The Battle is the Lord’s
Isaiah 28:5-6 NIV: In that day the LORD Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people. 6 He will be a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
Here, the scripture reveals to us that in this 3rd. day the Lord will be a spirit of justice or discernment and a source of strength to the remnant of His people who turn back the battle at the gate.
We are involved in a spiritual battle that is going on all the time. It is a battle for the control of our souls: mind, will and emotions. Satan, through the air and our physical senses, which together constitute the gate to our souls, seeks to dominate our souls with the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and pride of life, choking or making the Word of God in our lives unfruitful.
Ephesians 2:2-3 NKJV: the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind,
Galatians 5:16-17, 19-21 NKJV: For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like;
Mark 4:19 NKJV: and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
1 John 2:15-16 NKJV: 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.
This battle, or warfare, is mentioned again in:
1 Peter 2:11 NKJV: Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
Unfortunately, many Christians are ignorant of this battle supposing that many of our thoughts and feelings are just ‘natural’: not knowing they are being remotely controlled by wicked spirits in the air around us.
For instance, feeling weak and sleepy when you want to pray and read your Bible is many times not just natural tiredness, but demonic influence on your soul and body to hinder your spiritual development. So you find that if you were to watch television or read a secular book instead you would not feel so weak or sleepy!
Majority of such satanic influences on our souls are very subtle as they are not obviously immoral. Like pride and stubbornness, disguised as independence and self reliance; covetousness disguised as ambition; laziness disguised as weakness and tiredness etc.
It is vital to understand that the lusts of the flesh are spiritual forces operating in our minds, wills, emotions and physical bodies.
Mark 7:20-23 NKJV: And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
So they can only be overcome by the more powerful spiritual forces released by the Holy Spirit: the fruit of spirit.
Galatians 5:16, 22-24 NKJV: I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Romans 8:13 NKJV: For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Consequently, it is vital to understand that it is the Lord, using His angels, that fights the battle and not us. So He gives us the strength to turn back the battle at the gates so that these lusts of the flesh are rendered ineffective or neutralized in our souls and bodies.
Ps 24:7-8 NKJV: Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory?The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.
John 14:30 NKJV: I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
However, we are the instrument or the ‘battle-axe’ that the Lord uses: we make ourselves available and the Lord fights through us:
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Jeremiah 51:20 NKJV: “You are My battle-ax and weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces;
Isa 41:15 NKJV: “Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth; You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small
Since the battle is the Lord’s and God is far greater and stronger than Satan, victory is certain. Now Satan knows this better than most Christians, so the only way he can defeat us is by distracting us from being effective ‘battle-axes’ in the hands of God: through strife, ignorance and spiritual slothfulness.
So to allow God to fight effectively through you, you need to live in God’s presence by:
1. Maintaining an inner attitude of divine love: underserved good will towards all men. Remember you have no control over what people do to you; however you have control over how you react to them. By reacting to them only in love no matter the provocation you allow God to control the situation through you because God is love:
1 John 4:12,16-18 NIV: No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
2. Praying frequently, fervently and effectually in the spirit.
Jude 20-22 NKJV: But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
1 John 4:13 NIV: We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
1 John 2:5-6 NKJV: But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
4. Acknowledge God in all your ways by staying your mind on Him, especially during temptation: asking Him, in your thoughts, for mercy to be faithful in the situation and thanking the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in your thoughts. As you do this the Lord whose is the battle will fight on your behalf, defeating the enemy at the gates of air and your senses, keeping you in perfect peace.
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV:You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
This staying or keeping of your mind on God is in itself a powerful spiritual weapon God uses to defeat the enemy:
1 Peter 4:1-2 NKJV: Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Observe that the above steps are sequential: you cannot enjoy effective communion with God at the thought level to keep you in perfect peace if you do not pray effectively in the spirit with an attitude of love, having God’s Word and life in your heart.
So remember the battle is not yours but the Lord’s but let Him fight effectively through you!