Personal Spiritual Warfare (Part 6) — Keys for Overcoming

It’s not enough to identify problems and then be told by someone to overcome them. I want to be given practical tools to get me there. Maybe you’d like that kind of help, too. Here are some steps to help you win those personal spiritual battles you encounter:

Get used to the idea that you are in a war. 1 Peter 1:13 exhorts us, “Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

“Girding up the loins” refers to how people of Bible times prepared for battle. They tucked their long robes up into their belts, so that their legs were free to move unhampered. “Be sober” means to understand the seriousness of what we’re involved in and to stay on the alert. “Hope to the end” indicates that we’re in this for the long haul. Individual battles may be short or prolonged, but the war lasts throughout our lives. We can’t quit at any point. If we stay at it, we will assuredly finish our life-race well, because the Lord Himself is right there fighting with and for us.

Corral your mind.1 Corinthians 2:16 says, “We have the mind of Christ.” Now, that’s the truth, but walking it out requires some effort. We have to continually “be sober; be vigilant, because [our] adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We have to “resist him steadfastly in the faith” (v. 9). This means we don’t let our thoughts flow unchecked. When we notice our mind going places which are not in keeping with the way Jesus would think, we need to “cast down [those] imaginations, and every high thing which exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The Holy Spirit is willing to expose those wandering thoughts to us, if we invite Him to. But it is up to us to keep on bringing them back to where they should be. This takes practice. Sometimes it is exhausting, especially if we are dealing not only with our own soulish nature, but with thoughts implanted by the devil.

The secret is to keep at it. If you notice wrong thoughts dozens of times a day, every time you corral them and push the reset button, you have taken a few steps toward ultimate victory.

Take a worship break. — If you have already taken authority in Jesus’ name over any evil spirits which might be bombarding your thoughts, worship can refocus your mind where it needs to be. It’s great to keep worship music playing in the background, if you can. Worship music changes the atmosphere around us. But take it a step further. Go beyond listening to worship music, to actively doing the worship yourself – out loud, if possible. Worship connects us spirit-to-Spirit with the Lord, and when our spirit-man is in the right place, it can help our mind to line up as well.

Focus on Jesus more than the battle coming against you. – This goes along with taking a worship break. The enemy wants to get us obsessed with him and the problems he is causing. When we put our attention on him instead of the Lord, we play into his hands: we end up giving him the glory which belongs to the Lord Most High.

Jesus wants us to fasten our attention on Himself, the Author of peace, the Deliverer, the One who has already overcome on our behalf. How easy it is to forget that the battle is the Lord’s! (1 Samuel 17:47). The moment we cry out for Jesus’ help, He goes to work for us.

So don’t spend all your time and energy on contending with the devil. Worship. Tell Jesus you are setting your heart on Him. Express to Him your confidence that He will take care of you and get you through.

Do the exact opposite of what you are tempted to do. – This is a simple, but highly effective, warfare tactic. We can frustrate evil desires, deflating their sails, by taking an opposite course.

Do you feel the urge to give somebody a verbal slap in the face (maybe because you felt like that’s what you got)? Be cordial and friendly instead. 1 Peter 3:8, 9 addresses this very issue: “… Having compassion toward each other, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, not returning evil for evil or railing for railing. On the contrary, bless them, knowing that is what you are called to, so that you will inherit a blessing.”

Do you want to avoid or run away from someone who has hurt you – an individual, a pastor, or even a whole church fellowship? Conquer that flight desire. Show up, converse, be kind, participate. If you need to express that you have been hurt, try to walk through the reconciliation / forgiveness pattern Jesus laid out for His Church in Matthew 18:15-17. Don’t go into hiding mode.

Doing the opposite of the temptation is part of how we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil (James 4:7). It disarms the enemy’s ability to manipulate us.

Next time, we’ll wrap up this series with some final keys for overcoming.

Previous: Part 5 — Long-Term Assault
Next: Part 7 — Keys for Overcoming (cont.)

The Intercessor Manual

 

The Intercessor Manual, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered

 

Your Intercession Questions Answered, by Lee Ann Rubsam

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4 responses to “Personal Spiritual Warfare (Part 6) — Keys for Overcoming

  1. Lee Ann,
    I’ve been reading and sometimes re-reading the advice you give in our “Personal Spiritual Warfare”. I understand all the mental, thoughts, etc. attacks. At times I become hit within the heart. I may know the direction I need to go, but all of a sudden I’m overwhelmed by a tremendous feeling of faintheartedness. It is more than an emotion, it is like the heart is sinking and I truly experience this sinking within my heart . I can’t describe it, but emotions are one thing, however the sinking of the heart is another. It seems I become paralyzed within. Does this make any sense?
    Blessings!
    Costa

    Like

    • Hi Costa,

      Let me think and pray on this a bit, and get back to you. In the meantime, if anyone else has had a similar experience and would like to share your thoughts on it, please do!

      Like

    • Hi Costa,

      I think this is probably an attack by a spirit of fear. That’s what has stayed with me. The enemy loves to immobilize us (paralyze us) from doing what the Lord has given us direction to do. It reminds me of how a cobra paralyzes its prey with fear, so that the victim makes no attempt to move. Sometimes this type of attack may feel physical. I don’t know if that is the way you are sensing it — like it is literally messing with your heart — but that can happen.

      When this hits you, you cannot be passive about it. It may seem like slogging through mud to deal with it, but persevere and make the effort. Bind the spirit and command it to let go of you in the name of Jesus. You will need to do that verbally, not just in your thoughts. You should declare that Jesus’ blood stands between you and the attacking spirit. I would also use the Word of God out loud — “It is written, ‘I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.'” (Philippians 4:13)

      There are many other verses you can use as well, such as Isaiah 54:17, 1 John 4:4, Romans 8:37, 2 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 15:57. We have been given authority over all the power of the devil, and nothing shall by any means hurt us, according to Luke 10:19 (see also vs. 17-20).

      And then, of course, if you are sure you have direction from the Lord, follow through by doing what He said. So, that’s the long version.

      If you are receiving direction which you must act upon quickly or the moment of opportunity will be gone forever, you won’t be able to take all those steps. A quick internal prayer of “Jesus, help me!” and then plowing past the feeling of faintheartedness may be what is needed in such a case. If it is, the Lord will grant you grace to accomplish the goal, if you persevere.

      Does that help at all?

      Like

  2. Lee Ann,
    Right on the mark! Yes, and Thank You!
    Blessings!
    Costa

    Like

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