Spiritual Warfare, Trials

My Battle Plan

ancient antique armor armour

When life begins to unravel, as it is guaranteed to do from time to time, what is your response? We have options. We can panic. We can get angry. We can feel sorry for ourselves. We can worry. These are all normal human reactions. We have another choice. We can fight back.

The hard days and tough warfare will come to each of us. What do you do when you are in the trenches, deep in spiritual battle? Our instinct is to give up. Or, fight the wrong battle. Don’t let the physical stuff distract you from the actual battle. Our battles are ultimately spiritual. That’s the real battle.

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. Ephesians 6:12, 

Many years ago, I learned how to fight spiritually. The weapons of this type of warfare are not physical, yet they are more powerful than a nuclear bomb. Here is a basic breakdown of what I do when I’m fighting back.

My Battle Plan

The best way to utilize this strategy is to silence your phone. Stay off social media, t.v., and the internet. Shut everything off. Put all your energy into God. You must press in to Him. There are four weapons that I apply simultaneously in the fight.

Worship

It’s time to put on your favorite worship music. If you don’t have any, it’s easy to look some up online and let it play. You may not feel like worshipping God, but in no time you will be uplifted. You will begin to focus on God, and not on your problem. 

Sing a new song to the Lord;

sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to Yahweh, praise His name;

proclaim His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonderful works among all peoples. Psalm 96:1-3

Prayer 

Pour out your heart to God. No half hearted prayers. Tell Him everything. He already knows anyway. Just be honest and respectful. We can come to God freely because of Jesus. So come. Pray like you have never prayed before. If you can’t find the words then write out a simple prayer. Ask at least one person to intercede for you if possible. Also, be quiet before the Lord in your prayer time, and ask Him what He wants to tell you. 

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4: 6-7 

The Word 

God’s Word is a lamp, a treasure, the truth, and it’s alive. The word of God is a sword. It’s our ultimate weapon. The Word is how you are going to cut through the lies. Keep your Bible open, and bookmark verses that speak to your situation. If you’re lacking faith, then look up every verse on faith. If you need healing, look up verses on healing. If you’re worrying, look up those verses. You get the idea. Say those verses out loud. Read them 100 times if necessary. You can also write them on note cards and place them all around your home. 

Take the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit,

which is God’s word. 

Ephesians 6:17

Fast

I know it is difficult to go without food. Only fast if you are healthy, and please ask your doctor if you have any concerns. Fasting is throughout the Old and New Testament. 

There are all kinds of views on what to fast. Some will just skip one meal a day, others will go without food the entire day or a few days. Some “fast” from social media, or other non-food types of enjoyment. I go without food. I still drink coffee in the morning and then just water the rest of the day. That may not work for everyone. I’m not an expert on fasting. 

What’s the point of a fast? It focuses our minds and bodies on Jesus. Fasting and praying go together. When I feel hungry I use that as a reminder to pray. I can honestly say that the spiritual results from fasting are incredible. I hear God’s voice much more clear. I get a new, Godly perspective. I feel closer to Him.

So we fasted and pleaded with our God about this, and He granted our request. 

Ezra 8:23

That’s the very basic breakdown of how I fight my battles. God is the thread through all four components. Worship, prayer, the word, and fasting point to God. It takes the focus off of our trial, and on to God. When we place our problems into God’s mighty hands, He can do what we cannot. That is powerful. My battle plan is not to just get what I want. It changes my heart, and my mind. It strengthens my faith. I begin to ask God what He wants, and I plead for His will not my own. 

If you are battling today, please leave me your prayer request. We are to bear one another’s burdens.  

Love you all,

Meghan

All scripture is from the Holman Christian Standard Bible © 2009

Photo by Maria Pop on Pexels.com

Faith, Spiritual Warfare, Trials, Uncategorized

For the Hurting, You Are Loved

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Are you hurting? In deep pain? Someone I love is hurting deeply. They are struggling with suicidal thoughts. It breaks my heart. They’ve lost hope. When we lose hope, all we see is darkness. We think there is no way out. That’s a lie.

There is always hope. Jesus Christ is our hope. He can pierce the darkness with His glorious light. Cry out to Him. He hears you. He sees you. He will make a way for you.

Thus says the Lord,
    who makes a way in the sea,
    a path in the mighty waters,
 who brings forth chariot and horse,
    army and warrior;
they lie down, they cannot rise,
    they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
 “Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.
 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

(Isaiah 43:16-19, ESV) 

 

If you don’t know Jesus, today would be a great day to change that. Jesus knows you and loves you beyond comprehension. Jesus died for sinners, which is all of us. Our sin debt is paid in full.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NIV) 

Call on Jesus. Ask Him to save you and He will!

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13, NIV)

I wrote a letter to my young friend who is in deep pain. The Lord gave me the words. The names have been changed. If you, or someone you know, is depressed or struggling with suicidal thoughts, feel free to use my letter and personalize it. I pray it can help others. May God be glorified.

Please ask for help if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression. I know it’s not easy, but your loved ones care so deeply about you and want to help. You are not alone.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

Dear Elizabeth,

I’m very sorry that you are hurting. When you hurt, I hurt too. You are dearly loved by so many. Your mom and dad love you more than you will ever know. Your brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and so many other family members love you so very much. 

There is one who loves you more than even your mom and dad. God loves you, dear sweet Elizabeth. Your Heavenly Father knew you before time began. He looked at you and said, “This one is going to have a voice like an angel, and a pure, compassionate heart.” 

Elizabeth, there is one YOU in this whole wide world. God has a purpose and a plan for you, but you’ve got to trust Him. Give Him your pain, and heartache, and questions. God can take it, and He wants you to give it all to Him. You are not designed to carry such pain. 

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

(In the Greek, cast means to throw, hurl, or toss) 

You have the freedom in Jesus to throw your anxiety on Him. This is not a suggestion. We are told to do so. Elizabeth, throw it on Him! If you have to throw it a hundred times in a day, then do it!! You have freedom and Holy Spirit power in you!! That means you’ve got the power of God in you. The moment you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you received the Holy Spirit. This is not spooky stuff, it’s the amazing truth. 

When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13 

Those bad, evil, lying thoughts that come in your mind are not the truth. A thought or idea does not mean it’s the truth. You will have many thoughts all day long, some are good and some are not. If the thought does not line up with the word of God, it’s garbage. 

God will NEVER:

Call you names

Tell you to hurt yourself.

Tell you to hurt another person.

Tell you anything that goes against His word.

 

God says:

I love you.

You are my precious daughter.

I made you with an everlasting love.

I will carry you when you can’t walk.

I am a way maker.

Give me your pain.

Give me your doubts.

Give me your fears.

Trust me.

I will never leave you.

 

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 

When you get a bad thought in your mind, picture Jesus holding a stop sign. Give the bad thought to Jesus. Those bad thoughts have to come under the authority of Jesus. Tell the stupid thought “No!”

Praise and worship is another powerful tool to fight back against the battles that go on in our mind. You invite God in when you worship. So sing out praises to the King of Kings! Even if you don’t feel like it. 

But you are holy,

you who inhabit the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3 

Elizabeth is God’s chosen one. 

Elizabeth is God’s special possession.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

He knows everything about you. Every pain, every sorrow, every sadness, every bad thought. All of it. He loves you and will never walk away from you. He can handle your disappointments, doubts, fears, anxiety, and questions. If you let Him, Jesus can turn your deepest pain into something so beautiful. Trust God. He’s bigger than you can imagine. Bigger than your hurt. Nothing is impossible with Him.

For with God nothing will be impossible. Luke 1:37

I’m here for you if you need to talk. 

 

With Love,

Meghan 

 

Heavenly father,

I lift up precious Elizabeth to you. Give her hope, peace, and comfort. Set her free from these tormenting thoughts. Your word says she has the mind of Christ. Let Elizabeth hear your voice above all the noise, above the lies. Let her hear your truth that she is loved, she belongs to you. Let her hear your powerful still, small voice. Give Elizabeth wisdom and discernment. Help her take every thought captive, and make them obedient to Christ.

In Jesus name,

Amen 

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels from Pixabay

 

Spiritual Warfare, Trials, Uncategorized

The Shofar

Blowing  the shofar for the Feast of Trumpets

A beautiful sound like a trumpet or a chime interrupted our after dinner conversation. Wanting to investigate, all four of us left the Italian restaurant and walked across the courtyard near city hall. There was absolutely no one around. I thought to myself maybe it was a church bell or a clock chime.  Out of nowhere a man appeared and he was holding a long instrument. “This is a ram’s horn” the man said. “Do you know what it is?” he asked me. “Yes,” I answered. I had read about the shofar or ram’s horn in the Bible but I’d never seen or heard one before that. “We don’t want darkness here. So me and a few other men in the area blow the ram’s horn on the steps of the city hall regularly,” he said.

I knew right away what he was doing. He was taking spiritual authority over Sugar Land, our new home. I was blown away, no pun intended. At that point we were living in a hotel with not a lot of answers. My recent post Scraps of Paper tells more about our move. I felt something very different in Sugar Land, in a good way, and I couldn’t figure out exactly what that good thing was. After hearing the shofar and speaking with that man, I got my answer. Jesus was there and at work.

God had been working the whole time, I just wasn’t seeing a lot of evidence of His work. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right place. Hearing the shofar was God telling me I’m here. I brought you here and I am working. It’s all going to be OK. That may seem strange to some of you. But for me, hearing a ram’s horn brought encouragement, comfort, and hope. Now, the keeping the darkness part out sounds a bit scary. I knew what that man meant. Spiritual darkness. Evil forces at work. Sounds spooky, but it’s the reality.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, NASB)

Our battles ultimately are spiritual in nature. We are not fighting people, though we may be in a disagreement with someone. The real battle is not in the flesh. What does this have to do with the shofar?

In ancient Israel the blowing of the shofar had many purposes. Some of it’s uses were to call people together, for battle, and to praise God. The ram’s horn is first mentioned in Exodus.

So it happened on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and flashes of lightning, and a thick cloud was on the mountain, and a very loud blast was sounded on a ram’s horn, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.” (Exodus 19:16, AMP)

One of the most famous stories using the shofar is Joshua and Jericho.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” (Joshua 6:2-5, NIV)

I’m not going to put the entire story on here. I highly recommend reading it either for the first time, or again for those of you who have read it many times. It is such an incredible story of God’s power. Joshua 6:1-20. Here’s the final verse from that passage:

20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20, NIV)

The ram’s horn didn’t bring the wall down. The shouting didn’t bring the wall down. The marching didn’t bring the wall down. God brought the wall down. The shofar doesn’t have magic powers. It’s what it represents that brings the power and presence of God.

The shofar was used often for warfare.

“When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.” (Numbers 10:9, NKJV)

Here are some of the military uses of the shofar:¹

  • Signaling and alerting: Ehud and Nehemiah use it to summon their men (Judges 3:27; Nehemiah 4:12-14).
  • Weapon for frightening the enemy (Judges 7:22)
  • Announcing victory (Samuel A 13:3)
  • Announcing rebellion (Samuel B 20:1)
  • Cease fighting (Samuel B 20:22)
  • Warning sign about approaching enemy (Jeremiah 4:21; Hosea 5:8; and other)

The mysterious man I met that night was drawing a line in the sand for the city. It was a battle cry. And even though I didn’t know the bigger significance of a ram’s horn then, I knew enough in my spirit to know it was a God thing. You know when you just know because of the Holy Spirit? I just knew.

The ram’s horn is still used by Jews today for many things like Rosh Hashanah, where 100 times it blasts. There are four main notes or sounds used when blowing the shofar. I could fill volumes on the shofar and it’s significance for God’s people.

My little interaction at the city hall was about spiritual warfare. There are other Christians today, using the shofar. I am not suggesting you need to blow a ram’s horn. But if God wants you to, then by all means go for it.

What I love about the shofar is it brings things into perspective. It points to God and we need more of that in our world. In the middle of my battle, God showed up and He will for you too. He’s working right now in your life. You may not see Him at work. Maybe you’re like I was, and you think He has forgotten you. He hasn’t. God sees you. God knows you. Trust Him.

 

Heavenly Father,

I lift up all those who are in a battle. Show up for them Father. Bring answers, provision, and the best thing of all, your presence. Encourage the battle weary that you will fight for them. We love you and praise your Holy name!

Amen

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Photo credit: John Theodor

Footnote:

  1. http://www.shofarot-israel.com/index.php/the-shofar/biblicaltime/

Resources:

https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Fall_Holidays/Elul/Shofar/shofar.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-shofar

https://torah.org/learning/yomtov-roshhashanah-vol3no16/

http://www.racematters.org/shofarhasfoursounds.htm

https://www.shofar.co/?item=88&section=170