Hey SUM Family, Tiffany here!
I recently got to speak on spiritual warfare in the SUMite Sister's Facebook page. My topic was "The accomplishment of the cross gave us victory over the battles of life." What a great subject! If there is anything that I have been learning over the last 4-5 years, it has been this. We have authority because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice to advance against the kingdom of darkness.
We hear passages such as put on the full armor of God in Ephesians 6. We hear that God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
What does this mean exactly? How do we have authority? What does this victory look like?
Do you remember the movie The Passion of the Christ, that Mel Gibson directed? Do you remember the horrifice scene of our Lord and Savior being beaten, whipped, spit upon, screamed at? Remember in the midst of the crowd, a figure dressed in a black hooded robe? The smugness, the arrogance, the pleasure in Christ's suffering. I imagine that this is much like what Satan looked like - he was so proud of it all. When Jesus died on the cross and was buried, Satan was sure he had won!
Stick with me here, I promise it will all connect by the end. In ancient times, when soldiers came back home from war, they had a big procession. These soldiers would ride (or march) in carrying the spoils of war - gold, silver, captives, possessions. All of these spoils were on full display to show what was taken in battle. What celebration and comradery as they are welcomed home.
Imagine with me, Jesus is in the tomb. He descends into hell. Satan takes it upon himself to lead this grandiose triumphal procession. I can almost see Jesus being lead around all of hell with chains on His hands and feet. The demons point and laugh. Satan in his arrogance scoffing in Jesus' face. "Hey Jesus, I thought you were all powerful! You had your chance to save yourself. Remember when you were supposed to crush my head? Here it is...no? I didn't think so." On and on for 2 whole (earthly ::grin::) days. Day three, Satan brings Jesus up on center stage, another day of mockery and slandering. Jesus since arrival was quiet, reserved, not a word.
And then SUDDENLY! All of hell begins to shake, a mighty trembling, a flash of great light. The chains explode off of Jesus, knocking Satan and the demonic to the ground with it's brute force. All of hell in chaos. The demons begin to shriek as the beautiful jewels and diamonds from Heaven are ripped off of Lucifer, the once beloved son of the morning. Scared, all of hell tries to flee. Jesus, taking back the keys of authority and the Kingdom, Satan and all the kingdom of darkness is left in waste.
When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. -- Colossians 2:15 (NASB)
Victorious, He rises from the grave. He dwells with his disciples for a short time and then to His followers' dismay - it's time for Him to go. BUT there is HOPE. A Helper will come in His place! On Pentecost, enter the Holy Spirit. Not just available for those disciples but for all of us who accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13). He is constantly interceding for us in Heaven (Romans 8:26). He is our ever present help in time of need (Psalm 46:1). He is our Teacher and reminds us of God's word (John 14:26).
It is through the Holy Spirit that we tap into the power and treasury of Heaven. He is our DEPOSIT (2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5).
So what does it look like in our lives?
Prayer - we now have all access to the Throne Room. We can approach our Daddy without shame or fear. We should come BOLDLY to Him (Hebrews 4:16). When we do not know what to pray, remember the Holy Spirit intercedes with groans that we cannot express (Romans 8:26).
If you have received your prayer language (some call it speaking in tongues), this is great when we don't have the words to say. I also love that God knows what we need and even when we don't have the words to approach Him with, our prayer can be as simple as our tears or our sighing (Psalm 38:9).
Proclaim - speak God's Word! The Sword of the Spirit is the only piece of the armor of God that is used in offense. The rest is to protect us (defense). When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He was able to combat the devil with God's Word - the Truth.
Jude 1:20 tells us to build ourselves up in the most holy faith. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
A common strategy of attack from the demonic realm, at least in my life, is whispering lies. I got up in the middle of the night recently to go to the bathroom. On my way there, I clearly heard in my mind, a demeaning word. I could have gotten upset, believed the lie, and allowed a foothold. But, as I am learning about how God sees me, I thought, "Really, you think I'm ____? I would actually say, 'loved, favored, seated in Heaven with Jesus, victorious." I heard nothing else - the attack was thwarted.
I explain it to my children like this. Every thought that comes into your head. Example, thoughts about yourself. Think about the thought that just came. Is it what God would say about you? If not, it is a lie from the pit of hell and you don't believe it. If so, than believe it because God is speaking to you through the Holy Spirit.
Praise - Ever notice that when you put on worship music, you hum, sing, dance and praise Him with instruments that the atmosphere around you shifts? There is a break in the warfare. Things seem lighter or small? God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Your praise and worship is an invitation for Heaven to come into the room.
In His shelter in the day of trouble, that's where you'll find me, for He hides me there in His holiness. He has smuggled me into his secret place, where I'm kept safe and secure - out of reach from all my enemies. Triumphant now, I'll bring Him my offerings of praise, singing and shouting with ecstatic joy! Yes, listen and you can hear the fanfare of my shouts of praise to the Lord! -- Psalm 27:5-6
Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord as done glorious things! -- Psalm 118:15
Promote - Your testimony WILL BECOME someone else's breakthrough (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
I hope that you've gotten something out of this. I tend to get nervous on camera (God is working on me ::grin::) so this was a chance to better flesh out the message.
I bless you with the knowledge of your authority because of Jesus Christ. I bless you to take up your sword and wield it! I bless you with confidence and assurance that you are powerful. You will advance the Kingdom of God in your life, over you family. Decree and declare the goodness of God! Let's talk in the comments.