[Spiritual Warfare] Knowing Your Enemy & How To Fight

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

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 For the past few days I’ve been reading, for the second time, an awesome Christian fiction book about Spiritual Warfare by Frank E. Peretti (This Present Darkness). I first read it as a teenager and it was a real eye opener. As I’ve been reading, it again has opened my eyes, especially regarding things in this day and age.

I’ve noticed many changes over the years and am noticing a few things that I hadn’t realize before. Although I do not know the specifics–the hows or whys–I believe them to be spiritually significant.
Many of God’s people have become complacent–they’re tired and unwilling to change or do better. On the other hand there are those that do seek change. Those who want to do and see better, for themselves, their families, friends, and others around the world, but they don’t know where to start.

 I have come to realize that it all beings with us, as individuals. And prayer. Intercession. I have decided that I want, no, need to be an intercessor–for my family, friends, myself, my city, country, and even the world, even though it may appear to be a lost cause. I know it isn’t the will of God for anyone to perish (John 3:16-17), but I also know that not everyone will enter the Kingdom of God. And that’s a very sad realization.

 Regarding the changes that I’ve seen, many have been within circumstances and worldly happenings–corrupt government, sin & disease is running rampant, communities in upheaval–and more. But one of the biggest concerns are the changes that I’ve seen in myself and in others that are close to me. Just within the past couple of days I’ve realized that in many ways I have been selfish in regards to my marriage. It’s been about what I want or the way I think things should be, or how I think my husband should act or things he should do. I believe my thoughts and feelings are valid… but what about me? What am I doing to show my husband how much I love him? What am I doing to encourage and lift him up? This world beats him down enough, he needs PEACE here at home from the battlefield abroad. He needs to know that I respect, support, and love him regardless of any flub ups he might make.

 I have also noticed, just today in fact, that there are people that I love dearly who have changed in ways I never thought they would. There was a time that whenever they had, watched, or listened to something that was ungodly, secular, or went against the Lord–in any way, shape, or form–it was destroyed, no longer watched, or no longer listened to. But somewhere along the way, some of those things have become OK. For instance, there’s a TV show that is pretty funny in some context, but some of the dialog/language and scenes are unnecessary. We don’t watch it in my home, but some people I love enjoy it. So it raises similar questions that were once asked of me: Would you watch that TV show or Movie, or listen to that song or music if Jesus was in the room? I mean, if we’re born-again and Jesus lives in our hearts, He’s there already, isn’t He?

 We need to protect ourselves and our families from anything and everything that the enemy can use against us! If as Christians, we are not in a place where we should be… if we’re not living the way we should be… If we’re not spending time in God’s Word or in prayer, we need to stop and think… What’s stopping us? To be brutally honest we have no excuse! I don’t always spend enough time in prayer, but I read my Bible daily. It’s difficult with young children and a small living space–I have no “prayer closet” so I’m easily interrupted. Again, I don’t have an excuse. I could spend time alone in prayer after hubby leaves for work–I need to get my sleep cycle regulated though.

 We need to stop making excuses and start making time to do what we MUST do.
NO EXCUSES!

 We live in a day and age where the enemy is doing EVERYTHING he can to screw us up–to draw us away from Abba Father. The devil tries (and sometimes succeeds) to keep our minds on things around us, our circumstances–he wants us to lose our focus. We need to remember, Jesus gave us authority over him. We have been given the tools to keep that old devil under our feet!! RESIST & he MUST FLEE! (In Jesus’ name)

 We need to be in, what I like to call, “Lion’ or ‘Lioness Mode”.
Have you ever watched an animal show and seen how a lioness hunts? She’s focused in and nothing can distract her. That’s how we should be! ALWAYS!
Is it difficult? Yes! Impossible? NEVER!
All things are possible with God. (Matthew 19:26 paraphrased)

 Think about this… If we learned, once and for all, who we are in the Lord, the devil would have a fit! If every God-fearing person on this earth KNEW who they are in Christ… no demon of hell could mess with them–they’d run screaming, and scattering in all directions! We as God’s people need to get off our duffs, out of our comfort zones, get into our armor, and RUN to the battlefield. There are many who have or are nearing the point of dropping their swords and shields, and giving up.

 IT’S TIME TO RISE UP, O WARRIORS OF GOD MOST HIGH!

 I pray that the Lord would stir your spirit. May He open your spiritual eyes and ears. May you hear and heed His voice above all others. Stop laying in the muck and mire of your circumstances!
 It’s time to stand and fight!
 It’s time to pick up your sword and shield and RUN to the battle grounds.
 Don’t walk…. RUN!!

 “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31b

 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37

 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God in whom I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler. And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield and buckler, you shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him, with long life I will satisfy him, and how him My salvation.” Psalm 91

 If you have read this far, I hope this has blessed you. I also highly recommend reading Frank E. Peretti’s books (This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness, and The Prophet). I have read the first two when I was a teenager. They really do open your eyes to see and understand the importance of Spiritual Warfare in our daily lives. (I am not making any money from this, I just think it’s important to know and understand).

From the back cover of the first book: “A fast-moving, riveting thriller, This Present Darkness offers a fascinating glimpse into the unseen world of spiritual warfare—and the power of prayer.”
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Recommitted–Twice Over

Weight Loss… it’s a difficult road. If you are overweight you know exactly how hard it is.

If you’re one of my usual readers you know I have struggled for years. You have read my unfinished story. The saga continues…

It has been a few months since I have worked out. I’ve become lazy and more sedentary. (not good!)  I have known just by the way I feel that I have been gaining weight and needed to do something about it. I’ve been angry with myself. I’ve felt discouraged because I hadn’t seen any results when I had been working at it after having been so sick. (My family and I had had terrible colds, lasting many weeks, thrice over the past 2 years).

For the past couple weeks I’ve sat knowing I need to change my habits and get back into my fitness routines, yet at the same time I was thinking, “What can I do? How can I change this?” Then I remembered some wise words I had spoken to others–JUST MOVE!

Yeah, I was taking my own medicine.

This week I jumped off the self-pity train, recommitted myself, and got back on the Fitness Wagon. For the past 2 days I have been kicking my own behind. Do I hurt? Oh yeah! But I’m not going to let that stop me. It’s a good pain.

This morning I did a weigh-in. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew I had to. I was shocked. I knew I had gained, but it was more than I thought I had.

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I’m glad that I made the choice to do better for myself. Not only that, I have a family that needs me too.

With all of that said, last week I recommitted my life to Christ. I had not walked away from Him, I just wasn’t as serious in my relationship with God as I used to be.

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Maybe you’ve been struggling with losing weight or to break a bad habit. Or maybe you, too, haven’t been totally committed in your relationship with God.
Don’t be dismayed. Recommit!
Smile and hold your head up high. You can do it this time! If you happen to fall along the way, get up and keep going.
You only fail if you quit.

Now I’m off to plan my workout for today.
Much love and God bless you. ❤

Ask Seek Knock

The past few days have been mentally and emotionally hard on me.
I have been dealing with negative thoughts & emotions–yes, that happens on occasion with me. I have had bouts with depression which sometimes comes and goes in cycles. I have yet to pin point the exact cause, but trust me I’m working on it.

Well, after being mad, upset, and acting basically a “Grizzly Bear with a root canal”, I prayed and asked the Lord to help me because I hate being/acting like that.
Within an hour of praying, my countenance changed. Yeah, I am still slightly irritated about some things, but I’m no longer acting/reacting angrily. This actually amazes me, because the “norm” is a cycle that can last a few days to a couple of weeks before I break out of it.

Why am I posting this, you may be asking?

First, I want to encourage those who go through similar things. Depression and/or other emotional things are not fun to deal with.

Second, I believe in the power of prayer. And I believe we have entered a time where prayers will be answered swiftly. (They certainly were today).

And last, but certainly not least, I want to say THANK YOU–I know there are prayer warriors out there that pray for me and my family.

No matter where you are in life, no matter how you feel, the Good Lord knows and is there to help you through–He’s only a whisper away. You only need to ask.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil (sinful), know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV

Love & God bless

Judge Not: The one big lie that is destroying America

We’ve all heard it, and many of us have probably used it at one time or another.

Judge Not!

Really? Do you know the full passage of that scripture?

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’, and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, AND THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5

This passage clearly says that a person, after turning from his/her sin, can help others–by showing them the error of their ways, as to bring repentance. However, we cannot judge the heart, that’s God’s job.

We must be careful in how we approach it as well. Many forget and use a critical tone and point fingers forgetting that they, too, have sinned.

Jesus is our example. Jesus loves everyone. We should be walking in his footsteps–walk in love.

Do you realize how many [more] souls could be won for the Kingdom, if people were more compassionate and loving? It’s OK to want to help people, but we must do so in love.

Judge Not: The one big lie that is destroying America.

Excerpt:

It has been said that the most frequently quoted Bible verse is no longer John 3:16 but Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” We cannot glibly quote this, though, without understanding what Jesus meant. When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn’t at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people “pigs” and “dogs” (Matt 7:6) and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15). … What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of superiority. Jesus commanded us to examine ourselves first for the problems we so easily see in others. Only then can we help remove the speck in another’s eye – which, incidentally, assumes that a problem exists and must be confronted.”

Forgive & Love

“Out of suffering come the strongest souls. God’s wounded often make his best soldiers.”
-Unknown

 

There may be times in our lives when we face undesirable circumstances, tragic events, or maybe a bully or two.
Our first reaction is usually to get angry, especially if it involves getting hurt by other people. We may be angry for a long time, but we can’t let that anger turn into bitterness or worse, hatred.

Below is a link to an amazing story about a woman who faced horrendous things in her life. Even though she faced life threatening circumstances and was mistreated by those around her, she still found a way to love people anyway.
Talk about grace and a great example of how we all should live.

Always Forgive and choose to Walk in Love

 

God’s Wounded

”Elfriede “Marie” Jakob and I crossed paths over three years ago, when I spent a few weeks in Berlin…”

[A Devotional] Let God Handle Your Baggage

This month I have chosen a second devotional to read through on the Bible app. It’s called: “Fathers and Mothers: Devotions from Time of Grace”
Today’s Devotional, I thought, was really good and felt it needed to be shared. And really it’s not just for parents.

“Laying a Foundation: Let God handle your baggage”
Author Unknown

I love people-watching at airports.
A common sight is a small person dragging a huge load of baggage piled up higher than he or she is tall. Does that sound like your life? Dragging a pile of fear, guilt, failure, and messes that are taller than you?

The Bible’s many human stories teach us the dirty secret of life–we’re all messes.
What about the people who don’t look like they have problems?
Well, maybe they just hide it better.

Can you imagine how long the list would be if we inventoried all our regrets and failures?
Maybe you’re burdened by maxed-out credit cards.
Are you bleeding over the ripping apart of your family?
Have your children made such bad choices that you feel like a failure?
Or possibly does everything seem overwhelming?
You force yourself to put on a happy face, but you are barely holding things together.

Maybe God has allowed your messes to pile up to the point where you are ready to let Him be your baggage handler. Behind all of our troubles is sin. Sin makes us fear that God won’t help us, or worse, that He will just get angrier and pile on the punishment.
Here are some sweet words from the apostle John: “I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of Jesus’ name” (1 John 2:12).

If God forgives you, you can forgive yourself. If God likes you, you can like yourself again. If God will reveal the way out of your problems in His time, you can wait in peace.
Baggage? What baggage?

[My Journey] From Hell to Healing (Part 2)

I remember it as if it just happened yesterday…

~May 2003~

I boarded the bus and found a seat away from the other passengers. I didn’t want to be seen or spoken to. I wore a hat or maybe a hood to keep my face hidden from the pain and the tears.

It was a long, 3 day journey home. There were many times I broke down in tears. I felt broken, empty, numb, angry, and yet somewhat happy.

I had heard before that divorce is an unexplainable pain.
It isn’t. It’s very explainable if you’ve experienced it.

The Bible says,  “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. The two shall become ONE FLESH.”
(Genesis 2:24;   Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7; Ephesians 5:31)

Merriam-Webster should define it as this:
DIVORCE–the tearing away of two hearts, two lives, leaving open, gaping wounds to the very soul.

I physically felt like I was being torn apart from the inside out.

I will admit reading the Bible was something I didn’t really FEEL like doing, but I kept my Bible close by my side and read it often on the way home. I also read it a lot after arriving home.
I could have easily been mad at God and blamed Him for not changing my ex-husband and saving our marriage. But instead I knew that I needed God more than ever if I was to get through this and heal.

I started going to church but avoided any emotional and physical contact with people, even my own parents. I didn’t want anyone to hug me. I felt worthless and unloveable. And I knew that I would never find love again, or if I did it would have a less than happy ending and not last long.

A few weeks after being home and going to church, it was announced one Sunday morning that “Cleansing Classes” would be starting toward the end of summer and a sign-up sheet was put up. I wanted to go, it sounded like something I really needed. However, I was not working, had no money and there was a book for purchase for the class. As it turned out, I was supposed to go through those classes; someone got the book for me.

I was still very hurt and broken. I seemed unable to function in a normal way towards other people. I had been so hurt that I forgot how to love. I avoided it at all costs and got angry when anyone would attempt to show me love or affection. Whenever someone told me they loved me, I rolled my eyes and said, “No you don’t!”
I couldn’t even be in a room with a lot of people or where there was a lot of conversation going on; it would give me headaches.

~Fall of 2003~

My dad and I were talking while doing yard-work one afternoon and he went to hug me before going inside for dinner. Instantly I got angry and started screaming at him and I threatened to hurt him. That wasn’t like me at all.

What the hell was happening to me?

No. It was what HAD happened to me.
I was a broken, wounded soul that needed Divine intervention.

God please help me!

While going through those classes, although they didn’t fix me as I supposed they would, they opened the door to start my healing. A few long months later I was doing better. I was able to accept love and affectionate without reacting negatively or pushing away. God had done something in me, and no one can tell me any differently.

Several months later I met my now husband. We married about 2 years later.
(We just recently celebrated our 10th Anniversary)

I have to say that I am not totally healed yet. I am not the people person that I used to be, and I still keep mostly to myself; more introverted when it comes to social gatherings. I always stay near my husband and/or kids.

With that said, I know that God is faithful and He will continue the good work that He has started in me. Amen!