Father, in the name of Jesus, We thank You for calling us to be fellow workmen, joint prayer partners together. We commit to pray and not to give up. Jesus, You are the Son of God, and we will never stop trusting You. You are our High Priest, and You understand our weaknesses. We come to You boldly before the throne of grace. There we receive mercy and find grace all the time, especially during our prayer time. We have learn that warring in the Spirit includes praying in the Spirit. We submit to Your leadership Holy Spirit, and we thank You for interceding through us and for us too. Thank You for searching our hearts and knowing the mind of the Spirit, because You intercede for the all believers in accordance with God's will for our lives. This we know that with God being a partner in our labor in prayer, all things work together and are fitting into a plan for our good. We thank You that when the enemy comes in like a flood, Your Spirit always lift up a standard against him on our behalf. The Word tells us to pray always in all things, warring against the enemy through our prayers to You, Father. We desire to be God-inside minded in all things. Teach us through this lesson how to war in the Spirit. Bless us to establish a war room in our lives and our homes, This we pray in Jesus' name, AMEN.
Study 3 Warring in the Spirit:
Scripture Reading: (2 Corinthians 10:4) (Ephesians 6:10-18)
SETTING OUR MINDS:
In addition to having faith in and acting on the truth of the Word, we must take a stand with the Holy Spirit against the use of our old or fleshly minds. The Word tells us that the Holy Spirit is zealous to resist our old nature. "For the flesh sets its desire against [strongly opposes] the Spirit, and the spirit against the flesh...so that [the old] you may not do the things that you please" (Galatians 5:17). If we will stand with the Holy Spirit, He will render inoperable the "old," thereby allowing the "new"—the mind of Christ—to rush in and fill the void. But we must agree to having the "old" confined by the Holy Spirit, as a prisoner is on death row—without reprieve. We are to learn to "take every thought captive and make it obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5, Good News Bible). By this means, all our words and acts will witness to His character.
We need to realize that living above in Christ is the normal Christian life—the only life we have at this stage. Anything else is subnormal and unreal. It is not a goal that only the most saintly aspire to. It is the gift of God to all believers who will seek it. It is simply to abide where we have been placed in Christ. Often we have been so conditioned by our former life that we think if we "set our minds on things above," we will be evading earthly responsibilities—something akin to "sticking our heads in the sand." Nothing is further from the truth. Living above in Christ while we still walk and work on earth is "the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14, NASB). The foundation of this highest calling for every believer is to "keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1). The ability to set one's mind on things above comes from a heart that "is fixed," or steadfast, on God, as David's was. "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise" (Psalm 57:7, KJV). David also said, "I have set the Lord always before me" (Psalm 16:8). The word "set" means to put someone in a particular place. To set the mind means to cause it to pass into a given state or condition and remain there.
HAVING THE MIND OF CHRIST:
How can we know if our minds are "set"? Here are some of the signs that the mind of Christ is operating in our lives: Singing to God. A joyful heart prompts the mind to sing or make melodies to God whenever the mind is not required to speak to others or concentrate on some task. During much of every day we are doing routine things that leave our minds and voices (when we are alone) free to sing thanks and praise for all things. We begin to speak less to people and sing more to God. Pulling away from the world, the world system that exalts the human loses its attraction, and we let the passing panorama of Earth go its way. Simplicity, life on earth becomes simpler and our needs fewer. Love, love and peace are in us not only for all the saints but also for lost humanity because we see the lost as potential saints in Christ. Change in focus. There is less need to call attention to ourselves or claim any good as our own. There is less prayer for self, and there are more petitions for Christ to be exalted in everything. Cessation of striving, there is a lack of striving, worry, or haste because we are doing all in God's presence and for His sake. Avoidance of sin, sin becomes more and more unthinkable and painful. There is a holy fear of dishonoring or profaning God's character (name). Quiet spirit, a gentle quietness is in our spirits as we rest continually in Christ. Acknowledging God, we place less emphasis on how much we are doing and more emphasis on who is doing it--acknowledging God in all things. The unseen becomes more real than the seen. Abandonment, we entrust the whole of our earthly existence into God's hands so that Christ is glorified through us. Focus on God. Some of our deepest pain comes from realizing at day's end how much time went by during the day when we were not thinking of, praising or thanking God.
Our new lives in Christ bring with them a whole new way of living. Much of what we learned in our "old" lives becomes obsolete as we take our positions in heavenly places and begin to operate with the mind of Christ.
Wise Thoughts: Philippians 4:8; Proverbs 12:5; Psalm 48:9; Romans 12:3; Psalm 119:59
Spiritual Mind: Romans 8:6; I Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5
What led us the wrong way?
Evil Thoughts: Psalm 94:11, 15:26, 24:9; Isaiah 66:18; Jeremiah 4:14; Matthew 9:4, 15:19.
Evil Heart brings evil characteristics such as stubbornness (Ecclesiastes 8:11), Madness (Ecclesiastes 9:4), Depravity (Jeremiah 17:9), Source of unbelief and covetousness (Hebrews 3:12; 2 Peter 2:14). The fountain-head of all evil (Mark 7:21-23). Extortion and excess, (Matthew23:25).
As we walk in the Spirit we will have warfare in the spirit-realm, and we must fight in the spirit-realm.
There are two primary errors when it comes to spiritual warfare—over-emphasis and under-emphasis. Some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on demons that need to be cast out. Others completely ignore the spiritual realm and the fact that the Bible tells us our battle is against spiritual powers. The key to successful spiritual warfare is finding the biblical balance. Jesus sometimes cast demons out of people; other times He healed people with no mention of the demonic. The apostle Paul instructs Christians to wage war against the sin in themselves () and warns us to oppose the schemes of the devil ( ).
says, "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." This text teaches some crucial truths: we can only stand strong in the Lord's power, it is God's armor that protects us, and our battle is ultimately against spiritual forces of evil in the world.
is a description of the God gives us. We are to stand firm with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and by praying in the Spirit. What do these pieces of spiritual armor represent in spiritual warfare? We are to know the truth, believe the truth, and speak the truth. We are to rest in the fact that we are declared righteous because of Christ's sacrifice for us. We are to proclaim the gospel no matter how much resistance we face. We are not to waver in our faith, trusting God's promises no matter how strongly we are attacked. Our ultimate defense is the assurance we have of our salvation, an assurance that no spiritual force can take away. Our offensive weapon is the Word of God, not our own opinions and feelings. And we are to .
Jesus is our ultimate example of resisting temptation in spiritual warfare. Observe how Jesus handled direct attacks from Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness (). Each temptation was combatted with the words "it is written." The Word of the living God is the most powerful weapon against the temptations of the devil. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" ( ).
A word of caution concerning spiritual warfare is in order. Nowhere in Scripture are we instructed to cast out demons or even to speak to them. The name of Jesus is not a magic incantation that causes demons to flee from before us. The seven sons of Sceva are an example of what can happen when people presume an authority they have not been given (). Even Michael the archangel did not rebuke Satan in his own power but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" ( ). When we start talking to the devil, we run the risk of being led astray as Eve was ( ). Our focus should be on God, not demons; we speak to Him, not them.
In summary, what are the keys to success in spiritual warfare? We rely on God's power, not our own. We put on the whole armor of God. We draw on the power of Scripture—the Word of God is the Spirit's sword. We pray in perseverance and holiness, making our appeal to God. We stand firm ( (4) keys to guarantee victory in spiritual warfare: ); we submit to God; we resist the devil's work ( ), knowing that the Lord of hosts is our protector. "Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken" ( ). We wrestler not against flesh and blood, but we walk in the Spirit, and we must remember these four
1. The enemy's been defeated Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:15;
2. The devil is looking for someone to devour "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:13";
3. Your only job is to believe 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5;
4. You're not called to fight, you're called to stand 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (Ephesians 6:10-17 Part of our armor and ability to battle our flesh is to learn how to walk in the spirit.
Let's recap our study on prayer for a minute, because prayer is a weapon of warfare, amen.
FIVE BASIC TYPES OF PRAYER: (Read them)
1. Adoration, Praise, Thanksgiving and Worship:
Psalms 100:1-5; 22:3; 50:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Hebrews 13:15
2. Confession and Repentance:
Psalms 6:8; 139:23-24; 24:3-5; 51:6-10; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9; Matthew 5:23; 6:14
John 15:7; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 4:15-16
Ezekiel 22:30; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-17
5. Meditative Listening:
Psalms 1:2; 63:6; 77:12; 143:5; Jeremiah 29:13; 1 John 5:14-15
If you consistently neglect any of the five types of prayer, your relationship with God will be limited, and it is very difficult to walk in the Spirit. Very Difficult!!!
1). What is warring in the Spirit?
2). How do we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ?
3). Where do the ability to set one's mind on things above come from?
4). What Scripture tells us to have the mind of Christ?
5). How can we know if our minds are set?
6). How do we gain a quiet gentle spirit within us?
7). What are wise thoughts?
8). What is a spiritual mind?
9). What led us the wrong way?
10). What are evil thoughts?
11). Explain your personal spiritual warfare.
12). Explain the new/old life.
13). Describe the spiritual armor of God.
14). Why should we put on the whole/full armor of God?
15). What is our offensive weapon?
16). How did Jesus handled direct attacks from Satan?
17). What are the keys to success in spiritual warfare?
18). You are not called to fight, you are called to stand, Explain.
19). What do each of these prayer types mean to you?
20). Which type is the most important in developing a powerful prayer life?
21). Why would we consistently need to practice all five different prayer types in order to have a balanced prayer life?
22). What are the five basic types of prayer?
23). What have you learn from reading Romans 8-15)?
Exercise: Week # 3 Walking in the Spirit today:
What did you do to know you were walking in the Spirit today?
I choose peace . . .I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live. I choose peace.
Lord God, thank You for taking care of me. Thank You for supplying all of my needs. Thank You for caring about the things that matter to me. Thank You for wanting my burdens so that I don't have to carry the load. Lord, I can't carry the load any longer. Please take the burden of (fill in the blank). I just give it to You. I trust You with it. Thanks You for loving me enough to take this burden from me. I choose to cast my cares on You! I choose to walk the road of peace. I choose to allow You to cultivate the fruit of peace in my heart and life. Praise Your Holy Name! In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen
Weekly Reading: Week # 3 (Romans 16- Galatians 6) Monday through Sunday