Tag Archives: The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

Hearing God’s Voice

The best way to avoid having itchy ears is to zero in on the one thing that enables us to hear clearly from God.

The Lord asked me years ago, “How does faith come?” I immediately said, “Faith comes by hearing Lord.” (quoting Romans 10:17). The Lord then asked: “So then how does hearing come?”   

I did not have a quick answer for Him, but I remembered all the scriptures that state: “he who has ears to hear let him hear,” and passages that said, “they had ears but could not hear, and eyes but could not see.” I began to see why people who confess that Jesus is Lord and have the appearance of faith are struggling in their Christian walk and getting little results. They don’t have a hearing ear, so faith never comes.

The typical teaching is that faith comes from hearing, and hearing, etc. And there is truth to that line of thought. However, there are different ways to hear, and there is a difference between natural and spiritual hearing.

 Romans 10:17 (NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Let me give you a more accurate translation of this verse to make it clear.

Romans 10:17 (my paraphrase) So faith comes from what you hear, and your spiritual hearing comes from the Word of God that you act on.

Just because we have ears does not mean we can hear the Word. Spiritual ears can only be opened by obedience to the Word of God. That word will come from the written and spoken Word, but only the word we act on will develop our spiritual ears. When we are obedient, it demonstrates faith, and we become receptive to more instruction.

Obedience is the action of faith; disobedience is the action of doubt. Faith without the work of obedience is a dead faith, and a dead faith has deaf spiritual ears.

Throughout the Bible, we see it was the disobedient and rebellious people who “had ears but could not hear.”

Deuteronomy 29:4 (NKJV) Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day.

Jeremiah 5:21 (NKJV) Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not:

Ezekiel 12:2 (NKJV) “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.

Spiritual hearing is developed from the word of God that we act upon. If we cannot rightly discern God’s voice, we should humble ourselves before the Father and ask Him why. If we are rebellious or disobedient in any way, He will reveal it to us if we are sincere.

There are vast realms of understanding and revelation that we will never acquire if we are not doers of the word. The Bible says we deceive ourselves if we do not act on what we have heard. When we hear the word and do nothing about it, we become spiritually deaf. 

James 1:22 (NKJV) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Once we become doers of the word of God, an incredible creative cycle begins.

  • Obeying the word gives life to our faith and increases our ability to hear from the Lord.
  • As our spiritual ears open, opportunities to obey increase.
  • Obedience to God’s word gives life to our faith. 

And the cycle repeats indefinitely. It is the process of spiritual growth.

Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

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Flesh is Your Enemy

Romans 8:6-8 (NKJV) or to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The word “enmity” in verse 7 means hostile opposition or hatred toward God. The carnal mind, our flesh, is God’s enemy; therefore, it should be our enemy. We must all come to the place where we see our carnal nature as our enemy. When we do, we will be less likely to have pet sins.

Many Christians have sins they keep as pets. Familiar habits or old crisis mechanisms that give relief, comfort, and satisfaction when their flesh screams at the top of its lungs to “FEED ME!” 

A pet sin is the one we run to when we are tired or feeling weak. The sin we defend, protect, and get angry over when confronted about it. A sin that torments us at our most vulnerable point and yet the one we can’t seem to get free from. A sin that we quickly yield to, even though we know we shouldn’t. A pet that we make provision for and feed in secret. We run to it for instant gratification and then feel guilty immediately after we yield to it. It is possibly the most dangerous of deceptions to our souls and one that can hinder our spiritual progress.

God has promised to deliver us from our enemies, not our pets!

Many don’t realize we are feeding our carnal, fleshly desires. We think that what we are doing is no big deal. It is a huge deal! Let me give you some examples:

If you have been delivered from drugs and you know that it has a strong pull on your flesh, anything that would stir up old memories and desires should be avoided. Movies with drug abuse, talking about your old lifestyle, or even driving through the part of town where you used to buy drugs can all be triggers that let “the cat” in the door.

If you struggle with overeating or binging junk food, it is much easier to win the battle if you stay out of the junk-food aisle in the grocery store. If it stimulates any of your five senses, it has the potential to pull on you. If the shortest route to your destination is through an area that stirs up memories of past sins, take another course! The long way is better than the wrong way.

What about being addicted to entertainment? Surfing the internet, social media, and video games? Wasting hours every day on mindless foolishness? Is that harmless? Or is it stealing the life right out of you, keeping you from things more important, and warring against your soul?

If you think it is no big deal, or if you think you are strong enough to handle it. You may wake up one day and realize that the little thing that is “no big deal” has now become your enormous pet and is demanding to be fed! If we provide food for our enemy, he gets stronger and has more power to harm us. If we feed our spirit, it will grow stronger and overcome the flesh.

What we feed grows. What we starve dies.

Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

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Winning against Sinning

To truly live the abundant life in Christ, we must die to our fallen, carnal nature. For us to be successful at this, we will need intimacy with the Father and constant intake and exposure to His written word.  

Our intimacy with God is the key to dying to sin and self.

When we give ourselves to intimacy with God and reading and studying His Word, we lay on the great potter’s wheel, allowing Him to shape us into everything we were created to be.

If we don’t embrace the finished work of Christ and believe that sin has been dealt with, we give the enemy opportunity to deceive us. He primarily does this through the lies of guilt, condemnation, and shame.

Guilt = A subconscious belief that “I am not forgiven.”

Condemnation = A subconscious belief that “I am worthy of judgment.”

Shame = A subconscious belief that “I am still the old person I used to be before Christ.”

These lies are Satan’s counterfeit to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, godly sorrow, and a heavenly perspective on our identity in Christ.

Romans 14:22 (NKJV) Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

For those that struggle with sin, it is a dead giveaway that they have yet to understand the gospel message and the completed work of Jesus Christ.

I struggled with it for decades until I began to see my deception. Even then, overcoming the strongholds of wrong believing took some time. The two things that helped me most were intimacy with the Father and the book of Romans.

Reading Romans repeatedly helped me gain the proper perspective on my redemption. It helped me move from trying so hard to be “sold out to God” to understanding that I have been bought out completely. Christ purchased me with His blood, knowing that I was a sinner, that I had a fallen nature, that I would make mistakes, and that I could not fix myself. Still, he bought me! Praise the Lord!

Once I realized I could do nothing about fixing my sin and understood that only He could, I just quit thinking about it. Now I wake up every day to pursue Him and trust that He is perfecting the work that He started. I believe God knows what He is doing, and I am convinced I do not.

As we seek God’s face, our old carnal man dies because no man can look into the face of God and live.

Exodus 33:20 (NKJV) But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 

We can behold the Father’s face through the written word. It is our carnal man’s face-to-face encounter with God. As we behold Him and His holinessthose unholy and unworthy things die.

We must believe that we are dead to sin, not giving sin another thought, not giving it the time of day. If we keep it out of our thoughts and speech, all the time and energy we previously wasted trying to “do better” or “clean ourselves up” can be spent with Him.

The most important thing to remember about “reckoning ourselves dead to sin” is believing that we are alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:11 (NKJV) Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

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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

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How Faith is Refined

The Bible uses the analogy of a refiner’s fire to depict the need for purifying our faith. The fact that our faith needs to be refined tells us that there is something in it that needs to be purged and purified. Tests, trials, and persecutions are the fire God uses to bring about this purification. 

We can quickly identify where our faith is less than pure by the way we react to any given difficulty. When our faith is not pure, we will feel emotions that match the lies of unbelief.

If our faith is not refined, we will become overly emotional, worried, anxious, doubtful, overwhelmed, and powerless. When we are shocked by a bad report or a sudden tragic event, we can initially be shaken with negative thoughts and feelings. However, suppose those negative thoughts and emotions remain and cause torment. In that case, it indicates a deeper problem: a lack of trust in God that comes from a lack of commitment to the written word.

Negative thoughts and emotions are something we wage spiritual warfare against, taking them captive to the obedience of Christ. This is a necessary part of the refinement process of faith. To be strong in this arena requires daily intake of, exposure to, and relationship with the written word of God. The sword of the Spirit is equally as essential for defense as the offense.

The shield of faith is only as strong as the sword of the Spirit is established in our hearts.

God has designed us to feel joy, peace, and confidence when our faith is pure. Refined faith will find a way to glory in tribulations.

Romans 5:3 (NKJV) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

          Refined faith will count it all joy when facing various trials.

James 1:2 (NKJV) My brethrencount it all joy when you fall into various trials,

          Mature faith won’t find it strange when the fiery trials of life come upon us. We will rejoice that we are worthy of partaking in Christ’s sufferings. We will understand that the blessing and glory of God rest on us and there is greater potential for rewards.

Quoted from the book, The Spiritual Warfare Manifesto

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