As a church we are entering into a season of 21 days of prayer and fasting. Our Battles series will shed light on how to overcome challenges that seek to limit our full potential in Christ. We hold fast to Christ who has already won the battle.
At some point in our lives, we all face some oppositions of the enemies. Who is our enemy? Ephesians 6:12 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 (NLT).
John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. If the enemies cannot stop you from accepting Jesus into your lives, he has a ‘Plan B’ for your lives – to make you a miserable and a powerless Christian. Jesus did not come just to die for us but he also came to show us how to live. He did not just die to get us into heaven, but he came to bring heaven to us and through us, to others.
When it comes to spiritual warfare, there are two extremes here. One is to disregard spiritual warfare entirely. Another extreme is to treat all kinds of troubles and challenges as demonic. Both approaches are unbalanced and unscriptural.
2 Corinthians 2:11 - So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes (NLT). One of the cardinal rules of warfare is to know your enemy. The better we know what we are up against, the more likely we are to recognize how and when the enemy attacks and the more likely we will be able to resist the fiery darts of the evil one in the strength of the Lord. As we learn to overcome every battle that comes our way, so our faith is like a muscle, the more it is stretched, the more it is strengthened.
Some of the most common enemy’s tactics include fear, intimidation, deception, accusation, illnesses, disunity, etc. Spirit of Fear, Anxieties, Worries, IntimidationBible Passage
Beginning in the book of Genesis and continuing throughout the book of Revelation, God reminds us to “Fear not.”• 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). • 1 John 4:18 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. The key to overcoming fear, then, is total and complete trust in God. Trusting God is a refusal to give in to fear. It is a turning to God even in the darkest times and trusting Him to make things right. (NIV)• Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)• Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.• Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NIV)• Hebrews 13:6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. What are some of the most common fears?Spirit of Deception, Accusations, Lies of the EnemiesBible Passage
Satan is an adversary, who is clever, crafty, deceptive and dangerous (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan knows our weakness and exploits them to great advantage against us. The names of a person frequently reveal the nature, activity and mission of a person. Satan is known by almost 30 different names in Scripture, one of them is called the deceiver (Rev. 12:9)
James 1:16-17 Be not deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.
John 8:44 Jesus said, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
What are some of the primary objectives of the lies of the enemies?• To cause us to doubt the truth of God’s Word• To tempt us not to trust in the Lord.• To cause us to feel inferior and inadequate (low self-esteem)• To discourage us concerning our progress in spiritual growth.• To render us ineffective and unfruitful in our service of God.• To divide us from others through unnecessary and unresolved conflict.Spirit of InfirmitiesBible Passage
The term spirit of infirmity occurs in Luke 13:11. Here a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years is healed by Jesus on the Sabbath day. Luke says she has a “spirit of infirmity” or a “disabling spirit” (ESV) or a “sickness caused by a spirit” (NASB) or is “crippled by a spirit” (NIV). Quite simply then, this “spirit of infirmity” is an enemy who caused the woman to be crippled for eighteen years. Many people are suffering physical, spiritual, emotional and mental challenges. God is able to bring wholeness.
From Luke 13, it is clear that the enemy can sometimes cause sicknesses but not all sicknesses caused by spirit of infirmities. Many human ailments are simply caused by living in a fallen world, unhealthy diet and lifestyles. No matter the specific cause of an infirmity, we can bring the problem to God in prayer
. Some of the Ways to Overcome
1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (NIV). A few biblical principles to equip you when it comes to overcoming spiritual battles:Power of Perspective
Whatever fearful situation or circumstances you are going through, ask God to give you a fresh perspective and to protect your mind. Very often, the battlefield is in the mind. The devil will try to bring our shield of faith down by attacking us from within, in our minds with fears, lies, thoughts and accusations. Not all of your thoughts in your mind are really your thoughts. Some are actually coming from the lies of the enemies.
Just as Holy Spirit speaks through our thought, spirit of fear speaks through our thought. Your thoughts produces emotions. So if you want to change how you feel, change your thoughts. Whenever you feel fear, observe what you were thinking. What thoughts led to your feelings of fear? Once you identify them, it will be easier to replace them with the word of God.
You cannot rid yourself of negative thoughts simply by not thinking them. The Law of Replacement dictates that you cannot replace something with nothing – you have to replace it with something else. Replace it with the word of God. Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (NIV)Power of Action
Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will. Deliverance and discipleship work hand in hand. Deliverance is God’s responsibility, discipleship is our responsibility. We cannot stop the attack of the enemies, we can however fast and pray, read His Word, worship in spirit and in truth, put on the garment of praise, put on the armour of God to stop the access point and the foothold of the enemies. The Power of Truth
One of the tactics of the enemies is deception. Jesus called Satan the father of lies (John 8:44).
You have to battle the lies of the enemies with the truth of God. Declare the word of God over your situation. The devil can only thrive in darkness. Is there any area in your life that you are still in the dark? Ask God to reveal the truth to you in this area.
John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (NIV). What sets you free? Knowing the truth does. Knowing the truth liberates you. Believing in lies will keep you bound.
You cannot overcome Satan simply with your thoughts in your mind but with God’s word in your mouth. There’s power in declaring the word of God over your circumstances. Speak the word of god to the stronghold, because God releases his power through your lips. 2 Corinthians 10:4. There is power in declaring the word of God over your situation. Faith comes by hearing the word of God, fear comes by listening to the lies of the enemies. The Power of Prayer
Psalm 141:2 - May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice (NIV).
Mark 9:29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.The Power of Praise
Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (NIV).
The devil does not know everything. He cannot read your mind. He is not omniscient like God. He cannot hear what your mind is thinking but he definitely can hear the praise of your mouth. So praise Him!
Mary had fear and the angel said fear not. To overcome her fear, Mary broke out into a song and she started singing. One of the ways to defeat fear is to begin to magnify God through praise. Magnify means you make God bigger than your fear, troubles, health challenges, etc. Discussion Questions
1. What is the fear that is limiting you to live your life to the fullness?
2. Whenever you feel fear, observe what you were thinking. What thoughts led to your feelings of fear? Once you identify them, it will be easier to replace them with a specific Word of God.
3. What are the lies of the enemies have you been listening to?
4. Have you got any unresolved issue, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment or anger towards someone? Ephesians 4:27 …do not give the devil a foothold.
5. Pray for healings and restoration for those who need it in your group.Sample Prayer
Father God, I renounce any agreement and involvement I have with the enemies. Forgive my sins. Break any lies of the enemies in Jesus name. Break any fear that is in me in Jesus name, set me free! Lord, I forgive those who have hurt me (insert the names here). I let go of my past, my pain and the words that spoken against me. As I release them Lord, you release me to live my life to the fullness. Replace the lies of the enemies with the truth of God. Replace the fear in my life with faith. Make me whole. God, thank you for what you have done and what you are about to do in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen. • 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). • 1 John 4:18 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.The key to overcoming fear, then, is total and complete trust in God. Trusting God is a refusal to give in to fear. It is a turning to God even in the darkest times and trusting Him to make things right. (NIV)• Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)• Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.• Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NIV)• Hebrews 13:6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”