Friday, September 27, 2013

Will you be caught sleeping?

James 4:7 (NIV) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

For the last several weeks I’ve been reading “Relentless: The power you need to never give up” by John Bevere. This book has really challenged me to think and see things differently…especially spiritual warfare. I don’t know about you but I have engaged in spiritual warfare before….and my faith has been incredibly increased. The more and more I engage in the battle, the more I realize my dependence on/need for the living breathing word of God in my life.

While doing battle, I can’t just tell Satan to me leave me alone 1 time and expect him to never bother me again. I have to “resist him and remain steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9) keeping my eyes clearly focused on Christ.

“Relentlessly resisting” what exactly does that mean?

A quick Thesaurus check shows me a few other words that have the same meaning for example: persistently, uncompromisingly, insistently, ceaselessly and ruthlessly

So this tells me that I should persistently, uncompromisingly, insistently, ceaselessly and ruthlessly resist Satan. This doesn’t sound like a “one and done” thing to me…does it to you? So how do we “relentless resist” and “remain steadfast”? By equipping ourselves and using the armor of God. God wants us to engage in the battle using our shield of faith to deflect Satan’s fiery arrows. We need to go after him (Satan) and stab him with our sword of the spirit (the word of God).

How do we do this? Let’s look to the best example we could ever follow: Jesus. After his baptism, Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for 40 days. He was tired, alone and hungry and thus vulnerable. Satan doesn’t bother us when we’re strong…he “strikes” when we are at our weakest point. Satan tempted Jesus in 3 separate areas: physical needs, power/possessions, and pride. All 3 times Jesus responded by pulling out the sword of the spirit (the word of God) and jabbed him saying “it is written”. When facing Satan, Jesus didn’t fight in his own strength…and neither should we.

Knowing the Bible and obeying what it says is important if we are going to relentlessly resist Satan. It's not enough just to know the Bible...Satan knows it too...  we have to obey what it says! Since the Garden of Eden Satan has been trying to kill, steal and destroy us (John 10:10). He wants us to trip up and get side-tracked. That’s why we have to step out every single day with the armor God gave us locked and loaded.

Here are some things that I do to make sure I am prepared for battle:

1 – I put on the armor of God every day. Before my feet hit the floor in the morning, I go through the mental process of clothing myself with the armor of God. I see myself putting on the helmet, breastplate and shoes. I see myself buckling the belt of truth around my waist and then picking up the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith.

2 - I pray for God to open my eyes, heart and ears. I pray for God to give me wisdom and discernment. I pray that I will be vigilant and steadfast.

3 – I read the word of God DAILY. It’s the only way I can know how to properly use the sword of the spirit (the word of God) when Satan begins to attack. After all, how can I “fight back” if I don’t know what God’s word says?

One thing I am realizing as I learn to engage in the battle is that spiritual warfare is a daily thing. I have to be ready to fight. I can’t allow Satan to catch me “sleeping”.

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