Monday, July 30, 2012

One Word To Victory

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Spiritual warfare is not a topic we want to think about. But the longer we ignore it, the heavier the weight of its oppression can become, just as I mentioned in today's Proverbs 31 devotion, The Invisible Battle.

Whether we like it or not, Christians are engaged in a battle every single day. All around us there is a war taking place in the spiritual realms. It's not a war we can see, but it's a war nonetheless.

As a baby Christian years ago, I doubted whether or not this war was really taking place. When I would read scripture verses about this subject, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the concept. For example, Ephesians 6:12 which says "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." 

Rulers, authorities and powers of the dark world? Spiritual forces of evil?  Sounds a bit fictional, big screen, drama-ishBut unfortunately, I learned the hard way that doubting is exactly what the devil wants us to do.

When we fail to believe that he is really on the prowl, as the Bible tells us, we will neglect to put on God's armor, leaving ourselves open for attack, and helpless to defend ourselves when it happens.  

Worse yet, if we do not live in a state of spiritual awareness, we may be so oblivious to what is really going on that we don't even realize we are in a war until life seems to be spiraling out of control, and our negative emotions, stress, worry and discouragement have taken our hearts hostage.

We may even try to blame God, instead of the evil one who is really to blame.  Of course, there are times when God allows difficulties in our lives to convict us of sin or teach us valuable lessons, however, in either case, the devil can get a foothold in our heart if we aren't careful.

So what do we do? How do we win against this invisible battle where our joy and peace hang in the balance?

One word:  STAND

Ephesians 6:10 tells us how to stand, why to stand, and what to stand against:  "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (NKJV)

Stand in the Lord. Stand with our armor on - His Word in our hearts and prayers on our lips. Stand against the devil, ready to fight.. All this "standing" in faith equips us for battle and preps us for victory, while forcing the devil to do some 'sitting' in our life. Back seat sitting, that is.

You see, the battle we are fighting is internal - not external.  The devil doesn't want to take our 'things', he wants to take our faith.  So we don't need external weapons like a soldier in an army; we need internal strength and perseverance to keep trusting in God's promises, even when life is hard.

We need His supernatural ability to persevere through difficult and stressful circumstances, even when we feel like giving up, or giving in.

We need His Word tucked into our hearts, especially when our hearts are laden with worry or stress.

We need to STAND strong in our faith, even when our minds are telling us to sit and quit.

My precious friend and fellow P31 sister Whitney Capps said so eloquently last weekend at our 12th annual She Speaks Conference, that "Satan does not have the creative authority to have power over our lives, but he wants us to doubt God's protection and provision." 

Yes, the devil can cause problems - but our doubt compounds them and gives him validity. Yet when we  believe that God protects and provides, we are able to stand strong in the battle, facing the enemy in strength that can only come from God.

It is our faith which enables us, and entitles us, to the power and authority of Jesus over our lives.

And when Christ is for us, who can be against us?
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Do you feel as if life is spinning out of control, and you are helpless to stop it? Have you wondered if God has forgotten you, or punishing you? Have you considered quitting, or throwing in the towel, and succumbing to a life void of joy and peace?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then my friend, you are in a battle. A battle for your heart, which can only be won if you ask God for the strength to STAND.

If you have been under attack and sense a new motivation in your spirit to begin standing firm in your faith again today - will you leave a comment professing your commitment to trust God in your circumstances and with your life? The army of God is even stronger when unified!


* Click here to read a recent post regarding a new form of spiritual warfare happening today: The Devil's Latest Scheme.

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41 comments:

Heather said...

I love the reminder "Satan does not thane the creative authority to have power over our lives, but he wants us to doubts Gods protection and provision". Yes! If he can get us to begin to doubt God, then we are in a place where we have nothing. This just gave me the extra motivation I needed to get into His Wprd this morning and stand, prepared for battle, knowing the The Almighty is on MY side.

Findingsecurityinhim.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this devotion. My family has entered into a new ministry recently and already have experienced spiritual warfare and this devotion has motivated me to give credit where credit is due and give the power back to the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me where the battle is coming from. I tend to forget that. I have to keep giving God my battles to fight for me and stop getting in the way. I WILL STAND against the enemy.

Anonymous said...

I TRUST God to honor our attempts to know Him more. I signed up to receive 2 daily devotionals. Today, both quote Eph 6 and reminded me that I am/we are NOT home yet! Satan and his evil are all aroundus! He is real and he hates God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, and Christians!!!!
Praise God! It's not totally up to us. Because He never intended for us to fight alone, He never leaves us and gives us everything we need to stand!
Rise up woman of God! Fight the good fight - in God's mighty power!
May the Lord bless you, strengthen you, and give you peace.

deedeeq said...

Thank you for this message. Spiritual warfare is not something discussed much in my circles, mentioned, yes, but not discussed. As it always happens when we are willing to listen to God, He provides direction. I have also entered an extention to my ministry and have been encountering more challenges than expected from unusual sources which I now put a face to. Blessings for you and your day.

Baking Journey said...

Thank you also for the devotion... your words of encouragement. Through several series of events I thought I was taking all the necessary steps to stand....to trust....to be prepared. And until this summer I have almost scoffed at emotional darkness and such. But here I am. Struggling with that very thing. I know God's promises are real and I know He will return to me that peace that I long for now with all my being. So I have been, am and will by the grace of God and with His strength take a stand ---- a stronger stand against the enemy.... Lord I believe, help though mine unbelief. I call upon you again today to fight the battle in my mind and in my emotions. That my belief will lead quickly to full confidence that you will take this intermitant feeling of sadness and gloom that have taken up precious energy from serving the Lord the way I should. I am a Baptist minister's wife who has enjoyed God's protection and taken it for granted, I believe. I am clinging to the Lord with all my might in this storm and looking forward to the calm. I need the Lord, His Spirit, His Word, Godly comfort and support from friends more today than ever before. God is supplying them all and I need to immerse myself in them for they are truly greater than Satan and certainly me. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! Someone out there please pray that the missing link....my total faith and trust that God will provide the much needed peace and that it is coming. Thank you. Sorry for the long post. Besides the ups and downs of ministry and family I am watching the decline of my last parent, my Mom and beleive I have somehow allowed my empathy for her to become a sort of depression. How can I be a blessing in that state. Silly, unnecessary, I know. I thow that out hoping that someone might be able to help on that specific situation as well. At least to pray. Again, thanks!

Sarah said...

You have NO idea how much I needed this today! It's so cool how God previously laid something on your heart that I would need on July 30! Blessings to you.

Chrissy said...

Tracie,
Thanks for your words of encouragement this morning!. For, I am STANDING on God's promises now and forever...Amen!

Christine said...

Yes, I've been in a battle for quite sometime now and letting the devil win. Thank you for this timely post today. I am recommitting myself to Christ's love, protection & promises! Please pray for me as this will not be easy.

Brandi said...

Thank you! I really needed to read this--especially this morning! I will STAND!!! I just finished school and I am currently looking for a job. I have been without a job for three years! I make jewelry, but it is not enough income to pay bills. I feel like I have been in a serious spiritual battle recently. My husband and I have been super stressed and I have been feeling a little depressed. Please pray for our family. I will STAND though! I know God is able and I feel hope in my heart. Thank you again for sharing!!! Brandi Marino

Donna B. said...

What timing! I totally believe God led me to your page today, as well as the Encouragement for Today email that I received. I don't read them regularly yet today's I opened and was SO glad. (Another devotional I received today was called Put on God's Armor -- that's no coincidence!) Your words mirror my feelings of late; I feel punished by God, ignored and left to wallow through our current situation alone. I don't hear God nor feel his presence. I know he's there but for some reason, I don't feel the joy and peace I used to. However, I do feel we are in a battle. Long story short, there are a few things in our lives we're trying to change (selling our home to move cross country is the biggest, yet our home hasn't had but 2 showings in 4 mths) and I'm so discouraged, stressed, resentful, the list goes on. Now I feel uplifted; I can STAND and fight this with God's help, as He IS our protector, I just need to remember that. I may not like the timing of His plan, but I hope that we either open our hearts to learning whatever he wants us to learn and that we continue to confess our sin and things will change. He can move mountains. Thank you for that reminder!

Janice said...

Thank you so much for your devotional this morning. I needed it so much. I kept waking up last night with worry and wondering how God was going to provide for us. I am standing on his word and I will not give in to doubt and worry and stress that the enemy is trying to bombard me with...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for today's words straight from heaven through you. I realized that I had crawled into a corner and was just letting satan trounce all over me and my family. Fighting gets hard sometimes and I was just tired. I am still tired butI am going to stand regardless. My family needs me to pray trust and believe that God will take us through this.

overwhelmed said...

I am engaged daily in spiritual and mental warfare, I suffer from severe anxiety called OCD. I have problems with everything, driving, being around people, even doing things at home because my mind is always in a state of high anxiety. I am afraid most of the time and fearful. I am so tired of fighting this battle and sometimes, often, feel hopeless. I need God's strength right now because I can no longer do it alone. I need to retrain my brain to not live in an anxious state. Sometimes it is hard to trust God in these situations but I know I must. Prayers appreciated.

Angie Slaughter said...

This has been a God send for me. I, too, have doubted so many times recently.......all these negative things and thoughts have been Satan and I couldn't see it. It is just SO AMAZING to me how God puts before you the things you need and WILL ALWAYS if we seek him. THANK YOU for this devotional.

Rosa Methot said...

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. I know that I have been under a spiritual attack with my family and my faith. We have been missing alot of church service and have been away from the body for a long time. Right now we are dealing with forclosure of my home,finances,marriage and my 5 children. It is like a roller coaster. I woke up this morning to find your devotion and it helped me so much. It is true what you say, we are in a spiritual fight. It is just hard when we don't have members of the church unified here where we live. By reading this devotional I realize I need to get closer to God so that my relationship with my children & husband can be better.
I will STAND and know that God is with me all the time.
Thank you a thousand times, May God continue to use you to reach as many people as you have reached me.

Ellen said...

Me and members of my family have been under attack!! God continually reminds me of His promises and now I must STAND and BELIEVE His promises and TRUST Him. Thank you for this devotion!! You know it wasn't until I really understood that the enemy truly existed that I realized how much I needed a Savior!!

Tracie Miles said...

Everyone - as I read through all of your comments, I came to tears. The enemy is working so hard to bring God's children down, but we can all STAND and rise above our circumstances by trusting God. Your comments and enthusiasm to STAND despite your adversities, and to recognize that in Christ we do not have to let the devil win, takes my breath away. Thank you all for sharing and for serving as a reminder that although we feel alone in our troubles - we have God, and we have each other! Thank you sisters!

Sandee Story said...

My prayers are with all of you that are struggling. I found myself back in the black hole of depression last night after a challenging family situation which led me to question my faith and feel as if I couldn't go on. After a sleepless night, God has given me this life-saving reminder of the truth and I am so grateful. Thank you so much.

ElAine Ledlow said...

Ellen you said it very well. Even when you know that this fight must be fought with Gods armor it always helps to be reminded and strengthened

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!! I so needed this today!!! I am depressed and gave satan the foothold instead of relying on my Lord!! God Bless

Margie said...

Thank you I need to hear that!! I need to stand strong and have faith in the promised that God has given me!!

Anne ML said...

As I write this, I have tears in my eyes, because I know that I am very close to throwing in the towel if I have not already done so. There is a definite battle for my heart, and although I know I gave it to Christ, lately I have placed myself back up on the thrown of my heart, and am slipping further and further from my walk with Christ. Not in any oh so dramatic way, but in little ways, and in ways that I can see I am becoming not as joy filled, not as peace filled and am feeling the pull on my head and my heart. Thank you for your words, as they certainly are from God. I was very touched to see that this is not an external battle but an internal. I pray that Christ will renew my strength in Him and well as my Love of His Word so that I may stand strong. I pray the other women who are reading this blog would so be moved to recommit to trusting our Lord and Savior.

Sarah said...

Your posts help me so much. Thank you! I needed this, and all the others!

Anonymous said...

Wow...I so needed this. Although I know God is still there my family is being battered and we are all weary. My son is battling an alcohol addiction and it truly affects the whole family. We have been trying to get him into a Christian based recovery program but so far to no avail, but I know God is working on him, as he is attending church for the first time in years. Therefore, as we all know Satan has upped his game. So hard to watch your child make poor decisions and suffer the consequences.

Anonymous said...

I feel the closer I get to God - Satan is right at my back door. I am one who in high school was called a Bible Thumper. Even though threw the years I lost my way and even this weekend was ready to commit suicide - I was fighting between God and Satan and asking God for forgiveness just as I was ready to leave this world I received a text that saved my life - then my mother today suggested I go upstairs to pray to God and ask for help and as I sat down to the computer this morning the first email I read is "yours Tracie Miles" The invisible battle - Satan is so on the attack to destroy my life, my marriage and my relationship with my son ... Now I learned the hard way that I have to pray morning, night and day - Cause I now know Satan isn't giving up..nor is God. Thank you Tracie Miles your words spoke to my heart and you are my angel for today! God bless all that are hurting - know that God isn't your enemy - He is sitting up there waiting for us to call on HIM and I am thankful I did!!!

Mary said...

Every day seems to be the same battle and I know Satan knows my weakness. But I intend to ask God daily to remind me of his protection. And I will put on my armor and STAND!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thehowardfamily4 said...

Thank you for this post...it is so timely as I feel Satan trying to take a hold of my marriage. Nothing "major" is happening, just some unusual tension that isn't "us" but we are choosing to STAND, to get into God's word, pray and FIGHT for our relationship.

Amy said...

Thank you for this reminder, Tracie! I have believed that my family has been under spiritual attack for a very long time. I admit, I have become discouraged and felt defeated in the last few months b/c my prayers seem to go unanswered at times in this regard. I thank you for encouraging me (and other readers)to continue the battle with perseverence while claiming His promises.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!! Our beloved daughter has been in the grips of a serious mental disorder and an eating disorder for many years. She is in a treatment facility now and this is a very difficult time. For the past five years our family has been in the cross hairs of Satan and we have suffered many attacks which physically and mentally diminished us. We have been believers for over twenty years, but oh how my 'feelings' have gotten in the way and I have ' felt' forsaken by God. I KNOW THE TRUTH BUT MY FEELINGS HAVE GOTTEN IN THE WAY! Thank you for clearing up what I must do and that is to STAND!!!! God bless you and keep you!
I have put on the helmet of salvation and grasped the sword of the Spirit, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD!
Barbara

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tracie Miles said...

Dear 'anonymous' (who is posting the comments and pictures about my children)- I can tell you are someone who takes your faith seriously, and expects others to do the same, and I so respect that. I sincerely appreciate your valid concerns and your honesty, and I understand how some things (or pictures) may be perceived in an inappropriate way, and in all honestly, do not disagree. We live in an imperfect world, with imperfect children, and I am certainly an imperfect parent. We also live in a world full of spiritual attacks, even in our homes and families - including my own - as I admitted in today's devotion and as you pointed out in your first comment. I welcome the opportunity to discuss some of your valid concerns and hope that you will accept my sincere apology for causing any stumbling blocks in your faith. As sisters in Christ, we need to stand together and I would love for you to open the door for us to do that. I would appreciate your grace, understanding and forgiveness in this situation. I invite you to email me personally at any time with your thoughts and/or we can set up a time to talk on the phone, or meet for coffee. My treat. I have removed your comments and links since they involved my children and I feel that is inappropriate and unfair to them. My email is traciewmiles@carolina.rr.com if you would like to contact me.
With love,

carolinatrails said...

I also want to thank you for this post. I have to realize that what I am going through is spiritual warfare and wrap myself in the Word. I cannot recommend "Jesus Calling" enough to lead you scripture that speaks to a hurting heart.

Anonymous said...

I feel so strong about my fathets alcholic behavior and have never forgiven him for allowing it to control his whole life, and now l have given Satan the same control with food, please pray for me. I have never known an earthly loving father one that l could trust, or count on in anyway so now at 60yrs young l still long for that father and yes just like the women at the well looked in all the wrong places. I want to trust and believe and to stop running looking for that next fix, but l just don't know how. I'm afraid something really bad will happen, if l give up control.

Heidi Kellems said...

The devil does not want us to learn that we have authority over Him by the authority over us/in us. Once we do learn this we become on the offensive instead of defensive. If one can put a 1000 to flight, two can put 10K...We have to learn that we STAND in the authority of the name of Jesus and we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.

Jen said...

Tracie,
Firs thank you for taking time to write this devotional and share your heart. Over the past 9 months or so I have realized my husband and I have been in a spiritual battle for several years. It's only come to light as things came to a head and we almost separated/divorced. Thankfully through Gods grace & mercy we are still together. Yet it is a daily battle with the devil as we both have footholds in our hearts and marriage. Humbly I ask you pray for me as I continue to look to the Lord and get rid of these footholds. More importantly I ask you to pray for my husband and our marriage. Satan has twisted things so much in his life He no longer knows who he is in Christ. Prayer is a powerful tool. I've already seen it through Prayer God's hand in our lives. We've come along ways, but there is still along way to go. Thank you in advance for your prayers. Please know I will be praying for all of you as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I am trusting God with my terrible situation and life. I cannot do this alone.

CHauser said...

Thank you so much for this post. I've been struggling with my strength in standing in HIS word and trusting and believing that all of my needs will be taken care of and it's caused lots of doubt to come in. So thank you for this post because its something I truely need to hear to help me get my strength back.

Anonymous said...

What has helped me is remembering that God never changes even though my emotions may. I focus on who God is and His attributes, trusting Him for grace to carry me through this time of uncomfortable feelings.

Mary_Mom said...

I am committed to STANDING on the firm ground of Christ as my power for the battle. Whats my battle? Family issues--children with ungrateful hearts---or so it seems. Actually--it is ME that has a vision problem--I am only seeing the bad things aor focusing in on negative areas or looking at things and interpreting them that way. The battle is within me....a tempatation to think negative and wallow in it.

Help me Lord.