Battle Lines

Today the battle is on
The fighting is fierce
My enemy is cunning and strategic

Help me to not fight alone
Or rely on my own strength, wisdom, power and might
May I have the victory in Christ alone

Before the battle begins let me prepare my mind
Thoughts taken captive in obedience to Christ
The victory will begin with praise and thanksgiving

Through this battle
May You be glorified, honored and praised
When the evening falls may I stand victorious in Christ

by Susan Wachtel
July 25, 2014

Five Minute Friday – The Battle is Real and Belongs to the Lord

As believers we are engaged in a very real battle.  The enemy and his minions wage war against us, but there are a few things I need to remember:
The enemy’s head was crushed 2,000 years ago.
We are fighting from a place of victory that Christ won for us.
Some of the things the enemy hates to see:
  • He hates to see the saints of God on their knees in prayer to their heavenly Father.
  • He hates to see us open our Bible to read, memorize and study God’s Word.
  • He hates to hear us speak truth from the scripture.
  • He hates to see a sinner repent and ask for forgiveness from God.
  • He hates to see a sinner forgive someone who hurt them.
  • He hates to see a saint praise God in the midst of their trials and tribulations.
  • He hates to hear songs of worship to the Lord.
  • He hates saints who are unashamed of the Gospel and share it with those who are perishing.
  • He hates the truth of the narrow way to salvation through Christ Jesus alone.
  • He hates a humble servant of God.
  • He hates to see a saint take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and meditate on that which is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy.
  • He hates to see the saints of God put on their spiritual armor each day, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the gospel of peace, taking up the shield of faith, putting on the helmet of salvation, wielding the sword of the spirit and praying always. 
  • He hates to see the saints gather together and not forsake the assembling of one another.
  • He hates it when a saint remembers that they have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling them and their bodies are a temple of God.
  • He hates it when the saints read and pastors preach from Revelation because in doing so, we see his ultimate end.
I like to win the spiritual battles.  Too often I get my focus off of God and fall into trap of the enemy.  Praise God, He doesn’t leave me there. 
Thank You Jesus for winning that battle 2,000 years ago on the cross.  Thank You for saving me from before the foundations of the world.  Lord…I pray that You would grant salvation to those for whom I pray.  Snatch them from the enemy’s hand and hold them securely in Your hand.  May today be their day of salvation.  May they confess with their mouth and believe with their heart that Jesus Christ is Lord…to Your glory forever and ever…Amen.
Okay…I confess this was longer than five minutes, but golly I love remembering the victory I have in Christ and my absolute security in God’s hand. 

This post is linked with The Gypsy Mama’s Five Minute Friday challenge.  I encourage you to go on over and read some of the wonderful posts from others who join in.  You will be encouraged. 
Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

Hope and a Prayer

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

I have a dear friend who has committed to praying for my husband and me and our marriage.  I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful that is.  She and her husband love the Lord and seek His face and desire to do His will.  She continually points me back to God’s word and what scripture says and the absolute truth contained therein.  Prayer is a powerful and wonderful gift.

Recently she sent me an email that she was going to be praying Romans 15:13 for both of us.  When I read the verse, I found that it was in line with what I’ve been going through in the last couple of weeks and what God has been impressing upon me through my circumstances. 

Do you ever find that the Lord continues to bring you back to a topic over and over again?  During the last couple of weeks the focus has been on hope in sermons, Bible study, scripture and radio programs.

I love the Lord Jesus Christ and my Father in heaven.  I am so grateful to have the Holy Spirit in me and growing and sanctifying me.  I love God’s word…and I have a hope that cannot be squelched or quenched.

Yet, the last couple of weeks I’ve felt overwhelmed.  The demands and busyness have been intense.  Dealing with people and things that are out of my control left me feeling frustrated, angry, and very low.  I had my eyes on my circumstances and was focused on my feelings instead of God.

In the mornings I pray before starting my day and that includes prayer for the people with whom I interact with each day.  I pray for salvation for those who are unsaved.  If they are going through difficult times, I pray for whatever they are going through.

Even though I had started my day in prayer, instead of walking in the victory I have in Christ Jesus I felt swamped and like my boat was going under.  The very people for whom I prayed were now the focus of my frustration and anger.  I just wanted to quit and escape those circumstances.  Yet God calls me to endure through His power, wisdom and might.

Alright…so I may be a little slow on the uptake.  After a week of messages on hope you would think I would get it.  But it wasn’t until my friend emailed me about the verse she was praying for us this week, that I realized that I felt rather hopeless.  Hopeless because I was trying to suck it up, gut it out and get through these challenging circumstances on my strength.  God never gives us burdens to bear alone.  Instead He desires that we run to the throne of grace and seek His help in order to run the race with endurance.

God helped me to see that I can’t even do the everyday things on my own.  I need to come to Him in the morning seeking His strength and wisdom to handle the people and things that I will encounter.  Throughout the day, come to Him in prayer for each problem and challenge I’m facing.  I need to pray for God to help me love those who frustrate me.  That’s not something I can do on my own…I need to stay focused on God continually.

I believe there was a spiritual battle taking place during the last couple of weeks.  One that left me feeling defeated when I attempted to face it alone.  It was only after I reached out to some friends and asked for their prayer that I was able to keep my eyes on the Lord and come to Him in prayer throughout the day.  The challenges kept coming…but now I was facing them though the power and strength of the Lord. 

The enemy, the hater of our souls, seeks to have us walk alone.  He knows the power of prayer and wants to keep us from praying for those who are unsaved.  What better way to keep me from praying than to keep me frustrated, angry and focused on my circumstances rather than being dependent upon God. 

I’ve been meditating on Romans 15:13 this week and thinking about hope.  What is hope?  For a Christian it’s a confident expectation based on the truth and knowledge of who God is and a remembrance of what He’s done in the past.  Based on that knowledge I can know with certainty that He will act in the present and that my future is secure in Christ Jesus.  Nothing can overwhelm Omnipotence who reigns on high. 

When I view my circumstances in the light of God…I have a hope that cannot be shaken or moved.