Spiritual Warfare

Intro

Take time to interact with the resources below.  [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]

Every one of us has a different learning style and are affected in different ways by different things at different times. With this in mind the “into” part of this section is intended to look at the content brought up by the book from multiple angles. Video clips, blogs and other interactions will help bring this information from our heads (information) to our hearts (transformation). You are encouraged to relate your story, your emotion, your perspective to the current content and see where God brings you.

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Now Is The Time

We live in a world at war and now is the time to fight back!  Did you notice what defeats the dark forces?  The light.

Aligning and Enforcing

Think of consecration as “aligning” and “enforcing”—aligning yourself, or the subject in question, with Jesus and all the laws of his kingdom, then enforcing his rule and those laws over the matter in question. The first steps, which we have covered already, are mostly the “aligning” part. But often the “enforcing” requires a bit more “oomph,” especially if you are having difficulties there. Which brings me to the power of “proclaiming.”
In Acts 9, when Ananias came to pray over Saul, he proclaimed the Lord’s intentions there: “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit’” (v. 17).
Interesting—we don’t see Ananias pray to God for Saul; instead, we see him “proclaim” God’s intentions overSaul, and that is sufficient to see them fulfilled. The Scripture is mighty and powerful, and proclaiming it as we consecrate has mighty and powerful effects.
– John Eldredge, Moving Mountains
Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce has a good heart.  He wants to be a good leader and sees this in William Wallace, but can’t help but listen to the Evil One’s deception.  In this scene it is his father that is whispering to him as the Father of Lies.

Now Watch the scene after Robert betrays William Wallace.  He finally decided to stand up against the Evil One.  This is how we can as well.  “I don’t want to lose heart!”  “I want to believe!”

 Key Points

Review the key points for this section.

Spiritual Warfare
You have an enemy
The Father of Lies is trying to get you to make an agreement with him.  We must be aware of agreements and break the ones we have made.
There is no escaping the war, just because you refuse to believe it doesn’t make it go away.
Journal Questions

Pick a few of these questions to react to.  Write down your unedited responses.  [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]We don’t often take time to push the “pause” button. This puts us in a position of having an overwhelming amount of stimulus and an underwhelming amount of time and space to process life. Journaling takes the thoughts, emotions and even actions and captures them for a moment, giving us time to become more self-aware. The more self-aware we are, the more we can connect with God. There are no right or wrong answers so take a moment to write down your unedited response to these questions.[/wpex]

You Have An Enemy

Think of the villains in your favorite stories.  Write some down.

When you encounter a villain in a story what is your reaction?  How do you feel?  How do you want to react?
Do you live like you have a villain in your story?  Why or why not?
The Enemy has an intentional plan to take you and and those you love out.  How has the enemy been working in your life lately?
We love adventure stories because of what is at stake.  In our own lives we try to play it safe to avoid committing ourselves to too much risk.  What would it look like for you to see the world around you through the reality of what is at stake?  Your heart.  Your family.  Those that depend on you.  Your freedom.  Your healing.  Your intimacy with God.
Satan is Trying For Agreements

Can you hold on to these two truths- your heart is good and your heart matters to God?  Do you believe this at every moment of your life?  Why is it so hard to believe sometimes?

Where do these feelings or beliefs come from?
Can you think of lies that the enemy has been convincing or trying to convince you of lately?  What are some truths that you can combat these lies with?
There Is No Escaping This War

As you have read the bible, and read the verses that are referenced in Waking the Dead, what assumptions are being made about having an enemy?  What has been your assumptions about an enemy in your life?

Read these descriptions of the enemy.  (Father of lies.  Accuser of the Brethren.  Roaring lion waiting to devour.  All the world lies under the power of the Evil One.  The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.  He went off to make war against those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.)  What do you learn about the Enemy from these descriptions?
Think of an event where you saw someone (or yourself) lose some part of his life that meant a great deal to him or her:  a marriage, job, ministry, hope.  Did that person see the work of the enemy in it?  Do you?
What “life” have you been hoping for, but it never seems to come through?
Compare these two ways of thinking about God:  God is nice OR God is a warrior like a special forces soldier.  Which way have you thought about God?  What is the difference?
Do you see how Satan has taken Christianity and turned it into a subtle counterfeit?  What ways do you see this happening?
Solitude

Find a quiet space and time to spend with God.  Ask Him questions and then listen to God and your own heart.  Have your journal ready to capture what surfaces.  [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]Often times the way God communicates with us is described as a still, small voice. We may be tempted to believe that God doesn’t speak anymore, but what if we just aren’t taking the time and effort to listen. Just like a small child learning to speak their native language, over time there becomes a familiarity and ease in which communication happens.Sometimes a quiet place is a quiet room in the house or a walk in the woods. Allow your heart and mind to be quiet. If you get distracted from God or the question you want to ask, don’t beat yourself up, this is natural. Just say, “Okay God, I come back to you”. Ask the question again and notice your heart, thoughts, images, or words that come to mind and see what God is saying to you.[/wpex]

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Centering Prayer

Get into a present but relaxed sitting position.  Take a few deep breaths and just clear your mind.

Pray:

Jesus, I come to you now to be found in You, to be renewed in You and defined by You.  I give myself over to You, my life, heart, mind, body, soul, spirit and will.  I surrender my will and needs to you.  I am claimed by You, through Your cross and death, Your resurrection and Your ascension.

Cleanse me Jesus, in Your blood, from all sin and shame.  I give myself over to this bath.  I allow all my striving, manipulating, defending, perfectionism, pushing and pulling, sin and shame to be released over to You now.  I confess all these (name any specifics) and ask for a full and true forgiveness and restoration.  I invite You to help me love and accept myself as You accept and love me.

I resist the Enemy in the authority of Jesus and His full work.  I bind away all distractions, all confusion, all frustrations (name any specifics).  I resist all lies against me, silencing all other voices than God, combating these with truth.  Only You, Jesus, can speak to me about who I am.  I renounce all agreements, ties and unholy alliances (name any specifics) I have made with the Enemy or other people.  I bring all evil spirits, named and unnamed, bound at the feet of Jesus.

I ask for eyes to see You and ears to hear You.  I ask for a heart to receive and a mind to comprehend.  I ask, more than anything, to move into a deeper and more connective intimacy with You.  Bring this fragile branch back to the vine.  You are the source of all my life, peace, joy and love and I receive a deeper measure right now.

Jesus, I invite you in and give you access to the deeper places in my heart.  I believe you are already present AND you respect my will and await my invitation to the places I have protected and hidden.  So, here I am God.  I open my life and heart to you.

Printable Version

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Take time to be quiet by yourself.  Ask Jesus to reveal to you the truth about the battle for your heart.  What role does He have for you?  Where do you need to reclaim what you have acquiesced?  What battles do you need to let go of because they are not yours to fight? Listen.

Worship

A few times a week pause your life to worship and connect with God.  Recalibrate what is most true about you, the world and God.  [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]Taking time to worship God by ourselves in our everyday lives is essential to continue to move towards the intimate connection to God that we need. In watching the video, meditation or interacting with some other form of worship is not intended to be prescriptive. You don’t have to sing along, just be present. Instead of trying to make something happen, we want to have a posture of open receptiveness towards what God has for us. We can just soak in the goodness of worship with God and it does something to our hearts whether we know it or not.[/wpex]

Break Every Chain
Great I Am


Take a moment to describe your takeaway from this section in the comments area below.  What did you learn?  How can you apply it in everyday life?   [wpex more=”Why?” less=”Why?”]When we share with others our own perspectives it allows us to process in a different way.  When we get a chance to experience someone else’s perspective ours is broadened.  In just a few sentences we can practice synthesizing down what we have learned to a 30,000 foot overview.[/wpex]