Don't know what it means to be a Christian?
Powerful Personal Prayer: Ten Keys to a Dynamic Prayer Life
Scriptures that talk about...
Introduction To Spiritual Warfare
John 10:10 ( NIV ) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
- God's desire for us is that we have peace, joy, and prosperity in this life. Jesus says in John 10:10, that he came to give us 'abundant' life. Strong's Greek Dictionary defines the word translated 'abundant' as excessive, beyond measure, and superfluous. Yet, we know we do not experience a life this full, even though we belong to God by virtue of the shed blood of Jesus. Why not?
- We have an enemy. Look again in John, chapter ten. Jesus is using the analogy of the shepherd and the sheep and calls himself the “Good Shepherd” who lays down his life for the sheep to protect them from the “thief.” Notice the goal of the thief is to steal, kill, and destroy.
- We're not experiencing the abundant life. When we look at our own life experience and that of others around us, we can see too clearly the stealing, killing, and destroying effects at work. So, what's the problem? Why do we not enjoy all that God has for us? Why do we, as believers, still see so much defeat, loss, and destruction?
- Our enemy hates us. Again I say, we have an enemy, and we often fail to appreciate how much that enemy hates us. Look again at verse 10 of John 10, the thief comes ONLY to do these things, it is not ONE of the reasons he comes, it is the ONLY reason. He comes ONLY to steal, to kill, and to destroy. It is dangerous to play around with him-he never plays with us. The devil's intentions toward us are clear: to steal, to kill, to destroy. Never doubt it.
- The enemy lays a trap for us. The devil has perfected his ability to take a piece of truth and twist it into something he can use to bring destruction into people's lives. This is why people fall for his schemes, there is a grain of truth that lures them in and, soon, they are enslaved by the trap laid for them.
John 8:44 ( NIV )You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Those who are dabbling in things of the occult-witches, charms, or, the latest fad, vampires-are playing right into the enemy's hand and are setting themselves up to experience nothing but loss and destruction. What seems harmless and fun soon becomes enslaving and twisted.
- We can be free. A person trapped by this usually needs help and deliverance to escape, but escape they can. If this describes you, and you want to be free, there are two ways to approach and I recommend both of these.
1.Repent. Yes, I dare to use this word. Recognize you have yielded to the enemy-God's enemy and yours-and confess before God your sin. Take this to the foot of the cross and ask for forgiveness. Accept that forgiveness by faith and say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord of your life and say you yield yourself to Him and no longer to the devil. Tell the devil to leave your thoughts, your house, and your life, that you belong to God, you have been bought with the shed blood of Jesus. 2.Find some help. After you have repented and prayed according to step one above, you may not need to do anything else, but this kind of thing is very insidious, so, I recommend you find yourself a good, Bible-believing pastor. Ask if he believes in casting demons out of people, if he says “No,” keep looking until you find one who does. Ask him(or her) to pray with you about this. If you can't find a local pastor, prayer can be sought here as well as more teaching on spiritual warfare.
- We must learn the basics of spiritual warfare. We must fight to access our rights and privileges as believers. A note here: the enemy is never people. If the devil can convince us a person or persons is responsible, the spotlight is off of him. Read and study Ephesians 6, verses 10-18 for a list of the kinds of armor we have available for use against a bold and persistent enemy.
- Make the decision to stand against the enemy. Training in military terms require many hours of repeating the same maneuvers and drills until they become so ingrained in the subconscious and muscle memory that the soldier doesn't have to think, but will react instantly in the correct manner when faced with the enemy. In the same way, we, as believers, must spend time training and drilling ourselves in the word of God, using the armor listed in Ephesians six, until our reactions are changed from the world's way of defeat and bondage to God's way of victory and life.
- Use the word of God in a deliberate manner as a weapon against the inroads the enemy has made in our lives, in the lives of our families, and in the lives of those around us. I have found that when I take a particular scripture verse and begin to voice it against a specific area in my life, change begins to occur. I have made the decision that I agree the word of God as true in all cases, so, even if I don't feel very full of faith about something, I still take the scripture and voice it. I voice it often, repeatedly, and consistently. I speak the scripture out loud when I can, and silently to myself when more appropriate, but the scripture I have chosen is the thing I use whenever the problem or situation comes to mind. I use it on purpose to fight the fear and uncertainty. I refuse to give in to worry or defeat.
- Don't give up! Will we always see victory? Not yet. We are still learning and growing in the ways of the Lord, but let us determine now to keep on resisting the evil in our lives and in the lives of our families. Like Peter said when Jesus asked if the disciples would desert him, there is no where else to go. So, we take our stand against evil, and after everything is done, we stand.
John 6:68 ( NIV ) Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Ephesians 6:10-18 ( NIV ) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. 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. 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 saints.