ow we respond when we go through hard times is very important; just as is our attitude when we are fighting a spiritual battle, and that battle grows long and weary.
It's tempting to allow self-pity to creep in.
To default back to our old thought patterns of, "This is the way it always goes for me. Nothing ever goes right."
People tend to respond in three ways when the battle grows long and weary.
- They give in to self-pity and negativity
- They tell themselves, "Suck it up. Get over it." (This, by the way, is not biblical. Nowhere in the Bible do we see that when we encounter hardships we're just supposed to suck it up and move on.)
- They get out their weapons of warfare and go to battle.
Notice that Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:4, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds,"
He uses the plural form of weapons, meaning that there is more than just one weapon.
When we think of spiritual weapons, we tend to think only about the Word of God being our sword, but we tend to forget that Scripture gives us more defensive weapons to use, and we need all the weapons in our arsenal.
No soldier goes to battle with only one weapon.
6 Spiritual Weapons to Use When the Battle Wears On
When the battle wears on, we may feel weary, we may be tempted to give up, but these are the moments when we must remember that we don't fight in our own strength.
The weapons we fight with are not carnal weapons, and we don't dare fight in our own strength.
Our weapons are spiritual weapons; they are mighty through God, in His strength—not ours. And as we learn to tap into the strength of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to do what we otherwise couldn't do, we will begin to see victory in our lives!
1. The Word of God
"... and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17).
This is the first defensive weapon we read about in Paul's passage on the armor of God. Jesus used this weapon in the desert when Satan came to tempt Him.
Satan, at times using Scripture to tempt Jesus, twisted the meaning but Jesus came back at him each time using Scripture in its proper context to defeat him and eventually Satan left.
We will not defeat Satan by reasoning with him.
We will not defeat Satan by negotiating with him.
We will not defeat Satan by just telling him to get out.
We defeat Satan by using the weapons of our warfare that are mighty through God, and one of the most powerful weapons is the Word of God.
"Praying in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication" (Eph. 6:18a).
Many people don't recognize prayer as part of the armor of God passage in Ephesians 6. They get to the sword of the Spirit and stop, but there is not a period there.
The passage carries on talking about prayer, which is a powerful and often neglected weapon!
But notice that we don't just grab our prayer list and start working through it, "God I need.. ... and I need. ... and would You please. ... and bless. ..."
It says, "prayer and supplication in the Spirit."
We aren't praying with our mind, with our own intelligence. We are allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through us the will of the Father.
Sometimes, we already know the will of the Father.
If we are earnestly battling for the soul of a lost loved one, we know what the will of the Father is already, because the Bible tells us that the will of the Father is that none should perish.
But there are times when we are not certain. When there is no chapter and verse that clearly tells us what the will of the Father is.
If we're praying for a sick person: should we pray for immediate healing, should we pray that God be glorified through their physical weakness—as we see in Paul's thorn in the flesh, or should we pray for their ultimate healing—for God to take them home?
We see all three can be the will of the Father.
It is in these times that we need to allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us the will of the Father. He may choose to reveal it to us so we can pray in our human language, or He may choose to pray through us with the gift of tongues.
Jehoshaphat was king of Judah and a coalition army came against them to defeat them, and Jehoshaphat was afraid. In that moment, he did what any great leader should do—he called a prayer assembly and a fast.
During this prayer assembly, God gave the battle plans and assured them that they wouldn't need to fight because God would go before them and defeat the enemy.
Early in the morning they began to prepare, and Jehoshaphat did something very odd.
Ahead of the army marched worshipers who sang and praised God. They began to say, "Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever."
And then they began to sing and praise the Lord.
And Scripture says, "When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were defeated. Then the Ammonites and Moabites stood up against those dwelling from Mount Seir to destroy and finish them. Then when they made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, each man attacked his companion to destroy each other" (2 Chron. 20:22-23).
Worship is a powerful weapon to destroy the enemy.
But we must make an important distinction! Worship isn't just music. Worship isn't just playing your favorite worship CD.
Worship is a condition of the heart. It is purposeful and intentional elevation of God above everything else.
We can worship God by singing songs of praise written by other people, but worship can also be spontaneously singing words of adoration and exaltation to God that come from our own heart that no one has ever written before.
4. The Name of Jesus
"Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil. 2:9-11).
Did you catch what this verse is saying? The name of Jesus is above every other name.
Have you ever noticed that in many circles, while it is acceptable to use the name God or Lord, you will get a reaction if you use the name of Jesus?
There are many gods. Every religion acknowledges a god, and they usually call their god "god". The term "lord" is still used today in many contexts.
But Jesus? There is only one Jesus, and there is only one context in which we use the name of Jesus.
This is what makes using the name of Jesus Christ in vain so insulting. Many Christians who routinely break the third commandment and speak God's name in vain will not use Jesus Christ's name the same way.
This doesn't diminish the power of God's name, but Paul was clear when he said that God gave Jesus the name above every name. And in that name is incredible power. At Jesus' name every knee will bow and confess that He is Lord.
5. Our Testimony
"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11).
Skeptics may refute something you believe. They may even present their own set of facts or talking points that seem to call into question the Bible, creation and the existence of God altogether.
This doesn't negate the power of God's Word; rather, it confirms for us that we're living in an age of incredible deception and delusion. However, something that cannot be refuted is a first-hand testimony. This is why first-hand testimony is allowed in a court of law.
The enemy may come at you with lies and deception, but he cannot convince you that what God has done for you didn't really happen.
It's your testimony, and it has great power! It is the final word.
This is a weapon that is so often neglected, because if the enemy can get us to focus on the negative, on what we don't have, on the bad things going on in our life right now, he can cause us to forget all the good things God has done for us in the past.
All the ways God has come through for us. All the miracles God has done in our life. All the ways God has provided for us when we had nothing. The healing God has done in our heart and in our body.
Because while he can't refute our testimony, he can cause us to forget our testimony—knowing that if we use our testimony, we will be victorious. Because we will have the power to stand in faith that God will come through for us again!
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).
There is nothing the enemy wants more than for you to be riddled with discontentment, anxiety, worry, depression, envy, covetousness, gossip, complaining, slander...
All things that destroy us from the inside out and poison our relationships with others.
I clearly remember as a young adult working at a particular job where I was unhappy and frustrated, coming home each night griping and complaining about my coworkers and all of the annoying things they did.
One morning, my dad sat me down. I knew this was going to be a "talking to," something I desperately needed but really didn't want to listen to. He explained how my complaining was growing chronic, and a little annoying itself.
And then he gave me the antidote. It was a challenge, and it worked.
Each day I was to sit down with my journal and write down five positive things about each co-worker. And I wasn't allowed to repeat anything I'd written before.
At first, it was really hard. In fact, for some of them, nothing came to mind at all. I was so focused on the negative that I couldn't see anything positive at all.
But I managed something like, "They have pretty eyes" or "They have perfectly straight teeth."
But the more I did it, the easier it became. And in no time at all, I stopped complaining, and actually started liking my job again.
Does this seem like a self-help exercise?
Maybe this feels way too simplistic to you, but it's actually scriptural Check out this verse just below the one above:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things (Phil. 4:7-8).
This is a great place to start in using thanksgiving as a weapon of warfare.
I still do this exercise.
Sometimes in a journal, sometimes just in my heart. But it's become a habit.
Through thankfulness, God is able to adjust our heart so our prayers will no longer be selfish prayers but prayers He can answer.
We are able to pray according to His will because our own selfish ambitions are out of the way.
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together, they live with their two active boys, and she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call, where she shares her passion for local and global missions. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
This article originally appeared at rosilindjukic.com.
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