Words for the Vineyard - Training For Battle

Training for Battle

According to the scriptures, we are in a battle. Every.single.day. There's an all out war for our soul's affection and devotion. "If you don't think you're in a battle, that means you're already losing." I was recently in an assembly where a high school teacher made this statement as he taught the students about the reality of the spiritual battle going on around them. We acknowledge that as the Body of Christ, we are in the same spiritual battle that Jesus was in during His time on earth. When He stepped into a new place He would declare, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is here." This was a military move. It was a statement that they would say to announce the new rulership of a conquering king. The good news for us is Jesus, our conquering King, already won so we join Him as victors over the enemy and forces of evil. Jesus was tempted in every way that a human can be. He is our great High Priest who knows intimately the struggle of humanity. He left heaven to take on human flesh and live as we lived to know deeply our trials and pains and to overcome the obstacles that tangle us up. Luke 4 gives a snapshot of some of the early temptations that Satan brought to Jesus. First, He was enticed to take matters into His own hands when he felt hunger, weakness and needing something to satisfy his flesh. The enemy tempted Him to act in unbelief or even pride to prove He was the Son of God by jumping off a cliff to see God provide supernatural, angelic protection. Finally, Jesus was tempted to short cut the plans and purposes of the Father by obtaining the kingdoms of the world by bowing down and worshipping Satan. He victoriously won by the simple but powerful statement "it is written...."  It says in verse 13 that after this the enemy left Him for a more opportune time. Jesus would continue to face many more battles. As we read the gospels, we can learn the way He handled various trials. The enemy had no power over Him to win even when it looked like he had prevailed with the scene of the cross... If Satan only knew what power was to be revealed when that stone rolled back.... That makes me happy to think of the shock on his face. Ahhhh sweet, sweet victory.

The schemes of the enemy are not new. He recycles and repackages the same nonsense and destructive lies over and over. And with thousands of years studying humankind, he knows what we will fall for. Our Father's desire for us as His children is that we fearlessly stand firm against the schemes of the evil one and walk victoriously through this life, just like Jesus did. For a minute, imagine how would you walk onto the field with the knowledge that you already won before it ever began?  Did you see your head up, shoulders back, a little light in your step, maybe even a smile of assurance across your face....  Bingo! That's where we are going! Jesus' final words to His followers before He ascended were “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28- 18-20. All authority in heaven and on earth therefore go. He has all authority and we abide as one in Him. Let's not miss this, church!

How do followers of the Way train for battle? Here are a few suggestions

1- Read, listen and meditate on the Word of God. Jesus destroyed what the enemy proposed by the word of God so we follow His example. He only had the Old Testament at that time and it was enough to shut that devil down! How much more now that we have access to the very words of the Living Word of God!  Renew your minds- Romans 12:1-2

2. Put on the full armor of God.- belt of truth, helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, sword of the Spirit and praying at all times in the Spirit. This simply means being confident and settled in the truth of His word, our salvation, righteousness in Christ, authority of walking in peace regardless of place or territory, guarded by our faith in the Faithful One. Ephesians 6

3. Know your opponent. In every battle, the opposing forces study the way their enemy works. Don't be ignorant of the schemes. Satan's common tactics are: Offense, manipulation, selfishness, pride, deceit, jealousy, strife, greed, lust and every evil thing. As we study the Lord and know Him more intimately, it will be clearer and clearer the distinction between His voice and the accuser's.

4. Start your day with worship- Throughout the Bible there are stories of the worshippers marching out front before the battle began, a prophet assigning people to praise and worship the Lord and then the enemies were confused and turned on each other and many more supernatural victories all as a result of worship. As we worship our King, He does the impossible! Joshua 6, 2 Chronicles 20, etc

5. Shake up your routines-   Years ago I had a personal trainer that taught me how to use different machines and do certain exercises safely.  I'll never forget something he said one time while I was undeniably out of breath in between sets. He said "the biggest myth that people believe is that they can just maintain where they are by doing the same things. There is either building and getting stronger or you get weaker and shrink, maintaining is a myth." At the time I was only thinking of the physical truth of that statement but today it takes on a whole new meaning.  Ask the Holy Spirit if there is a new strategy or tactic He wants you to incorporate? Fasting from foods or entertainment, a more diligent study of scripture, disciplined prayer times, getting together with other believers, even practicing resting can be a new strategy?  

We desire Vineyard Jackson to be a house of prayer in an atmosphere of worship, so if you are feeling led to spend time during the week worshipping and praying in the sanctuary we want to make the building available to you. Please don't hesitate to ask.

For His Glory,
Rachel Burnham
Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalm 8:1-2

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