Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Prepare for Battle

The LORD said to Abraham, “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Gen. 22:17-18

Are you ready to take possession of the cities of your enemies?

This means war! Do not be afraid! Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world! (1 John 4:4)

As the Israelites prepared for their Exodus, they plundered the Egyptians! Ex. 12:36, The LORD had made the Egyptians favorable disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. I love it! What our enemy has stolen from us we will gain back and we will plunder him. What could we possibly gain besides our freedom? Spiritual blessings such as knowledge and wisdom, overall spiritual maturity, spiritual gifts, learning to know God and love Him more – just to name a few!

Let’s take a look at Ex. 13:17-18. When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was the shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.

So, God did not lead them out of Egypt the “easy” way. The path He has called you too will not come easy. But all the more rewarding it will be when you get there! The difficult path stretches us and makes us more mature.

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matt. 7:13-14. Same thing, the “path less traveled by” leads to an abundant life! We must pursue it!

Secondly, I love how Ex. 13:18 says “The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.” If we are going to take back our Promised Land – we better be armed for battle!

The enemy will try and stop us! Remember – he is ruthless! He comes only to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a). And he does not want us to live out the abundant life God has for us. Because when we are free – God is free to use us for His glory and to further His kingdom! God wants us to be free! He has come that we may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10b)!

In order to go to battle with our enemy we are going to need a few things. Let’s take a look at Ephesians 6:10-18.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Put on your armor: a belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, boots – ready to run with the gospel of peace, a shield of faith, helmet of salvation and finally, a sword of the Spirit which is the very Word of God!

God’s Word, our sword, is crucial in defeating the enemy! Just look at Matthew 4. Jesus was tempted by Satan. The enemy tested and tempted Him three times. And three times Jesus quoted scripture from Deuteronomy.

Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is living and active Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Pick up your sword and get on your knees! That is where the battle is fought and won!

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