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Posts tagged ‘Spiritual warfare’

The Most-Read Bible Study Articles of 2013 .


In 2013, we featured more Bible study articles, blog posts, and videos than ever before to help you dive into Scripture. So, what made the cut as the most-used resources? We’ll count them down:

Bible Study Articles

5. How God Uses Stress for Our Good and His Glory

Ever been to a football game at half time when the band forms words or pictures in the middle of the field? They look great from up in the stands. But have you thought about what they look like from the sidelines? Pointless, confusing, apparently meaningless. We see life from the sidelines. God sees it from the stands. As we gain perspective, we leave the sidelines and start working our way up.

4. What Is Heaven Like?

With that as background, I turn now to consider some of the most frequently-asked questions about heaven. But before I jump in, I should make one preliminary point. The only things we can know for certain about heaven are the things revealed in the Bible. Everything else is just speculation and hearsay. The Bible tells us everything we need to know and I believe it also tells us everything we can know for certain about heaven.

3. 10 Essential Truths about Christian Giving

Very often, people ask or wonder “what are the basic biblical principles for Christian giving?” As we seek God’s answer to that question and as we contemplate our own giving to the Lord’s church in response to the clear teaching of His Word, perhaps it would be wise and helpful to review those principles here.

2. Five Steps to Peace in a Really Bad Situation

We can see what God was up to in part, and we get a measure of peace from that. But how can we get peace if we’re headed into or in the midst of a crisis? God tells us how to do just that in Philippians 4:4.

1. Spiritual Warfare: Understanding the Battle

In warfare, battles are fought on different fronts, for different reasons, and with varying degrees of intensity. The same is true in spiritual warfare. Our spiritual battles are real, even though we cannot physically see the attacker. But, we can educate ourselves on how the battles are fought and how they impact our lives on a daily basis.

Blog Posts

5. Just Keep Sowing

What is the point of it all? Why should you keep investing yourself in a person when you are seeing zero fruit? Why should you keep working on a relationship that just doesn’t seem to be working?

4. Self-Deception

Have you ever noticed how many times and how many ways the Bible warns of being deceived? By clear admonition as well as by graphic example God repeatedly calls us to be on our guard against believing lies.

3. The Dangers of Prosperity

We often think of the unique challenges and opportunities that facing lack/need presents. In those situations we are faced with the choice of trusting God for provision, or grumbling as the Israelites in the wilderness did (cf. Exod 16–17). But less frequently recognized are the dangers that abundance/prosperity brings. There are at least four that come to mind…

2. Four Words That Change Every Situation

Have you ever had one of those, “Woah, wait a minute!” times when reading the Bible? You’re slowly meandering your way through a chapter, trying to clear your sleep-fogged head, when suddenly a verse jumps out and slaps you in the face. I had one of those moments this morning.

1. 5 Principles of Making Disciples and Enabling Spiritual Growth

Spiritual growth of believers should be the goal of any church. We are to reach unbelievers and introduce them to Christ, but the end goal according to the command of Jesus is making disciples.

Videos

3. Why Does James 2:17 Tell Us that Faith Without Works Is Dead?

2. Jonah and the Whale: Real or Symbolic?

1. Who Was Melchizedek and What Is His Significance (Genesis 14:17-24; Hebrews 5:10, 7:1)?

We thank you again for making 2013 such a great year for studying God’s Word!

Inside BST

What Satan Doesn’t Want You to Know About Spiritual Warfare.


Satanic pride
(Stock.xchg)

When God called Jeremiah as a prophet to the nations, it came with a sixfold prophetic-apostolic mandate to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant. A humble Jeremiah accepted the calling and, despite the spiritual warfare that raged against him, he walked in obedience and fulfilled his mission in God.

Prophets or not, God’s people are still called to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant. We don’t engage in physical battles, but we wrestle “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12, NKJV). We have spiritual weapons for offense and defense, including the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit and prayer (vv. 14-18).

As Paul said, “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor. 10:3-6, KJV).

3 Things Satan Doesn’t Want You to Know 
First, Satan doesn’t want you to know that you have the authority in Christ to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant. Or, as Paul describes it, pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Second, Satan doesn’t want you to know that you are wrestling against persons without bodies that are launching fiery, faith-stealing darts against your mind in the form of thoughts contrary to God’s Word.

However, most savvy Christians understand their authority in Christ and realize they are in a battle that’s targeting their minds. Yet there’s still one thing Satan doesn’t want you to know about spiritual warfare: You can’t effectively pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations and bring every thought into captivity without casting down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God in your own mind. Consider the Amplified Bible’s version of 2 Corinthians 10:3-6:

“For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), being in readiness to punish every [insubordinate for his] disobedience, when your own submission and obedience [as a church] are fully secured and complete.”

Casting Down Your Proud Thoughts
We all know we can’t battle Satan in the flesh, yet the temptation is to rely on the flesh in warfare in subtle ways. As I’ve noted in the past, in an article entitled “You’re Resisting the Devil, So Why Won’t He Flee?” we can take pride in our spiritual warfare skills. But it’s not just pride in our warfare skills that can hinder our effectiveness in destroying strongholds. It’s pride in any area of our life.

Of course, we all have a measure of pride in our carnal nature. But when the Holy Spirit is dealing with us about pride in some area—or when we see our own pride and don’t cry out for the grace of humility—we’re walking in sheer disobedience. The Bible says we are to have a “readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled (2 Cor. 10:6, KJV). I believe the more we seek to walk in obedience to the Word of God, the more effective we’ll be in spiritual warfare.

So we return once again to the admonition of James: “He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:6-8, NKJV).

In our flesh, we’re no match for the devil. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to back up our authority in Christ to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build and plant. We can’t drive demons into obedience to the Word of God when we’re blatantly disobeying the Word of God in any area, whether it’s walking in pride or some other sin.

Before you engage in spiritual warfare, examine your heart, and take the time to break agreement with the enemy, repent before God and ask for His guidance. It could be that you’ve opened the door to the spiritual enemies that are attacking you and that simply renouncing agreement with them will stop the attack. In any case, we should enter spiritual warfare with confidence but not arrogance. We can be confident that God will lead us into triumph over our enemies if we lean and depend on Him and not on carnal weapons or pride. Amen.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Spiritual War, Spiritual Battlefield.


Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir … and they were defeated.
2 Chronicles 20:22

Recommended Reading
Ephesians 6:10-20 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%206:10-20&version=NKJV )

When enemies of Judah came against her, King Jehoshaphat called the people to fast and pray. And he led the prayers, beginning with praise: “O Lord God of our fathers, … do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations … ?” (2 Chronicles 20:5-6) He went on with further praise before making a simple request: “O our God, will You not judge them?” (verse 12a) And he concluded: “Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes  are  upon You” (verse 12b).

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

There is only one being who would motivate a massive attack on the people of God: Satan (1 John 5:19). Regardless of what Jehoshaphat knew about spiritual warfare, he did the right thing. Instead of looking at the enemy, he put his eyes on God: “Our eyes are upon You.” The majority of his prayer was spent in praise to God, a minority in requests (Matthew 6:8). When Paul concluded his instructions on spiritual warfare, he said to pray “with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18).

Spiritual warfare is won in the spiritual realm — and begins with prayers of physical praise.

Let earth and heaven combine, angels and men agree, to praise in songs divine the incarnate Deity.
Charles Wesley

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Acts 22-23

By David Jeremiah.

Spiritual Warriors, You Really Don’t Need to Scream at the Devil.


frustrated
How should you engage in spiritual warfare? (Stock.xchng)

Have you ever been so frustrated with your kids that you raised your voice in frustration? Have you ever yelled and screamed because you were just plain worn out after a hard day of work and fed up with the kids not submitting to your God-given authority?

Parenting experts say screaming at your kids is one of the worst parenting mistakes you can make for several reasons. First, when you resort to yelling, you’ve just demonstrated your lack of self-control—and you lose your power by losing control. Second, the kids usually tune you out when you yell. Third, children often grow more hostile toward you as you holler threats at them that you may or may not be willing or able to carry out.

Ultimately, when you scream at your kids, they lose a measure of respect for you because you’re not confident enough in your authority to handle an attack on that authority without fleshing out.

Now let’s translate that into spiritual warfare. Some spiritual warriors seem to equate volume with power. They scream at the devil as if he’s deaf, but the devil’s not deaf, and screaming doesn’t convince him to bow. When results elude them, some spiritual warriors grow louder and begin to moan and groan and make threats against the enemy they don’t have the authority to enforce.

Jesus Didn’t Scream at the Devil

I am not against fervent spiritual warfare prayer—or even getting loud. What I’m after here is the yelling that comes from frustration or just out of a wrong mindset that louder is more powerful. One of my mentors once said spiritual warfare skills aren’t taught, they are caught. There is some truth to that. I believe some spiritual warriors scream and holler and make threats against the devil because that’s what they have seen modeled. But that’s not what the Bible models. That’s now how Jesus did it.

I’ve searched diligently, but I can’t find any passage that shows Jesus losing His voice because He screamed and hollered at the devil for so long. When Satan confronted Jesus in the wilderness with all manner of temptation, Jesus simply wielded the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). The Bible indicates that “Jesus said, ‘It is written …’” (Matt. 4:4-10, emphasis added)—not that Jesus yelled, Jesus hollered, Jesus screamed or Jesus shouted in frustration. Jesus said God’s Word and let the Word cut through Satan’s lies.

Likewise, when Jesus cast out devils, He didn’t scream at them. It was the demons, rather, who were screaming. When Jesus cast out the demons from the two men in the Gadarenes, He simply said, “Go!” (Matt. 8:32). When Jesus cast out a demon in the synagogue, He calmly said, “Be quiet, and come out of Him!” (Luke 4:35). And when Jesus cast the demon out of the epileptic boy, He just rebuked the demon and it took off (Matt. 17:18).

We Don’t Need to Scream at the Devil

So, Jesus didn’t have to scream at the devil—and neither do we. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled “You’re Resisting the Devil, So Why Won’t He Flee?” It’s easy enough to get frustrated with the enemy when it seems like you’ve done everything you know to do and he just keeps attacking. It’s tempting to scream at the devil and make idle threats, just like some parents do with their disobedient kids. But, my friends, I’ve tried it, and I can tell you the devil doesn’t respond to it any better than your kids do. He probably just laughs at us as we strain our vocal chords.

We don’t need to scream at the devil—and more volume doesn’t equal more power. We just need to stand in our authority in Christ. That means, first, understanding our authority in Christ. Remember when the 70 returned with joy and told Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name” (Luke 10:17)? Obviously, they just experienced victory in spiritual warfare. But I assure you we have the victory in spiritual warfare whether we see it with our physical eyes or not.

So when we exercise our Christ-given authority, we should immediately rejoice whether we see the devil flee or not. In other words, when we engage in spiritual warfare, we should act as if we believe we have the victory rather than screaming louder because nothing appears to have changed. When we continue screaming, hollering and yelling at the devil, it merely demonstrates our lack of faith in our authority. We’re putting our faith in our ability to shout loud enough to intimidate the devil. The devil is not intimated by us, but he will bow to the name of Jesus.

So as you engage in spiritual warfare, don’t resort to yelling. Don’t get frustrated and abandon the fruit of self-control. Don’t start acting like the devil! Remember what Jesus said and rejoice: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). Amen.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

JENNIFER LECLAIRE

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

{ Day 269 }.


I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. —Psalm 34:1-3

Committing our spirits into God‘s hands is an act of aggressive spiritual warfare, not passive indifference. David did it to bring God into his conflicts. He wasn’t kicking back and saying, “Whatever happens, happens; I really don’t care, Lord.” No, he was using a spiritual tactic to bring God into the situation of his personal injustice. He engaged in this kind of spiritual warfare from his youth to the end of his life. When he entrusted a specific situation to God, there was a reaction and a release in the spirit realm. God moved on David’s behalf. David became a model of how God settles the score when we war according to His way. One key characteristic in David’s life was the way he processed pain, mistreatment, disappointment, and injustice, a process recorded so richly in the Book of Psalms. He learned to war in the spirit by giving up his right to revenge. Other men and women of God such as Daniel, Joseph, and the patriarchs of old operated in this principle as well.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Help me to recognize that committing my spirit to You is spiritual warfare. Teach me to be an aggressive spiritual warrior, entrusting You with every moment of my life. You are the defender of my faith, and I place my hope and trust in You alone.

The Lord beckons us to enter His heart
and leave the agenda of justice to Him.

By MIKE BICKLE.

How to Prophetically Lay Siege to a City.


cindyjacobs
Cindy Jacobs
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Ps. 24:1, NIV).
This powerful proclamation points to the lordship of Christ over the entire earth. In the light of Psalm 24:1, the searching question we ask ourselves is, “Has the lordship of Christ been realized in the life of my own city?”
To know the answer, it is necessary to read our city and its culture in the light of God’s Word. We need to not only read God’s Word, but to view our city in the light of God‘s world. For some, this may be a new concept. Most of us are more used to studying the Word of God for use in our personal lives—and so we should. However, God’s Word extends to the whole world. The earth is the Lord’s.
What Has Happened to God’s World?
Frankly, as we examine the cities in which we live, many would have to say, “Truthfully, there is a lot about my city that is not godly.” As more Christians throughout the world have come to realize the spiritual condition of their cities, the church is experiencing an awakening concerning our responsibility to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done,” not only in the life of the church but in the life of our cities.
What has happened to God’s world? The Bible states that Satan has declared himself the “god of this world.” Satan has effectively built strongholds around our cities and the people groups of the world. He is holding captive billions of souls who will spend an eternity in hell if we do not learn how to storm the gates of hell on their behalf.
As we minister to leaders across the nations, we find many who are suffering intense discouragement. Often the labor in the harvest fields has been so long that strongholds have been built in their minds concerning their situation and city. They begin to wonder if their city can ever be taken for the kingdom of God. Will they ever see revival come?
Ed Silvoso describes this kind of mental stronghold as “a mindset impregnated with hopelessness that causes the believer to accept as unchangeable something that he/she knows is contrary to the will of God.” He also shares that many have simply been prisoners of war in their own churches. Satan doesn’t mind if they have a few visitors and a little bread and water but gets greatly disturbed if they talk about evangelizing their whole city.
Ezekiel 4: A Prophetic Pattern
The army of God is on the move and ready for battle strategy. A new breed of watchmen is emerging across the nations. This breed is ready to lay siege to its cities.
Ezekiel 4 gives a prophetic pattern for establishing the lordship of Christ in your area. Ezekiel was called of God to perform an intercessory act over the city of Jerusalem, much like Joshua when he was called to march around Jericho. Ezekiel’s prophetic intercession provides a model—with principles found throughout the Word of God—on how to intercede for a city against spiritual strongholds.
Elijah Lists Prophetic Resources
As you read Ezekiel 4, you will find these principles, which can help you develop a strategy to discover Satan’s strongholds in your area:
1. Make a Map
 
“Now, son of man, take a block of clay, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it” (Ezek. 4:1).
God desires to reveal strongholds to His intercessors concerning their area. Ezekiel was told to make a map. This concept, called “spiritual mapping,” has been largely uncovered by recent pioneers in spiritual warfare such as George Otis Jr. Otis says we need to strive to see our cities and our nations as they really are, not as they appear to be.
From historical study, Ezekiel most likely made cylindrical maps, which were placed at the corner of temples depicting not only the geography but the history of the kings and nations. Ezekiel did warfare over the iniquities of the generations using these maps of history. In other words (either by natural knowledge or revelation from God), he researched the strongholds in Jerusalem and mapped them out.
2. Set an Intercessory Strategy
 
“Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it” (v. 2).
The spiritual mapping of a city can be used to develop a strategic plan to tear down the strongholds of the enemy. Ezekiel was instructed in verse 2 to “lay siege walls” against the city. These were movable watchtowers that were placed near the walls or strongholds of the enemy to spy out, research and weaken the besieged stronghold.
Watchmen were placed in these towers to give information for strategy. These watchmen harassed the enemy from a high place that was purposely built for war. The Lord has placed His watchmen throughout the world whom He has anointed to spy out, research and harass the enemy through intercession.
3. Implement the Strategy
God told Ezekiel to build a ramp or earthen mound against the walls. He was also told to build camps and lay battering rams against it (v. 2). Today this is accomplished through unity in prayer with pastors and leaders, prayer in local churches and the formation of “camps” of prayer groups for the city. These groups pray the prayers that are the “battering rams” against the gates of hell in the city.
4. Build a Wall of Protection
“Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel” (v. 3).
Ezekiel was instructed to take an iron pan and place it as a wall. This wall offered protection against the fiery darts of the enemy from the besieged stronghold. We can build a wall by claiming the protection of God in our lives (Ps. 91). To withstand Satan’s counterattack, we need to keep these walls in a state of repair through personal holiness and right relationships with God and man.
It’s the release of Satan’s captives. It’s the evangelization of the world. As we lift up the cross of Christ and tear down Satan’s standards, surely the power of the blood of the Lamb will heal our lands and draw all men to His lovely name.
Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE.
Cindy Jacobs is a respected prophet who travels the world ministering not only to crowds of people but to heads of nations. Her first calling is and always will be prophetic intercession. Each year, she travels and has spoken on nearly every inhabited continent to tens of thousands. Yet in her heart is the memory that Jesus left the ninety-and-nine to go to the one. Generals International is an international church movement, reforming the nations of the world back to a biblical worldview. It achieves societal transformation through intercession and the prophetic. Jacobs has authored seven books and loves to travel and speak, but one of her favorite pastimes is spending time with her husband, Mike, and their children, Daniel and Mary Madison, along with her five adorable grandchildren.

When the Prophetic Word Brings Spiritual Warfare.


armor of God
(istockphoto.com/Massonstock )

When I was young in the Lord, I always hoped the pastor would have a prophetic word for me in the prayer line or that the visiting prophet would call me out of the congregation and prophesy over me. Now, I’m not so eager for that next prophetic word.

As I matured and learned how to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit for myself, I realized I didn’t need a prophet to tell me—and announce to the principalities and powers—what the Lord’s next step was for my life. And as I matured, I also noticed a pattern: Prophetic words bring spiritual warfare.

Think about it for a minute. A prophetic word is God announcing His specific will for you. The words of edification, exhortation or comfort don’t tend to stir up many devils, but directional prophecies or revelatory words about assignments, callings or destinies, in my experience, give the enemy a new agenda.

In other words, once the enemy has prophetic intelligence on where God wants to take you he’ll be sure to set up snares along your path to getting there—whether that’s a Judas to betray you, a sickness to slow you down, financial distress to freak you out, relationship woes, or just plain stressful situations that cause you to forget all about the prophecy and put out your personal fires.

Facing Your Goliath
This is scriptural. Two examples that come to mind are David and Joseph. David was the prophesied king, anointed by Samuel in the midst of his brothers (see 1 Sam. 16:13). But David went through hell and back before the prophetic act became a reality. In fact, he was almost immediately taken from his home and assigned to become the then-King Saul’s armor-bearer. In the next breath, he was facing the battle of all battles with the giant Goliath.

You know the story. When David defeated Goliath against all natural odds, Saul became jealous and tried to kill him. David ended up fleeing into the wilderness and ran into all sorts of dangers along the way as Saul’s army pursued him. His wives were captured. His men turned against him. David’s psalms reveal the emotions of a man facing warfare to see his prophetic destiny become a reality.

Then there’s Joseph. He had two prophetic dreams as a teenager. Both dreams essentially indicated that he would rule over his older brothers. When they found out, the warfare began. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery. He was falsely accused of trying to trying to rape Potiphar’s wife. And he was thrown into prison.

Prepare for War
Yes, when you receive a true prophetic word from God it brings spiritual warfare. You probably won’t be chased through the wilderness by a jealous king, but you may be chased out of your church by a jealous pastor. You may not be sold into slavery, but you may be betrayed by those closest to you. You may not be falsely accused of rape, but you may be falsely accused of something. You may not be thrown into prison, but you may be thrown out of your comfort zone.

Spiritual warfare comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s disobedient children who get into trouble because they lost their way. Nothing hurts worse than seeing a child go astray. Sometimes it’s the sickness of financial pressures I mentioned before. Sometimes it’s a raging battle in your mind that causes you to bite down on the enemy’s bait, whether that’s burnout, depression, confusion or something else.

Some years ago I received a prophetic word from Dino Kartsonakis, the late Kathryn Kuhlman’s piano player. I have long been an admirer of Kuhlman’s ministry so this was really cool. Kartsonakis’ word wasn’t ultra specific, but it was nonetheless a prophetic announcement. Some weeks later, I was on the phone with Doug Stringer, who released a prophetic prayer over me along the same lines.

That’s always exciting, but it brought tremendous warfare. I spent the next 18 months battling a nasty controlling religious spirit that targeted my life and ministry for destruction. Through other circumstances, my daughter also fell into life-and-death danger as the enemy worked in her midst. One of my best friends was almost killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. And the list goes on and on. The warfare was intense, but now I am beginning to see the first fruits of those two prophecies delivered years ago.

Enduring the Spiritual Battle
How did I get through it? God’s grace, of course, but I also took Paul the apostle’s advice to Timothy: I waged war with the prophetic words. Paul said, “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare” (1 Tim. 1:18). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles.”

What does that practically mean? It means I continued to declare the prophetic word over my life. Although a prophetic word is not on par with Scripture, a prophecy that’s been judged true can be used as a sword in the spiritual realm to do battle against the enemy’s assignment. After all, the enemy doesn’t really care about you. He hates you, yes, but ultimately he just doesn’t want the prophetic word to come to pass because when it does God’s will comes to the earth.

If you are in a season of waiting and warring, hold on. Remember, it was at least 15 years between David’s prophetic anointing and David’s kingship. And it was about 13 years in between Joseph’s dream and his promotion to Egypt’s prime minister. Chances are, it won’t take that long for you to see the first fruits of those powerful prophetic words spoken over your life. But even if it does, don’t give in to the enemy’s strategies. Remember that this is the Lord’s battle. Declare the prophetic word over your life and keep fighting the good fight of faith. Amen.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE, PROPHETIC INSIGHT

JENNIFER LECLAIRE

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website hereYou can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Understanding Spiritual Warfare.


Devil

One of the most misunderstood subjects in the whole of Christian theology and teaching is the subject of spiritual warfare. Oftentimes when topics like this are discussed, well, it can have a tendency to get a little weird. People can get strange, leaders can get strange and church gatherings can get strange. So then, many times, rather than taking these important topics head-on, Bible preachers and teachers will avoid them all together.

When this occurs, we do great harm to those within the body of Christ who desperately need to be empowered, impacted and prepared for spiritual battle. Hell’s spells are in full effect when the church ignores the reality of spiritual warfare. We will never win a war we refuse to acknowledge.

There is no need to sensationalize spiritual warfare, because it’s already sensational! The fact that there is a world that exists beyond this world is sensational, don’t you think? A world in the spirit realm that is every bit as real as the world you and I live in and understand right now? A world filled with angels, demons, a devil, and an almighty God? That’s amazing!

What I have often seen in many Christian circles, however, are manipulations and misunderstandings as it relates to this subject. I have witnessed this teaching sensationalized in such a way as to provoke public interest and excitement at the expense of biblical accuracy. All teaching and revelation on this subject must rest on the firm foundation of biblical truth. Anything else is inaccurate and will lead us to trouble and often to fear.

And as born-again believers, we have nothing to fear! The only way for a believer to lose in spiritual warfare is to refuse to fight. And when you finally make up your mind to fight, it’s of the utmost importance to know your foe.

The first key to victory in spiritual warfare is this: You must believe in the spirit realm. You must believe this realm is real and tangible. The spirit realm is not some made-up fairy tale that lives only in the minds of children and the superstitious, but it is real. In other words, you must believe that what you see isn’t all there is. You must believe and acknowledge that there is more.

The only way for a believer to lose in spiritual warfare is to refuse to fight.

Spiritual warfare is something that takes place every day. It is going on 24 hours a day, and it is happening whether we realize it or not. Just because we ignore something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Many people suffer from the sickness of “ostrichitus.”

They think if they act like an ostrich about things like spiritual warfare, then it’s not happening. They may stick their head in the sand and ignore it, but it’s still occurring! Are you suffering from ostrichitus?

One of the greatest and most respected voices in modern Christianity believes in spiritual warfare. Billy Graham explains the reality of spiritual warfare in his book Angels. He describes this spiritual struggle as a war that began in the heart of Lucifer himself.

There is incredible spiritual warfare that takes place with unremitting relentlessness. Wherever God is at work, satanic forces are as well. The powers of hell seek to sabotage and destroy God’s plan and agenda for every man, woman, boy, and girl on Planet Earth.

Since his fall from heaven, Lucifer has not let up. He is the master of deceit, and he and his demonic forces do all they can to enforce satanic rule.

The devil is serious about spiritual warfare, and we must be as well. Satan is more desperate, determined, and fiercer than he has ever been. As we race toward the end of the age, he sees and knows firsthand the victory of the cross of Jesus Christ. There must be no doubt, this is war. “Be vigilant; because your adversary the devil … ”  (1 Pet. 5:8).

Adversary is a warrior’s term. Satan is desperately fighting to destroy you, your destiny, your purpose and your family. But do not be overcome or dismayed. If you are a believer in Jesus, you are a winner!

You may be thinking, “Thank you for telling me this, because I surely don’t feel like a winner!” It’s kind of like the boxer who was fighting a powerful opponent. He was getting beaten up pretty badly. His nose was bloody and broken, his lips were wounded and bleeding, and his eye was swollen shut. The bell rang, and he went to his corner and his trainer said, “You’re doing great; he’s not even laying a hand on you!” The struggling boxer looked at his trainer out of his one good eye and replied, “Well, then, you better keep your eye on that referee, because somebody in there is about to beat me to death!” We have all been in that place, haven’t we? There have been times when we felt like we were losing horribly in our spiritual fight. You may be in that situation right now, but I want to encourage you. Your outcome is already in place. As you trust in the Lord, you will win—and you are winning!

Before we can grasp what spiritual warfare is, we must acknowledge what it is not. Unfortunately, in much of the church realm today, we have not gotten a clear picture of spiritual warfare. Let me make something very clear: Spiritual warfare is not shouting, screaming or hollering. It’s not raising the volume of your voice and threatening the devil. If you really have power, you can whisper and demons will tremble. I am not saying that there is one thing wrong with passion and emotion, but none of this is spiritual warfare. “While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18).

Paul declares here that there is a world that is not seen. This is a supernatural world, and in this unseen world is where spiritual warfare occurs. From the very beginning of time there has been a blurry line between the natural world and the spiritual world. At the dawn of creation, when Adam and Eve arrived in the Garden of Eden, Satan did too, and spiritual warfare began.

This struggle is called war because Satan and all of hell are in total rebellion to God. Spiritual warfare can manifest in many different ways. When we are tempted to participate in sin and unrighteous behavior, the fight is on. It occurs when we are wounded, hurt or disappointed by those we love or have confidence in. It’s a spiritual fight not to become bitter, angry and unforgiving. The enemy will orchestrate situations that are engineered to defeat us, and it can become a struggle to remain victorious, joyful and even saved!

Spiritual warfare can take place anywhere—at home, at work and even at church! Never forget: The devil has been known to go to church. Now, it’s important that you understand this truth: There is great spiritual warfare occurring at this very moment. You might be wondering if God is worried, and that answer would be a resounding no. God is in total control and is in no danger from Satan at all.

We are engaged in war, the stakes are enormous and our enemy is Satan. Our enemy is God’s enemy, and that enemy is Satan. In order for you to overcome an enemy, it is of utmost importance to know your foe. When you know your foe, you are on the path to certain victory.

Satan is not a wicked god who is the evil version of Jehovah God. He wants you to think he is, but don’t give him that kind of credit. He is not God at all; he is a fallen angel. Satan is a created being.

God, on the other hand, was never created; He is Creator. He has always been and will always be. He is all powerful and has no limitations. That’s one of the things that make Him God. In contrast, Satan is not all powerful, and he has limitations. There is tremendous advantage gained by the believer who recognizes and exploits the weaknesses of the devil.

Be confident and courageous as you gain understanding; all of heaven is on your side!

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE.


Jim Raley is the senior pastor of Calvary Christian Center in Florida. He is the author of Hell’s Spells, from which this article was excerpted.

Can We Really Blame All Our Warfare on Spirits Like Jezebel?.


spiritual warfare
(© Felixcasio | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images)

Spiritual warfare against churches that are making an impact for God can be fierce—sometimes discouraging and sometimes even deadly. I’ve known some pastors who quit and other pastors who died premature deaths in the face of the intense battle.

Yes, the spiritual warfare is all too real at times. But can we really blame spirits like Jezebel, witchcraft and religion for all our warfare? Yes, principalities and powers surely attack, but too often the leadership is willfully opening the front door to every kind of evil.

Indeed, too often the enemy has plenty of help from offended believers. Too often discernment is lacking, and the onslaughts continue unabated—or even increase as spiritual sleuths go on a witch hunt for the Jezebels, Ahabs, Absaloms or other demons that carry rock-star status in the spiritual warfareculture. And too often these religious sleuths label certain members of the congregation troublemakers and seek to shut them out when those members aren’t the problem at all.

No, I’m not exaggerating. This is a sad but true reality in some churches. I lived it.

A Badge of Honor?

I was once part of a church where we wore the “I’m under attack” label like a badge of honor. Leadership joked that even attempts to create a flyer for outreach would unleash principalities and powers against them. The not-to-subtle insinuation was that the church was such a threat to the enemy that he dispatched a host of demons to thwart its every step. This church was proud of its warfare. And it was into extremes.

Taking pride in being attacked was the first sign that something was wrong. If not that, then the constant bickering on the worship team—yes, infighting among those who were supposed to usher in the presence of God—should have been a clue. And if not that, then the literal hissy fits at staff meetings should have made it crystal clear. And if not that, the senior pastor’s habit of calling private meetings where he tore people apart with the words of his mouth should have offered a final verdict.

No, it wasn’t Jezebel targeting the church for destruction. Many had yielded to a garden variety spirit of strife. You could see this spirit of strife manifest on international outreaches and local community events alike. There was an angry undercurrent woven into the fabric of the church. Oh, how it must have grieved the Holy Spirit to see men of God belittling one another and sisters in Christ contending to have their way instead of preferring one another in honor. There was no discernment among the leadership about the true root of the warfare because the staff had grieved the One who offers the gift of discerning of spirits.

This church opened the door to the principalities and powers that were assaulting it by refusing to resist strife’s whispers. That spirit of strife stymied the growth of the church and its people, many who left complaining, “There’s no love in this church!” I dare say the spirit of strife helped lead many into deception, as they were always buffeting the air against principalities and powers but never repenting for the spiritual pride in their own hearts. They didn’t see it. They didn’t want to see it.

What Causes Strife?

Yes, the spiritual warfare is all too real at times. But too often we tap into a spirit of strife that afflicts the entire congregation. Strife spreads like wildfire. And it’s not always so obvious as bickering on the worship team, screaming in staff meetings, or behind-the-door browbeatings. You may never see these things going on if you aren’t part of the “inner circle.” Politically correct church leaders are experts at masking an angry spirit. Or maybe you do see it. And maybe you see it in your own heart.

So, what does strife look like and what causes it? Where you see power struggles and exertion of superiority, you can’t automatically blame Jezebel. Strife is the likely motivator. When you see arguing or contending over anything, it’s not always rebellion. Strife is typically lurking. When you see double standards, where one escapes correction for a major offense and another is sternly rebuked for a minor offense, strife could be at the root.

Beloved, strife is an abomination to God (Prov. 6:16-19). Strife affects the anointing and the flow of the Holy Ghost (Ps. 133:1-3). Strife grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30). Strife destroys relationships (Prov. 17:9). Strife is rooted in anger (Prov. 29:22), hatred (Prov. 10:12), pride (Prov. 13:10) and a quarrelsome, self-seeking spirit (Gal. 5:14-18; Luke 22:24-27). James put it this way:

“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3, NKJV).

It was James who also said this: “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:14-16, KJV).

Let me repeat what James wrote so you don’t miss it: Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. Strife opens the door to principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Strife opens the door to spiritual warfare.

If your church is under attack, I urge you not to have a knee-jerk reaction. Don’t go on a witch hunt forJezebel. (I talk more about this in my book, The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel.) Don’t ignore the devil, either, and certainly don’t take pride in the fact that the enemy has targeted you for attack. Instead, get on your face and worship God. Repent of anything He shows you that’s not right in your own heart. Then ask Him what the source of the warfare is. It could be Jezebel or any number of spirits coming against you. But it could be internal strife. And nothing kills the anointing faster than strife. Don’t lie against the truth. If strife is the root of your spiritual warfare, repent so you can see clearly to battle your other spiritual enemies. Amen.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

JENNIFER LECLAIRE

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website hereYou can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

A Stealth Spiritual Warfare Weapon Satan Can’t Stand.


spiritual warfare
(stockfreeimages.com)

My imagination was running wild. I couldn’t comprehend how someone who claimed to be a Christian could leave town on Christmas Eve without finishing the construction work in my home he was paid to complete a month earlier. I was literally shocked that this man, who I’d known for years, would essentially leave me living in a construction zone without any way to take a shower or cook a meal.

Over and over again, I rehearsed in my mind what I would say to this brother. I would have to wait, because he was off on a tropical island with $10,000 of my money enjoying the holiday with his family. I was planning on giving him a piece of my mind. I mentally rehearsed what I would say, imagined how he would respond, planned what I would say next, and so on.

I was seething mad. But I was also violating Scripture. The Bible tells us to cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled (2 Cor. 10:5-6).

When we meditate on the thoughts the enemy puts in our minds, we are setting ourselves up for destruction. In this case, the enemy was playing on the injustice to set me up for bitterness,resentment and unforgiveness. Thankfully, I caught on to the enemy’s plan and brought those thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ, being quick to forgive and trusting God to be my Vindicator.

Forgiveness: Your Stealth Weapon
If the weapons of our warfare are not carnal—if they are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 10:4—then forgiveness may be among your stealthiest weapon. The enemy never sees it coming. Think about it for a minute. God used forgiveness to deliver us from the enemy’s camp. All we have to do is repent and receive that forgiveness to remain free from oppression and condemnation the enemy heaps on our souls when we sin.

But there’s another side to that truth: When we walk in forgiveness toward others, the enemy cannot put us into bondage to resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness. When you look at forgiveness through this lens, it becomes a powerful weapon that keeps your heart free and clean. Indeed, obeying God’s command to forgive opens the door for God to “punish all disobedience” that caused you harm.

Forgiveness is a double-edged sword. If you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you (Matt. 6:15). Unforgiveness hinders your fellowship with God and affects your anointing. You may still command devils in the name of Jesus, but authentic spiritual authority is diluted when you fail to obey God’s command to love people. Love and unforgiveness do not flow from the same spring.

If you do not forgive, it will hinder your prayer life. Jesus said, “Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25). Spiritual warfare falls under the umbrella of prayer. How can you effectively bind devils when you yourself are bound with unforgiveness? Unforgiveness puts you at clear disadvantage on the spiritual battlefield.

Overcome Evil With Good
Spiritual warfare is more than binding devils in Jesus’ name. Spiritual warfare is forgiving those who oppose you, hurt you, or persecute you. And not only forgiving but blessing. And not only blessing but trusting God to avenge you.

In the Sermon on the MountJesus offered revelation on how to deal with people who mistreat you: “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:44). How can you apply that revelation if you aren’t willing to forgive?

Paul wrote, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:19-21).

You may not feel like forgiving. You may feel like giving that someone a piece of your mind. You may not feel like blessing your enemy. You may feel like telling the whole town what they did. You may not feel like showing kindness. You may feel like putting your wrath on display. But when you do you give the enemy a toehold, which can lead to a foothold, which can lead to a stronghold.

The weapon of forgiveness is mighty not only to pull down strongholds, but to prevent the enemy from establishing a stronghold in the first place. Indeed, forgiveness is a powerful weapon—one that is too often neglected in our binding and loosing exercises. So before you head to the battlefield, consider that the Lord is long-suffering and slow to anger, and abundant in mercy and loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression (Numbers 14:18 AMP).

The Lord is a warrior—and He never loses a battle. When you follow His lead and forgive—when you set your heart to overcome evil with good and allow God to take vengeance—you can’t lose. Amen.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including Did the Spirit of God Say That? You can email Jennifer at   jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

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