This battle isn’t against flesh and blood!


Do you realize you might not be able to see everything that is causing the troubles? Do you realize you might not be able know why you are going through trials? Do you realize there is a battle going on and that it is for your soul? So don’t lose hope because of troubles or trials!

When you face troubles, remember…

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

–from John 16:33

When you face trials, remember…

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

–from James 1:2-4

When you are in a tough situation, call it a struggle, call it a battle, remember…

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

–from Ephesians 6:12

And don’t lose hope because…

47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

–from 1 Samuel 17:47

15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

–from 2 Chronicles 20:15

Do you see all the battles taking place around the world? The wars! The terror! The battles! The fights! It’s not new unfortunately but has been taking place throughout human history…

2“I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian- brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.

–from Isaiah 19:2

We now have 24 hour news that shares what is taking place showing the bad news, the devastation, the deaths. The battles bring to light moral and ethical actions and decisions. The battles, the warfare, the weapons bring to light conversation about right and wrong not only on a physical but also spiritual basis.

Let’s consider from today’s reading the following…

10Finally, be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the LORD’s people. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

–from Ephesians 6:10-20

I remember taking Cleansing Stream and how one person in my group shared a vision they had about how there is a battle going on whether we want to believe or not. There are some who are getting trained up and prepared by putting on the full armor of God! There are some who deny this reality and the vision he received was about people sitting on the beach clueless of the war that was taking place all around them.

There is a real battle taking place right here and right now and it is for our souls and the souls of the people around us! There is a real God and a real devil and the battle is taking place on a spiritual level! We might not be able to see it, but take a look around and you will see the evidence of it!

Going back to the beach vision for a sec, could you imagine people sitting on the beach of Normandy and pretending like there was nothing happening and just sunning?

Is it any less crazy to pretend you can sit on the beach of life and ignore the battle taking place around you for you and everyone around you’s soul?

Life won’t be easy, so let’s live lives of defiant suffering! Let’s take hold of the fact that “In this world you will have trouble.” but be defiant to leave it there and rather instead “take heart!” and remember that Jesus has overcome the world.

So how will you face the battleground of life? How will you get beyond the world trying to tell you that life is a playground? What will you do to make a difference for the glory of God, even when you are having to suffer for the sake of Jesus? Would the world return like for like? Would the world try to do something different?

Let’s consider from today’s reading how we are supposed to respond…

21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

— from Romans 12:21

and

3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

–from 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

So as we prepare for this day we need to remember what armor is available to us! We also need to know what weapons are available to us! Let’s check out the armor first and then we can share the weapons spoken to us today through today’s reading and devotional. We need to remember and realize our minds are battlefields! Today’s devotional speaks to this truth as follows:

Your thoughts are at the root of your words and actions. The devil seeks to set up strongholds in your mind. Paul knew that at the heart of spiritual battle is the battle for the mind. There is a sense in which each of us is involved in an individual spiritual battle in our own mind. This is a daily battle to resist the temptation of wrong thoughts and take captive every thought to obey Christ.

–from Day 251: Bible In One Year 2017

Yet it goes beyond that into society! The cultural battle of ideas, philosophies and worldviews. And we need to similarly take on those competing ideas, philosophies and worldviews and to take them captive in obedience to Christ!

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

–from Ephesians 6:10-18


Winning the Spiritual Battle

Day 251: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. The weapon of prayer … Psalm 106:16-31
  2. The weapon of the gospel … 2 Corinthians 10:1-18
  3. The weapon of unity … Isaiah 17:1-19:25

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

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