Tag Archives: sermon on spiritual warfare

Following the Narrow Path

The Narrow Perspective

Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV) Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

To enter the narrow gate and follow the narrow path requires a narrow perspective on life. The broad views of the world have many entrances and paths; without exception, they all lead to destruction. The narrow path promises to be difficult but is the only path to life.

Faith is a perspective. It is the narrow gate that leads to life. A Christian should have a very narrow way of thinking, believing, speaking, and behaving. This perspective comes from following Jesus’ example with an unwavering trust in God and His immeasurable love for us.

John 5:19-20 (NKJV) Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

Jesus only did what He saw the Father do. One of the reasons Jesus was able to perform miracles, heal the sick, and raise the dead is because He constantly practiced watching the Father. Could this be why we don’t see the level of supernatural life that we read about in the New Testament?

The discipline of watching creates an awareness of God that dials up our sensitivity to the Spirit and puts life in proper perspective. It produces a healthy fear of the Lord that makes us acutely aware of what He is saying at the moment. The more we keep our attention and focus on Him, the clearer we become on who He is and who we are to Him. Being watchful births humility, and He gives His grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5 – James 4:6-7)

Watchfulness produces integrity of the heart, which makes resisting temptation easier. It keeps us prepared to face anything that life would dish out. Watchfulness is one of the essential parts of prayer that has not been taught or practiced. When we practice watching, we know better what to pray for and how to pray. It positions us to be a vessel that the Father can move through. Watchfulness helps to sanctify us.

Mark 13:33 (NKJV) Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

1 Thessalonians 5:6 (NKJV) Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

Matthew 25:13 (NKJV) “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

Spiritual Warfare #22 Becoming Childlike

         Becoming childlike seems like a characteristic that would not be desired in any type of warfare, but in spiritual warfare it can be the difference between a sweatless victory and a prolonged and difficult battle.

Jesus said if we don’t become as a little child, we will not enter the kingdom of God. That is a sobering statement that we should examine closely. Our warfare must be waged with kingdom authority, and from a kingdom perspective. A childlike perspective is a kingdom perspective.

Matthew 18: 1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

          It is critical to recognize that the phrase “kingdom of heaven” is not referring to eternal life, but the kingdom of God on Earth. There are two phrases in the New Testament we must discern properly to understand this passage and many others. The phrases “the kingdom of God,” and “the kingdom of Heaven”. These two phrases are always talking about the same thing, which is the kingdom of God on the Earth.

          The kingdom of God is any place on Earth that God’s rule and reign is acknowledged. Primarily it is in the hearts of men. The kingdom of Heaven is God’s dwelling place, where there is no corruption, no darkness, and no decay.

          The phrase, “the kingdom of God” is used almost 70 times in 10 different books of the New Testament. The Phrase, “the kingdom of Heaven” is used 32 times exclusively in the gospel of Matthew.

          The explanation of this is simple. Matthew was a Jew. His audience was Jewish, and he was writing about Jesus who was a Jew. Devout Jews at that time, and even today, have a holy reverence for mentioning the name of God. They will only utter or write the name of God when there is no other alternative. I believe Matthew tailored his message to his audience so that the gospel would be better received by the Jewish leaders of his time.

           This can easily be verified by looking at all the parables about the kingdom recorded in the gospel of Matthew. Most of them will not make sense any other way.

          Anytime we see the phrase kingdom of Heaven used, we can safely replace it with the kingdom of God without any danger of adding to, or taking away from the scriptures.

          All the kingdom imagery and terminology we see in the Gospels is not about going to Heaven when we die, but about Heaven coming down to earth while we live.

Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

          Earth is the domain of the kingdom of God. It is Heaven’s outpost, given to Adam for stewardship for a season, lost by Adam through deception and rebellion, redeemed through the blood of Christ, and is now under our stewardship. We gain our entrance and citizenship into Heaven by accepting Christ as Lord. We gain entrance to the kingdom of God by becoming like a little child. This will never become a reality if we don’t become childlike.

          What does Jesus mean in Matthew 18:3 about entering the Kingdom like a child?

Becoming childlike requires a putting aside of our will. This way our opinions and misconceptions do not get in the way of trusting God wholeheartedly.

A child understands that they do not always know what is best. Children often have very little control over their own lives. They embrace the fact that they have to put their trust in other people. They trust what their parents, teachers or other adults say without doubts or fear. For example, when a young child is shown a magic trick, their eyes light up with wonder.

Adults, on the other hand, are much more skeptical than children. This childlike faith and sense of wonder are somehow lost in the process of growing up.

          There is something essential about a childlike perspective that pleases the Father and empowers a person to enter the kingdom, but what is Jesus talking about? What is this childlike perspective that Jesus has in mind?

          We throw terms around like, “childlike faith,” but faith is never mentioned by Jesus. He is answering a question about who will be the greatest in the kingdom of God. I am not saying that faith has nothing to do with it, but Jesus did not put emphasis on faith. He put emphasis on a perspective that greatly effects our faith.

          Is it possible that becoming like a little child means that we maintain the sense of wonder and innocence of a child that life in this sinful world tends to beat out of us?

          Could it be that Jesus is talking about living life without being self-conscious, without guile, being open about our feelings and emotions, having an undefiled conscience and living life with excitement and boundless energy? Could He be referring to childlike inquisitiveness, vivid imagination, and creativity? Or a heart that is humble, joyful, hopeful, tender, loving, gentle, quick to forgive, and willing to believe the best of every person?

          These are the sort of qualities that tend to define a child but get quickly stripped from us as we mature and become more “self-aware,” encountering the sin and brokenness of our fallen world.

          As we grow into adulthood, we become jaded and prideful. We hold grudges and stay angry, refusing to forgive. We tend to lose hope because our hopes have often been dashed and destroyed. We allow negative emotions to rule us and let unimportant things matter more than what matters most. We lose our joy and live with a seared conscience.

          As adults, we do things “because we’ve always done it that way” and have trouble with new ideas. We tend to reject things we do not understand, and this hinders us from trusting in the seemingly impossible. Children do not behave this way. Neither did Jesus.

          Does this mean Jesus lacked maturity? Did He lack wisdom and understanding? Far from it. Jesus was full of wonder and hope for humanity. I believe Jesus lived in a constant state of awe and wonder. Jesus lived in awe of His Father, in awe of humanity, in awe of life, and in awe of His Father’s creation.

          Anyone who witnessed how Jesus lived began to see how life should be lived. I believe this made Him the most attractive person on the planet to those who were not too jaded by selfish pride. It also made Him hated by those that were blinded to truth.

Jesus revealed to us how God intended life to be lived. The life of Jesus is the perfect example of childlikeness. His life is perfect theology.

Hebrews 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

          I think many of us have a hard time seeing Jesus as joyful and childlike, yet some of the fruits of the Spirit are gentleness, meekness, and joy. I think His fruit was probably ripe and could easily be harvested just by being in His presence.

          People began to see the rule and reign of God’s kingdom unfold before their eyes as Jesus began to embrace His earthly ministry with demonstration of the Kingdom of God and power. Signs and wonders were the fruit of His childlikeness before the Father

          Jesus modeled the life we should live, and Jesus invited us to follow Him. He taught us that if we want to experience the kingdom of God in this life, then we need to become like a little child.

         I encourage you today to get alone with God and don’t bring a prayer list. Just come to Him as a child that loves His Father and wants to be just like Him. Ask Him to help you be more childlike, in fact, ask a bunch of questions. Be open, vulnerable, humble, and forgiving. Tell Him what you struggle with, what makes you happy, what you would like to change about yourself. He’s a good listener.

         Be attentive to His voice, practice being still in His presence and listen with the expectation of Him speaking to you.

          The first step in becoming more childlike is to spend time with Him and allow Him to Father you. Embrace His love, invite His correction, pursue His instruction, and believe that change is coming.

For more teaching on Spiritual Warfare, CLICK HERE.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Spiritual Warfare #16 ~ Sin Distorts

In spiritual warfare it is important to know what battles have already been won so we don’t get confused and waste our energy on battles that we already have the victory in.

         For this lesson I will share a prophetic experience I had early in my Christian walk. I must confess it took me years before I actually understood what the Lord was teaching me through this experience, but I have found it to be one of the key revelations that should govern the life of every believer, and a necessary understanding to be effective at spiritual warfare.

The Lord woke me in the middle of the night and said, “get a pen and paper and write down everything I tell you.” I quietly rolled out of bed and did as He instructed.

          As soon as I sat down the Lord began to speak to me about my life and ministry. After a page and a half of correction, instruction, and exhortation, the Lord made this final statement to me,

“Don’t let sin distort your reflection of Me. I will confirm this word with a sign following to seal it in your heart.”

          Seven days later while starting my daily routine, I was taking a prayer walk around a nearby lake. It was summer in central Florida and the sun was barely up. As I was walking around the lake, fellowshipping with the Lord, He instructed me to go sit on a certain bench that was facing the lake. As I sat down on the bench and looked out across the lake, I was mesmerized by what I saw.

          The lake was completely still, not a ripple or a wave of any kind. It was a perfect mirror. Being a fisherman, I have been on many bodies of water early in the morning and seen water so still that you almost didn’t want to touch it and disturb its beauty. This was something more. It was still like a glass of water sitting on the counter. I have never seen anything like it, before or since.

          As I looked across the 20 acre lake with the sun behind me, I could see the shoreline on the other side. I saw the rich green grass rising from the edge of the water with huge Live Oak trees on the other side topped off by a beautiful blue sky with a few puffy white clouds. As I looked at this scene, I saw that the reflection in the lake was a perfect mirror image of what I was seeing on the shore.

          As I focused on the absolute perfect reflection in the water I realized that this reflected image was a perfect representation of the real thing. If I didn’t know this was a reflection from the lake I would not be able to tell the difference.

          As I was having this thought, amazed at this perfect reflection, a tiny fish jumped in the middle of the lake, right in my line of sight. I sat there for over ten minutes and watched as the ripples from that tiny fish slowly spread over the entire lake, distorting that perfect reflection that I was admiring.

          Then the Lord spoke, and said the same words He said a week earlier, “Don’t let sin distort your reflection of Me.” This was the sign that He promised me to seal the things He spoke to me in my heart. This was a prophetic word to make warfare with. It changed my life.

I won’t share the other things He said to me, but they were very precise in defining who He called me to be and I focused on these things that spoke to my identity instead of focusing on the sign and trying to gain understanding. This was a grave mistake on my part and cost me years of struggle with sin.

That is the point of this lesson. We have not only been freed from the consequences of sin, but freed from the struggle with sin as well.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ GAVE us victory over spiritual death and sin. It is a free gift! It was easy for me to believe that I have the victory over spiritual death and was going to heaven, but having faith to believe that I was completely freed from sin was just too hard to swallow. After all, I know me. I know my weaknesses. I know how many times I have fallen in the same area, so I battled against sin in my life for years not realizing that the battle had already been won.

This lack of understanding caused me to backslide repeatedly. I would get so wore out and so frustrated from trying not to sin that I would loose hope and give up on God, going back to my old sinful ways. I am so thankful God never gave up on me.

Romans 6:6-7  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 

I was free from the slavery of sin and didn’t know it! My old carnal self was crucified with Him when I made Jesus the Lord of my life. The enemy made me believe that I would never be free from sinning and tricked me into fighting a battle that Jesus had already won.

I know I am not alone. I see this problem in the lives of many believers. Hopefully this will shed some light on why some of us struggle with sin.

          God’s grace will transform us and restore us back into His image. If we make a mistake and fall into sin, we must quickly repent and forget it just like He does.

Hebrews 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.

Notice that God blots out our sins and chooses not to remember them? He doesn’t do this for us. He does this for His own sake! He calls us to do the same, for our sake and His as well.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Admit it, quit it, and forget it! If we are diligent to practice this, we stop the ripple effects of sin before it distorts the reflection of His image, in and through our lives. Un-repented sin takes us farther than we want to go, keeps us longer than we want to stay, and costs us more than we can possibly pay.

If we don’t deal with sin immediately, we give sin a voice and a platform for expression that causes us to dwell on sin, repeat the sin, and develop a sin consciousness.

It is impossible to reflect the clear image of God with a sin consciousness. Sin has been dealt with by the only one ever qualified to deal with it, Jesus Christ.

We live in this incredible paradox of having two natures, but once we take on the nature of God we die to that old carnal nature. We no longer have to be slaves to sin. Instead, we have the privilege of waking up every day in Him, understanding that we are righteous in His sight and allow His amazing grace to reshape us and mold us into His image.

There is a modern paraphrase of the bible called “The Message” written by Eugene H. Peterson, an American theologian. He wrote this paraphrase so his young grandchildren would have a translation of the Bible that could be easily understood. While this is not a word for word translation and many people reject his writing, I believe he captures the heart of God and spirit of truth on revelations concerning sin and righteousness. Here is a wonderful passage in Romans that teaches this truth beautifully.

Romans 6:1-14  So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!

3-5 That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.

6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer captive to sin’s demands! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember, you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God.

We can’t let sin distort the image of God in us. We will never experience the freedom from sin that Christ died for if we keep it in our language and in our thoughts.

If we take all the energy that we expend on “doing better, resisting temptation, and struggling to clean ourselves up,” and use it to pursue Him in relationship, He will remove all things that are not pleasing to Him and are hurting His child. He is a good Father. We can be confident that He will complete the work He started in us if we will just cooperate and believe what He said is true.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Spiritual Warfare #2 ~ Breaking the Yoke.

One of the devil’s favorite strategies is to subtly yoke us to his work without us even realizing it. He brings thoughts to us that magnify the offenses and slights of others. He does his best to make us dwell on negative things until we reveal with our mouths that the thoughts he is whispering in our ears are bearing fruit.

In this chapter, we will see how the Devil tricks us into abandoning humility, putting on his yoke, and partnering with him.

It is terrible to realize that Satan has deceived us to the point of cooperation with his plans. We must not be ignorant of his devices. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Satan is called “the accuser of our brethren.” The accusation goes on day and night before the throne of God.

Revelation 12:10 (ESV) And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

One way Satan accuses us day and night before God’s throne is to use God’s people to do his accusing for him. By doing this, he deceives us into wearing his yoke.

He persistently bombards us with judgmental thoughts, accusations, thoughts of un-forgiveness, anger, jealousy, and bitterness. He plays past and future scenarios in our minds, trying to trick us into making it all about ourselves. He deceives many of us into turning inward and becoming insecure, self-focused, and self-centered. This is the fruit of pride and causes our Lord to resist us. It is a scary thought.

We identify pride and selfishness by the way we think of ourselves. What I deserve, what I need, why I can’t, what I believeand what I am entitled to. The more self-centered we become, the smaller our world becomes.

The smallest world we can possibly live in is the one we are the center of.

Without humility, we will likely be yoked to Satan and his agenda. Isaiah 58 speaks of this yoke.

Isaiah 58:9 (ESV) Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am. If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

The yoke is described as “pointing the finger and speaking wickedness.” It is an accusing, critical spirit, a spirit of superiority. It is the fruit of a prideful heart and dead give-away that we have yoked ourselves to the enemy’s work.

A yoke is a device that allows animals to be bound together to share the workload. A critical, judgmental spirit tethers us to Satan’s work so that we share his workload and bear fruit for his kingdom. No wonder God resists the proud.

1 Peter 5:5-6 (ESV)Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

When we have a critical spirit, we quickly criticize others while not being very critical of ourselves. We busy ourselves looking for specks in other folk’s eyes and are blinded by the massive log in our own. Pride blinds us to truth and makes us short-sighted.

Matthew 7:5 (ESV) You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

“Humility will always be the place with the greatest illumination and clearest perspective.”

Being overly mindful of what is not right in others causes us to forsake the Spirit of reconciliation and embrace a perspective apart from love and grace.

Consider this; If we wrongly criticize someone’s child, who will be the first to take offense? The parents. Our Father is the same way. When we judge God’s children, we are judging Him. When we judge our leaders, we are judging His leadership. When we criticize the brethren, we say in our hearts that God’s workmanship is not up to our lofty standards. It is a twisted perspective that is anti-Christ.

James 4:10-12 (ESV) Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

When we judge others, we not only speak evil of the law and pass judgment on the law but the lawgiver as well. When we judge others, it is a dead giveaway that we carry the burden of a sin-consciousness and are bound to the enemy’s work.

It is crucial to understand how the enemy works in these areas so we can recognize when we are being attacked and keep ourselves from being yoked to his plan. We must keep ourselves from becoming a child our Father resists.

With over two hundred Christian denominations in America, is it possible that our judgments against other groups of believers have blinded us from seeing this critical spirit in ourselves?

Are we so arrogant to believe that there are not people in every denomination that genuinely love God? Is their deception any worse than ours? If we are pointing fingers and speaking wickedness about them, are we not in worse shape than they?

We are yoked with the enemy if we participate in the above scenarios. However, we don’t have to stay yoked. We can break it with simple, sincere repentance. There is no demonic power that can stand against it. When we humble ourselves and repent, God stops resisting us and becomes our champion!

We must be in close relationship with other believers with a license to speak into our lives. Truthfully, we need the help of others to keep us on track in this area because it slips into our thinking so subtly. No one has to fight spiritual warfare alone.

Our thought life is the primary battlefield in spiritual warfare. We must guard our minds and take deceptive, critical thoughts captive before they take root in our hearts.  

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV) For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 

A close relationship with the Lord empowers us with the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and it is the anointing that breaks the yoke(Isaiah 10:27) So if we find ourselves bound to the enemy, we just run to the Father, humble ourselves, repentand destroy the yoke.

For more lessons on Spiritual Warfare CLICK HERE.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Spiritual Warfare #1 ~ Humility

Spiritual warfare is not something we automatically know how to do when we are born again. We grow into it, learning and perfecting skills to walk in the victory that Christ has already won.

We should be learning more every day about God’s ways, the enemy’s strategies, and our role as soldiers in the army of God. Humility helps us better navigate these truths.

Spiritual warfare is not easy, yet we must embrace it as a lifestyle. Humility is the foundation on which all spiritual warriors must stand. Faithful obedience is the strategy by which we enforce the victory granted by inheritance. Humility will always lead us to obedience, and faithful obedience will always lead us to victory. Even a baby Christian can fight like the most skilled warrior if humble and obedient. 

When King David was just a boy, his humble obedience and zeal for God led him to slay a fully armored, fully equipped giant who was a skilled warrior from his youth. Humility, acquired through his relationship with God, gave David the proper perspective to see the victory in this situation, and he was able to slay this mighty warrior with a slingshot! (1 Samuel 17) His humility caused him to have a perspective that led him to a great victory for the entire nation of Israel and elevated him to a position of honor.

David loved God, feared God, and understood that God loved him.

“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22)

God is looking for people with humble hearts that dare to believe all things are possible. Faith like that can never be attained apart from humility.

Humility comes from loving and fearing God. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and humility is an expression of wisdom and understanding. When we understand who God is, humility is the natural response.

Micah 6:8 (ESV) He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Notice that justice, kindness, and walking humbly before God is required. It is not a suggestion. If we lose sight of this, the enemy already has a grip on our hearts and minds. Living in the chaos that is ever-increasing in this world, it is easy to let these things slip and fall out of step with the truth. Moral decay is increasing rapidly across the globe. Humility is essential to guard our hearts against its influence.

Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV) Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

If we are not selective about what we expose ourselves to, our hearts and minds are filled with things that weaken us and cause us to stray from the truth. Words, thoughts, and emotions are spiritual. We will enable the enemy to shape us into his image when we allow ungodly things in our eyes and ears. We are all clay, and we are constantly being shaped by something. We must be diligent in keeping our hearts pure to ensure that God is the one doing the shaping. When our heart is compromised, humility is one of the first things we sacrifice.

James 4:7 (NKJV) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Submitting to God requires humility, and humble submission is simultaneously the act of resisting the enemy. Submitting and resisting is a one-step process. Not a two-step religious effort. Without humility, there is no resisting, just cooperation with the adversary.

James 4:6 (NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

Any act of disobedience is an act of pride. It places us in a terrifying position that no Christian in their right mind would want to be in. A place where God is resisting us. Pride brings us into partnership with the enemy. We can’t fight the enemy if we partner with him, nor can we follow Christ.

Satan represents the opposite of humility. He is the father of selfish pride. The last thing he wants us to do is to submit entirely to God. Our surrendered life is the most frightening and destructive thing to the kingdom of darkness. When we are humble and wholly submitted to God, the devil and all his demons know who we are and tremble. We become a champion for the kingdom of God, vessels fit for the Master’s use, destroying the works of darkness.

Revelation 12:10-12 (NKJV) Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

The enemy knows his time is short. He uses all the deception in his arsenal to keep us from humbling and submitting ourselves entirely to God. We must come to a point in our lives where we “love not our own lives even unto death.” When we do, we begin to walk in proper kingdom authority and true ambassadors for Christ.

Being effective at spiritual warfare begins and ends with humility. Satan will continue to have his way with us if we don’t settle this in our hearts. Without humility, we will be deceived into doing his bidding, hurting others, and bearing fruit for his kingdom instead of the kingdom of God. It is a tragic reality that we all face.

2 Corinthians makes it clear that our war is not against people

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NKJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

A view of the Church these days looks very much like the world in this respect:

Because of pride and selfishness, we engage in heated political arguments, fuel racial tension, and despise authority. We give ourselves to watching ungodly shows and news networks that spew forth lies, stirring up anger and hate in our hearts. We use social media platforms to voice ungodly opinions and think we have a right to “straighten people out.” Doing this fuels emotional fires that cause us to look and act just like the world. It has destroyed our witness and hindered us from being fruitful. The 2020 presidential election exposed the Church’s weaknesses in these areas.

We don’t know God like we think we do. The truth is, we are far too familiar with a God we barely know. If one person could acquire all the knowledge in the world, that individual would still be an infant in their understanding compared to our eternal God.

Practice humility

          Humility is expressed verbally, spiritually, and naturally. We can do practical things to maintain and guard a humble perspective.

Submitting to authorities, deferring to an elder, how we refer to others in our conversations, and how we prefer others over ourselves are all actions of faith concerning humility. Our conduct will express our humility or the lack of it.

          How we approach God with our words and body language also speaks volumes. Kneeling to pray or laying face down on the floor in worship when no one else is looking is a physical expression of humility and an acknowledgment of His greatness. Not multi-tasking when we are in communion with Him. These are all expressions of humility and a living faith when done honestly.

Humility has a divine strength attached to it. It is time we gain some understanding, expose the enemy’s strategies, and push back the darkness encroaching on the Church. Then we will be able to help the world. It all starts with humility. Without humility, we will never become the “bride without spot or wrinkle.”

For more lessons on Spiritual Warfare CLICK HERE.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC