By: Tim Sader
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.
Last week we discussed the bondage of fear and how it has many believers operating under one of the biggest strong holds over the church today. We know that fear is the opposite of faith and in fear we can have no peace since fear attacks our faith where we struggle most. Also last week in 1 John 4:18 we see perfect love casts out fear and that there is no fear in love. If we have fear we are punishing ourselves because we cannot be made perfect in love. Fear is a sad state of affairs for the church to be trapped in and we must free ourselves from this bondage to reach that level of faith to see things happen and help set others free as well. We studied some of what the word has to say about fear. We discussed how to face our fear, seek God for all we need to defeat whatever obstacle stands in the way of our victory. To overcome fear we must truly believe 2 Timothy 1:7 it says, “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind.” If we believe in what Christ did on the cross and know we are saved by his mercy and grace, fear has no place inside of us. We are sons and daughters of God not slaves to fear. On the Sunday after writing about fear at church hey talked about Psalm 91; which tells us to put our trust fully in the Lord and seek refuge in Him. If we do so all the horrifying fearful things listed will have no power over us. There was also a prophecy concerning someone going through a difficult time and that it was for our testing to prove to us when we are weak he is still strong. Obviously the Lord is telling us, look to me, do not fear what is happening in the world! If we look to Him we will be delivered and set free, just look to Him and let Him be our deliverance!
To be set free from fear we really need to understand what we are up against and today’s scripture pretty much sums it up for us. We must remember when we face an obstacle in our lives as believers we are not children of the world so our battles are not of this world. Our battles are fought in heavenly places against all rulers, authorities and powers of evil in this world. Prior to verse 12 it tells us to be strong in the power of God and to put on the armor of God to stand against the devils schemes. In Ephesians 6:14-17 it tells us to, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Just as we are not fighting against flesh our weapons are not weapons of flesh and blood but of spiritual truths. We must be prepared by putting on truth and righteousness so our feet can lead us by the gospel of peace. Our faith is a shield that can be used to block anything the enemy can throw at us. As believers we all have salvation no matter when we received Christ; if we are saved we have one of the most important pieces of armor. The helmet protects the head and no matter how we are attacked salvation will always save us. Our weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and the more we learn to use that word the more effective our weapon will be. Our armor is our protection against all rulers, authorities and powers of evil in this world. Along with putting on our armor Ephesians 6:18 tells us to, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” There is no two things more important for spiritual battle then prayer and the word of God together they are an unstoppable force.
In Romans 13:11-14 the Lord is saying wake up people; we have been sleeping to long because today is the day of salvation. It is time to walk away from the darkness that stained our past and put on the armor of light so we can stand up to the attack of our enemy. We must stand up to what is impure and unholy by remembering the spiritual function of our armor. If we clothe ourselves in the same manner as Christ putting on our armor we will not even want to gratify our sinful nature and we will overcome this world. In Mark 16:15-18 Christ told his followers to go into the entire world and preach the gospel to all creation. Christ laid down His life for all so everyone has access to be part of the army of God through Him. He also told us what to look for in those who believe. These signs are all forms of tactics to use against the enemies of darkness when we are being attacked. In Christ we can cast out devils, speak in new tongues, pick up snakes, drink deadly poison and not be harmed as well as lay hands on the sick and watch them recover. These are all ways for us to counter act all the schemes of the enemy and be more then conquers in Christ Jesus.
Last week we discussed the battle between David and Goliath. The odds were stacked against David in the natural but he believed that God would deliver Goliath into his hands and the Lord did as David had the faith to believe. This battle seemed to be of flesh and blood though David chose weapons that seemed inferior for warfare he chose what God showed him and what he knew. Because of his faith the battle was won not because of what happened in the natural, it was won in the spirit before Goliath ever even challenged the armies of Israel. In Joshua 6 is the Battle of Jericho, again a natural battle that could possibly be won by natural means and brute force but the Lord had his ideas for this battle. He marched the armies of Israel around the city for six days the only sound was of the trumpets accompanying the arch of the covenant. On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times and the final time they let out a loud shout and the city came tumbling to the ground. God again won this battle in the spirit. His children didn’t have to take up physical arms to win this battle they simply had to be obedient and watch God move on their behalf.
In Deuteronomy 3:22 we learned not to be afraid because the LORD our God will fight for us when we are in trouble and call on Him. In 2 Kings 6:16 it says, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” When we face a battle in our lives and feel the forces of darkness on our back we need to remember those who are with us in the heavenly realm are greater then any force opposing us. Psalm 18:39 says, “You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet.” When we face battles the Lord is the one preparing us for the attacks of the enemy; He will deliver them to us and they will be defeated. Psalm 140:7 says, “O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle.” The Lord gives us all the protection we need in our day of battle. If we trust in him to deliver us in our battle He will because He is the one who shields us. Over and over we see the Lord will protect us against our enemies when we trust Him and let Him work it all out for His glory.
When we are faced with a battle in our life remember God has prepared us for battle. He wants us to not fear the attacks of the enemy but to ready ourselves for battle. He wants us to put on the armor of spiritual truths to stop the attacks of the enemy. He wants us to use the faith He’s given us to stop the arrows of wickedness from hitting us. We are to pick up our weapons, prayer and the word of God and learn to use them to keep our trust and focus on the Lord. As the battle rages around us this week remember to go back and read Psalm 91 and do as it says, seek refuge in the shadow of the Almighty and allow Him to deliver us in times of need. Verse 15,16 says, “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” He is listening and will deliver us when we need Him most. Finally in Proverbs 21:30,31 it says, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.” When we enter battle and have the Lord fighting for us nothing can stand in our way because no plan of the enemy can prevail against Him. The battles we are fighting belong to the Lord; He knows the outcome and He is faithful. Just believe!