Living out of God’s courage, what holds us back? And how do we escape the two traps of the devil.
On Valentine’s Day we will give away a DVD of the movie Courageous, several books and also we will give away two framed, The Resolution for men and 2 framed, The Resolution for Women. To win, leave a comment in any post over the next two weeks.
Before I reveal some highly effective strategies in our spiritual warfare I first have a question for you to consider.
Do you think God wants courageous followers?
And why might it matter to God if we have courage?
I often think as believers, our natural tendency is to gravitate to the attributes of God which are most appealing; love, grace, forgiveness, kindness, provision, protection. Those spring to my mind and I will admit that I’m drawn in and want to focus most of my prayers and learning on these qualities of our Lord.
If you are like me and dwell in these qualities, like me you may tent to dismiss the fullness of God and His other facets which include justice, judgment, and warfare. These are far less appealing and quite frankly…… can be scary.
However, let me be forthright. We would do well to study these aspects of His character and how the relate in our lives because whether we like it or not or even know it or not, we are living smack in the middle of a war.
And the players, the VITAL players in this war are…… us, the believers.
Now I don’t pretend to have all of this spiritual warfare business figured out but I have learned a few things over the years. Many of you have read my account of battling over my husband (click here). What I have learned is how believers are easily defeated by the enemy and I have also learned how to use the weapons we have to thwart him and his minions.
How does this relate to courage?
Well, it takes courage to acknowledge the truth about the spiritual realm, its existence all around us, the part we play and the consequences of unrestrained evil. It takes courage to step up to the battle field and deal fight with real evil. But, my friends, an ounce of courage and the hand of Jesus can render an army of evil in shambles.
What might you surmise are the greatest weapons the devil uses to defeat God’s people?
Fear and lies.
Fear is born of lies. It’s a wicked web than ensnares so many believers. How do we begin to replace lies with truth? When we learn to do that our fear disappears and prayer warriors emerge.
Let me share something from the early years of my marriage. My husband travels for business. Out on a plane on Monday home on Friday. I spent many nights alone with my two small kids in a large city. I found myself fearful at night alone in the darkness. I couldn’t sleep. My imagination ran wild. Okay, you get the picture.
I needed to escape this night time fear. So, I turned to God’s Word. I looked up scripture verses about fear. I wrote them down on 3x5 cards and began to memorize them. 2 Timothy 1 :7 comes to my mind even now:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)
When I would wake up in the middle of the night, with my heart pounding, I would sit straight up and I would repeat this scripture OUT LOUD, over and over again. Until whatever was disturbing in the spiritual realm would leave. I would tell the darkness, “God did NOT give me a spirit of fear. I will not be afraid because my spirit is not of fear but my spirit is of power, great love and self-control.” Man you say that a few times at night with great passion and conviction and you will we ready to take on the world. I would then settle down and go right to sleep and rise the next morning ready to kick butt and take names.
This process of replacing lies (fear) with God’s truth (scripture) transformed my life. This IS the renewing of the mind and taking every thought captive to Christ.
Now, as for those accusatory thoughts and untruths that pop into our mind which we know are not of God, I challenge you to say this to yourself out loud, “That is a lie from the pit of hell. I reject that lie and I take it captive to Christ.” Then follow that up with a scripture of truth. “God’s Words says this about me…… I am chosen, I am loved, I am a His child.” Quote a scripture verse.
My friends, it may seem silly but speaking the truth, especially speaking scripture out loud is part of our arsenal in our spiritual battles. Remember the Word always was and will always be. It was the WORD of God that created the heavens and the earth. Now that is a powerful word. The Word is the final truth and it can set us free.
SO SPEAK it out loud.
Was it weird to speak it out loud around my unbelieving spouse? Yes, it still is. But I can walk around my house when he’s at work and speak scripture and pray for protection. I can wake at night and speak scripture into the darkness and I can pray with my kids in the car out loud to cover them with protection. Over time my husband has stumbled upon me praying out loud, singing scripture out loud and all manner of scripture verses posted around my office and the house. He’s grown used to it. It takes time and in small doses.
We utterly defeat satan by rejecting his lies, replacing them with truth, speaking truth into the spiritual realm around us and then standing on that truth.
THAT is the recipe for courage.
God expects his people to be courageous just like Joshua.
We, the spiritually mismatched, are on the front lines of the battlefield sometimes we are the only one fighting through our prayers for our kids, our home, our marriage, our spouse. It’s not always easy but as a woman who has fought many times with only Jesus at my side, I have gained the victories, I have slayed the dragon, I have saved my family from calamity because I chose to reject the lies, speak the truth, pray like crazy and live for Jesus.
If I can do this, you can too.
Okay, what scripture verses have helped you to reject the lies and defeat fear? I can’t wait to read how you have been doing on the frontlines in your home. Audacious and brave hugs, Lynn