Recently, Tom and I visited the Brookfield Zoo with one of our favorite couples. Being sans kids, I was able to stop and read different information. It was at the home of my favorite animal, the wolf, that something popped out at me. A sign related that to be successful hunters, wolves must be fit, smart, fast, and bold. There was a lesson, and a bit of conviction, in that for me as a follower of Jesus.
We know that our battle 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. (Ephesians 6:12) But have we ever stopped to think what a warrior (or for us woman, a warrior princess) needs?
Before I go on, I must say the obvious. It is never okay to engage in a battle with a demon. To egg it on. That’s pure stupidity…and it might end up causing you to perform a bit of Christian witchcraft. Also, you would never battle against demons. Jesus is the General, we simply submit to Him and do as He directs, and only as He directs. That being said, there is warfare in this life, and we need a certain amount of ppreparation and action as Christians. And I think that sign at the wolves’ den makes it pretty easy to think about.
We must be fit: I can’t tell you how many times I have been in all out spiritual warfare, and the only thing that saved me was being fit with the readiness of the gospel (Ephesians 6:15). Knowing who I am, and more importantly, knowing who GOD is, and being able to recite that, out loud if need be, brings a steadiness that is incomprehensible. No matter what the anxiety, the threat, the accusation, the situation, the Word of God always provides sound mind. It always provides peace. And it always ushers in the truth.
We must be smart: School is never over. I recently realized this. I am never done learning. The Bible is the key to understanding; however, in our world of media, we need to seek out the facts. And Channel 5 (or whatever station you watch) is not going to provide you with all the details. We need to educate ourselves on the things that we want to stand firm against. Then, when Satan’s minions try to bring doubt or insecurity, we’re able to stand. Please note, it’s important to say that nearly every book, every blog, every magazine has meat and bones. Seek out the meat, throw away the bones. How do you do that? The way the bible describes: test the spirit (1 John 4:1). Bring all of your information back to Jesus in your prayer time and ask Him to be the securer of the things you have read. Ask Godly men and women for their recommendations. Discuss things in small group. We have tools for this. We have procedures. Use them.
We must be fast: We must be quick to listen and slow to get angry (James 1:19). When we are battling spiritual forces, there is a critical need to be in a place of rest. We cannot battle anger with anger. We must be quick to be willing to get to a place of self-control. We must be quick to listen to the direction that God is giving. It might be Him saying, don’t engage this thought, this person, this place because you will get upset and it will overtake you. We have to exercise the muscle that allows us to be quiet in the midst of turmoil.
That being said, we must also be quick to follow the direction God provides. I need to clarify this vision though. One of the most valuable things that I’ve ever learned is that the Holy Spirit is never out of control. And He will never ask you to do anything out of control. You should never feel like God put something on your heart for someone and if you don’t say it right then, then you are going to burst. You should never feel like the thing He’s asking you to do should be done immediately, even if it means carelessly. No. The Holy Spirit is self-controlled, and so are His directives. So, we should be quick to do what God has asked us to do AND do it in a calm, assured manner, staying within the protection He’s provided.
We must be bold: This is the one that is probably most confused in our society.Boldness has caused women to become people they hate. It’s caused men to act irrationally. It’s fulfilled the words of Proverbs 21:29 (A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways.) What I’m speaking about is boldness in prayer and within our relationship with Christ. We should boldly go before the throne to bring our concerns and doubts before the Lord. When we don’t, Satan will just play on those. He’ll turn them into accusations. Jesus knows what they are anyway. Let nothing come between Him and you. Nothing.
Also, note that in Acts 4, the apostles were bold AFTER they were filled with the Holy Spirit. There’s direction in that for us. When we are stepping out in boldness, let it always because the Holy Spirit has imparted His love, His mercy, His presence. To step out on our own is to be careless.
I could have probably summed up this blog in one sentence: whatever the battle, let God do it, and you follow in confidence. But that wouldn’t have been as fun, now would it have been?