The 90s had a particular look – baggy clothes (pants had to sag without a belt), Sony Walkman, and a pager were a must… or could I say ‘dope.’ During this time, my friends and I mostly listened to rap. A few of us found out that Jay Z was going to be at a concert near us and we wanted to go. I had never been to a concert before! To make it even better, a friend’s older brother said he could get us cheaper tickets and we could get a ride with him. Sounds like a plan, right?
Well, it was not the plan that we expected. After we gave our friend’s older brother the money, he promised that he would get us the tickets in the next few days. We waited in anticipation and until the day of the concert. Where was he? We still didn’t have the tickets. Didn’t he say he would take us too?
It didn’t take long unto the night to realize we’ve been gypped. There was no way to get a hold of this guy, plus everyone was afraid of him because he knew how to fight. We were out of our money and bummed because the plan did not turn out the way we thought.
I began thinking about this event in my life and realized how fitting this is regarding spiritual warfare. We have an enemy who lies and promises to deliver when he has no intention to do so. Satan desires to steal from us and instill within us a false hope for the future. As a result of falling into the Devil’s schemes, we can have difficulty trusting God to guide us and protect us from a similar situation.
Last week, it was necessary to look at who our enemy was and how his various titles reveal his strategy – that he is here to, “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). <See ‘Know Thy Enemy Part I> He fell out of Heaven with a mission to go against God, including His creation – you and me. Furthermore, he has limited power and authority to do so because of humanity’s sin. Our adversary’s purpose is to make us ineffective and inefficient Christ-followers so that we do not fulfill our mission into the world.
Here’s the beautiful part of the messiness with sin – Christ restored us. Yes, Christ’s righteousness purified us, “for He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). And yes, we rejoice since we are now considered friends of God (John 15:14-15). Yet what I want to focus on for this week is that you have the God-given authority and assignment to stand and fight against the darkness prevalent in your country and even in your personal lives.
- YOU ARE AUTHORIZED
As a child of the Most High God, He has given you official permission to wage war against the god of this world. In other words, you are not a punching bag designed to ‘take the hits’ from the enemy for God’s sake, but instead, you have legitimate authority to fight back for God! As the church, we have been on the defensive for too long – it’s time that we demolish strongholds and not wait for the hordes to attack us!
Here are the areas of warfare that we can be on the offensive:
- The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17)- This is the spoken ‘Rhema’ word of God spent in the written ‘Logos’ word of God. Therefore, when you sense the enemy preparing an attack, you can speak forth the words from the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit gives you to resist Him at that moment.
- “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). There is a gift of ‘praying in the Spirit’ otherwise known as speaking in tongues. However, this passage is not only for those with this gift, but rather, functions supplementary to all believers.* We are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and our prayers have a significant impact on whether the prince of the power of the air can come against us. (See Daniel 10 for angelic spiritual warfare on behalf of our prayers to God).
- “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). What better offensive than turning to God in that moment of trial, test, or temptation? Our great God knows what is going on in the spiritual realm and will give us what we need to resist the enemy of our soul! He can provide us with what we need to overcome, better yet, have the enemy flee even when we do not have the strength left to fight!
2. YOU HAVE ACCESS
When I think of access, I automatically think of a key. A key is designed to fit precisely in a lock to open a door or lock a door. Not everyone has the key and no other key will do. The key God has given you is access to His throne, where He reigns. As a result of being children of God with Jesus as our High Priest, we can, “… draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Do you realize how significant this is? Typically, one had to be granted permission by the king in order to see his face. If someone came before the king without being summed, they could be put to death (See Esther 4:10-11). However, we have a king – the King of Kings who invites us to His throne room 24/7. What a relief that is! As the verse indicates, we can access Him anytime to receive mercy and find grace to help us when we need it most.
I’ll tell you… I needed it this last week! When I was continuing to work on my message on spiritual warfare, I began experiencing it. First, my wifi was not working, so I moved to another room to get a better connection. My setup was not secure, so when I got off the bed, my laptop fell to the ground. I didn’t think anything of it until I turned on the screen… and realized that I had broken my screen! Oh no! I spent the next few days scrabbling to get that lesson and blog up as I experience more technological difficulties.
I realized afterward that I did not run immediately to my Heavenly Father. Instead, I tried to quickly fix the situation and waste ample amounts of energy being frustrated, impatient and consumed. Even if I still had the technological difficulties afterward, I would be better off coming to the Lord first to have peace, contentment, and the understanding that the Lord is going to work everything out.
As you can see, it’s one thing to have the authorization and it’s another to access it. Simply because you and I are children of God does not mean we can go on autopilot and assume life will work out for good. Rather, since we are ‘not of this world,’ it is going to be a fight and we need to access that God-given authority EVERY SINGLE DAY. Are you afraid of what is taking place in our nation? Access the throne of grace. Do you desire to see corruption come to the forefront and wickedness be dealt with? Pray as the people of God to see His purposes come forth into our lives, our homes, and our communities. Do you see this time as crucial for His church to be united against policies and practices that are unbiblical and ungodly? Seek the Lord’s face and ask that His mighty Spirit would roam through the land unifying all Christian brothers and sisters regardless of race, ethnicity, or denomination. We need to fight!
Remember, “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” (Ephesians 6:12).
For this week, ask the Holy Spirit, “what area(s) are holding me back from you? While it’s easy to focus on fighting for a cause, it’s crucial that we do not allow any hindrances or idols to lead us astray. Second, ask the Lord, “where do you want me to wage warfare on your behalf?” The ways are numerous as it can be praying for your President and country, to seeing a specific Biblical cause take place (ex: more people stand up to protect the womb of a child), to speaking out your identity in Christ over yourself when you need it.
The Lord is raising a remnant of His people for such a time as this. Let us ask God what He is doing and join Him continuing to fight the good fight of faith.
Have a blessed week!
*Otherwise, how can we ‘pray in the Spirit’ as the final piece of the armor of God if not everyone has this ability? While we should pray and seek spiritual gifts, we have to remember that it is the Holy Spirit who gives spiritual gifts as “he desires”, not us (1 Corinthians 12:11).