Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Christian Atheist - Introduction

The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group is going through the book The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel.  A Christian Atheist is someone who believes in God but lives as if He doesn't exist.  If you are courageous enough to admit that sometimes you act like a Christian Atheist maybe along with us we can shed some of our hypocrisy and live a life that truly brings glory to Christ.  To here the audio of the study group session click on the YouTube Thumbnail 

To get your copy of the book click this LINK or the image of the book at the end of my notes for the study.  

This study should take us to the end of the year.   The title may be a little misleading because you think how can a Christian be an atheist?   The author Greg Groeschel is using a little play on words. The definition of the word “Christian” is a person who is a believer in Jesus Christmas a day His teachings.  The definition of the word “atheist” is a person who disbelieve or lacks belief In the existence of God or gods.  So Greg's definition of a “Christian Atheist” is a person who believes in the existence God but acts like He doesn’t exist.  

Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church, a pacesetting multicampus church and creator of the popular and free YouVersion Bible App. He is the New York Times bestselling author of several books. Craig and his wife, Amy, and their six children live in Edmond, OK.

Craig Groeschel and Life.Church are known for using innovative technology to spread the Gospel to multiple locations around the U.S. and globally via Church Online. With a passion for serving the Church and partnering to reach people for Christ, Life.Church shares its tools, ideas, and resources with churches worldwide.

He starts the introduction to the book with a statement that is similar to the one an alcoholic makes when introducing him or herself.  

"HI, MY NAME IS CRAIG GROESCHEL, AND I’M A CHRISTIAN ATHEIST.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve believed in God, but I haven’t always lived like he exists. Today my Christian Atheism isn’t as large of a problem as it once was, but I still struggle with it. Like a recovering alcoholic careful never to take sobriety for granted, I have to take life one day at a time."

Like a lot of Christians he grew up in a family that had all the trappings of what this culture see as the Christian home; the big family bible that has all the birth dates of the children, and other important family dates, they pray the standard prayers before eating, they teach the children to pray before they go to bed, they go to church on Christmas,  Easter, Mother's Day, and a few other times during the year.  Plus they hung around with other “Christian families”.

Also like many other Christian Atheists he went through some experiences that made Him scared of God.  I bet you had some of those experiences that made it seem that God was an ogre just waiting to “get you” when you did something wrong.   

He then talks about how hypocritical some of us were, and still are.  Preachers talk about it every Sunday of how hypocritical it is when we come and worship on Sunday,  Bible studies, prayer meetings, and leave and act like we never heard what we sang or read or said Amen to it's like,

James 1:22‭-‬24 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

He tells a story that I can certainly relate to about his fraternity Bible Study and their prayer in the early days of that study.  “God protect us we party. God, keep Joe's girlfriend from getting pregnant. God, don’t let us get caught cheating on the American history test.”

We’ve all had that moment when we realized that with all of our trying to live right to please this God that we believe exists.  His was when he read;

Ephesians 2:8‭-‬9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Mine was when I realized that God really does forgive us when we agree with Him that Jesus came and died for my sin and that He paid the ultimate price so that I didn’t have to.

Romans 10:9‭-‬13 (NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Then even if I mess up, because of the price that Jesus paid for me I can confess that I messed up and ask God to forgive me, and He will do it every time.

1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Craig ends his introduction with what I want us to get out of this study.  I’ll read it right from the book.

"I'll be honest with you about my struggles, and I hope you'll be honest as well.  And together, with God's hel, perhaps we can learn to know and walk with God more intimately.

What comes to mind when you hear or read it's scripture?

Titus 1:16 (NIV) They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

When we studied Titus we learned that Paul was actually talking about the false teachers that were infiltrating the church however it also fits our definition of a Christian Atheist

Let’s first go back and look at some terms:

THEISM belief in the existence of God

ATHEISM disbelief in the existence of God

PRACTICAL ATHEISM acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest toward belief in God

CHRISTIAN  one who professes belief in the teachings of Christ

CHRISTIAN ATHEISM  believing in Christ but living as if he doesn’t exist

Three levels of knowing God         

  • Level 1: I believe in God, but I don’t know him
  • Level 2: I believe in God, but I don’t know him well.

Galatians 4:8‭-‬9 (NIV) Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces ? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

  • Level 3: I believe in God, know him intimately, and serve him wholeheartedly.

Example: David is described as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

1 Samuel 13:14 (NIV) But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord ’s command.”
Acts 13:22 (NIV) After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

Psalm 63:1-4 (HCSB)1 God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.2  So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory.3  My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life.4  So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 9:10 (HCSB)  Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, Yahweh.

If you seek God with all of your heart he will reveal himself to you

Deuteronomy 4:25-31 (HCSB)25  “When you have children and grandchildren and have been in the land a long time, and if you act corruptly, make an idol in the form of anything, and do what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, provoking Him to anger,26  I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that you will quickly perish from the land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess. You will not live long there, but you will certainly be destroyed.27  The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be reduced to a few survivors among the nations where the LORD your God will drive you.28  There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see, hear, eat, or smell.29  But from there, you will search for the LORD your God, and you will find ⌊Him⌋ when you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul.30  When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, you will return to the LORD your God in later days and obey Him.31  He will not leave you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your fathers that He swore to them by oath, because the LORD your God is a compassionate God.

Ephesians 1:17-19 (HCSB)17  ⌊I pray⌋ that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.18  ⌊I pray⌋ that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,19  and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.

What you call God often reveals how well you know him.

What are some of the things or names we call God?

  • Father
  • Savior
  • Lord
  • Provider
  • Shepherd
  • Master
  • Healer

Bible Study Audio

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Prayer Warrior: Praying Your Way To Victory - Session 13 - Review

The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group is going through
Prayer Warrior The Power Of Praying Your Way To Victory by Stormie Omartian.  For a copy of the book, click or touch this LINK or the image, of the book at the end of the notes.

No one can sit on the sidelines today when it comes to spiritual matters. A war is going on between good and evil, and every believer is involved. For every Christian who wants a meaningful prayer life that is more than just asking for blessings.  Bestselling author Stormie Omartian shows how to pray with strength and purpose―prayers resulting in great victory, not only personally but also in advancing God's kingdom and glory.

These are my notes for the study. The audio of the study is at the end of the notes.

This is our final Session in our Study of this book.   I hope that we all learned something about spiritual warfare, and our role in that war as prayer warriors.

We started by acknowledging that there is a war going on in the spiritual realm between those in the kingdom of God, which includes all those who have accepted Christmas as Lord and Savior, and adopted into the family of God, and those of the kingdom of Satan,  which is everybody else and those angels kicked out of heaven along with Satan.  I said everybody else but what I meant is that the real enemy is not people themselves but the evil in the spiritual realm that causes them, and Christians to do things in opposition to God.

We learned that no one can sit on the sidelines today when it comes to spiritual matters. A war is going on between good and evil, and every believer is involved. For every Christian who wants a meaningful prayer life that is more than just asking for blessings, bestselling author Stormie Omartian shows how to pray with strength and purpose―prayers resulting in great victory, not only personally but also in advancing God's kingdom and glory.
The mere fact that you are a child of God means that you are subject to attack at any time.   You may believe you don’t have to engage in the battle, but you do. Too Often when people contend in prayer for the will of the Lord to prevail in a specific battle, they think that once the battle is won the war is over. But the war is never over because the enemy never has a good day and is feeling kindly toward you.

1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)8  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
You can push that reality away from you, but it is still there. And then one day you find that bad things are happening to you. You are being shaken and it is severely affecting your life, and you are not prepared to do anything about it.  We cannot afford the luxury of foolishly thinking, If I don’t acknowledge I have an enemy, then I won’t ever have to engage with him in any way. I can stay out of the war completely. You are dreaming! You are living in a fantasy world.
This is a spiritual battle. Itis every bit as real as the fleshly battles waged on earth today, but in a spiritual war the way you do battle is to pray.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT)10  A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.12  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.13  Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.14  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.15  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.16  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.17  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18  Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

God’s army is the only one where you don’t actually have to go anywhere. The moment you say, “Count me in, Lord. I want to join with other prayer warriors, you are on active duty. When God puts a person, group of people, neighborhood, city, or a foreign land on your heart, He has connected you to them in the Spirit and you can intercede on their behalf.  You are active as a prayer warrior the moment you put words to your heartfelt feelings and talk to God about them.

The Heart of a Prayer Warrior

Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if you are a prayer warrior.  

Do you see people suffering and it bothers you? Do you want to do something to alleviate that suffering and feel unable to do enough?  If so, then you have the heart of a prayer warrior.
Do you recognize evil proliferating in the world? Do you long to find some way to stop this destruction in people’s lives? If so, then you have the heart of a prayer warrior.
Do you experience any injustice in your life or can you identify it in the lives of others? Do you see injustice marching forth in a seemingly unstoppable advance? Does it upset you and you would like to have a way to change that? If so, then you have the heart of a prayer warrior.
Do you observe wrong things happening around you and you want to right them? Do you recognize the culture of hate growing stronger and you are troubled by it?   If so, then you have the heart of a prayer warrior.
Do you ever have a certain person heavy on your heart and it concerns you, but you are not sure why? Do you know people who are going through terribly difficult situations and you want to do something to help them but don’t know how? If so, then you have the heart ofa prayer warrior.

Do you observe tragic situations happening to people and feel helpless to do anything to stop them? Do you ever wish you could have done something that might have prevented such tragedy?  If so, then you have the heart of a prayer warrior.
Do you become grieved in your spirit when you see blatant disregard for God and His ways? Do you have sympathy for people who don’t recognize their need for the Lord, yet you feel powerless to affect their lives in any way? If so, you have the heart of a prayer warrior.
If you said yes to any of the questions above, then you have the heart of a prayer warrior. Becoming a prayer warrior begins in the heart, sometimes without your even being aware of it.  A prayer warrior has a heart of compassion for suffering people and bad situations, and desires to do something to make a difference.

Our Commander

What are some of the things we know about our Commander?

First of all who is our Commander?

Jesus was with God from the beginning. He came to earth—born as a man but still fully God.

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.
John 1:1‭-‬2 NLT

He made the way for us to not only be saved for all eternity with Him, but also  saved in this life from the hands of our enemy. He gave His life so that “through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”.

Your Commander Chose You

God chose us before we chose Him.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Ephesians 1:4‭-‬5 NLT
We are predestined, which  means God has a plan for our lives, and because we have received Jesus and have His Holy Spirit in us, we are now destined to live out that plan.

Your Commander Saves You

We cannot save ourselves. Only Jesus can.

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
Acts of the Apostles 4:12 NLT
Anyone can be saved who calls on Jesus’ name.

In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Romans 10:8‭-‬10‭, ‬13 NLT
Your Commander Makes You a Joint Heir with Him

What Jesus inherits, you will inherit too.   Only a joint heir with Christ can be a prayer warrior.

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.  And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”  Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Galatians 4:4‭-‬7 NLT

Your Commander Gives You His Spirit to Live in You

Jesus is not here in person on earth with us because He sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Hebrews 1:3). From the right hand of the Father is where Jesus intercedes for us and dispenses blessings upon us. That means when you receive Jesus, He gives you His Spirit to dwell in you. It is the sign that you belong to Him.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
Romans 8:9 NLT
The Spirit of Christ—who is the Holy Spirit of God living in you—is the power of God. God shares His power with you. That is the way He gives you power over the enemy.

Your Commander Wants You to Choose His Side

We became part of the war between God and the evil one the minute we received Jesus and were declared a legal citizen of God’s kingdom on earth. In this war we are either on God’s side or the enemy’s side. We are either in the army of God or God’s enemy. Everyone has to make the decision to which side they are on. Thinking you can stay neutral—neither choosing God's side or acknowledging the enemy—puts you on the enemy’s side.

Being a prayer warrior is something you do because you love the Lord and want to serve Him. As prayer warriors we now become “ambassadors for Christ”

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT

The love of Jesus for us gives us no other choice but to live to please Him.

Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.
2 Corinthians 5:14 NLT

We can only choose the winning side.

Your Commander Already Defeated the Enemy

Your Commander is the only one who has ever defeated the enemy for you.  That’s why we don’t have to be afraid of evil powers. Jesus has completely neutralized them.

He did not destroy them, but He did destroy their power to torment those who have His Holy Spirit in them.

Jesus has won this war. And because you're fighting on His side, you are a winner too.

Your Commander Is the Greatest Example of a Prayer Warrior

Jesus is our best role model when it comes to understanding what it means to be a prayer warrior. He not only taught about prayer; He lived it every day of His life.  He prayed all the time. He did nothing without praying first.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray He taught us to acknowledge God as our heavenly Father—which establishes our personal relationship with Him as His children. We are to enter His presence in worship, and praise Him as holy. We pray for His will to be done and His kingdom to be established on earth the way it is in heaven—which means we pray that it will be established in ourselves, in the people we love and care about,  the world we live in.

Next we learned to identify the enemy and the way he operates

What do we know about him?

He is not a human being.

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, to stand.
Ephesians 6:12‭-‬13 NKJV

He is a created being— an angel.  His name is Lucifer which means “son of the morning.”  He is also called Satan and the Devil.  

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
Isaiah 14:12 NKJV
He was the top angel and is described as being beautiful   He became full of pride because of his beauty and position.  He became jealous of God and His glory and rebelled and got kicked out.  

For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
He is a liar

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
John 8:44 NKJV

One of his biggest and maybe most effective, tactics is lying.  

He is always trying to lure us into believing or feeling opposite of what God wants us to believe or feel. The enemy accomplishes that by getting us to accept his lies as truth.

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Genesis 3:1‭-‬7 NKJV

Another is deception

He wants us to deny that he exists or that he can’t cause us harm.  I often say, as do others, that we give Satan too much credit.  I’ m going to stop saying that especially to immature Christians.  Satan is a strong opponent and we have to realize that.  

God’s enemy will always be our enemy. No amount of denying he exists will change that.  Those who stick their head in the sand regarding the enemy and spiritual warfare are bound to get kicked in the most obvious part of their anatomy still exposed.
We have to depend on the Word and the  Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said,  ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.
John 14:26‭-‬28 NKJV

The Enemy May Be Strong, but Only God Is All-Powerful

The enemy’s power is limited, but God’s power is without limit. The enemy is not all-powerful.
Only God is. The only way the enemy has power is because people give it to him.  Jesus destroyed the devil’s power, but he is still here. And will be here until the time appointed by God for his destruction.

“The  Spirit of the Lord  is  upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to  the  poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to  the  captives And recovery of sight to  the  blind, To  set at liberty those who are oppressed;
Luke 4:18 NKJV

We Are Effective Because We Have Authority In Prayer

As a prayer warrior you must be absolutely sure of your authority in prayer. If you not the enemy will attempt to bombard you with doubt. “You can’t pray.” “God doesn’t hear your prayers.” “What makes you think God will listen to you?” “You have no authority because you are not good enough.” “Your prayers won’t get past the ceiling.” “God doesn’t answer your prayers.”  As we learned in our last study there will be times that were tempted to believe him because we don’t see the results we want or expect.  If we question our authority we will become ineffective.   We have to be confident that we have been given the authority and that will never change no matter what.  Our Commander doesn’t give and then take back so if He gave us authority in prayer we always have if.  Whether we use it or not is on us.  

Who gave us this authority?

The basis for your authority in prayer is that Jesus is your Commander as we learned two weeks ago and you have His Spirit in your heart. The Bible says Jesus “is mighty in you”

I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak when he deals with you; he is powerful among you. Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power.
2 Corinthians 13:3‭-‬4 NLT

So we don’t have to depend on our own strength or authority it’s really all on Jesus’ shoulders.

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:5‭-‬6 NLT

You Have Authority Because of the Name of Jesus

Not just anyone can use the name of Jesus and be heard by Him. Jesus has only given those of us who have established a relationship with Him the authority and power to use His name.  That is an amazing promise, and its full significance must be anchored in our minds and hearts.

Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 14:14 NLT
He has given you the right to use His name as authorization to take your petition before God’s throne.

At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.  You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
John 16:23‭-‬24 NLT

You Have Authority Because Jesus Rescued You from the Tyranny of Evil

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
Colossians 1:13‭-‬14 NLT
You Have Authority Because the Holy Spirit Is in You

“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 14:19‭-‬21‭, ‬25‭-‬26 NKJV
The Holy Spirit in us is the proof of our authority in prayer.  Remember we said earlier that we had the authority to use the name of Jesus?   Well we can’t even acknowledge His name except by the Holy Spirit.

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 12:3 NKJV
You Have Authority Because You Are Called

We are not called because we are great. We are called because He is great.

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord .”
I Corinthians 1:27‭-‬31 NKJV
Don’t ever minimize, devalue, or take for granted the anointing of the Lord upon you, the gifts He has given you, or His calling on your life.  That means He will enable you to be the powerful prayer warrior He is calling you to be.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is  faithful, who also will do it.
I Thessalonians 5:23‭-‬24 NKJV

We were Told That We Should Put On Our Protective Armor Every Morning

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬13 NLT
The reason we must put on the whole armor of God is to withstand evil. We don’t war against people, but against a spiritual hierarchy of invisible power.

Gird Your Waist with the Truth

The belt is first before any of the outer pieces. The clothes underneath must first be in place. Then the soldier can put on the outer pieces. The belt will hold all the pieces together. Then the soldier will be ready for action.
We, too, need that kind of support to give us strength in our spiritual core. That means we must tightly surround ourselves with truth and not allow for anything other than the truth to enter into our thinking or situation. It means asking God to keep us undeceived so that we never allow deception to take root. Knowing the truth liberates us from all possibility of deception and illuminates any darkness in our life.
John 8:31-32 (NLT)31  Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.32  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
This doesn’t mean just know about the truth. It means know it so that it becomes part of you and you live it. And it is not just any truth that sets you free. It is God’s truth. When we wrap God’s truth around us, it protects us by strengthening our core being.  Truth is can be everything that God has told us about himself and Jesus Christ.  We find that truth in His Word the Bible.
Put On the Breastplate of Righteousness (Body Armor)

A Roman soldier’s metal breastplate covered his chest and kept him from being fatally wounded in the heart. Jesus’ perfect righteousness is what covers our heart, and that is what God sees when He looks at us. But we still have to put on righteousness like a soldier puts on a bulletproof vest. That means we must choose to live God’s way. We cannot be protected if we deliberately walk outside the ways and will of God.  Our breastplate of righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus in us. It protects our heart from any mortal wounds and assures us that the enemy can never destroy us because of sin.

The breast-plate defended the vital parts of the body; and the idea here may be that the integrity of life, and righteousness of character, is as necessary to defend us from the assaults of Satan.
Shoe Your Feet with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace

This is the good news about the peace of God. We should always be ready to tell this to other people.  The word “preparation” means that the gospel of peace has already been accomplished by Jesus.  Having peace with God and peace in God is an unshakeable foundation from which we can defend ourselves and stay standing strong.

Romans 5:1 (NLT)1  Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Take the Shield of Faith

The enemy shoots spiritual arrows and darts at us designed to pierce our heart with discouragement and make us fearful, anxious, uncertain, or incapacitated. The shield we have against these arrows of the enemy is our faith, and it is powerful protection from all that.  

How do we know our faith is strong enough to be a protective shield from the enemy?  We know because God’s Word says that it is our faith in God and His faithfulness to us that becomes a shield for us.

Genesis 15:1 (NKJV)1  After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."

Psalm 91:4 (NKJV)  He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

When we put our faith in God and His Word, He is our shield and defense.

When the enemy comes to test your allegiance to the Lord, focus on God, His Word, and His faithfulness.  

Take the Helmet of Salvation

Our spiritual helmet protects our head as well.  
He wants to fill our minds with feelings of guilt, helplessness, and misery. He doesn't want us to understand all that Jesus did for us on the cross because he knows when we put on that helmet of salvation and are transformed through the renewing of our mind, we will be able to see ourselves as God sees us—someone worth dying for.

God loves us, but we too often see ourselves as unloved. God sees us as chosen and accepted, but we may see ourselves as rejected. God sees us from the perspective of who He created us to be, but we too often see ourselves from our limitations instead of our possibilities. The helmet of salvation gives us new perspective of ourselves that aligns with our heavenly Father’s view of us.

Romans 12:2 (NLT)2  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

We put on the helmet of salvation the moment we receive the Lord, but we must constantly remember what Jesus saved us for and from and who we are in Him.

Put on the helmet of salvation every day by reminding yourself of what Jesus did for you and why you now have the right to wear it as a royal crown.

Take the Sword of the Spirit, Which Is the Word of God

The Bible is like a sword.  When we we are attacked we have to use our weapon.  A good example of this is our Lord himself.  When Jesus was baptized and led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, Satan attacked Him again. Jesus’ weapon against him was God’s Word—which is the “sword of the Spirit.”  No spiritual battle can be fought and won without our greatest weapon—the Word of God.  
The word is a defensive as well as offensive weapon. As prayer warriors, we need both.  speak the word, pray the Word, live the Word, and let it live in you.

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)12  For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Pray Always with All Prayer and Supplication in the Spirit

God wants us to be persistent in our praying. That’s what it means to pray without ceasing. It is not intermittent start-and-stop-whenever-I-am-desperate kind of praying.  It is deliberate. It is with knowledge of what we are doing and why. It is not random throw-it-up-and-see-if-it-sticks kind of praying. It’s praying always, with every kind of prayer and supplication in the Spirit, which means it is Holy Spirit ignited.

Praying always means praying through things and not giving up. It means being ever-watchful and persevering in prayer in order to see breakthrough.    It is important to pray according to the will of God.  And itis to pray with the leading of the Spirit.

1 John 5:14 (NKJV)  Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

The way to do that is to pray with the Word of God woven into our heart and our prayers.

John 15:7 (NLT)7  But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
Be Watchful to the End

We don’t take our armor off when we go to bed at night. It is protecting us while we sleep. But in the morning we need to put it on fresh and new—polished, so to speak—so that we have maximum protection for the day.

Then We Talked About The Spiritual Weapons That We Have In Addition To The Sword Of The Spirit
What are they?

The most powerful of our spiritual weapons is the “sword of the spirit” which is God’s word and all the other weapons come from this one.   So we really need to know how to use it.   
To be proficient in the use of this weapon we must practice its use.   

What are some ways of practicing or training in using the word of God as a weapon on of spiritual enemy.  Not our fellow soldiers but our enemy.

Worship Is a Powerful Weapon Against the Enemy

The enemy despises our worship and praise to God so much that he cannot even be in the presence of anyone who is actively doing that. So whenever you want the enemy to flee, worship God. It is one of our greatest weapons in the war against him. And it is our correct response to God for all He has done and is doing in our lives.

The enemy hates your worship of God because his own greatest objective is to get you to worship him instead.

God’s Grace Is a Weapon Against the Enemy

Grace is the unmerited favor of God.  I believe that “Grace is the most important concept in the Bible, Christianity, and the world. It is most clearly expressed in the promises of God revealed in Scripture and embodied in Jesus Christ himself.”

Fasting with Prayer Is a Weapon Against the Enemy

In the Bible, people fasted and prayed before they made important decisions.

Esther 4:15-16 (NKJV)15  Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai:16  "Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"

Faith Is Not Only a Shield; It Is a Weapon

We cannot do anything without faith—especially please God. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Having faith in God is the opposite of trusting in ourselves. Faith means being convinced that God will do as He promised, so we stop striving to do everything on our own.

Our strong faith not only serves as our protective shield, but it is also one of our powerful weapons against the enemy.   We must have faith that God hears and will answer our prayers.

Prayer Is Always a Powerful Weapon Against the Enemy

While prayer is the battle itself, it is also a weapon. In prayer we tell God what we want Him to do. It’s not that He is unaware of the problem or doesn’t know what's going on. He knows what is going to happen before it happens. Before we see the need, He already knows the answer.

“It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
God has set it up that we pray and He answers. He doesn’t make us robots. He doesn’t impose His will on us. He waits for us to choose His will over our own. The reason He does this is so we will walk with Him in an ever-deepening relationship.

Identify The Immediate Battlefields

We must always be ready to engage on a number of battlefields.   Some battlefields are relationships, work, finances, family, and health, but the biggest battlefield is the mind.  

Spiritual warfare consists of struggling against evil forces in our minds. The Bible is clear that this is not a battle which is fought on a physical plane at all, but rather a spiritual one.

Ephesians 6:12 (HCSB)  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.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (KJV)3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;6  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

The devil wants to establish strongholds in your life

Strongholds are built on imaginations or thoughts

The enemy uses our own feelings of guilt, condemnation, fear, anxiety, worthlessness,
hopelessness, self-hatred, and other negative emotions against us. These thoughts and feelings are in us because of what has happened to us in our past, even as recently as yesterday. Somewhere along the line we bought into the lies of the enemy. And because we are not aware of what God’s Word clearly says about us—or we don’t fully believe it—we don’t discern what the enemy is doing.

A stronghold is anything that exalts itself in our minds, pretending to be bigger or more powerful than God. The New American Standard Version (NASV) calls them fortresses.  They are built by the “ imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,” as stated in 2 Corinthians 10:5 above.

The devil’s chief target is the mind, because the most effective way to influence behaviour is to influence our  thinking.  

To win this war against Satan, we need to take control of our thought life – “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  We take those thoughts captive with the Word of God that addresses them.  When you identify and attack a stronghold in your life find the truth that confronts and it.   Find out what God says about it.  Then attack and destroy it.  Find it in your the concordance of your bible, read it, speak it, sing it, and apply its truth over and over and over until the stronghold is destroyed.  Put it on your mirror, your refrigerator, in you car (don’t read it while you drive).  Bombard the stronghold and destroy it.   The truth destroys strongholds.

John 8:32 (HCSB)  You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ​

When the battlefield is your mind, you will experience tormenting, confusing, or negative thoughts; irrational fears or extreme doubt; anger; or other destructive emotions.  But the Bible says we are to deliberately think about opposite things: Paul said, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Dwelling on these things that are true will help you to identify the thoughts that are not.
We cannot afford to ignore this battlefront. In fact, you should secure this front first before going on to others so you will not be weakened. You don’t need to be fighting the battle on two fronts.

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