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13 December 2012

Spiritual Warfare - December 13

Have you read “the end of the Book”? You know that as a Christian, we have the ultimate victory through Christ. We also know that we still live in a sin-filled world and lead a sin-filled life. Our faith doesn’t give us license to sin, knowing that God promises to forgive us. Is it really repentance if you ask forgiveness while planning to repeat your sin? How does acting carnally enhance your testimony for Jesus? What’s the point of salvation is you’re exactly the same as an unbeliever?

Paul wrote a letter to the Ephesians, and in it he encouraged them and promised that he was lifting them up in prayer. Likewise, we should encourage our Christian brothers and sisters and bring them to the Throne of Grace.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:16-23 (ESV)

Paul reminds us that Jesus is Lord over everything. He has dominion now and forever. Satan is the ruler of this world, but Jesus is Lord over Satan.

The devil can’t make you “do it”. Anything that Satan tempts you with is overcome by the power and might of Jesus Christ.

Do these words give you comfort? Think of ways that you can apply these verses to your life. Perhaps you’ll memorize these verses. Perhaps you will pray the Scriptures…

Father, I thank you that you have called me to a glorious inheritance. I thank You and praise You for the immeasurable greatness of Your power toward me, according to the workings of Your great might that You worked in Christ, who You made far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Thank You for putting all things under Jesus’ feet and making Him head over all things. Because of this, I know that You will help me as I work to break down the stronghold of ______. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

It’s fun and rewarding to pray using the Scripture as a model. The best part is that you know your prayer can’t be “wrong” if it’s based on the Bible! (Earnest prayers are never wrong. Some people aren’t sure how to pray – and they might worry that they are not praying “properly”. When in doubt, use the Bible as a starting point for your prayers. You don’t have to use stuffy language. God knows who you are and how you’ve been created. But if you don’t know what to pray or what to pray for, the Bible is the perfect place to begin.)

What strongholds have you identified? How are you working to break them down? Has breaking one stronghold brought others to mind? Have you tried to turn away from certain thoughts but been unsuccessful? God’s still there for you. He will help you and pick you up a million times if that’s what it takes. Don’t get frustrated. He’s there for you – and so am I. If you’d like prayer, feel free to email me. you can also talk to a pastor. Get into an accountability partnership where you and your partner hold you accountable before God to work on your individual issues by praying and studying together.

Remember the reason for the Christmas season isn’t the stuff you buy and receive. It’s the Gift that voluntarily came from the Kingdom of Heaven to be born in a smelly stable and ultimately die a humiliating and brutal death so that you can have eternal life. I’ll see you Monday.

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