“Hey, I’m In A Battle”
How Do You Know?
We are experiencing a battle this week and I don’t mean a battle between me and Dennis or me and Mary Katherine. I am talking about one of those unseen battles with the devil and his minions. I woke up Thursday morning and realized…we are doing battle this week. When you battle with evil, sometimes you are well into the thick of things and stuff has already started going unexpectedly wrong before it dawns on you and you realize, “Hey, I’m in a battle”.
I am just starting this writing thing and the Holy Spirit has been giving me some good stuff. I have another post I am working on that is almost finished so I know the devil doesn’t want me to share. Isn’t that how it goes? If you are trying to do something for God or you are getting ready to do something for God you really have just painted a bull’s eye on your back for the devil.
Here is just a brief rundown of what I mean by getting into a battle this week:
Dennis had to handle something that came up related to my past. Not a big secret or anything he didn’t know about, but just something annoying that hardly ever comes up. However, this week it was 2 days in a row from 2 different people. Everyone has a past and thank God it is the past. Then, before the week was out there was an issue with a family member. The devil will do what he can to stir up something and try to bring division, especially in a marriage or between family members.
On Wednesday, I just bent over to pick up something out of the floor and my back went out…nothing really major but enough to need ice and ibuprofen and a trip to the chiropractor. Then, Dennis was washing his Harley and twisted funny and really messed up his back. He made a trip to the chiropractor followed by several menthol alcohol/Epsom salt soak baths. Friday night I found a knot in my left breast that was really sore and rather large and it just came up quickly. (Update 6/17/15: Went to the breast surgeon and it is a cyst- nothing serious). The devil will attack us physically to try and get us discouraged and off track with God.
Scripture tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that “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”. Verse 13 goes on to tell us, “Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand”.
Verses 14-17 continue on describing the armor of God. Specifically in Verse 17 it says, “And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” That is the Bible and it is my favorite one! So, I got out of bed today praising God and quoting scripture. I like to do it out loud because I want to make sure that the devil and his minions hear me.
Praise should be one of the first weapons that we use as Christians against the devil. We are commanded in Philippians to “Rejoice in the Lord always and again, I say Rejoice”. It is not really optional and it isn’t about how you feel. When you don’t “feel” like praising God then that is the time you really need to dig in and do it. Praising God is important for accessing the power that is ours through Jesus Christ. When we praise God, we usher in His presence and it changes our environment including our attitudes and our hearts. To praise God means that you declare to Him who He is and you tell Him how awesome He is.
Satan used to be the worship leader in heaven before he rebelled and God threw him out. In Ezekiel 33:13-19 and Isaiah 14:12-15, there is a description of Satan before he rebelled. He was the one that was responsible for the praise and worship of God in heaven.
He lost that position when he rebelled against God. Now, we as humans have the awesome responsibility and honor of praising and worshipping God. Satan doesn’t like it when we praise God, because he knows that was once his job and he is jealous of the attention we gain from the Creator.
If praise is so important that we will do it for all eternity then I believe it is crucial to our walk with God while here on Earth.
He understands the importance of praise and worship to God. Throughout the whole book of Revelation, it tells us that for all of eternity we will be around the throne of God praising Him and worshipping Him forever. If praise is so important that we will do it for all eternity then I believe it is crucial to our walk with God while we are here on Earth.
In 2 Chronicles 5, Solomon has finished the temple and there was a great celebration. As part of the ceremony, the priests of Israel placed the Ark of the Covenant into the Most Holy Place in the temple. If you don’t know, the Ark of the Covenant was where the presence of God resided with the children of Israel. As the priests came out of the Most Holy Place, they were playing instruments (stringed ones, cymbals, trumpets) and praising and thanking the Lord. In verse 14, the scripture tells us that the presence of God became so strong and filled the place so heavily that the priests could not continue to minister. Wow! That is amazing to think that we can actually praise God so much and with such a purity of heart that His presence becomes so strong that we cannot continue. We would have to stop and just bask in the presence of Almighty God.
The Bible gives us a few examples of times when the actual “boots on the ground” battle was won by praise and not a finger was lifted physically to engage the enemy.
One such example is found in 2 Chronicles 20, when Jehoshaphat (the king of Judah) was going to war against Ammon, Moab, and Mt Seir. Jehoshaphat did not want to go to battle against these people. They were a formidable opponent. Verse 3 says Jehoshaphat feared and he set himself to seek the Lord. However, God sent word through a prophet (Jahaziel) and told him not to be afraid because the battle was not his but God’s (verse 15).
Then God tells Jehoshaphat that he won’t even have to fight, but to position himself for battle and then stand still and see God work (verse 17). Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah praised God with “voices loud and high” when they got this good news. On the day of the battle, singers were appointed to go out before the army. When they began to sing and praise God, the Lord set ambushes before the enemy and they turned on one another and killed each other.
That is just amazing! If God will do that for Jehoshaphat then He will do that for me…that is just the nature of our God. We can have that kind of victory over our enemies.
I know I have had times in my life when I knew a battle was brewing in some area of my life (like what I described earlier). It caused fear and a sense of dread. I’d like to say that every time I have turned on my praise music and started quoting scriptures, but that is not true. My flesh rises up and I have trouble seeing past the natural circumstances. However, there are those times when I have met the battle head on with praise and thanksgiving to my God and He shows up and shows out.
That is the way I want to always handle the battles. When they arise, I have a choice…choose to give in or choose to praise my way to victory.
Do You Have A Set of “Who God Is” & Praise Scriptures In Your Arsenal?
The Bible has some great scripture to use when praising God. Do you have a set of “who God is” and praise scriptures in your arsenal that you can pull out whenever you need to? If not, here are some to get you started:
- Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
- You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You. Ps 118:28
- “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6
- For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods. Ps 95:3
- “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” Rev 4:8
- “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created. Rev 4:11
- The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, and the Lord sits as King forever. Ps 29:10
- The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1
- He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. Ps 62:2
Scripture – Know It & Quote It
Knowing and quoting scripture is the other powerful weapon that we should be able to use against the devil. How many of us would go into a presentation at work or a championship game or an exam at school or a music performance without any preparation and expect it to be successful? That would be crazy. We prepare and we practice so we are ready. It is the same with the Word of God. How can we expect to be successful in this lifelong war with the devil if we never study or prepare…we can’t.
Knowing the Word of God remind us who we are in Christ and the promises we can count on from our God. Jesus used scripture against Satan when He was in the wilderness (Luke 4). He quoted from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy and Psalms). Jesus was also challenged by the Pharisees on numerous occasions regarding the Law of Moses and what it said about how to treat people. He was able to rightly answer because He knew the scripture.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
There is power in the Word of God…there is power in scripture and that power can be ours if we just use it. Unused scripture, is like having a priceless gift that we leave sitting on our coffee table unopened or one that we carry in our pocket but never open it. For now, the Bible is readily available at our fingertips through the Internet and apps on our phones. There may come a day when that is not the case. What then?
There is power in the Word of God…there is power in scripture & that power can be ours if we just use it.
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to study the Word of God to show ourselves approved so we don’t have to be ashamed – rightly dividing the word of truth.
Romans 12: 2 tells us not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind so you can prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The Word of God serves as our guide and gives us direction. If we want to know God’s will for our lives then we have to study the Bible. That is the guidebook for being a Christian. You should not depend on anyone else to tell you what the Bible says. You should know it for yourself.
When you speak scripture it influences the environment around you internally and externally. As you take in the Word, it will shine a light on areas of your life that need to be changed. You will find your desires begin to change and then your behavior and attitudes will begin to adjust and change.
When I gave my life to Jesus, I started really diving into the Word. One area that really got a big spiritual spotlight was my wardrobe. I got really convicted about the way I was dressing. My clothes were not God honoring. There was a lot of skin that showed in my wardrobe. I found that my “audience” changed when it came to picking out my clothes. It changed from “who can I attract and impress” to “will this offend anyone and is God honored”. Needless to say, I cleaned out my closet and went shopping for some new clothes. The cool thing was that it wasn’t like anyone forced me to make that change. Because of the Word of God coming into my life, my desires changed and I wanted to make that change because I wanted to honor God.
Isaiah 55:11 tells us that God’s Word will go out and it will not return void…it will accomplish what He pleases and it will prosper.
Therefore, take every opportunity to speak His Word for yourself and for others and for situations around you. God does not lie and He is always faithful. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Do You Have A Set of “Power” Scriptures In Your Arsenal?
If you don’t have an arsenal of scriptures that you can pull out at any time and speak them when you need them, here are a few to get you started:
- I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Phil 4: 13
- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. I John 4:4
- What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
- No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
- No weapon formed against me shall prosper. Isaiah 54:17
- For God has not given me a spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind. II Tim 1:7
- But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19
- And the peace that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7
- For God is not the author of confusion but of peace… I Cor 14:33
- By His stripes we were healed. Isaiah 53:5 and I Peter 2:24
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Prov 3:5-6
- Submit yourself to God; Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
- For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11
How Do I Get Started?
When I decided that I was going to learn scripture for praise and for battle, I started with just a few…like 2 or 3. I grew up going to Sunday school so I pulled out and dusted off a few of those scriptures I had learned through Vacation Bible School and other activities. I started with what was familiar.
I bought one of those spiral bound index card holders…like the ones that my daughter has used to make science vocabulary flash cards for school. I wrote my 3 verses on the first 3 cards. I put that in my purse and each day while I was waiting somewhere – we all have 5 minutes of wait time somewhere – I would pull it out and read the verses and then try to say them from memory. Then I would add more as I got comfortable. At church or on the radio or even on Facebook, if I heard or saw a scripture that I liked then I would make a note on paper or in my phone and then add that to my notecards and start working on that one.
Later, I started trying to say what I knew first thing in the morning before I got out of bed – especially the praise verses. When I wake up in the mornings, I usually lay there for a bit before I decide to get out of bed. I start my day thinking of scripture which makes for a great way to kick off the day. Likewise, it makes for a great way to end the day as you are trying to go to sleep.
Before long you will realize that you have a good collection of scriptures that you can quote. You will find yourself turning to those scriptures often throughout your day to encourage yourself or to encourage others.
Don’t give in to Satan and let him convince you that there is no hope. Use what God has given you in His Word and let’s live in Victory!