Defeating The Enemy At His Own Game

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Twenty-Twenty has certainly introduced us to spiritual warfare in a new way but the truth is … we were called into service in God’s Army the minute we accepted Jesus as our Savior.

Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the whole armor of God.  Eph 6:12 tells us the weapons or our warfare are not against flesh and blood.

And there are so many more scriptures that deal with the battles of this life and the necessity of knowing who we are in Christ in order to defeat the enemy in our lives.

So let’s dive in…

One of the favorite tactics of the enemy is to create an illusion which makes you think that the problems you encounter. . .are unique to you. . .that no one else has to face what you face.

Not true.  First, let’s establish three facts.

First, the devil is a defeated foe.

Colossians 2:15 says:

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

John 16:33

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 12:31 in the Amplified Bible says:

 

“Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled).”

John 16:11 in the Amplified Bible says:

“About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.”

Second, the devil is a liar.

John 8:44 in the Amplified Bible quotes Jesus as saying:

“You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. 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 falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.”

Third, the devil only has three weapons he can use against you. . .the ability to deceive, tempt and accuse.

A deceiver lies.   John 8:44 in The Living Bible says:  “. . . there is not an iota of truth in him. When he lies, it is perfectly normal; for he is the father of liars.”

In Matthew 4, Jesus was led into the wilderness where He was tempted by the devil.  Jesus understood the devil’s deceptive ways, and resisted the temptations by speaking God's Word.  That is what we need to do.

The devil is also an accuser.  Revelation 12:10 says:

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

Through a variety of tricks, traps, lies, deceptions and wiles. . .the enemy takes these three abilities and uses variations of them to create personal problems for believers. 

We need to remember that he is an adversary who’s been around a lot longer than we will be … but the Lord gives us the tools to defeat the enemy. Yet, it’s up to us to learn what they are.

1.         Grudges that embitter us.

The scripture is very clear as to why we shouldn’t hold grudges.

Leviticus 19:18 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible says:

“Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.”

The Collins English Dictionary defines grudge as:

“a persistent feeling of resentment, esp one due to some cause, such as an insult or injury; to feel resentful or envious about (someone else's success, possessions)”

Holding a grudge makes a person unhappy, unhealed and unsettled.

Jeremiah 3:5 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible says:

“Will He bear a grudge forever? Will He be endlessly infuriated?” This is what you have said, but you have done the evil things you are capable of.”

The verse is clearly stating that if you hold a grudge you will be endlessly infuriating which will most certainly hurt the person with the grudge more than the one the grudge is being held against.

Holding a grudge is like drinking poison expecting the other person to die. 

Graham Cooke writes in his book, Prophetic Wisdom, that the greatest challenges a Christians face is learning to deal with rejection, betrayal and being misunderstood.

Ephesians 4:31 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).”

The previous verse tells us what not to do. . .while Ephesians 4:32 in the Amplified Bible tells us what to do. . .when it says:

“And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.”

2.         Jealousy that robs us.

Have you ever been jealous?  Was it because someone got a promotion, raise, bonus or benefit you didn’t or that you thought you should have gotten instead?

When a person . . . even a Christian . . . is found looking at what other people have. . .then that person will not be satisfied with what they haveJealousy is a trap that will  rob you of future blessings if you let it.

Proverbs 14:30 in the New Living Translation says:

“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”

Psalm 75:6-7 assures us that God knows and sees exactly what is happening to you… at the workplace and every place.  

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”

You can be more settled in waiting if you are settled on God’s Word coming to pass.

In case you have any doubts that God knows about your life look at Psalm 139:3-4 in the New International Version:

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”

Here’s a spiritual truth that you should get deep down inside of you.

When you can get as excited about other people’s blessings as you are your own, WATCH OUT because your blessings and victories are right behind you . . . about to overtake you.

Sadly, that spiritual dynamic is lost on many members of the Body of Christ.  Don’t be one of them!

Being excited for others’ blessings is a spiritual dynamic that must be satisfied before any of us will walk in abundant blessings.

3.         Loneliness that isolates us.

Unfortunately, people experience loneliness for a variety of reasons including:  neglect, isolation, intimidation, a sudden trauma or even COVID-19.  Regardless of the cause . . . it’s not been God’s desire for man to be lonely.

There may not be another person within miles of your current location but you will never be alone.

Matthew 28:20 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).”

John 14:16 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever.”

Here are seven ways to deal with loneliness.

First, understand the problem.

Second, accept what cannot be changed….death or divorce of a spouse, moving away from friend or a change of personnel in your workplace. It doesn’t mean you forget about them, it means you look at adapting to a new normal.

Third, change what can be changed….reach out beyond your own needs to help someone else.  One of the most effective ways to quite focusing on your problem is to help someone else with theirs.

Fourth, create new habits.  A new routine or approach to life creates freshness.

Fifth, make an effort to meet new friends….one person each Sunday…someone with common interests…go slowly and develop a new friendship.

Sixth, get a pet, if you can.  I realize this may not be for everyone, especially, if you’re having trouble making ends meet…the last thing you need is to increase your expenses.  Perhaps a low maintenance pet to begin might be a bird.

Seventh, spend more time with your best friend and I’m not talking about the person you’ve known all your life. . .or the one you go shopping with.  I’m talking about the friend who will never leave you nor forsake you. 

Jeremiah 33:3 says:

“Call to me, and I will answer you . . . .”

4.         Sorrows that discourage us.

It’s important that we understand sorrow is generally caused by the loss of someone or something.  According to dictionary.com sorrows means:

“distress caused by loss, affliction, disappointment, etc.; grief, sadness, or regret.”

Here are four questions and answers that will help each of us dealing with whatever sorrows may come our way.

1.         Does anyone know what I’m going through?

Exodus 3:7 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters and oppressors; for I know their sorrows and sufferings and trials.”

Truly, the Lord does understand how you feel.

Psalm 34:18 says:

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Isaiah 53:4-5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.”

2.         Why do my sorrows make me feel so broken?

Our Heavenly Father is drawn to those who feel broken by the sorrows. . .the pain of daily living when our life has been turned upside down.

Psalm 51:17 says:

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Isaiah 66:2 says:

“…but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite (smitten; dejected) spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

3.         Is there anything I can do to be delivered of these sorrows?

God promises to bring peace to every troubled, broken, sorrowful, sad and difficult situation.

Acts 17:27 says:

“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”

But depending upon the loss, depends upon the process of the healing.

4.         Is there any way for the sorrows I’ve experienced to bless another?

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 in The Message Bible says:

“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”

5.         Finances that stress us.

If you’re stressed about your finances. . .you’re not alone.  I saw a recent survey that said only one out of ten people are not stressed about their finances.  Notice that I chose to frame that sentence in the most positive perspective.

When stress is high and the bank account is nearly empty. . .some people living in financial stress will not go to church. . .the one place where they can find comfort, relief and strengthThe enemy has kept a lot of people out of church with fear of catching or spreading the virus.  But, it also means some Christians are no longer tithing or giving offerings.

The worst possible thing a person can do if you’re living in financial stress to close the windows of heaven over your life.  Yet, it is a favorite tactic of the enemy.  He knows that if you don’t tithe. . .if you don’t give offerings. . .you’ve just restricted your ability to bounce back financially.

When it comes to your finances . . . I would make the following five recommendations.

1.         Determine if your financial stress is due to a short-term change in your             circumstances or if it’s going to be a longer-term problem.  You also need to             make an honest assessment of where you are financially.

2.         Determine where you are financially.  For years, we’ve taught people to get a spiral-ring notebook and for the next 30 days track where you’re spending every single penny of your money.

            However, technology has made things easier. . .if you have an iPhone download the free app “Easy Spending Expense Tracker.”  If you have an Android phone. . .download the free app “Expense Tracker.”

Assign a category to each entry, such as, eating out.  If you’re married, both spouses should be a part of this process.  You know where the big money is going but you will be amazed at where the small money goes.  Once you know where your money is going then you can re-direct funds to your out of debt plan.

3.         Create an out-of-debt plan.  If you’re serious, we have an MP3  our own out-of-debt program called The Master Plan into your life.  It helps you create your own personalized out-of-debt plan.  When you plug in all the variables it will not only tell you the year but the month and day you will be debt free.

4.         Look for ways to save money. . .our website www.haroldherring.com is filled with useful information and financial insights on how you can save big money in area single area of your life.  Under blogs. . .check out the various categories.

5.         Monitor your progress.  You need to inspect what you expect on a regular basis.

Financial stress will kill you physically and hurt those you love and cherish emotionally.  Remember your relief will come from the Word of God. . .obeying His principles and commands.  

Remember the words of Psalm 119:143 in the New Living Translation which says:
“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.”

6.         Sickness that wears us down.

If you or someone you love has been battling with sickness. . .here are some thoughts and scriptures you need to get deep down inside of you.

First, the very name of God Jehovah-Rapha reveals He is Lord, our healer as found in Exodus 15:26 which says:

“And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

It is in His very nature of Jehovah Rapha to bring the healing we ask for.

Second, Jesus Paid A Price For Our Healing.

Let’s look at Isaiah 53:4-5 once again when it says:

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses) and carried our sorrows (pains); yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

1 Peter 2:24KJV: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." ... By his wounds you are healed."

Third, Is It God's Will To Heal?

Yes, He has already done it. It is past tense. All that is left is "receiving" it.

Healing is available through salvation. So we can pray in confidence. 1 John 5:14,15 says:

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

Fourth, will the enemy try to steal our healing?

Absolutely.  The enemy will try to deceive you into believing that healing is for everybody else but you.  We all know he’s a liar and the father of lies and the truth is not in him.

The enemy may also try and destroy your peace of mind, your finances, your relationships… that is his nature.

Acts 10:38 says:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”

Believe in God’s ability to bring healing and restoration no matter what the enemy throws at you!”

Fifth, what can I do if someone close to me is sick?

As believers, we should lead the charge boldly when we or someone we know needs healing. We can lay hands on the sick (our part) and they will recover (God's part).

Mark 16:17 in the New Living Translation says:

“These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages.”

God is waiting to display His healing power in and through us.

Go to haroldherring.com and click on the personalized scriptures button where you can personalize eight different groupings of scriptures with your name.

Begin to read and memorize these personalized scriptures until they’re living in you.  Even if you are healed and healthy. . .memorize these verses so you can be used of God to bring healing and restoration to others.

7.         Tragedy that transforms us.

There come defining moments in our lives. . .when the tragedies. . .challenges we face are forever changed. . .transformed.

Consider the story of the lame man found in Acts 3:6-7 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“A certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily

at the gate of the temple. . .to ask alms of them that entered in. . .Who seeing

Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.

As the scripture indicates this man was taken to the gates of the temple every day where he was placed outside the temple gates.  The inference in scripture is that this man sat outside the gates in all different kinds of weather and political decisions.

Not only did he have to experience the challenge of his infirmity. . .the indignity of being dependent on hours to bring him to the temple and the embarrassment of asking for money every day.  The man’s live was filled with tragedy. . .but it changed in a defining moment.

Acts 3:4 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And Peter directed his gaze intently at him, and so did John, and said, Look at us!”.

There are defining moments in our lives. . .when we come face to face with a truth. . .a Rhema word that will transform our lives forever.

Acts 3:5 in the Amplified Bible says:

“And he [the beggar] gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.”

Did you catch that. . .the beggar was expecting to receive something from Peter and John.  He was looking to a man to meet his needs. . .to put food on his table. . .to pay his bills.

However, on this particular day at the temple. . .the tragedy of the lame man’s life was about to be transformed as he was touched by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 3:6 in the Amplified Bible says:

“But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in [the [a]use of] the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”

One word from a man or woman of God empowered by the Holy Spirit will instantaneously transform a person’s life.

Acts 3:7-8 in The Living Bible says:

“Then Peter took the lame man by the hand and pulled him to his feet. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankle bones were healed and strengthened so that he came up with a leap, stood there a moment and began walking! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.”

As we look back at these seven problems. . .tactics of the enemy. . .you and I need to know that God can and will transform our lives. . .in an instant. 

That is why we encourage you to daily search the Word… stay close to God.  That way we will be ready when our defining moment comes along.

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