Dear Loved One,
In little more than a year from now, those of us who live in the United States of America will have a new president. As I write this today, the political battles have already begun. And until the elections are held we can expect the usual overdose of campaign rhetoric, breaking news and public scrutiny.
At some point, however, amid of all the headlines and editorials, tweetings, postings and bloggings, the spotlight of national attention will focus on one gripping issue. The candidates contending for the office of Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force on earth will be asked:
“If elected, what conditions do YOU believe warrant a declaration of war?”
It’s a vital question. With all the turmoil that’s brewing around the world, it needs to be answered—not only by political leaders who are concerned with national security, but by believers like you and me who understand spiritual realities. We know, even if others do not, that just as nation attacks nation, the kingdom of darkness constantly attacks the kingdom of light.
How we, as individuals, respond to those attacks can make all the difference in our lives. So let me ask you today—
What conditions do you believe warrant a declaration of spiritual war in your life?
When is enough, enough? When do you stand up to your spiritual enemy, rise up in faith and courage, and refuse to allow his attacks against you to go unanswered?
War? Enemy? What?
I know what you might be thinking . . . Enemy? I have no enemies. I’m not fighting with anyone. For the most part, everything’s good!
Well, like you and many other believers, I used to think the same thing. As natural, flesh-and-blood human beings, we all tend to limit our perspective to what we can see, hear, touch, smell and taste. But our Lord made it clear; we face an enemy who can’t be detected by our natural senses. He’s the very same adversary who opposed Jesus and his strategy for warfare has never changed. As
Jesus said: He is “the thief” who comes “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10, NKJV)
Make no mistake; because of this thief there is a righteous battle to wage and a holy war to fight. An unseen war, it began in heaven when Satan and his renegade band of angels turned against God and spread it to earth in the Garden of Eden. It’s still going on and it’s become personal. As a believer, you are constantly involved in it. You’re either winning battles or losing them every single day.
Where are these battles being fought in your life?
They happen in secret—on the hidden battlefield in the deep recesses of your mind.
While Jesus is openly providing you with His abundant life (John 10:10), Satan and his unholy spirits are covertly doing everything possible to destroy you. They’re attacking you with negative images and thoughts intended to reduce to rubble the image of God’s purpose for your life. But, there is good news: They can only succeed if you let them! You can follow a battle plan offered by the Apostle Paul straight from the throne of heaven, by which every believer is guaranteed victory . . .
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and ringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:3-5, KJV)
Notice those verses give us two basic instructions. 1 - Cast down negative thoughts. 2 - Bring ungodly imaginations into captivity. It’s a simple plan, really. Yet as believers, we often neglect to implement it.
We haven’t recognized what the enemy is doing in our minds. An unseen enemy assaults us daily with volley after volley of lies and deception, while working to dislodge the truth of God’s Word from our hearts. These thought processes are so subtly and skillfully sown into our minds that we fail to realize that what seem like random, passing thoughts are actually lethal weapons designed to penetrate our souls with fear, doubt, rejection and shame. The attacks on the mind are a relentless and wearying reality.
“ . . . bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
I remember one time in particular when this happened to me. I was studying the Word one day, preparing to preach, and the thought of a fellow minister crossed my mind. Initially, it didn’t seem like any big deal. I just thought for a few minutes about my friend’s style and approach to ministry.
But over the next few weeks more such thoughts came to me. Then more. Soon I found myself almost consumed with comparing myself to my brother in Christ. With the comparisons came feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness and discouragement. It seemed to me I couldn’t measure up to anyone’s standards. I felt like I had chains on my mind.
When I pressed into the Lord for insight, He took me to 2 Corinthians 10—imaginations and thoughts—and revealed that there was an unholy spirit behind this. So, I went on the offensive. Armed with God’s word and the power of the Holy Spirit, I cast down those deadly thoughts and painted those mental chains with the Blood of Jesus.
Within days, they were gone. My mind was free again.
Over the next few months, however, the thoughts began to come back and the enemy tried to convince me I wasn’t free. One evening, I decided that enough is enough and dug in for one last battle. I stood on my authority in Jesus’ name and, drawing on every ounce of courage inside me, I confronted that spirit.
I rebuked it and, throwing open the door to my house, I yelled, “Get out!” and that was it. It never bothered me again.
Dress for Battle, Report for Duty
I’m sure you can identify in some way with my experience. Something that at first seems harmless grows into a dominating force. In fact, Satan bombards us all with many different thoughts and imaginations, both small and large. In a flash, across the screen of our souls, you might see—–our world falling to pieces, your family struggling financially, someone’s life ending tragically. You may think—–your spouse is better off without you, your life is filled with disappointment, or your addiction will never end.
But loved one, when such thoughts come, remember that your loving Heavenly Father hasn’t abandoned you to be terrorized by a rogue spiritual enemy. Your victory over all of Satan’s forces has already been secured by the Lord Jesus Christ. By His shed blood, you’ve been delivered and you are protected. And through His resurrection, you have all authority in heaven and earth over the enemy. You have all the spiritual weaponry you need to keep Satan under your feet! So go ahead and do what needs to be done. As the Apostle Paul said:
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. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, stand. (Eph. 6:10-13)
Declare war by declaring God’s word!
Loved one, I know this matter of spiritual warfare is no light topic. But it’s absolutely vital to us right now. The world is getting darker and, as the Body of Christ, we’re the ones with hope. We’re the ones with the truth. And we need to be armed and victorious so that we can take that hope and truth to the world around us. We must release the full force of our spiritual arsenal—–exercise our authority, expose the enemy’s lies, secure our souls and protect our hearts (Prov. 4:23; Philip. 4:7).
To help, I want to send you our Spiritual Warfare Collection as a thank you gift for your support this month. It includes my book, Penetrating the Darkness: Discovering the Power of the Cross Against Unseen Evil, my good friend Pastor Robert Morris’ book, Truly Free: Breaking the Snares That So Easily Entangle and my CD series, Spiritual Warfare: Special Weapons and Tactics. They’re unique resources that can help you more effectively use your spiritual arsenal. They’re like spiritual weapons manuals designed to equip you to handle the fire-power God has given you to confront your enemy. I believe they’ll really bless you.
I appreciate so much your partnership in the Gospel. And I pray that God’s grace is always upon you in all you do! Be confident in your Father’s love, certain in His promises, and let Him lead you forward in triumph every day by faith in Jesus’ mighty name.
With love and great anticipation,
P.S. Don’t let another lie of the enemy slip by you and get lodged in your mind. Instead, learn more about how to cast those lies down. Click here to get our Spiritual Warfare Collection which includes, Penetrating the Darkness, Truly Free and the CD series, Spiritual Warfare: Special Weapons and Tactics. They will help keep you alert to the enemy’s plots against you so you can stand strong in God’s plan for your life!
The Spiritual Warfare Collection
We have a collection of solid resources that will help you stop the enemy's attacks on every front. As our way of saying, "thank you" for your gift of $60 or more, we want to send you Pastor Jack's book Penetrating the Darkness: Discovering the Power of the Cross Against Unseen Evil, Pastor Robert Morris' new book, Truly Free: Breaking the Snares That So Easily Entangle and Pastor Jack's revealing CD series, Spiritual Warfare: Special Weapons and Tactics. These unique resources can help you more effectively use your spiritual arsenal. They're like spiritual weapons manuals designed to equip you to handle the fire-power God has given you to confront your enemy.