Monday, March 9, 2009

Spiritual Warfare

Taking Back Territory!

Have you ever wondered how you ended up being in the middle of so much chaos, when you thought you were doing "exactly" what the Lord told you to do? Maybe you ministered to someone, only to have them turn and despise you. Perhaps you moved to a new city, but quickly found life to be in turmoil. Did you take a new job -thinking it was God's perfect plan - only to find yourself miserable? Some of you have raised children in godly homes, but are now faced with the nightmare of watching them choose sinful lifestyles. Still others of you married the man of your dreams, but soon discovered your prince was a toad!

Whatever your dilemma, the Lord is well aware of every struggle. In fact, it may surprise you to know that sometimes the Holy Spirit will lead us "into" enemy territory for the purpose of SPIRITUAL COMBAT!

Yes friend, God has appointed us to be "more than conquerors". Oftentimes, this means we are to go on the offensive and overthrow spiritual wickedness in high places. When we come out on the other side of our trials, the Lord has revealed yet another facet of His endless love, as He molds us and shapes us for His glory.

I know, as women we would much rather sashay along a "rose garden" Christian lifestyle without any of life's thorns and thistles. If you are anything like me, you would do anything to avoid problems, confrontation and hardship. Still, God has a plan for us as He leads us into enemy camp, knowing we are well equipped and able to come out VICTORIOUS!

Let's look at scripture to see what God's Word has to say about this...

Exodus 23:20-28... KJV

"Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. You shall serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you."

In this passage, God tells the Israelites that He has sent an angel (the Holy Spirit) to bring them to the place "He has prepared for them". Strangely, this land of promise is a place where the Israelites must face confrontation from enemies; even those who worshipped false gods. I bet the Israelites were a little confused over "why" God would lead them into hostile territory, calling it the "land He had prepared for them". I know for me, it sure doesn't sound like a place
I'd like for God to lead me. I'd rather be led into a land of peace and tranquility.

Just the same, the Lord goes on to tell the Israelites they must "overthrow" these enemies. He even tells them to tear down their images - to destroy their false gods. The Lord does comfort them by saying He will go before them. He says He will be an enemy to their enemies but their only stipulation is that they "obey" their angel (for us, the voice of the Holy Spirit). They are to pay careful attention to him. God says that they should not bow down to the gods of their enemies nor should they "do" as their enemies do. I think for us, the Lord is teaching us to not get caught in the trap of following the methods, mannerisms, and tactics of those who persecute us.

Has the Holy Spirit ever led you into a place that you felt was exactly where God wanted you, only to find out that hostility, conflict, and disappointment awaited your arrival? Yuk! Well, PRAISE THE LORD! It is here that God has promised you the victory over your situation. Your only responsibility is to "obey" the voice of the Holy Spirit and then TRUST THE LORD to take care of your adversaries... your problems, your heartaches, and your obstacles.

Are you in need of some basic necessities? Perhaps you are in a position of choosing between buying groceries or paying the mortgage. Do you have sickness and disease that are plaguing your body? Have you had a miscarriage - whether a literal miscarriage or perhaps aborted dreams and visions that have been lost in a sea of disappointment? In this passage of scripture, God says He will make sure you have food and water. He says He will take sickness away. He even declares that women who trust and obey Him will not miscarry their babies but will be fertile for child bearing. Wow! Do these promises speak to any of you? Be sure to notice the contingency... obey the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Precious friends, THE LORD WILL CAUSE YOUR ENEMIES TO TURN THEIR BACKS AND RUN FROM YOU! He will drive away life's ugly obstacles as you "obey" the voice of the Holy Spirit and then place your complete trust in His promises.

Wow!!! I hope this quick study will brighten your day as you face your giants! Remember, don't be discouraged if it takes a while for you to see your victory. Some things the Lord will do "little by little"(Exodus 23:30). Never-the-less, God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19 & 1 Samuel 15:29)!

You know, I used to ask God, "Lord, what do you mean by obey? Do you mean 'obey the ten commandments' or are you talking about 'obeying the greatest commandment'?" It frustrated me to think I might have missed God by not obeying (whether intentional or unknowingly) His commands, thus disqualifying me from His blessings. The devil always tries to clothe us with guilt so that we will be insecure about believing God's Word.

I was so relieved to find out that "obeying" is nothing more than fellowship with God; conversing with Him about each and every situation. Really, the Lord just wants us to trust him... step by step... in every situation.

Obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit requires us to commune with our heavenly father. It requires us to pray without ceasing. This is not a legalistic set of rules we must obey, but rather a deep yearning desire to do whatever pleases God... in every aspect of our lives.

Friend, God loves you and has good plans for you! Obey Him and walk in the fullness of His provision.

Yours In Christ,

Deborah Ross

Deborah Ross Ministries

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