We Are in a Battle
I am in a battle! But I'm not worried about it in the least. Jesus said that I could expect to have battles (troubles, pressures, reasons to be alarmed) in this world, but that I was not to fear. So I make the choice not to fear. I'm not afraid of anything! Jesus promised me that I will ALWAYS triumph in Him! In order to triumph, I have to be going through a battle. A promise is a promise and I believe Him. Why am I convinced that this is going to turn out for my good? Because Jesus said that it would! He assured me that He has deprived this world of its ability to hurt me! What good news! When people around me are being hurt, I'm immune! When people all around me are failing, I'm not–because He caused me to understand Grace. Grace is His ability within me to do what I am not able to do in and of myself. By His grace, I am always the head, always on top, always winning.
Jesus has already done the work that was needed to position me for victory. But this victory is not automatic. This battle is really about one thing: will I stand on God's promises and receive the reward of victory? Or will I collapse under pressure and fall for the lie that God is not to be trusted in matters that concern me? Battles take on a lot of different appearances–health, finances, relationships, safety, and so forth. But all battles are the same–the fight for our faith.
The power of the Holy Spirit–the same power that empowered Jesus to have victory over death–is at work in me. But I am the one who activates that power. How? In my reaction to trouble. If I fear no evil when evil stands before me, I am using my faith–faith that pleases God. I am using the same power with the authority of Jesus Name, which Jesus gave to the Church, 2000 years ago. I am choosing to believe God rather than circumstances.
Faith cannot be forced. I can say that I have faith but if my thoughts, words, and actions don't correspond to God's promise, then I don't really have faith. Many people hope. They hope that God will come through for them. They hope that they will survive the attack. They hope that they will live through the crisis. But hope is not faith. And it's only by using our faith that we are assured of the overwhelming victory. We can stand and yell the Name of Jesus all day long. We can plead the blood of Jesus relentlessly. But if we don't have faith, we are missing the power to get us out of trouble.
There are no formulas. There are no short cuts. Faith is persistent, dog-eared determination that refuses to let go, refuses to give in, refuses to stop, and refuses to fail. Real faith stands up to fear and takes the aggressive stance that puts fear on the run. Faith rises up with the sword of the Spirit and challenges trouble to a fight to the finish. Faith is not afraid of anything. Faith refuses to draw back and curl up.
Have you ever noticed a cat when it is threatened–it's where we get the term 'scaredy cat' from. They roll over onto their backs, in a submitted posture, with a body language that whimpers "please don't hurt me". This is the same posture that the disciples took when their boat encountered the life-threatening storm–they got angry at Jesus and stood over Him to accuse Him–"Master, don't you care that we are going to die"? They were behaving like scaredy cats. So many Christians are afraid of the devil and afraid of the troubles he causes. They go out of their way to leave the devil alone and always this means laying down their faith. They set down their shield of faith and they lay down the sword of the Spirit while tip- toeing backwards, hoping they haven't upset the devil.
We certainly never saw Jesus responding this way. Of course, you're probably thinking about the cruel attack Jesus endured as He was violently attacked and murdered. Of course you don't want to risk that same attack. But let me remind you how Jesus looked at that situation. He boldly declared, "My life is My own–to lay down and to take up. You have no power over Me but what power I give to you." Satan didn't kill Jesus. Satan, so filled with his own deception, thought that he had killed the Son of God–but he didn't.
Satan has no right to you. He has no access into your life except that you give it to him–through fear. This is why fear is so deadly. The bible tells us that Job lost everything he had because he gave satan access to his life. "That which Job feared, came upon him". Fear gives satan power to do what he threatens to do. Fear launches intimidation. If you are intimidated by anything or anyone, you know that fear is in your heart. And fear only has one path to follow–to disaster.
Over and over in the Word of God, the Lord tells us "fear not". In the worst of circumstances, in situations where it was impossible to win, His instruction has always been "fear not". God would not tell us this if it were not possible for us to obey. All we have to do is to say "okay". By saying "yes Lord–I will not fear" we position ourselves to come under His grace. And His grace really is amazing! It's all sufficient. It's whatever is needed–no matter what. For as long as it's needed–it operates for us. All we have to do is to come into agreement with the instruction of God--"Fear not". The moment we agree we are using faith. The moment we agree not to fear–even before thoughts of fear are gone–the shield of our faith stands in front of us and the weapon that satan has used to threatening us has been stopped. The minute we receive grace, our faith is activated. And that faith is powerful!
When people came to Jesus with their needs, He told them "don't be afraid–only believe". This is the first response. Without this one element dealt with, victory cannot be manifested. If you are in trouble today, your first action is to take dominion over your thought life by casting out all fear. "Perfect love casts out all fear". By trusting God's love for you, by believing in all that Jesus has done for you, you are receiving His perfect love. By resting in His love, you set the grounds for faith results. Perfect love takes faith. Faith is stronger than fear. Fear is cast out as you have faith in God's perfect love.
"I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me." The strength of Christ Jesus is the ability to live in His anointing and to experience the same victory that His lifestyle exhibited daily. We can quote that scripture but if we don't believe it–if we don't recognize what His strength inside us is doing for us–then we fail to receive the benefits. Words alone don't give us the victory. As it is written, "And this is the victory that has overcome the world–even our faith". It is impossible to please God if we refuse to use our faith. Our faith in His Word that He loves us and takes care of us, is extremely pleasing to God.
We are told to "work out our own salvation with respect for God and in submission to His will". Respect for God's way of doing things–is to operate by His Kingdom principles. If we want to receive the promise of 'days of heaven on earth' we have to operate our lives using the keys that He has given to us. "Fear not little flock, for it is the Fathers good pleasure to give you the keys of the Kingdom… righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost". Righteousness just means to do things the way that God requires them to be done–living the lifestyle of Jesus, Who only did what He saw the Father do and only said what He heard the Father say. Not having any righteousness of our own, but knowing and depending on the righteousness that has come to us through the grace of God--the free gift of salvation. Not by any works we had done, but by the completed work of Jesus as He caused us to become one with Him–to be a part of His family.
We have to work out this salvation. That means being active, not passive. We are told to "fight the good fight of faith". And "having done all to stand, stand". Many people try to stand without having done "all" first. We cannot lie down and cry out "Master, don't You care that we are perishing? Do something about it! Protect us! Care for us! Give me what I need"! No, no, and a thousand times 'no'! Jesus said "here is My power. Use it. I've shown you how to live, now follow My example. Triumph over sickness, disease, debts, poverty, lack, death, sin, temptation, evil, threats, lies, intimidations, and fear. I've empowered you–stand strong–fear not–and get it done". Jesus requires that we enforce what He has done.
We are the ones that satan is afraid of. Why do you think that he is after us with all these attacks? Because he knows that if we ever really understand the power that we hold over him–to say "go"–when said in faith–requires that he goes. We've been given the assignment to take over this world for the Kingdom of God. Satan knows that if he keeps us distracting in battles here and battles there, that we won't focus on living out what God has ordained for our lives. It's up to us to wake up and take the reins of our lives–steering our course along the path that He has prepared for us. We do this only through the incredible power of patient faith and by His grace.
Jesus said it this way "get behind Me satan!" Over and over we are told that we have to resist the devil and that he will flee from us. If someone does get the courage to command him to leave, often times it is with a hope that he will flee–not with any confident expectation of faith–that knows it will have whatever it says. There are many Christians who go through some motions in an effort to please God, but if they don't have the revelation of who they are in Christ and in all that they possess in the way of dominion and power, they are powerless. And satan can tell the difference!
Powerless Christians might say 'go' but a symptom that lasts, a circumstance that looks the same over the passing of time, and so forth, make most give up. They wave the white flag of defeat, hoping that satan will back off and leave them alone. They just want to 'die in peace'.
We are told to be strong and to be very courageous. That's not a suggestion. That's not something that we can do in and of our own strength when a fierce battle is waging against the peace of our souls. Our first step is to say "yes Lord--I will". That simple act of submission activates Grace. When we can say "yes Lord" we are using our faith. Faith that puts greater confidence in God's power to deliver us more than in satans power to influence men or the things of this world, to hurt us.
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you…" Pride will try to fight the battle without faith. Pride will try to reason out what solutions are needed. But pride is against God because it is a demonstration of our will to do it our way. A humble Christian is the one who acknowledges their loving, protective, caring, and giving Father. A humble Christian is one who recognizes that it is God's great desire to pour good and loving kindness into their lives. But a humble Christian is not one who timidly lies down, curls up, and says "God, You do it." That's being a no faith or weak faithed Christian. And these kinds of Christians don't ever gain the victory. Jesus sighed and said "I wonder, when I return, will I even find faith among you"??
What you really believe is inside of you. If you don't like what you see, then get to work building up your faith, by praying in the Holy Ghost. By renewing your mind with the Word of God. We are in a battle. But there is absolutely no excuse to ever lose. If you have real faith, you'll be thinking, speaking, and doing what you believe to be true. Faith in motion is acting on what you believe. James 2:20 says "faith without works is dead". People can presume they have faith and die. People can presume they have faith because they are afraid to go to a doctor. People can presume that they are standing when they've rolled over onto their backs, whimpering, and whining as they let satan run rough shod all over them.
Again, if you have faith that pleases God then you will be thinking the thoughts of God. You will be experiencing His grace that brings peace, and joy. The work of the Holy Spirit will be operating in your life–bearing fruit. Faith is activated by love. Love believes God. Love trusts God. Love acts on God's Word. Love profits us with great victory.
Yes, I am in a battle but I have cast the care of it onto the Lord. I am daily doing what He tells me to do; I am resting in His love. I am standing because I've done all He has required of me. I have put up my shield of faith and it is doing an amazing work of grace in stopping all the weapons formed against me. He said that no weapon can ever hurt me and I use my faith to believe that He would never lie to me. I don't deny that there is trouble in my life–but I deny the trouble the ability to stay. Jesus has already overcome this trouble. It's false evidence that appears real. It's an attack trying to get me to fear; Trying to steal the Word of God out of my heart; Trying to separate me from the solid foundation of God's love; Trying to appear more real than the reality that I am saved! I am cared for! Everything is working out for my good! Angels are protecting me!
We are delivered out of this present evil world and are seated in heavenly places with Him. I am ruling and I am reigning in this life–through Christ Jesus my Lord and Savior. I am living in His amazing grace that loves me and operates through me in the guarantee of absolute victory! It's impossible for me to lose because I keep my heart humble before Him, relying on Him, believing everything that He tells me. I stand strong against the wiles of the devil; because I know that he cannot devour me! I know that He cannot touch me! We are in the secret place–the Kingdom of God where satan cannot trespass. We are victors–never victims. The curse is denied access into our lives because the curse cannot cross this hedge of protection–the Blessing of God that has made us rich and adds no sorrow to it.
Because God has blessed me with these words of comfort, hope, assurance, safety, security, and truth, I pass them a long to you–to encourage you, to build your faith, to challenge you to go higher in Him. Trust God. He is filled with loving kindness and tender mercies to you today! Let Him be God! Allow Him to Lord over your life. Allow Him to have complete control of your faith.
I want to hear from you today–not just about the troubles you are facing–but about your abounding love for and trust in Him. I would love to hear how you are standing in the face of obstacles. Triumphing over them all, because of Christ Who dwells in you.