Preparing for Spiritual Warfare with the Word of God

bibleContinued from here.

If you are a Christian, then spiritual warfare is heading your way:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ~ 1 Pet. 5:8

You don’t want to wait until a roaring lion is pouncing on you to start doing the things you need to do to protect yourself. Just like a soldier, you need to train during peacetime to be prepared for war.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to face an opponent without a weapon in my hand. I’m not seeking only to protect myself – I want a way to fight back! The only offensive weapon Paul mentions in the armor of God is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. I don’t want to wait until I am under spiritual attack to dust off my Bible and try to find a Bible verse in the heat of battle. I need to know God’s Word well enough to have access to those scriptures when I need them!

This is how Jesus modeled spiritual warfare in Matthew 4. Satan threw a flaming arrow at Jesus, and Jesus responded with scripture. Satan threw a second flaming arrow, twisting scripture to entice Jesus to disobey God, and Jesus responded with scripture. Satan tried a third time, and a third time, Jesus responded with scripture. Only after this did Satan leave. If Jesus, who was both fully man and fully God, needed scripture to fight off spiritual attack, how much more so do you and I?

How do you know which Bible verses to focus on as you prepare for spiritual warfare? Look for those that speak to your deepest vulnerabilities because that is where the enemy will aim his flaming arrows. If your deepest vulnerability is feeling unloved, memorize scriptures about how deeply God loves you. If it’s a fear of not being capable, memorize scriptures about how God is your strength. If you are unable to memorize scripture, write these verses down on note cards and carry them with you so you always have access to them. Then, when the enemy pounces, you will have access to the scriptures you need, just as Jesus did when he was attacked.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace reading the Bible. Courtesy Bitmoji.]

 

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Seven Fundamental Practices: Bible Study

bibleBible study is critical to growing your relationship with God. Sadly, many Christians do not seem to appreciate the power packed into that book. The Bible is God’s Word, and God used His words to speak the world into being. God’s Word is a spiritual weapon that you can use to fight back whenever you are tempted to believe something contrary to God’s perspective. The Bible is also “medicine” you can use to heal whatever ails you, whether that is anxiety, fear, or anything else that steals your joy, peace, and contentment.

Your Bible isn’t doing you any good sitting on your bookshelf. You need to get God’s words into your heart and spirit, and that happens by studying it. While reading the Bible has its place, you will best “arm yourself” by studying it, and that happens as you meditate on a passage of scripture.

What exactly do I mean by this? Let me provide you with a concrete example…

Let’s say that you struggle with feeling unloved. Use Biblegateway.com or a concordance to locate Bible verses that tell you God’s perspective on whether you are loved. One verse you might find is Psalm 36:5:

Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the skies.

You know how when you feel unloved, you worry about it? You think about one example after another that supports the lie that you are unloved. You roll the thought around and around in your head. Do the same thing, only do it with God’s words instead.

This passage says that God’s love reaches to the heavens. Think about how high that is – from the ground all the way up to the stars. Considering the sun is a star, think about how far away each star must be to appear that small in the sky. Now think about filling up all of that space with God’s love for you. Where can you go that you are not surrounded by His love?

Now, think about God’s faithfulness reaching to the skies. We see the sky during the day but the stars at night. Perhaps we are better attuned to His faithfulness when the sun is shining, hence the comparison to the skies, but in the darkness of night, our vision stretches far beyond the skies to the heavens. God’s faithful reaching the skies is high enough, but His love reaching the heavens? That’s even into other universes. I cannot even wrap my mind around the height, depth, width, and breadth of a love that transcends this one universe.

Do you see how powerful Bible study is? It’s critical to a strong walk with God because it enables you to digest what He tells us about Himself until it becomes a part of who you are.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace reading the Bible. Courtesy Bitmoji.]