Our primary tool in the battle is Truth, the Word of God. Speak the Truth over yourself – “I am a son of God”. “I am forgiven”. “The Father delights in me.” “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” “I’m not a screw up. God doesn’t make junk.” Speak these things over yourself and against the enemy. Then, command him to leave in the name of Jesus. Pray down Angel armies over the four corners of your home. Claim your home. Name it and claim it.
This how a man rises up.
It takes a battle. Much of our training is in hardship. We cannot shy away from the battle but rather we stand up to it, practice and strengthen our resolve.
Luke 8 – Jesus comes to a possessed man. He rebukes the evil spirit and it didn’t come out. Get that – Jesus commands it and it doesn’t respond. So, Jesus goes harder after demanding “what is your name” and when He is told Legion, Jesus understands this is more than just one foul spirit, it is an army. So when we face that heaviness, thickness, oppression, we should ask, “Lord, what is it I am dealing with here? Show me. What do I pray here? What is going on here?” Sometimes, prayers will just bounce off. They won’t work. Don’t be disheartened. Sharpen your sword and fight for it. “Jesus, why isn’t this breaking through?”
Hebrews 5:14 – “Those who are mature have trained their senses to discern between good and evil.”
You can get very good at this. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t or that you’re ineffective. The devil came at Jesus in the wilderness and was taking scripture and twisting it to try to deceive Jesus. Notice that Jesus confronts him directly by quoting the Truth back to him.
So why is this so hard? Ever since Adam we’ve had to deal with the false self, the poser in us. Adam was passive. He folded by not fighting for Eve. And ever since then, men fudge. We dodge a little bit. We don’t really want the direct intentionality that life requires. As when a brother is really struggling and asks for prayer, usually we’ll sit around and talk about it, talk through it and then, only at the end, will we throw up a quick prayer. Then we wonder why prayer isn’t working.
The intentional is crucial.
The warrior requires it – that fierce intentionality of saying, “No, I’m going to do the hard thing and address this. I will not back off or rationalize my way out. I’m going to open this up, ask the hard questions and I will keep dealing with it even if it takes all week, all month, all year or all of this next decade. I will fight for it.”
Think about that statement in the context of a frustration you have with your wife.
Resolve & Intention – grow it, cultivate it and it will grow in you. Remember what you feed grows, what you starve dies. If you will have resolve and intention to rise up and battle, the desire to do so will grow. What we’re after is John 10:10 … Life. This isn’t to be experts in spiritual warfare, no, the goal is life. I want my wife to be free. I want to be free. I want to pray for my children effectively. I want to advance the Kingdom, free other people and restore others. The goal is to get good at warfare so that we can get freedom and life.
Ephesians 4:26-27 – don’t get angry, don’t let the sun go down on your anger and give the enemy a foothold. We can give the enemy a claim in our life through unresolved emotional issues, anger never dealt with, and it becomes entrenched and the enemy gets a foothold. Agreements, our own sin, unhealed places in us, etc. People who appear in your dreams who shouldn’t be there – bring Jesus in, pray the Cross of Jesus between you and that person, break all soul ties.
Movie clip from the Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. “Breathe the free air again”. That call to live and be free. As they ride into that kingdom, they can feel the oppression. The authority of the kingdom has been taken. If you take out a king (or a pastor, or a CEO, or a father) you take out his kingdom. We are warriors of the kingdom. We should “clank” as we walk from the armor we carry ready for the battle. As they tried to free that King, their first attempt failed. The oppression was dark and deeper than they thought. So they hit it again harder.
All of this seems a little creepy, a little kooky. I get it. But realize that everything you want in this life … you’re going to have to fight for. Whether it is intimacy, a band of brothers, sexual wholeness and a restored sexuality with your wife, your career, mission and calling, your health and even your family vacation …
YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT FOR IT.