Welcome to the final part of Pastor Richard’s series on Spiritual Warfare. If you’re just tuning into this, do check out the previous blogs and teachings on this critical area of your kingdom walk. It’s been a powerful and hugely practical and empowering series. We'd also love to hear your feedback and/or testimonies, so please do let us know by clicking here.
Last week we began looking at the Weapons of Warfare. We ended by looking at Paul’s preparedness and willingness to take the gospel of peace wherever and whenever. Paul was truly ‘primed and ready’ and had his feet shod with the preparation of the gospel.
This week we are going to look at the remaining three starting with the Shield of Faith.
Ephesians 6:16 says that we should take up the shield of faith above all else! Above all else? That's huge isn't it? Faith is a weapon God has given you to use. What are flaming arrows? Discouragement, lust, envy, greed, depression, resentment, the list could go on. Satan fires these at us wherever he can. His goal is to try and get us out of a thankful heart and into the flesh so we won’t be effective for the kingdom of God.
But faith is the victory that overcomes the world, 1 John 5:4: For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
The Roman shield was huge! It was like having a wall in front of him. Then they’d link up with those around them and create a human tank! When we form our human tank with our brothers and sisters around us, the devil won’t be able to stop us. That's why we believe in fellowship so strongly at Upstream. Our home churches are designed to encourage and build true relationships amongst believers for that very reason.
The next weapon in our arsenal is the Helmet of Salvation. Remember, this armour analogy is coming from days of hand to hand combat with swords, arrows and spears. So protecting the head was critical. The Roman helmet covered the top of their spine, their cheek bones and obviously their head. It was an essential piece of equipment.
Salvation is more than just forgiveness. It also includes deliverance and restoration. It means that, in the spirit-realm, you are walking in the fulness of what God has provided for you. If you have that mindset on you, if you’re wearing this mindset like a helmet, you will have the attitude that Satan can never rob you of all the promises of God which are yes and amen - because they are already true in your spirit! That's why it's so important to know who you really are...in Christ! Then, the attacks of the devil will bounce right off. We've already talked about the battle being in your mind. Protect your thought-life, make it obedient to Christ and the devil won't stand a chance.
And finally, the Sword of the Spirit. The Word of God. When we talked about the belt of truth being the Word of God, I knew we’d be returning to that fact. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word is powerful and sharp. The Word of God helps us to discern the attacks of the devil. Revelation 1:16 says: And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shines in his strength. Out of his mouth came a sword. That was the Word of God. Isaiah 49:2 has the same idea: He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand. I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver (NLT).
Notice that the sword is the only offensive weapon we’ve been given. It’s been given that we might attack. That we might be able to separate fact from fiction, truth from lies and as we do we become more and more like Jesus in our minds and souls. You're already like Him in your spirit, but this way we can align our soul and our body also. Thrust that weapon forward by quoting scriptures out loud, memorising promises and having the Word ready to use.
The Word is a seed. Isaiah 55:11 says;
The Word will not fail. If we can get hold of it and get it down on the inside of us, it will not return void, it will produce a harvest. Check out this amazing and powerful healing testimony from one of our very own Upstream staff members; Pastor Biba Herman. I know it's a long one this week, but this is SO worth it. Check this out...
Last year, at the beginning of my third year at Charis Bible College, I noticed the lymph node under my left arm was a little swollen and tender. I thought perhaps my body was fighting an infection, so I began jumping on my mini trampoline to help stimulate my lymph system. Other than that, I paid no attention to it because I know, according to scripture, I am Biba-The-Healed. Then, about a month ago, my symptoms just exploded. I started having constant pain under and in my left arm, as well as in my breast. I also noticed I had developed a hard lump under my arm the size of a small tennis ball. A week later I discovered a lump in my breast as well – also about the size of a small tennis ball. About this same time, during my daily scripture reading, I had a powerful revelation of Matthew 9:29 from The Passion Translation.
“You WILL HAVE what your FAITH EXPECTS.” - Jesus.
I realized I needed to start declaring out loud what my faith expected. So, I began declaring many times during the day that one night I would go to sleep, and in the morning, I would wake up and be completely symptom free. The lumps would be gone, the pain would be gone, and my faith would make me whole.
Luke 17:19 Amplified Bible: Jesus said to him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith, your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power, has restored you to health.”
I began speaking healing scriptures over my body morning, noon, and night. We establish the Kingdom of God in our bodies with the Word of God – and it must be spoken! In Genesis 1, the Holy Spirit was hovering, brooding over the earth. But nothing miraculous happened until God spoke. When God spoke, creation exploded! We are created in His image and must also SPEAK.
As I was doing these things, my symptoms got worse. The whole area of my body that was affected turned green, and then white (as if drained of all blood), and then became rippled and puckered. The pain increased so much that I had to change the way I sleep and used pillows to prop myself up.
One morning, as I was sitting out on my patio, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I could do an extended fast to cure myself. I had seen several health videos of people curing themselves of cancer with long, extended fasts of 21-40 days. As I was turning this over in my mind (about 5 minutes) the Holy Spirit spoke to me. It was not an audible voice, but was so clear, it was as if He was sitting right next to me. And he said, “Yes, but if you fast to “cure” yourself, you would have to come into agreement with Satan that you are sick.” Needless to say, I did not fast! Because I am Biba-The-Healed!
At this point I had a decision to make. Would I believe the truth of the Word of God or would I believe what my senses were telling me? I chose the Word of God. And what ended up happening was EXACTLY what my faith was expecting. Literally, only days after I began declaring out loud what my faith was expecting, I woke up one morning and I was completely pain free. The lumps were gone, and it was as if none of this had ever happened.
Regardless of what our senses are conveying to us, we must BELIEVE the Word of God and be willing to endure the contradiction between our senses and The Word until our faith becomes sight. Remember, the battle you are waging is not against symptoms in your body, but with what you BELIEVE.
Wow! Isn't that a wonderful example of someone practically fighting a spiritual battle and seeing success in the physical realm? We are in a spiritual war, but we rejoice because our King has already won the war. It’s a privilege to go into battle for our King and take ground for His kingdom in peoples lives. Let’s see God’s kingdom and promises manifested more in our lives and the lives of those around us.
That’s the end of this series. We hope it’s been a blessing and, again, if you missed any of it, do go back and check it out on our blog page.
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