Posts Tagged ‘spiritual warfare’

“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

Imagine you get change for a $20 bill from the toll booth.  One of the bills doesn’t seem right—it feels off, it looks skewed and when you look closely at it in the light, low and behold it is not a legitimate $5 bill.  You my friend have been given counterfeit currency.  And just as easily as counterfeit money slips into your hand, the devil loves to slip counterfeit people into your life.  Phony, fake—they try to imitate but fall short of duplicating the real thing.  A few posts ago I talked briefly about spiritual warfare.  Remember the devil has no good in him so he is never going to come honest, plain and straight-foward.  Out of the 3 main roads he uses, DECEPTION, DOUBT AND DIVISION, deception is probably his most common tactic. And he usually comes through 3 main vehicles:  you,  outsiders (i.e. friends, family, coworkers, etc.) and  situations/scenarios.  Counterfeits undoubtedly fall under the category of deception.   I recall  some time last year while  walking to a bus stop that the Lord really went into a long discourse with  me about counterfeits.  It was also around the time, to my excitement, that I really began to hear the Lord for myself.  There is always a purpose or meaning when God speaks.  He doesn’t speak in a vacuum or speak idly like we do sometimes.  And sure enough His wisdom  proved to be quite relevant to a situation that was present back then.  Moving forward, I hadn’t really thought about it again until a couple of weeks or so ago when He  kept putting in my spirit the word counterfeit…counterfeit…counterfeit  over and over again.

Consequently, He brought that discourse from last year right back to my memory and sure enough I am seeing plainly that some folks’ intentions and  hearts are not fully right towards me. In other words, they showed their true colors.  If you are patient, the devil will always show himself.   You just have to ask God to open your eyes, be keen and pay attention. And in true form, God reiterated His point and confirmed what He was saying by repeatedly speaking through His ministers at a church conference all this past weekend about fraudulent people.   It just amazes me how if you ask God He really will bring every darkness to light.  Let me share with you what I have learned from last year and even as I prepared to write this blog….

Counterfeit, when you really think about it, is a concept that has been around since the beginning of time.  Didn’t Satan delude himself into thinking He could rebel against God and rule, reign and be worshipped like God?  Didn’t Lucifer appear to Adam and Eve back in the garden of Eden deceivingly as well-meaning and friendly, with only the intent to bring a curse on them by tricking them into sinning against God?  So you see,  if Satan is brazen enough to rebel against God directly, be clear that he is definitely at work using tactics  and decoys to deceive you; especially if you are living for God.  I say this for myself as I do for you:   Be vigilant!  Be on your guard!

Whether it applies to money, clothes, bags, or people,  there are certain  threads that are common to all counterfeits. Counterfeits operate on 2 main principles:  fraudulence and imitation.  They present themselves as the real thing,  but they are not the real. They want to imitate or portray the genuine article, but essentially they are not and can never be “the real” if they exist in that counterfeit state.  They pretend to be your friend, but they mean you no good.  Want to be you and live your life, but aren’t built to travel your path or carry what you are carrying.  See your glory and want to take it, but don’t know the hardwork, sacrifice and the story of how you got there.  Have you ever come across people like that?

Furthermore, counterfeits ultimately operate for their own personal advancement.   According to Wikepidia, counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfeit).  Not only that, they tend to have fake logos and brands.  So yes those knockoff bags they sell on the streets of Manhattan take advantage of the good name of Gucci to make a profit.  Those imitation sneakers made in China, make a killing off of the notoriety of Nike–so they use the Nike logo to boost their sales. You child of God, try to live your life worshiping God in spirit and in truth, bearing the mark of the Holy Spirit and carrying the favor of God.  Yet some  counterfeit wants to attach to you to see how they can benefit from your favor and blessings.  Whether it is to boost their own ego,  temper their feelings of insecurities,  promote themselves or just simply tear the “genuine thing” down, counterfeits always have some underlying motivation for their own selfish agenda.

Counterfeits essentially can’t add much value because they have no value. Now in regard to money that is a blanket statement.  In regards to people, I dare not  judge anyone as invaluable. God loves us all and  has  created us for a purpose no matter how “seemingly” insignificant it  may  seem. He may not  love what we do or when we sin against Him,  but we are all precious in His sight.  But when one assumes the posture of a counterfeit, you can’t add much value because you are not being who you are and who God created you to be.  You cannot add value as a particular thing if you are truly not that thing.  Actually it is  to the contrary.  Just as counterfeit money or products devalue genuine currency and the economy overall, counterfeit people only devalue those who are real or legitimate. They usually end up hurting others and being a hindrance in the end.

Counterfeit consumer products have a reputation for being lower quality (sometimes not working at all) and may even include toxic elements (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfeit).  You see where this is going right?  A  knockoff Prada imitation (you might as well call it Nada) can never measure up to a true Prada couture.   Counterfeits not only  take short cuts and use low grade inferior material to imitate the high quality of the real product, they  will even go to such lengths as to use toxic materials to create a closer  imitation of the real thing.  If I had to guess, I am almost  sure that the closer the counterfeit comes to duplicating  the real thing, the more toxic the material used to get it that way.    The more fake and counterfeit the person, the more  they are filled with such toxic entities as jealousy, dishonesty, envy, pride, ego, fear, hurt and insecurity  just to name a few.   Things that are toxic to them and eventually spills over to negatively affect you.  But this is the difference.  Through the test of time and the wear and tear of regular use, the counterfeit almost always will become dismantled long before the genuine article.  They cannot withstand the pressures and elements of life.  Only those things or people made with the best and highest quality material, things like love, patience, peace, truth, Godlike characteristics will endure and look flawless while doing it.

Lastly, with careful inspection and when held up to the light, every counterfeit will be exposed.  In the light you start to see the flaws, imperfections and the truth of what the counterfeit really is–a fake.  Images aren’t as sharp, the ink may look dull, certain symbols are missing or misaligned when you compare counterfeit bills to real bills.  So what ultimately exposes counterfeits?  How can you recognize one when you see it? Keen spiritual vision and a little bit of light.  Ephesians 5:13 says, “But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them (New Living Translation).  Just let the light of God in you and the truth of the Holy Spirit expose every fraudulent, deceptive counterfeit person in you life.

Well what now?  You may wonder what do you do when you discover a counterfeit in your life?  Although it may be tempting to tell them off, that of course is not the way.  Simply pray for them, love them with the love of Christ and keep it moving. I say simply, but believe me it is not so simple.  It really takes the grace of God to do it.  These people are often broken and hurt in some area of their lives and need deliverance and healing like we all have needed and continue to need at some point.  Yet it doesn’t mean you have to walk intimately with them.  Some people need to be loved from a distance.   There is a popular saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  Some people are meant to be in your life only short-term or not at all.  Shift people to the positions where they rightfully belong.  Don’t allow counterfeits to  have the privilege to occupy a space in your life they don’t deserve.

If we are really honest with ourselves, we have all had times where we have acted as the counterfeit.   I will be honest and say I have.  But I choose now as best as I can to walk as the true and genuine article–to be a real disciple and follower of Jesus Christ and not some fake imitation.  So which are you? Are you real or just another counterfeit?  Legitimate people, genuine people, real  people rise…..and yet still I rise

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise323

You wake up and  you feel off, uneasy, jittery….it’s war.  You lock your car keys in the car for the third time today…. it’s war.  You meet a new friend who stabs you in the back….its war.   Your coworker lies about your job performance to your supervisor….that’s  war!   Someone eats the last piece of cake in the fridge…it’s war (just kidding. Probably not).  But on a serious note, like it or not  there is war constantly raging all around us.  What type of war are you wondering? I’m talking about spiritual warfare.  Something I feel we do not talk about directly quite enough in the body of Christ.   Well in American churches at least.  We know it is there. It may be lightly alluded to, but most times our church leaders side-swipe this issue and don’t  speak to it directly or teach it at all.  Consequently, many of us are left out there ill-prepared and unarmed to defend ourselves in this very real war.

Now I am not an expert in spiritual warfare nor do I profess to be.  Furthermore, there are whole books and websites devoted to this topic and this blog is certainly not the forum to tackle all of it.  This post is just an introduction to the very vast topic of spiritual warfare.  I will share more in the future as the Lord leads me.   As I said before, I totally believe in sharing and promoting instruments that have given me knowledge or helped me in my journey.  There is a website called bible-knowledge.com that does an amazing job explaining spiritual warfare and some of it’s major topics.  Check it out at this link:  www.bible-knowledge.com/spiritual-warfare.

You see, whether you accept, believe or deny it, there is a very active spirit world or spiritual realm around us.  And the activities happening in that spiritual realm directly influence what happens to us in this natural world or what we call natural realm.  In the natural realm are the things that we readily see or perceive with our natural senses:  the universe, earth, nature, people, animals–basically life as we know it. And then there is the mystical not readily apparent spiritual realm that is mostly unseen. We may get glimpses of it from time to time or visits from it here and there.  God has even gifted some to see further into it through spiritual eyes or through a developed spiritual sense compared to the average person.  Yet although this world is often ignored and there is a general ignorance or lack of knowledge regarding it, the spiritual realm is very active and is quite instrumental in the affairs of every segment of our day to day lives.  The theory is that there are more beings and entities existing in this spiritual realm than the natural realm.  In this realm dwell God the Father, Jesus Christ and all the heavenly hosts, as well as Satan and his demonic army.  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 regardless of whether your are for or against God.

Our opposition, Satan and his kingdom, are not things to be taken lightly.  In I Peter 5:8 the bible tell us that “…your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (NKJV).  It further says “the thief (alluding to the devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy… (John 10:10, NKJV).  And finally Ephesians 6:12 states ” for we do not WRESTLE against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age….(NKJV).  The fact that we are wrestling against these forces doesn’t mean they’re sitting around twiddling their thumbs and passively throwing a dart here or there.  We’ve probably all seen wrestling before if we haven’t engaged in it ourselves.  In wrestling there is strong opposition,  direct combat and intentional brute force to try to get the opponent down and keep them down.  In simple terms–Satan comes consistently and he comes hard!

If you don’t know God, this can be a little frightening.  Heck, if you know God it can still be daunting and unbelievable when you think about it. Especially because Satan specifically more often than not, will go after the children of God.   But you would be very unwise to know all of this and not come under the protection of God and His power.  Why?  Because God has many character traits, plays many roles and plays many positions.  One of which is that He is a man of war and in this capacity He is Jehovah Sabaoth which in Hebrew means the “Lord of Hosts” or “Lord of the Living Armies.”  That name just sounds majestic and suggests something awesome doesn’t it?  Believe me, the Lord’s army is innumerable and powerful.  If you are child of God you are part of that army. But if that  isn’t enough, He is  also “El Shaddai” which means God Almighty.  Man, that just gets me excited and probably a little cocky if honest.  It’s like, “listen..don’t you know who my Father is? You messing with Jehovah Sabaoth.  You can’t beat Jehovah Sabaoth.  You can’t touch El Shaddai.”  It just gives me a sense of security to know God has my back.  The most powerful being, the Creator in all His magnificence and splendor, has my back and your back.  He is even merciful in defending those who reject Him. But as a child of God, it is  more of a guarantee.  And the indisputable fact is that God will always win.

In order to be victorious in war, you first have to recognize that you are in one.  Spiritual warfare is real and active.  In writing this post, I almost lost all of the information I wrote.  Yes indeed folks…it’s war.  Satan never stops.  He will always try to oppose the people and the things of God.  When the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, wrestle back and trample him down.  We have that power.  I plan to keep fighting.  Do you?  And yet still I rise…..

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise323