When we lived in Kamloops, during most winters, the clouds covered the valleys to the extent that you could not see the sun for weeks on end. Springtime was a welcome season as the clouds disappeared and the sun would shine.
As believers in Christ, we do not always discipline ourselves and we get caught in what is happening in the world and lose our proper perspective. I know, I battle this daily, so I am not approaching this article as one who is always living in victory but as one who needs to be more disciplined to do the right thing.
The Apostle Paul said, “for though we walk in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh.” Going on to teach about spiritual warfare and let me tell you folks that we are in warfare today—not just a simple one-or-two-day battle.
The first thing we need to emphasize is that our spiritual weapons are not carnal but mighty in God. The weapons of praise, worship, singing, prayer, the name of Jesus, soaking in His presence, listening for His voice in the Word of God, the Bible, and the word that He speaks to our hearts are some of these spiritual, mighty weapons.
We need to acquaint ourselves more deliberately—to practice with these weapons. Did you notice that arguing, hatred, disagreement are not part of our spiritual weapons? These are the weapons of the enemy, and we get drawn into his battle when we find ourselves doing these things with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The spiritual weapons we have, help us pull down strongholds. The strongholds of guilt, shame, and depression that are formed by lies tend to get built around us so that we feel hedged in, unable to move. He whispers hopelessness to us and puts thoughts of suicide in many minds.
I need to insert here that believers are seated in heavenly places IN Christ.
Our present position is both heavenly and secure. There is no place as secure as being in Christ. When we lose this truth we lose the battles. Paul said he would not dare fight from a carnal/earthly position but from a heavenly one.
If we are to rise above the pollution of this world we need to reconnect with our position in Christ. When we fight from the heavenlies we need to develop an attitude that says, “through my God, I will tear down strongholds that want to take me down.” The only things that need to be cast down are the strongholds and the thoughts of our enemy.
Paul teaches us how to do this. Cast down (notice the direction) all imaginations or arguments that do not come from God. We can become so careless in this area. Think back to yesterday—were all your thoughts the same as God’s thoughts?
We have the authority to pull down the thoughts of the enemy, more emphatically we have the responsibility, to pull them down in the name of Jesus. There are some things you can’t pray away or have others pray them away for you, you need to learn how to do this. Every thought and word of Jesus is true, and truth brings us to liberty.
House-cleaning of our thoughts, emotions, and will needs to be done at least once a week; I find that I need to do it daily and many times a day. The enemy wants to drag us down into his darkness so that we forget we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. There is not always a feeling of victory, we do many things by faith, not judging our faith by circumstances but by the Word of God. I am seated with Christ in heavenly places whether I feel it or not. Truth wins the battle.
Once we get our thinking straight and we practice spiritual warfare then we need to punish the disobedience we walked in. This is so important to do it right. Carelessness in this area leaves the door open for the enemy to start building those walls again. Get angry at the unrighteousness you were dragged into—those thoughts that were not the thoughts of God. Ask the Holy Spirit how to do this!
When the enemy wants to give you his thoughts, rebuke him and rebuke the thoughts that you were tempted with. Command the word of God over your situations. For example, if you suddenly get a pain in your body, use the word of God in the form of a command to come against it. “Pain you need to go, Jesus took our pains and sicknesses, they are gone.” Do not get discouraged if the pain does not leave right away rest in the thoughts and words of Jesus. Paul wrote, (in the context of spiritual warfare) “do not look at things according to the outward appearance.”
We need to live above the pollution of this world. This will only happen when we know we are seated together with Christ in heavenly places and hold that truth. Fight your battles from that position. The enemy wants to drag us down into the smog of lies; it’s difficult to fight in the dark!
When Carolyn and I had the same day off in winter, we would gather up a lunch, get into our car and get above the clouds where the sun was shining. We would eat our lunch and read our books and let the warmth of the sun penetrate our bodies. This was so precious! What was true in the natural is also true in the spiritual – we need to sit and soak up the Son.
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