Posts Tagged ‘satan’

Ooh he/she  tried you! That was the lingo folks used growing up when somebody tested you; especially in terms of showing disrespect or pushing you to your limit. Like earlier this week between my plane landing late,  the splitting headache I had and the airline losing my luggage to boot,  I couldn’t help thinking:  man somebody is really trying me!  And I guarantee I was right. As long as you are living, breathing and existing on this earth expect to be tried.  You better believe you are going to be tested. The trial most often comes from the Enemy, but bear in mind our loving God will also test us to make us better.  The key to passing any test is preparation.  Know the material you will be tested on.   Although this list is not all inclusive, we are often tested in 4 main areas in our lives:  our strengths, weaknesses, desires and familial/generational  issues.  Let’s first look more closely at how we are tested in our strengths and weaknesses:
 
Strengths
We all have been created with unique gifts, talents and abilities. But beware!  It’s like the devil  is watching and saying:   “Oh yeah?  You think you’re so good? We will see about that.”
In the book of  Job, when Satan presented himself before God after roaming the earth afflicting mankind, God challenged Satan to test Job.  Why?  Because God could confidently say “…there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8, NKJV).   Job’s strengths:  righteousness and faithfulness toward God was what the Lord allowed Satan to attack. But as Job’s Creator, He knew how He designed Job and what Job  could handle.  As the story goes, at the Lord’s allowance Satan kills Job’s family, wipes out his possessions, inflicts him with horrible skin sores and he is ostracized from his community.  But in the end, as the Lord knew he would be, Job was faithful to God and remained righteous.  He did not curse God despite his trials and in the end God blessed him with even more than he had before he was attacked.
We have to recognize that the  same way the devil attacked Job, is the same way we may be tried in our own gifts and strengths.  For example, if you have a gift of discernment, expect the devil to send a fraud cleverly disguised  as something they are not.   If your strong point is showing mercy, someone will come that will make it difficult to show mercy to.   As a prophet,  you may be tested in how you hear and deliver the truth of God’s message.   As a teacher, a challenging student is going to try you in the teaching gift.  In any and all areas  of our gifts we  can be tested.  But rest assured that if the Lord allowed it, these challenges are designed to mature, strengthen and take us to higher levels in our talents and our abilities.  Like Job, if you allow the test to accomplish it’s purpose, you will only come out better in the end.
2) Weaknesses
Remember the devil’s ultimate goal is to kill, steal and destroy.  The best way to do that is to attack you in the areas where you are the most vulnerable and the most weak.  For example, as a person with an addictive personality, suddenly you may find yourself surrounded by opportunities to dabble with addictive substances.  If you struggle with lust, watch out for the trap sent to lure you into  dishonoring your marriage.  Is patience  your struggle?  You may have to experience some delays to beat down impatience.   With my quick temper, I’m always being tested on exercising restraint.  If I’m honest sometimes I pass; sometimes I fail.  But the key is to become stronger in those areas over time.   In cooperation with the transforming power of God’s Holy Spirit, those weaknesses will no longer be weaknesses anymore.
So yes.. the devil tests us to destroy us.  But check the flip-side with our God.   If we endure, He uses every test to sharpen us, mature us and draw us closer to Him. He makes all things, even the difficulties, work together for our good.   In our trials we are not alone.  We can always rely on His power and strength to get us through and you will never get to know God more intimately than when you are tested.   Be confident He has every answer.  With Him by your side you cannot fail.  In the next post, we will look at how how we are tested through our desires and in familial issues.  Remember in every test there is a testimony….and yet still I rise.
With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,
Stillirise323

My friend comes over to the house to visit for the first time.  Oh Lord here we go again.  My grandmother, who has no interest in trying to discreetly cover her natural dislike for the person tells me after they leave:  “Eeh eeh. Mi nuh like ar. Mi feel ar inna mi chest.” Translation:  No, no.  I don’t like her.  I feel her in my chest.  And sure enough she was always right. If my grandmother, God bless her soul, tells you she feels somebody inna di chest, pay attention. Her radar was never wrong.  What I know now, that I didn’t know back then was that my grandmother had a keen gift of discernment.  As I mentioned before, we are in this ongoing spiritual war.  Where the Enemy is relentless and the rules don’t always seem fair.  The bible says that the “weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds“(2 Cor 4:6)—meaning you can’t use natural weapons  to fight a spiritual war. You have to use supernatural weapons.  A few posts ago, you saw how the power of praise and worship can totally annihilate the devil.  Today let’s talk about that invaluable tool called discernment.

What is discernment?

Discernment is :

1) The act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/discernment)

2) (in Christian contexts) perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding (http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/discernment)

3) : the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discernment)

Discernment is to discover

I love how one source puts it.  In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong (http://www.gty.org/Resources/Questions/QA1382)).  It is such a vital weapon in spiritual warfare, because it ultimately leads to the truth. It is wisdom and insight to perceive something beyond the surface.  Something not readily apparent or obvious at first glance. It can be a concept, a situation and more importantly people.  Even for those who are not Christian, it seems God has gifted most everyone with some natural sense of discernment.  I am sure at one time or another you may have had a bad feeling about going a particular place or even when confronted with a particular situation.  One example I came across for instance would be a car salesman trying to sell you a seemingly good car deal, but despite how great it sounds you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right.  You can’t shake that feeling that it’s a scam, a sham, a rip-off.  Your intuition for the not so obvious lie is discernment.

Discernment can be sharpened by knowledge gained from past experiences or through study of insightful resources like the bible, textbooks, articles, etc. Let’s say for example your initial encounter with a coworker leaves you feeling uneasy for no apparent reason. The conversation was pleasant enough but in plain terms, you know something ain’t right. With time you notice mood swings, paranoia and her need to always be in control.  The initial meeting—you discern something is wrong although you can’t say specifically what. But based on subtle characteristics, your prior experience with people with similar behavior patterns and previous knowledge from school and reading, you have further discerned that she has bipolar disease.  So you can see discernment brings truth on a very basic or much deeper levels.  It is something that takes on many dimensions.

Discernment Exposes Demons

Different from natural discernment above, the bible speaks of the spiritual gift of “discerning of spirits” (1 Cor. 12:10).  That is literally a gift given by God, through the power of the Holy Spirit to specifically discern spirits of other people.   Discerning of spirits is  one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, meaning this can only be done by God’s Holy Spirit.  It is not something you earn or learn.   God gives this gift to anyone and at anytime he chooses, although people  seem to possess it in different degrees. To make an assessment, people with this gift don’t even have to hear the other  person speak.  The Holy Spirit in them will automatically recognize the beauty of the Holy Spirit in someone else or the not so pleasant presence of demonic spirits in/around other individuals.  There is no stronger spiritual radar than the Holy Spirit.

Discernment Disrupts and Disarms the enemy

You can imagine how the devil is not a fan of discernment.  Remember Satan is the father of lies and deception is one of his main modes of attack against us.  Giving the appearance of truth and good, to ensnare us and lead us to destruction. It is discernment that helps to discriminate between genuine folks and counterfeits, good intentions and bad intentions, real or fraud.  Recognizing the lie of the enemy, especially at the onset can save a lot of headache, heartache and ultimately frustrate the devastation the devil tries to bring to our lives.

Discernment is not unfair discrimination

Now be careful.  Notice the second definition says it is perception in the absence of judgment (condemnation or irrational disapproval).  I heard a preacher once say a lot of people who claim to be using discernment are really just wrongly judging other people. In other words, discernment is not seeing someone in shabby clothes and from their appearance drawing the conclusion that they are a thief. Or seeing a woman in a tight, short dress and from that you “discern” that she is loose or lives a sexually immoral life. That would be judging based on appearance only and not based on the leading of the Spirit and taking all factors into account.  The bible encourages us, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment (John 7:24, ESV). True discernment is not prejudiced.

Discernment Delineates God’s voice 

When God speaks in most cases it’s not really an audible voice. He may speak through your thoughts, a feeling or idea he puts in your spirit, other people, etc.   And with the conflict of our own thoughts and the devil constantly trying to send messages to confound us, discernment is invaluable in distinguishing  God’s voice from every competing voice.  The bible warns us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world”( 1 John 4:1, ESV).   Tap into discernment to expose every lie of the enemy and get complete clarity regarding God’s guidance, direction and will for your life.

Discernment is one of those things that gets sharper with practice (Hebrews 5:14)  Are you assessing every situation, every  interaction and every voice you encounter with Godly discernment? Remember discernment brings devastation and destruction to the enemy.  Determined to be victorious……and yet still I rise

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

stillirise323

“So I say fire! Ready, Aim Fire… These are the words to the chorus of Mali Music’s latest single Ready, Aim.  It was no coincidence I heard it for the first time 3 days ago when he performed on the season finale of the gospel talent show Sunday’s Best. The song uses creative metaphors to describe how we are attacked in spiritual warfare.  Yet he boldly proclaims to the Enemy fire all you want– you can’t stop me now and you can’t hold me down.  It’s one of those songs that motivates you to push onward and fight; I was so amped when I saw that epic performance.  A definite confirmation of what the Lord keeps telling me to write.  As I mentioned before, we are in this ongoing spiritual war.  Where the Enemy is relentless and it seems the rules are not always fair.  Where casualties are many and the endpoint of souls being sent to eternal damnation is at stake. Where the lines can easily get blurred between friend or foe.  In this kind of war you have to have the right weapons. Your artillery is instrumental in determining victory or defeat.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that ordinary weapons will help in this war.  Semi-automatics, grenades and missiles won’t cut it here.

The bible says that the “weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds”(2 Cor 4:6)—meaning you can’t use natural weapons or weapons of the human flesh to fight a spiritual war.  Remember the spiritual realm and the things of it are not apparent with the naked eye.  So to be victorious in this war, you have to fight with supernatural spiritual weapons.  And these weapons are not things you can pick up in a store, get off of a shelf or go borrow from your neighbor. These weapons are not in stock at your nearest army or naval base.  Being able to throw hands in the street won’t make you a winner in spiritual warfare.  Most of these weapons are supplied by our leader, Almighty God and requires your effort, cooperation and your complete collaboration with our Commander.   See many people mistakenly think they can just sit back, let God do all the fighting and we don’t have to lift a finger.  But God requires that we work in conjunction with Him to navigate this war and through this life.  Not because He needs anything from us or we add to His power or splendor.  You cannot add or take anything away from God.   God is absolutely perfect and complete in and of Himself.  Yet God works through and collaborates with us simply because He chooses to.   And in accepting to war with God against the devil, we grow into a more intimate relationship with Him, we grow and  mature spiritually, God demonstrates His power through us and He is glorified.

So what are the tools that give us a fighting chance to be victorious against the enemy?  Over the next several posts I will write about the weapons, in no particular order, readily available to us to win this war.  These weapons include :

Praise and Worship

Prayer

Discernment

Blood of Jesus

The Name of Jesus

Spiritual Armor

Love

Power of Your Words

Holy Spirit

First up for discussion:  Praise and Worship

 To praise  in verb form is :  To express warm approval or admiration of; applaud; pay tribute; rave about.  Every one loves a compliment right?  If you think of it that way, God is no different.  Praise is simply complimenting God.  So speaking words of love or admiration, singing, dancing, clapping/ waving or just lifting your hands in surrender and acknowledgment to God with a heart of approval and admiration just for who He is, would be considered praise.  It is in praise that we tell God of the wonderful attributes that we recognize in Him and are thankful for. When you praise God commend Him on His goodness, His faithfulness, His stable unchanging nature, His beauty, His Holiness, etc, etc,—you could go on and on.  Thank Him for what He has done, is doing and will do in the future. Even simply saying Hallelujah, which in Hebrew means “praise ye the Lord” is a powerful way to exalt God.  You know what is great about praise? You don’t have to be gifted or have some special talent to do it.  Believe me, when I’m alone in my house dancing unto the Lord, you can’t tell me I’m not some professional dancer or I shouldn’t be the next Sunday’s best or American Idol when I lift my voice. But while my way too honest family would likely tell me to go take a seat if they ever saw me, I know God is smiling.

To worship is to show reverence and adoration for a deity, an idol or a sacred object  (www.thefreedictionary.com/worship).  Based on this definition you can see anything can be worshipped.  If not careful we may easily find ourselves worshipping money, fame, power, position, our jobs and people before or instead of God. But God, being the creator and Supreme ruler of all is the only thing that deserves our worship.  Worship requires a bowing down of ourselves figuratively and sometimes literally to the majesty of God, an acceptance and recognition of our nothingness before and apart from His goodness and constantly keeping the right perspective of God’s grandeur when we deal with Him.  Because God is so accessible, so kind and so merciful, we have all been guilty of passing our place and acting irreverent or disrespectful toward Him.  But we have to keep sight of who God really is.  Yes be in relationship with Him, be honest, be yourself, be transparent.  He knows we are human and faulty,  but realize He is royalty, He is magnificent, deserving of all honor and reverence and nothing to play with.

So how do we worship God?  Some believe worship only happens on Sunday morning when you wave and clap your hands to the singing of the choir.   But anything that honors or exalts God is worship.   Submitting your life to God and trusting Him to take full control is worship. Having faith in God’s ability  is an act of worship.   Obeying and loving God is worship.  Loving and serving others is worship.  Spending time in prayer, reading the bible and offering praise is worship.  Not cussing that coworker out even though she may deserve it, is worship because it honors God. Simply submitting and drawing close to God and allowing His Spirit to transform us into the very image of Christ day by day is worship.   In short, anything that glorifies God and reflects who God is through the example of your life/living is the best way to worship and honor God.

Now keep in mind there is really no right or wrong way to worship except that God requires that “…those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24, NKJV).  Don’t worship for show or with selfish motives.  Worship with a grateful heart and authentic love for God. There may be times you really don’t want to praise and worship.  We have all been there, where based on our emotions we don’t feel like lifting a hand or saying a word. But worship can’t  always be based on a feeling.  Besides it being a weapon in spiritual warfare, praise and worship is a mandate.  The Lord requires that we praise and worship Him.  So when you have those times when you don’t feel like worshipping, do what David did–make yourself do it.   David said “Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me” (Psalm 103:1, NKJV).   Sometimes you have to command yourself, activate the drive in your soul to worship God. But when you start to recall His goodness to you, focus on His awesome attributes, thank Him for all He has done for you, it won’t be long before the praise and worship catches fire in your soul and you can’t stop.  Your praise and worship will come unsolicited, unrestrained from a pure and honest place.  Let praise and worship  be a natural part of your everyday life.

So you might say that is fine and great, but how is praise and worship of God going to help me?   I would love to share that with you.

1) Praise and worship, especially in the midst of difficulty  is a visible slap in the face to the devil. 

When you praise and worship God in good times, bad times, trials and tribulations you are essentially saying to the devil despite what happens I still honor God,  still trust Him and there is nothing you can do to pull me away from my relationship with the Lord.  Not only does that move God, but the example of your faithfulness and commitment  is a means by which others can be introduced to and drawn closer Him.  With all of that, the devil has to  raise up and flee.

2) Praise and worship keeps your mind at  peace and focused on God.

Remember the mind is a prime target that the Enemy loves to attack.   But Isaiah 26:3 says “you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You (God)…”  Praise and worship limits the devil’s access to you and prevents him from feeding such garbage as fear, worry, doubt,  depression and  anger into your mind.  It allows you to rest in God after you have done your part  and let Him fight your battles for you. So the next time the devil tries to steal your peace and torment your mind, give him an “access denied” stamp—kill him with praise and worship.

3) Praise and worship brings confusion and chaos to the enemy’s camp

When 3 enemy nations banded together to come against King Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah (aka God’s people), the bible says that “when they (Judah) began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated (2 Chronicles 20:22, NKJV). The next verse goes on to say that these nations that were suppose to be united together, essentially turned around  and destroyed one another.  Utter chaos.  The lesson learned:  Use your praise and worship to confuse and devastate the enemy.

 4) Praise and Worship invites God’s Presence and Power

Based on psalm 22:3 God inhabits the praises of His people.  All that means is that God dwells in our praises.  In other words when  we praise and worship, God shows up and shows up hard.  We know in  God’s presence is everything we need–joy, love, peace, healing, rest. But beyond that, His presence brings raw power.   Really and truly I don’t even think God can show up in anything but power, because His very essence is power.  Yes God is present all the time in the background.  But as I learned from Reverend Terrence McKinley sometimes “God has to concentrate His presence” to get to you.   And I don’t know if you have ever been in the concentrated presence of God but let me tell you it leaves you weak, sometimes to the point of collapse. His glory and power is that overwhelming.   And if His presence and power, which might I add is not even a fraction of the whole of Him  because we wouldn’t be able to survive God’s complete glory and presence, is that heavy and overwhelming to those of us He comes to help and benefit,  imagine the force of the power He uses in opposition to the enemy or your enemies.  Man, with that kind of power, some stuff is bound to get broken down and broken off.  Translation: Let your praise and worship call down the unrestricted, incomparable power of God for your benefit.  With it you cannot lose.

5) Praise and Worship Brings Victory

The same David of David and Goliath fame, is  also known as  a war king.  The Lord used Him mightily to defeat many nations that opposed God and God’s people.   Why was David so successful? I believe partly because He praised God consistently through all circumstances.  He was a true worshipper at heart despite His flaws and faults. That popular book of the bible called  the Psalms, which means a sacred song or hymn, are full of David’s declarations of love and adoration to God.  “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy” (Psalm 116:1, NIV), “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; (psalm 107:1, NIV) and the declaration that the “Lord is my light and my salvation…” (Psalm 27:1, NIV) are all examples of David’s heartfelt,  authentic praise to the Lord.  The writer of psalm 149 clearly recognized the necessity of praise when they wrote:  May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,  to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples (Psalm 149:6-7, NIV).  Notice praise is listed in line as weaponry along with the  double-edged sword.  Without a doubt there is power in your praise.

So  beloved let us learn from David.  Brandish  your praise and worship to annihilate the enemy. Make up your mind to bless the Lord at all times. When your praise and worship rises, you rise too….and yet still I rise.

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

stillirise323

It is a well known fact that sports teams will review old game tapes to study high points during play, recognize mistakes made, pinpoint needed areas of improvement and hone in on the strategies of their opponents.  It is no different if you want to be victorious in spiritual warfare.  One of the sharpest strategies you can deploy against our greatest enemy, Satan, is to know his moves and plan of attack ahead of time. In our favor is that the tactics of the devil hasn’t changed much since he was first transformed from one of God’s highest and most beloved angels to the evil nuisance we know him to be today.  The bible gives clear insight as to how the devil operates against God and His creation.  It’s like being in the American army and having the battle plans for the Taliban at your fingertips. If you study it enough, you are already ahead of the game simply because the same way the devil attacked those biblical characters thousands of  years ago is the same way he continues to assault mankind even now.  And although the bible may have been physically written by men, it was unmistakably composed under the divine inspiration and guidance of God himself.    Not only does our Supreme General exercise complete power over the Enemy and delegates boundaries as to what he can and cannot do, because God is omniscient(all-knowing) He knows the devil’s moves before he makes one step.  What more of an advantage can we have than that? To side with God we can only win. To rebel against Him is eventual loss and certain destruction.

People think of spiritual warfare only as some form of black magic like Voodoo or Santeria.  Some spooky hocus pocus or crazy manifestation of demonic possession with foaming at the mouth or someone’s head spinning backward like in The Exorcist.  Although those things would certainly constitute some aspects of spiritual warfare, in actuality spiritual warfare spans an entire spectrum of activities and can range from something as simple as your wallet being stolen to something as complex as voodoo rituals. Anything that the Enemy uses to torment, oppress or harass you could be considered spiritual warfare.   Anything that opposes God’s will for your life is spiritual warfare.  Anything the Enemy uses to keep you from living in the fullness and blessings God has for you is all out war.

So how does the devil fire against us?   It usually comes through 3 main weapons: you, others around you, situations/circumstances.  His 3 main means of ammunition?:  Doubt, deception and division.  As I write this I hear the Lord saying add to that distraction and delay. Remember that the devil is not ever-present and all powerful like God. He must enlist quite a bit of help to assist him. “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.” (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV).  These principalities, powers and hosts of wickedness are the scores of demons or fallen angels who have pledged allegiance with the devil against God, His creation and His kingdom.  So one Devil.  Many variations of principalities and hosts of wickedness.  Legions of demons and fallen angels. It’s these demons who go around and create havoc on behalf of Satan.


It Starts With You

One unique weapon that the devil loves to use against you is….you.  You in and of yourself.  In hurting you, not only does he destroy you, he can in turn use you to destroy others. The first place of attack? You guessed it–the mind. It makes sense that this would be the most detrimental place to target.  After all the mind is what separates man from animals, nature and inanimate objects.  As I read somewhere, it is the gift that God gave us that makes us more like His image compared to other created things. It can also be easily influenced. If we are not careful, the Enemy can easily feed us his thoughts and deceive us into thinking it is our own or worse, God’s thoughts.   I love the way Reverend Eugene Harris put it as paraphrased:  “the enemy doesn’t really come at you like an outside person.   He talks to you as if it were you.” In attacking you the devil may use all 5 forms of ammunition (deception, doubt, division, distraction and delay) and it generally begins with a deceptive and distorted view of yourself and eventually everyone around you. Thoughts of self-hatred and low self worth plague the mind: “I am hideous; I can’t do anything right; I’m not good enough.” With scales over your eyes you can’t see that you are beautiful, loved and treasured by God with unique gifts and talents waiting to be proclaimed to the world. In that wounded state with no self confidence and low self-esteem you may easily develop a distorted view of others around you.   You are now a potential weapon in Satan’s hands.

Before long you may find it hard to distinguish between the voices of evil versus God’s righteous still small voice. “She doesn’t like me. I should have what they have. They deserve to die.” What is irrational becomes rational, what is wrong becomes right; abnormal becomes normal in a demon-influenced mind. Demons of anxiety, anger, rage and fear to name a few become major players in this scenario. With all of those thoughts impacting your mind, you most certainly are distracted and detoured from the path you should be walking, which all inevitably ends up in delay. Delay of blessing, delay of purpose, delay in living the life God has planned for you.  It is here also that the devil loves to plant seeds of doubt that blossom into full blown crops of distrust and denial of God and His power.  “God is never going to heal me or save my troubled child; God can’t do anything for me; God is cruel.” These are just a few of the thought patterns and examples of how the Enemy uses doubt to keep people from knowing our Maker. This is why it is so important to feed your mind with the things of God and to have a firm foundation in Him.  To not do so is to open your mind to full demonic attack.

When the Enemy Is Outside

The devil doesn’t just stop at making you your own enemy.  He also loves to use others to come against you as well.   In this arena no party is off limits.   Mother, sibling, friend or stranger–anybody knowingly or unknowingly  can be the offender! Doesn’t mean you have to go around being paranoid, disowning family members or be suspicious of every person you come across. Recognize the enemy is very crafty. This is where deception works the best.  These are the instances where the devil sends those counterfeits or false friends up in your space deceptively presenting themselves as allies, when they are really on assignment to sabotage you;  where your boss zeros in on you to make your life a living hell with intentions of derailing you; where  God may have called you for an unexpected purpose in ministry and your family tries to dissuade you. Distractions and delay come heavy in this category.  The one who the devil nicely packaged as your “soul mate” or ” the love of your life”on the outside, brings a  load of misery and heartache later on.    It is also here that people driven by demons of jealousy, envy, greed and hatred would go to such lengths as rape, robbery, murder or even involvement in black magic to harm others. Whether by attacking you directly or through outside people,  it is easy to see where the Enemy uses these tactics to isolate and cause division. He is well aware that alone or separate, we can be weak and vulnerable to a quick downfall.  Yet in the strength of unity and agreement, we have the best chance of overcoming the powers of darkness and being victorious.

Situations and Circumstances

Lastly the enemy loves to attack through situations or circumstances. These attacks vary in degree and can also be quite subtle.  I remember a good friend of mine sharing that in her attempt to call and minister to a woman who needed help in a women’s center, her phone was mysteriously blocked.  She literally could not get a call through to that person.  When she astutely realized what was going on, she had someone else call from another phone and they were able to get through.  Imagine how that woman would have missed out on her blessing had my friend not discerned what was happening. The attacks can be that subtle. As subtle as losing your keys just steps from your front door,  to something more obvious like a  car accident 5 minutes from home. Another way Satan loves to torment and frustrate us?  Sickness and infirmity.  Cancer, diabetes, HIV and all other forms of disease loom around us, traveling in our genetics, all the while becoming more and more prevalent.  On an even broader scale the enemy attacks and oppresses by  influencing societal shifts and norms as seen in such realities as racial or gender inequality, poverty, violence and glorification of sexual perversion and immorality.  Nature? Yep the enemy can work through that too. The bible says in the book of Job after God gave the devil permission to attack everything Job had with the exception of taking his life that “suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people … (Job 1:19, NKJV), basically killing Job’s children.  By this passage, the belief is that the devil, with God’s allowance can influence nature.  Hence it is clear that the devil comes by different modes or avenues of attack all with the motive to ultimately kill, steal and destroy.

My intention in writing this post is not to scare you or be the bearer of all doom and gloom.  I cannot claim to be an expert or have all the answers for such a complex subject as spiritual warfare.  But as I am learning on my own journey, I do hope this writing has at least  given you a greater awareness of the presence of spiritual warfare, the importance of being informed and better insight on how it affects us every day of our lives.  Realize that so much of what influences this world as we know it is truly spiritual.  Be knowledgable and vigilant of the schemes of the enemy, ask the Lord to help you avoid the  pitfalls of deception and seek Him for help in handling each situation with love and wisdom.  It may mean cutting or moving people out of your life, learning to practice more patience with family members, praying more, fasting, studying the Word or just drawing closer to God overall.  Believe and trust God for His protection and covering against all evil.  Know that God by his Holy Spirt when asked will always give you guidance and wisdom.  Rest in the fact that He is in full control.

Up next by God’s grace—looking at the awesome weapons we have to fight the good fight.  The devil may have his warfare tactics, but with Jehovah Saboath (the Lord of the living armies) yet  still I , you , we rise……

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise323

Atencion! Atencion! Wake up and realize that we are in a constant war.  A war that is far more devastating than the natural or physical wars that have plagued human history.  Far more dangerous than bombs, grenades, mind-fields and semi-automatic weapons.  I am talking about spiritual warfare.   Whether you believe or accept it, the devil is out to get you.  But not just harass you, not just torment you—but literally to steal, kill and destroy you and everything in your life.   The bottom line is Satan and his kingdom are constantly trying to oppose anything relating to God and His kingdom.  And I mean everything!  Saved or unsaved, Christian or non-Christian, love God or hate Him Satan is still out to attack you.   Why?  Because we are all God’s creation although we are all not God’s children.  So even if you are not a child of God (i.e. someone who has accepted the gift of salvation and made Jesus Lord and Savior of your life), the mere fact that you exist and are a creation of God, makes you a target of Satan and his antics.  Even those who side with him.  Because in the end he blinds us to the fact that he is leading us away from eternal life with God and into eternal damnation and torment with him.

Thinking about all of this can really be overwhelming and even scary.  Why does it have to be like this?  If God is all powerful can’t He just end all of this sin and suffering and wipe out the devil now?  These questions have come to my mind and undoubtedly to the mind of many.  I personally don’t profess to know these answers and honestly I don’t believe anybody fully does.  There are just some secret things, some mysteries that we won’t understand in this life because we do not have the mind of God and His ways are so beyond our understanding.  Things  we will never know until we meet God and if He chooses to reveal these things to us.  Honestly, sometimes the way God operates and the ways of the world don’t always make sense to me.  But this is where faith and trust come in.  Trusting that God is in control and that in the span of eternity all things will be made right.  No more sickness, suffering, trials or difficulties.  That divine justice for the injustices and difficulties we suffer will be served if not now in this life, then later through the course of eternity and after the ending of this  corrupted world as we know it.  Since constantly complaining about it , arguing with or being angry with God will not change how He chooses to run His world (believe me we all have our times—we are after all human beings and God understands), why not take heed and use the tools God has equipped us with to navigate this war we are in and be victorious in the context of where we are now.

To win this war knowledge is of the upmost importance:

The devil attacks through 3 main vehicles:  through you of yourself, through other individuals (i.e. family, friends, coworkers, strangers) and through circumstances and situations. Many times these things work in conjunction or overlap.  The second thing is that he uses  the weapons of DOUBT, DECEPTION and DIVISION .  I hope to share more on these things in another post. But the amazing thing is that we have the authority to overcome every attack of the enemy.   That is, if you accept the Lord Jesus as your personal savior and become adopted into the family of God.

The bible says  after being  raised from the dead that:

“… Jesus came and spoke to them(the disciples), saying “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18)

As believers:

“Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Galatians 4:7) 

and furthermore

“…if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:17, NIV)

So really what does all this mean?  It means that being an heir of God and a co-heir with Christ we stand to receive  the supernatural and substantial benefits of God’s kingdom now and through eternity.

To name a few we are:

1) Heirs to peace—peace in the midst of chaos, trials and seemingly impossible circumstances

-Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.       Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27, NKJV)

-You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)

-“..the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7, NKJV)

2) Heirs to God’s  strength 

-It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect (Psalm 18:32, NKJV)

-For You (God)  have armed me with strength for the battle (Psalm 18:30, NKJV)

3) Heirs to God’s unspeakable  joy

“….Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  (Nehemiah 8:10, NKJV)

“ You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11, NKJV)

4) Heirs to the God’s impenetrable protection and defense 

 -I will say of the Lord , “He is my my refuge and my fortress

My God, in Him I will trust (Psalm 91:1, NKJV)

-“for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. (Deuteronomy 20:4, NKJV)

-No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.  I will not leave you nor forsake you (Joshua 1:5, NKJV)

5) Heirs to immortality and eternal life

-For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16, NKJV)

-Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life (John 5:24, NKJV)

This doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the benefits of being a co-heir with Christ. However, in regards to spiritual warfare, it means that we have the power to live in victory and authority like Jesus did on earth and still does in the heavens.  That God’s very Spirit, the Holy Spirit  works in us and through us to overcome the devil and the demons that operate under him. It was under the teaching of Reverend Eugene Harris, while taking an intercessory prayer class at Greater Allen Cathedral that I really had a better understanding of these concepts as he presented them.  To summarize, remember God has established His kingdom.  And the Kingdom  of God is ever advancing, invincible and has ultimate power.  God and His kingdom reigns and rules over every aspect of existence:  the components of the universe, the earth,  the natural world and the spiritual realm including angels, Satan and demons.  When Christ died and was resurrected, he was given authority and power over God’s kingdom, which essentially means power over any and everything.  As children of God we are citizens of that great Kingdom.  Yet not just average citizens, but figures of authority because, ” God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly places… “(Ephesians 2:6).  In other words, as Reverend Eugene so clearly put it:  we have been established in government with Christ.  Just like any high-ranking citizen in any government seat, we have certain privileges, benefits, rights and jurisdictions in the Kingdom and when we claim jurisdiction for God’s kingdom, the old rules no longer apply.

For example when Columbus or other explorers of old landed on new land and planted the flag for Spain, England or whatever country they represented,  the old rules of that conquered land no longer had application. The new land is now under the jurisdiction of the conquering country.  In the same way when we go representing the kingdom of God and establish jurisdiction, Satan and his demons are limited to and must submit to the laws of God kingdom.  Satan can do nothing without God’s allowance and demonic forces are limited to the rules and regulations of God’s kingdom.  Hence, in this fallen world, cancer wrecks bodies, people are lame and the blind can’t see. But when you walk with the power of God and take authority as a citizen of God’s kingdom those old rules no longer apply.  In the kingdom of God at our command and in our authority through the power of God, the blind see, the lame walk, cancer must die,  demons must flee and miraculous things  take place.  Jesus performed great signs, wonders and astounding miracles here on earth. Yet he tells us that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing and they will do greater things than these…” (John 14;12, NIV).  Imagine we have the power to do greater things than Jesus did.  Now that’s astounding and maybe even hard to believe. But believe it!   He has given us “authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy…” (Luke 10:19, NKJV)

So beloved, take authority over depression, sickness, debt, anxiety, distractions.  Tear down everything that dares to oppose God’s will for your life.  Arise in God’s power! Arise in  your authority! Arise as the royalty you are and as a child of the Most High!

Because Jesus rose in power on the third day….and yet still I rise.

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise,

stillirise323