learn to fight
Life can be a struggle. Sometimes it’s just the nature of circumstances we encounter that we are challenged, but more often than not, we simply endure conflict as we interact with the people in our lives. Do we know how to engage in a battle of the wills? Do we know how to handle conflict? Maybe it’s time we learn how to fight.
All the great dramatic films of this generation depict a fight between individuals or groups of people. Think about The Patriot, Braveheart, The Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Batman…. and the list goes on to include Bring It On. (That last one was a joke… for some!) But each has a common theme: someone comes out victorious, and someone loses. We get this concept about fighting. We also know that we ourselves do not want to be on the losing team.
It’s time to learn how to fight.
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 (Ephesians 6:12).
Do you think, perhaps, that you and I have been duped into believing that the battle IS with flesh and blood? The Word of God declares that it clearly is not. So, we need to look beyond the person or people that seem positioned to incite us to fight. We need to recognize that there is a source beyond that flesh and blood. We have an enemy who stands opposed to our salvation, our deliverance, our wholeness, our promotion, our destiny. Your enemy and my enemy is satan, the father of lies. But, understand this: he is already a defeated foe! Christ the Lord defeated the devil once and for all with His sacrifice and resurrection from the grave! (That’s why we joyously celebrate Resurrection Sunday!)
We still have a battle at hand, however, because the enemy is free to roam until his appointed time of being bound from earth comes. Until then, he is unleashing his fury upon the children of God.
It’s time to learn how to fight.
Fortunately, the Bible does not leave us in the dark when it comes to getting engaged in the battle at hand. We have three weapons today that, when wielded, will always land us on the side of victory.
Weapon Number One: We have the Word of God. Jesus Himself engaged in a spiritual battle for forty days when He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for a time of prayer and fasting. The tempter appeared to Him and suggested He turn a stone into bread. “You’re hungry, aren’t You? If you’re the Son of God, turn it into bread and eat!” (Renee’s translation of Matthew 4:3) Jesus spoke declaring Deuteronomy 8:3: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus knew how to fight this battle. He engaged his opponent using the Word of God. The Bible is our ultimate weapon. It never changes; if never requires an updated version. Jesus continued to fight this very spiritual battle of heightened temptation by speaking the Word and combating every doubt and lie the devil uttered (vv. 5-9). And do you know what happened next? The enemy departed from Him, but ANGELS came and ministered to Him (vv.10-11)! Psalm 103: 20 declares the same will happen to us, because God’s angels are His mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His Word. Have you used this weapon? You speak the Word, and they come!
Weapon Number Two: We have the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. When you and I live by the Spirit, we do not succumb to the weak and tempted flesh that seeks every opportunity to rise up and demand its own way (Romans 8:5-8). Here is the most impactful way that we wield this weapon: we shut our mouths! The devil tempts us to speak words that curse ourselves and others, and in our weak moments, we will fall prey to that temptation. We need not only to utilize the weapon of the Word of God and speak It forth, but we also need to shut our mouths from saying anything that is sourced in the pit of hell. That takes Holy Spirit- power, friend. It’s called the fruit of the Spirit, the ability to exercise self-control. If any ladies are following along with this message today, I want you to pay particular attention to the power of this weapon. We must never partner with the enemy by speaking condemnation over ourselves. If the habit of saying demonic things like, “I’m ugly, fat, stupid…” is a part of your speech, cut it off now. Those are lies from the enemy, and we cannot release that into the atmosphere. How do I know those types of statements are false? Each one of us is made in the image of God, and He is beautiful, glorious, wise, holy and perfect.
The same self-control is necessary when we speak about others with whom we feel we are struggling. We do not release words into the atmosphere that speak condemnation over them. Author and evangelist, John Bevere, shares a vision that a friend described to him. The friend saw demons sitting on surfboards and looking behind them. It was a scene much like we see at the beach as surfers are positioned and watching over their shoulders for the next wave to catch. But for the demons in the vision, the waves are our words. Our words of condemnation and death actually launch demons into motion with power to reach land. Do you want that kind of partnership with the devil? Neither do I.
Weapon Number Three: We have the freedom to dance! Yes, I said it- DANCE! Psalm 30:11- “You turned my wailing into dancing… and clothed me with joy.” I recently endured a battle that I knew the Lord was using to refine my character. I was tempted all along the way to find fault with people, and it was a struggle. I was very weak in my flesh, but when I was alone with the Lord, I played incredible Hillsong worship music and danced with all my might. Even though I was weak and struggling, I danced. God used this battle strategy to lift the heaviness from my soul. My eyes stayed focused on His goodness, and my mouth continued to give Him praise. It was a real battle, and it was long, but I sensed a victory as the days and weeks passed. I can testify that there truly is the oil of gladness to replace the season of mourning. Have you taken the heaviness from the battle to the throne of God and danced with all your might? There’s a victory awaiting you there.
Child of God, your battle is not against flesh and blood, but there is a very real battle at hand. Learn to fight. Use your weapons and expect victory in the Lord Jesus!