Today we wrapped up our study on warfare and next week, we move onto Eve. (If you think warfare has been intense, just wait until we dive into Eve!) Please read Chapter 10 in Wild at Heart. It was a great session with powerful testimonies from three of our men about agreements they’ve made, accusations they’ve been under and how they’ve used the Word of God to break those agreements. All testified that breaking these long held agreements isn’t a “One & Done” process. Rather, you will need to continue to battle against them but as you do, you will start to learn the skills to identify them quickly as they crop back up and you’ll be able to knock them back quickly and clear out the noise to get the Truth.
The clip from War Room is a powerful example of warfare. In this, you see her taking back control of her family, her marriage and her home, verbally and strongly. It’s a great example of how you can battle for your home…
Next, John writes a great story about how the subtle agreements come at us and how easy it is for us to turn to “relief” instead of restoration. You’ll notice in this how the assault comes at him three times…
Lastly, Morgan shares a powerful story on his blog about his 10 year-old son Joshua and his own battle against the evil one. One small thing that happened at school was starting to form an agreement that could have stayed with Joshua for decades. Notice how Morgan takes to the battle for his son and then, profoundly, he lets his son do his own battle. Joshua prays, renounces the agreement and then invites the Father to speak. Wow! I strongly encourage you to follow Morgan’s blog. It’s rich material for your walk and battle.
Below are the summary notes from the chapters on Warfare. I just pulled out some of the key themes. This is rich, rich material and I highly encourage you to read those chapters if you haven’t and if you have, perhaps re-read them a few times. Underline what speaks to you. Write in the margins what you’re feeling and what God is showing you. In a few years, you’ll pull this back out and you’ll be amazed at what you wrote. I also continue to encourage you to be journaling all of this. Journal, journal, journal … write down what God is doing and saying in your life. It’ll mean the world to you.
Warfare – notes from chapter 8 & 9…
From John Eldredge & Dan Allender – “If you don’t give Jesus your past, the enemy will no doubt take advantage of it. He’ll take advantage of every bit of it – the guilt, fear, relationships that collapse, not being able to move forward in your dreams, hopes, career, etc. If you don’t bring Christ to sanctify your past, bring your story back into the light and bring it into the light of Jesus… if you leave it in the past, neglect it, leave it in the closet … it’s not going to go well.”
You cannot fight a battle you don’t think exists.
A man must have a great battle to fight – a great mission for his life that involves yet transcends even home and family.
That is why God created you – to be his intimate ally, to join him in the great battle. You have a specific place in line, a mission God made you for.
No one else can be who you are meant to be. You are the hero in your story. Not a bit player, not an extra but the main man.
The man who wants to live valiantly will lose heart quickly if he believes that his heart is nothing but sin – “Just a sinner saved by grace”.
We are never, ever told to crucify our heart. We are never told to kill the true man within us, never told to get rid of those deep desires for battle and adventure and beauty.
We are told to shoot the traitor. How? Choose against him every time you see him raise his ugly head. Walk right into those situations you normally run from. Speak right to the issues you normally remain silent over. If you want to grow in true masculine strength, you must stop sabotaging yours.
A man’s addictions are the result of refusing his strength.
Let people feel the weight of who you are. Don’t be afraid to rise up, to speak up and to be strong. Let them deal with it.
The world of posers is shaken by a real man. They’ll do whatever it takes to get you back in line – threaten you, bribe you, seduce you, undermine you. They crucified Jesus. But it didn’t work. You must let your real strength show up.
Who was behind that brutal assault on your own strength, those wounds you’ve taken? It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell; it is this at which demons hurl their mightiest weapons.
Rev 12:17 – “The dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus”.
The enemy’s first line of attack is “I’m not here – this is all just you.”
We’ll say it again —- You cannot fight a battle you don’t think exists.
The enemy will break your lines of communication. He does it in churches, ministries and especially in marriage. Marriage is a stunning picture of what God offers his people. Scripture tells us it is a living metaphor, a walking parable, a Rembrandt painting of the gospel. The enemy knows this and he hates it with every ounce of his malicious heart. He has no intention of letting that beautiful picture be lived out before the world with such appeal that no one can resist God’s offer. So just like the garden, Satan comes in to divide and conquer.
I’m not blaming everything on the devil. In almost every situation there are human issues involved. Every man has his struggles and every marriage has its rough spots. But these are like a campfire that Satan throws gasoline on to try to erupt them into a bonfire.
He will try to intimidate. Even reading this chapter on warfare, you’ve probably thought, “Do I really want to get into this super-spiritual hocus pocus?”
Why do so many pastors’ kids go off the deep-end? You think that’s a coincidence? So many churches start off with life and vitality only to end up in a split or simply wither away and die. How come? Why did a friend of mine nearly black out when she tried to share her testimony at a meeting? Why does everything fall apart at work when you’re making advances at home and vice versa? Because we are at war with the evil one and he is trying an old tactic to strike hard first to see if we’ll turn tail and run.
Why is it so hard for men to pray? To have “quiet time”? To read the Word? It feels as important as flossing our teeth. But if you saw your life as a great battle and you knew you needed time with God for your very survival, you would do it. You’ll find a way to do it if you’re convinced you’re history without it.
Don’t even think about going into battle alone. The “friend-less man” is dangerous in America. Many men find it hard to accept that they need the fellowship of other men. We don’t need accountability – we need fellow warriors who have our backs.
You will be wounded. Satan knows your story, reads your mail and knows your weak spots. He will exploit your weaknesses. So you’re going to have to fight. If you’re going to live in God’s kingdom, Jesus says, it’s going to take every ounce of passion and forcefulness you’ve got.