us in all of its glory (Hebrews 12:2).

God is our defense, no matter what we experience or how people treat us. If we trust in Him, live for Him and love Him with our whole being, He turns everything around for our ultimate good (Psalm 94:22; Romans 8:28). As we experience God’s will in the mundane circumstances of our day, we will also sense His presence during our trials. Christ in us will overcome obstacles for us and He will get all of the glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Prayer:
Father God, Your family is not a select race of perfectly mature and spiritual people, but it includes the outcast, the weak, the broken-hearted and the infirmed. You do not exclude anyone who calls on Your name for salvation, regardless of our human heritage or accomplishments. We are no longer strangers, but are included in Your family (Ephesians 2:19-22). The weary and distressed find rest under the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 91: 1,4).

Thought for the Day:
God is our only defense and our rock of refuge. – Psalm 94:22

Missing Out on God’s Blessings

Carnal people may have prayed for salvation, but they skip one important step…salvation also implies obedience (Romans 8:5-7). If people refuse to walk away from their sin and to believe in God, they are probably not Christians (1 John 2:3,3:6-9; Ephesians 5:5). They constantly grieve and quench the Holy Spirit with their sinful choices (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

A carnal person is too proud or fearful to trust God. They rely on their own efforts, because they do not want to bother God. They live a roller coaster life, stressed out and weary. They are either very legalistic or very undisciplined. They only open their Bible on Sunday. When given a choice, they slide into sin, because it is easier than following God’s way out of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The problem with living a carnal life is that we miss out on the abundant blessings of living a spirit-filled life. God loves us and planned every day of our life before we were ever born (Psalm 139:16). Life is so much easier when we live it God’s way. His Spirit indwells us at salvation and fills us with each new day (John 3:1-8; Ephesians 1: 13-14; 5:18; Romans 8:8-10).

We cannot fill our self with God’s Spirit through human effort (Acts 8:18-24). God’s presence in our life demands obedience. Without it, God’s Spirit is quenched. The still small voice of God is always there to lead us, if we will just listen and obey. God’s Spirit guides and empowers each step we take as witnesses and ministers for God’s Kingdom (Acts 1:1-9; John 1:12, 14:16-17; Colossians 2:9-10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for birthing us by Your Spirit as authentic Believers. Your peace fulfills us as Your Spirit glorifies Christ through us (John 7:37-39; 16:1-15). As baby Christians we mimic the sinful behavior of the world, but we are constantly growing in love and obedience to Your Word (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). We struggle with our carnal desires, but we eventually realize that we are already free in Christ, who took our condemnation and gave us His righteousness (Romans 7:15-8:1). We want to walk in Your Spirit and in Your service every day of our life.

Thought for the Day:
When we obey God’s Spirit, we do not gratify the lusts of our flesh or desire what is contrary to God’s Word, because living by God’s Spirit is the opposite of abiding in a sinful lifestyle. – Galatians 5:16-18

Growing in Christ

When we come to Christ for salvation, our desire to sin wanes over the next few weeks and months. In some people, it disappears completely right away. Others have sins that easily overcome their resolve to live a holy life; and it takes them longer to surrender those desires to the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit.

Eventually, we come to a place of total surrendered to God’s will. We are so tired of reaping the consequences of our decisions that we decide to trust God instead. We struggle to learn to pray, thinking we must use a specific formula, not knowing we can converse with Him as we do our best friend.

We gradually learn that Father God really does know best and that He has our best interest in His heart and will for our life (Jeremiah 29:11). Gradually, our thoughts turn more toward eternal, spiritual matters than to carnal, earthly issues. We view our problems from God’s perspective. We live to please Him rather than our self or someone else.

God’s everlasting arms and eternal grace lift us ever higher above the negative issues of life. Even in the most horrendous circumstances, we maintain a positive attitude and outlook by faith in Him. His thoughts become our thoughts and we perceive the issues of life from a Biblical worldview.

We abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25; Colossians 2:6), living according to the grace of God. We see His merciful hand in every area of our life. Our fears and doubts gradually subside and we adopt more and more of the mind and faith of Christ as our own (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

Prayer:
Father God, as joint heirs with Christ, we inherit all things that You prepared for us before the world ever began. You provided Adam and Eve with Paradise and wanted them to enjoy the blessings there forever. However, their pride and self-will fell to Satan’s temptations and they lost Paradise for us all. Thank You that Jesus died to redeem us and to restore to us everything Satan stole from Adam and Eve.

Thought for the Day:
No issue in life is really our problem to solve; it is merely an opportunity for God to prove His miraculous love for us.

A Yielded Life

The cross is an instrument of death, like the guillotine, a firing squad or a lethal injection. At Salvation, our old nature literally dies, and God births His life within us (Colossians 3:3). If we do not take up our cross every day, we are not worthy of Christ (Mathew 10:38). We are slackers and we are showing contempt for the sacrifice Jesus made for us (Luke 14:27).

God challenges us to live as His disciples, mirroring the life of Christ in our thoughts, words and actions. We have no desire left to participate in sinful activities or to entertain unholy thoughts. We cannot even be around people, vote for candidates, or watch TV or movies, which portray ungodliness. Jesus’ holiness is all that is left once His sanctifying work is complete (Galatians 2:20).

There is a paradox here. Christ lives in us (Colossians 3:4). If we surrender our life to Christ, we find it more fulfilling and successful than if we continue to attempt to live by our own direction (Matthew 10:39). God is love, but He is also righteous, just and holy. He has a standard of living, which He requires from all of us. Of course, He does not expect us to reach this standard by our self.

He is the one who actually does the work in us (Philippians 2:12-13). As we take up our cross, He crucifies our old, carnal nature until we walk in His holiness (Luke 9:23). We no longer sit on the throne of our life, but we yield to His Lordship and wisdom, as we follow the leading of His Holy Spirit. We no longer dictate to Him, but we submit to His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

The more our soul walks in the holiness of this completed work, the more peace and fulfillment we enjoy. We no longer struggle with sin, because it is no longer a part of our nature. We have no desire to partake in the base, carnal aspects of this world. We draw near to God, resist Satan and He must flee from us. We live and move and have our being in Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, Master and King (Acts 17:28).

Prayer:
Father God, we no longer abide in this temporal world, even though we remain in it physically. We focus on the eternal, immortal aspects of life in Christ and find our righteousness, peace and joy in You (John 16:33). We follow Christ as He followed You. We believe in, trust in and cling to Him for every thought, provision and emotion in our life (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). We confidently approach Your throne as we greet each new day, and we walk in Your Spirit as we focus on each moment of our day in You (Galatians 5:15-26).

Thought for the Day:
Every authentic Born Again Believer finds the secret to contentment in total surrender to the will of God for our life. – Philippians 4:12