Tag Archives: Spiritual Warfare

Nothing Shall Separate Us…

Armor2

Romans 8: 38,39: (NASB) “For I am CONVINCED that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Several years ago, I went through a time of INTENSE spiritual warfare. One Sunday I was sitting in church praying fervently, as I felt the oppression coming over me. An Elder in our church who was leading in worship said he looked out at me, and it was as if a cloud was covering my face. (By the way, I come from a Reformed Presbyterian background…and these things were NOT commonplace in my circles!)

Nevertheless, this particular time as the battle raged, my prayers changed. Instead of begging God to take away the oppression, I asked Him to “glorify His name”, in and through the wrestling. Just as I released my prayer before the throne, “Father, glorify Thy Name.” John 12:28 was read from the pulpit: ” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

Peace flooded my soul; I knew I was held securely in the invisible war, and that no principalities could separate me from the love of Jesus. Demons are created beings. They cannot separate us from the love of Christ. The battle is REAL, but the victory is ours. Christ WILL BE glorified!

The Apostle Paul wrote the above passage while he was in Corinth.
The Scriptures teach us that Paul endured many hardships. He was whipped, beaten, stoned, imprisoned…forsaken by friends. 2 Timothy 4:16,17 tells us when Paul was brought before Nero “all men forsook him, but the Lord stood by him.”

As believers, we are securely held in Christ in the midst of life’s sufferings, and NOTHING can separate us from His love. Friends, husbands, parents, children, etc. may forsake us, but Christ never will!

Romans 8: 38,39 mentions “angels or principalities”. Principalities are both the good and the bad angels (demons). Matthew Henry says, ”the good angels are engaged friends, the bad are restrained enemies.”

Demons are restrained, but nonetheless they are powerful foes! As life’s battles come our way, be it divorce, financial struggles, rebellious children, persecution, etc., the devil seeks to create doubt regarding our security in Christ. The enemy desires to make us believe we are separated from God’s love.

Ephesians 6:12 & 13 says: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

At the root of life’s struggles, we are not wrestling with flesh and blood (or one another). We are wrestling with spiritual forces of darkness, principalities, or demons. We must take up the armor of God. Resist. Stand firm.

still waters

In Keith Getty’s song, In Christ Alone, he penned:
“No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.”

I exhort you to be CONVINCED that:
Neither death
Nor life
Nor principalities
Nor things in the present
Nor things to come
No power
No height
No depth
Nor any other created thing, will be able to separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Take Courage!

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“It takes courage to hold to truth when lies blur our vision.”  Jo Ann Fore, When a Woman Finds her Voice.

The Scriptures teach that we are engaged in a battle, and it is “not against flesh and blood.” (Ephesians 6)

The week the Holy Spirit made me keenly aware of this truth, I began concerted prayer, asking God to rebuke the demons and deliver me from oppression.  The next Sunday morning, when the weekly attack began in worship, the floodgates seemed to open.  Instead of pleading with the Lord to allow me to make it through the service without an episode, I began rebuking the demons in the name of Jesus.  I began praying against the oppression and asking God to first and foremost “glorify His name.” Right on the heels of that silent prayer, my dear pastor and husband read from the pulpit:

John 12:28:”‘Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, saying: ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”’

Contemplating that moment still gives me chills.

I began to silently claim that I was property of my Lord Jesus and that the demons had no power except that which was given to them.  They began to rage, and I could feel my body beginning to crumble.  I stumbled to the sanctuary doors to make my escape.  I fell in the hallway and my Nalgene bottle bounced onto the tile floor, causing a very loud noise.  My faithful comrades leapt from their seats to assist me.  They carried me to the carpeted library.

Once inside they began to call on the demons to depart in the name of the Lamb of God. My body heaved and jerked violently each time they prayed.  I was tiny (at the time) and three strapping men were struggling greatly to contain me.  I was told my eyes rolled back and I made deep guttural sounds.

This was the first of several united prayer meetings to pray for my deliverance through the cleansing of my body and mind.  Satan’s scare tactics would have overwhelmed us all had it not been for the power of the Holy Spirit, who was present doing battle in and through us.  As was typical, once the worship service in the sanctuary drew to a close, the barrage began to dissipate.

The minute the service ended, my husband came into the library to check on me.  After learning I had had a long and violent experience, his first response was, “I need to get her up off the carpet.” Since we had believed my “seizures” were being caused by extreme allergens in the church building (possibly the carpet), this was a natural reaction.

My answer to him was, “No, they are leaving.” He replied, “Who is leaving.”

I said, “The demons.”

Sharing this excerpt from my book I am working on, Securely Held: My Journey Through Spiritual Warfare, causes me to tremble.  Reader, will you pray for me to take courage? Will you pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to give me boldness to find my voice?

I am linking up with Jo Ann Fore today.  Check out her book, When a Woman Finds Her Voice.  You will be blessed!

Why Spoil The Facade?

Jo Ann Fore“We intend to hide our shortcomings, and the fear inside our hearts, but instead we hide our beauty, our true selves.”

 Jo Ann Fore, When a Woman Finds Her Voice

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12 (NASB)
I have the privilege of being a pastor’s wife to a strong, godly man. We have read and studied the above verses many times throughout our years of ministry, yet one Sunday morning in 2003 they came alive. That was the moment a dear group of comrades and I realized the intense physical “episodes” I had been experiencing were indeed “not against flesh and blood.” We were involved in an unseen war against “the spiritual forces of wickedness.”

I would like to be able to say that we discovered my problems were solely spiritual warfare and were finally defeated, or that we were brought to the realization that it was all just mental stress that could be cured through counseling and medication, or that in the end we discovered it was indeed some mysterious disease explained in medical books, for which I am undergoing effective treatment. Yet the reality is that God has revealed to us through this now fourteen-year journey that it is a combination of all three. So, I am still on a mission- a mission to share my story of the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of my problems. Yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I am a pastor’s wife. And, yes, I have problems.

It is with joy, as well as trepidation, that I share my story. A snapshot of our smiling family in our Christmas photo portrays near “perfection.” A handsome, dignified-looking father and his mirthful wife, four gorgeous offspring, and a cheerful dog to boot! Why spoil the façade? I believe my Lord is calling me to step out in faith to help raise awareness of the intense spiritual attacks Satan launches, especially against those in public ministry. I want to expose how the “holes” in my life experiences opened the door to demonic oppression. By God’s grace, those “holes” have been filled with the blood of Jesus. As author and teacher Sue Jakes has said, “Due to the fall, this world is not a playground, it is a battlefield!” I believe Christ wants to use our journey to advance His kingdom. He is building His church, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

What about you? Is God calling you to speak out about an unpopular topic?  I know what a struggle it is to open up.  Being a part of the launch team for Jo Ann Fore’s book, When a Woman Finds Her Voice, is giving me greater boldness to step out in faith.  How may I pray for you?
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Busy Much?

 

April 2, 2013

Solitude and Serenity
by Charles R. Swindoll

Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
incline your heart to understanding.
Proverbs 2:2

An inner restlessness grows within us when we refuse to get alone [with God] and examine our own hearts, including our motives.

As our lives begin to pick up the debris that accompanies a lot of activities and involvements, we can train ourselves to go right on, to stay active, to be busy in the Lord’s work.

Unless we discipline ourselves to pull back, to get alone for the hard work of self-examination in times of solitude, serenity will remain only a distant dream.

How busy we can become . . . and as a result, how empty! We mouth words, but they mean nothing. We find ourselves trafficking in unlived truths. We fake spirituality.

How easy to fall prey to meaningless talk, cliché-ridden responses, and mindless activities! It was never meant to be that way; but, more often than not, that’s the way it is.

To break the habit, solitude is required. The hard work of self-examination on a recurring basis is absolutely essential.

 

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Someone has said that being too B.U.S.Y is “Being Under Satan’s Yoke.”  How about you?  How do you preserve time to rest in Him?