Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

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I know, it’s a shameless plug for my novel series, The Pray-ers, but these characters do Spiritual Warfare and DO IT WELL.

Let’s move on to . . .

The Christian’s Spiritual Warfare

My plan for this post is to make nearly every sentence a question. I want you to think “critically” about this subject. Challenge yourself and what you have been taught, and let the Word of God direct you. The answers to these questions are available in this same post. Finally, I have many, many short 2 – 3 minute videos on different aspects of Spiritual Warfare. They too are in this post.

Enjoy,

Mark

IN THIS POST . . .

 

Jesus in the Wilderness (Matthew 4:1 – 11)

The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:14 – 17)

The Warfare (2 Corinthians 10:3 – 5)

The List of Answers

Mark’s 2 & 3 Minute Videos on Aspects of Warfare

 

JESUS IN THE WILDERNESS (Matthew 4:1-11)

a] Why did Jesus not tell sataN to, “Be gone,” as soon as he arrived to tempt Jesus?

b] What did Jesus fill His mind with? (Don’t say, “The Bible,” that’s too easy) And, what was sataN’s focus?

 

DEFINING SPIRITUAL WARFARE

I talk about the Spiritual Warfare battle this way: “The problem in your life is not the Spiritual Warfare. How you handle the problem in your life, is the Spiritual Warfare.

–If God is sovereign, He has allowed/brought the problem into your life.

c] So, what is The Christian’s Spiritual Warfare?

d] What is one of sataN’s GREATEST DECEPTIONS regarding our understanding of Spiritual Warfare?

 

SATAN DOES NOT WANT YOU TO PRAY

e] But, why? Why doesn’t sataN want you to pray?

 

THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:14 – 17)
I typically hear this taught by starting at the helmet and working your way down to the shoes.

f] But what does that do to the armor?

The armor as given in this passage is highly figurative language.

g] What does the figurative language describe?

 

THE ARMOR DOESN’T WORK

I Could NEVER make the armor work UNTIL I realized the relationship between the armor & Jesus.

h] What is that relationship?

 

LET’S USE/DEMONSTRATE THE ARMOR OF GOD

–We’ll walk thru the pieces of the armor, beginning with the moment you find yourself in the midst of Spiritual Warfare.

—–IE: You’re grumpy at your nearly perfect wife!

 

Ephesians 6:14
Belt of Truth

i] When you find yourself in Spiritual Warfare, where do you begin?

j] In what way is this Jesus?

Breastplate of Righteousness

k] Why do you GET TO GO into the throne room?

 

Ephesians 6:15
Feet fitted with the readiness which comes from the gospel of peace

This piece of the armor is again, something we receive from Jesus.

l] What is it that we receive from Him?

m] So, what is THE WRONG FOCUS of this piece of the armor?

 

Ephesians 6:16
Take the Shield of Faith, WITH WHICH YOU stop the fiery darts

n] Who stops the fiery darts?

o] How?

 

Ephesians 6:17
Helmet of Salvation

p] What is the hope of your salvation?

The Sword of the Spirit

I’ve heard this piece of the armor described as something that stabs a demon.

q] But, what was Paul telling us about Scripture and it’s relationship to the Armor of God?

 

ONE VERY IMPORTANT,  CRITICAL POINT . . .

“Why,” belongs to God, so put that word OUT OF YOUR MIND when difficulties come your way.

 

THE WARFARE (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Most Spiritual Warfare today is as effective as Blinkin in Robin Hood, Men in Tights:
https://youtu.be/SQFik9nlBcw?feature=shared
https://images.app.goo.gl/zpewYdHhqcchJhTa7

r] Why is our warfare so innefective?

When we look at Spiritual Warfare we often read ONLY verses 3 & 4 (see below)

2 Corinthians 10:3 – 4 (NASB ’77 & ’95)
Verse 3: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,
Verse 4: for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (pulling down of strongholds)

By the time we get to the end of verse 4, we have a LOT OF ZEAL!

s] But think about the last time you did Spiritual Warfare. Where was that zeal pointed?

Now read verse 5 (see below) and ask yourself where the battle is at.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NASB ’77 & ’95)

Verse 5: We are destroying speculations [arguments] and every lofty thing [high minded thing which is] raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

t] Where is the battle? And therefore, where are we SUPPOSED TO BE doing our “destroying”?

 

SPIRITUAL WARFARE PRAYING ON BEHALF OF OTHERS

u] Can you do Spiritual Warfare for someone else? Why or why not?

ANSWERS FROM ABOVE:

a] To show us how to do Spiritual Warfare (Chrysostom: “to instruct us”).

b] Jesus focused on truth while sataN focused on deception.

c] Spiritual Warfare is that act of sataN trying to break/distract our relationship with the Lord.

d] To get us thinking the location of Spiritual Warfare is, “Out yonder.”

e] Because sataN knows how YOU CHANGE when YOU PRAY.

f] That takes the Armor OUT OF THE DIVINE ORDER.

g] It describes how we live out being strong in the Lord. You could say that the armor is the life of Christ lived out in our lives.

h] I realized that each piece of the armor is a facet of who Jesus ALREADY IS in my life

i] Begin Spiritual Warfare with the truth.

j] Jesus is the way the truth & the life (John 14:6).

k] Because of the SON’S righteousness, not ours.

l] We receive peace from the Lord, because Jesis is our peace (Ephesians 2:14).

m] The wrong focus is that this is all about, “Gospel shoes” (Although YES, are to share the gospel).

n] God is the shield, but You, not God stops the fiery darts.

o] Simply by faith, trusting God.

p] That there’s hope BEYOND the grave (Romans 8:28).

q] It’s the Scriptural nugget/s God gives you. And we have used, pulled from, experienced the Word of God in EVERY ASPECT of these pieces of the armor.

r] We are doing warfare where there is no battle

s] Isn’t our mind out “destroying strongholds?” Our thinking is “out yonder.”

t] The location of Spiritual Warfare is in your mind.

u] We cannot do Spiritual Warfare for someone else. We can INTERCEDE for them, YES. But, MAKE CHOICES for them, NO.

MARK’S VIDEOS ON ASPECTS OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE:

Upgrade Your Spiritual Warfare Roadmap
https://youtu.be/CHejyP2kWVQ?feature=shared

 

Generational Curses or Generational Blessings
https://youtu.be/NqzmZljLrWg?feature=shared

 

Glass Packs on Your Praying
https://youtu.be/xfix1dNM1Jg?feature=shared

 

Prayer & Superstition
https://youtu.be/LOLAjemPK0o?feature=shared

 

Why sataN Doesn’t Want You to Pray
https://youtu.be/qghLIPHNGUQ?feature=shared

 

Calling God a Liar When We Pray
https://youtu.be/29otxCi9OWo?feature=shared

 

How Big Is God Compared to Your Problems
https://youtu.be/18g3-jcj960?feature=shared

 

Wrestling with God
https://youtu.be/VwM0kORUh78?feature=shared

 

Dinosaur Prayer Humor
https://youtu.be/bUHPArtEHuA?feature=shared

 

Worry You Don’t Gotta
https://youtu.be/QufiGwdMjBc?feature=shared

 

A Blip on Your Schedule or a Downpour
https://youtu.be/6E-o_xjV21Y?feature=shared

 

The Mathematics Behind Prayer

The Mathematics Behind Prayer

MATHEMATICS CAN BE FUN. . .

GET A YES WHEN YOU PRAY

The New and Improved (and coveted) . . .

SECRET MATHEMATICAL PRAYER FORMULA . . .

 

Y = P * 2A + (∞F ⟹ W) + (S ≈ I) – Ø(d+c)

 

Here’s the formula’s meaning

I WILL get a YES
When I PRAY,
If I ABIDE in Him AND I let His words ABIDE in me.
Then, my sufficient FAITH,
Subject to His WILL,
Allows me to SUBMIT to Him,
Since He’s already IN THE PROCESS of answering.
All this motivates me unto OBEDIENCE,
And the elimination of the word CAN in my prayers.

 

Mathematics

Have fun, as we go through this “Secret” formula.

Defining Terms

“Y” is the expectation of YES when I pray!

Have you ever considered that Jesus never went to the Father wondering about His answer? Jesus always prayed expecting a “YES” and so should you. Even when He gave us the model-prayer in Matthew 6:9ff the entire tenor of it is, expect God to answer. And earlier in verse 6, talking about prayer Jesus said, “. . . your Father . . . will reward you.”

If you are wondering about the Garden of Gethsemane experience Jesus had, consider two words, “wrestling” and “submitting.” Jesus wrestled and since He knew the Father’s will, He (Jesus) submitted to the Father.

Jesus’ dealings with prayer were ALWAYS with an expectation of a YES, as should your’s.

And remember, 1 John 5:14-15 are still in scripture, requiring confidence when we pray, not doubt (James 1:6-7)

 


“P” is the act of PRAYING.

This should be obvious, but you do realize that there are SOME THINGS that we do not have, because we do not ask? (See James 4:2).

I suspect some of you are thinking, “Why ask? Doesn’t God already know our needs BEFORE we ask (Matthew 6:8)?

Have you considered why we pray at all? It is for one reason. God WANTS a relationship with you! Think about that! In spite of you (and me), He wants a relationship with you (and me).

Your prayer-life is a barometer of your Intimacy with God.


“A” double dips into the word ABIDING.

The equation is “2A” above because the word “Abide” appears twice in John 15:7 and both occurrences are very significant, and very different from one another.

I recently heard a pastor quote this verse by saying, “. . . abide in Him and in His word.” BUT MY READERS, that is not what the passage says. It says that you are to ABIDE IN HIM and you are to let His words ABIDE IN YOU.

When His words abide in you, that is when you start asking His will. This happens because they are His words, His will. And then the last part of the verse becomes true, “then you will ask whatever you will and it will be done unto you.”

Look, you can abide in Him all day long but if you don’t let His words abide in you, you don’t have a prayer. Sorry for the pun.


“F” stands for FAITH.

But not just any faith! It stands for “∞F” which is an “infinite amount of faith.”

Now before you start to get depressed, because your faith isn’t that great, let me remind you of Jesus’ teachings on faith. I’ll first tell you what Jesus did NOT say.

  • Jesus did not say you have to have a TON of faith. The AMOUNT OF YOUR FAITH is not the issue.

So, what did He say? I’m glad you asked!

  • Jesus DID say, you could have as little faith as a mustard seed and accomplish that which is His will (Matthew 17:20).

Ginormous Faith

At another time we’ll discuss why teachers tell you to build your faith to astronomical proportions, but not here.

What I will tell you though, is why you can have “infinite, sufficient, perfect-faith,” even if your faith is only comparable to a mustard seed.

The answer is the next portion of the equation.


“W” points us to God’s will.

The equation says, “∞F ⟹ W”

Remember that ⟹ W” means “If and Only If it is centered on God’s will.”

So, putting the entire parenthetical thought together, it is saying, “infinite faith occurs, if and only if it (your prayer) is centered on God’s will.”

Look at 1 John 5:14-15 again. When does God’s answer come? The passage clearly says, when we ask according to His will.

It ain’t rocket-science, is it?

But it does require the next portion of the equation.


“S” is the act of SUBMITTING to God.

I’m sorry, but you knew that the “S” word would enter this equation somewhere, didn’t you?

The problem with the “S” word is that it requires you to trust Him.

Do you think you trust God? Are you sure? Or are you just hoping you trust Him?

May I Test You?

This test will open your eyes:

  • Get a blank piece of paper.
  • At the top write, “God’s Will for My Life.”
  • And then sign-it, BLANK.

Sign it WITHOUT knowing what He has up His sleeve?

The math is becoming more and more scary, isn’t it?

Okay, I just told you the PROBLEM with the “S” word. Now let me give you the “ginormous benefit” of the “S” word.

This “GINORMOUS-NESS” is found in both Mark 11:24 and the rest of the equation that is within the parenthesis. Watch and see


“I” represents God already “IN THE PROCESS” of answering your prayer.

Mark 11:24 tells us that we are to pray as if WE ALREADY HAVE that which we are praying to him for.

When “S≈I” are together it means that “S and I are Congruent to one another” or, in harmony one with another.

The idea is that God is ALREADY In The Process of doing His will in your life. Our job is to submit to God, no matter what He wants to do, in your life.

SCARY? Math usually is!

To see this more clearly, work the Secret Mathematical Prayer Formula backwards:

  • “I” . . . God is already “In the process” of answering my prayer,
  • “S”. . . When I submit
  • “W”. . . To His will,
  • “F”. . . With my mustard seed faith

The Rest of the Story Equation

“Ø” represents an empty or “null” set

“d” represents DISOBEDIENCE.

“c” represents using the word CAN when you pray.

The mathematical term in front of this parenthetical portion, “Ø” means “an empty or ‘null’ set” of both the “d” and the “c” which are inside the parenthesis.

In other words we are not to have any “d” and any “c” in our life.

NOTE: Because of James 1:6-7, “d” could also have represented “doubting” but we have addressed that with the understanding of “confidence” above.

“c” is the act of using the word CAN when you pray.

Going back to Mark 11:24, where we are told to “believe that we have already received” that which we are praying for, does NOT MEAN we pray, “Oh Lord, I know You CAN do this . . .” No! It means we are to pray, “Lord, I trust that you are ALREADY in the process of . . .”

I’d like to ask you, the reader, to do something for me, okay?

I would like you to BE EMBARRASSED the next time you use the word “CAN” when you pray!

And here’s why.

Assuming the Holy Spirit didn’t make a mistake, and Mark 11:24 can be believed, God is already in the process of giving you your answer! Think about that! Since that is the case, why are you asking Him if He “CAN” do it?

Let’s get back to the “d” word for a moment. In Psalm 24:3-4, we are told to enter His presence with “clean hands and a pure heart.” Why? Because sin has an impact on your prayer life (Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 59:2, and a host of others).


Putting It All Together Again

I WILL get a YES
When I PRAY,
If I ABIDE in Him AND I let His words ABIDE in me.
Then, my sufficient FAITH,
Subject to His WILL,
Allows me to SUBMIT to Him,
Since He’s already IN THE PROCESS of answering.
All this motivates me unto OBEDIENCE,
And the elimination of the word CAN in my prayers.


We hope you enjoyed this fun formula.

 

 

Blessings,

 

MARK S MIRZA

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You might also be interested in the following post:

How Big Is Your God (In 3 Languages)

Their Plans Prompt Our Prayers

Their Plans Prompt Our Prayers

Tragic Prayers for Tragic Times

This posted Friday, Feb 25th, and is followed today with a similar theme around prayer.

Specifically, how do we pray during tragic times?

But in the post below, YOU WILL SEE BEHIND THE SCENES what the Ukrainian church is doing while their nation is being invaded by Russian forces.

Their Plans Prompt Our Prayers

Are you like me? My heart hurts to see what is going on in Ukraine. And I want to help.

So, I ask, “How can I help?”

  • You can stand on a street corner & wave a Ukrainian flag
  • You can give money
  • You can join a pro-Ukrainian parade
  • You can paint your face azure & yellow
  • You can write pretty poems
  • You can mock politicians

All of these we’ve seen on FB, Tw & IG, right?

But, there is another idea. . .
Why don’t we hear what the church in Ukraine is doing and prayerfully come alongside them?

Last night I saw this article from the SBC (https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/4-reasons-why-christians-should-care-about-whats-happening-in-ukraine/):

Those that have chosen to stay are committed to meeting the needs of their neighbors as they are able, and have said, “When this is over, the citizens of Kyiv will remember how Christians have responded in their time of need.”

How did that prompt you to pray?

Let me give you another peek at what the Ukrainian Church is doing.

A friend of mine (now living in Pennsylvania) started a church in Ukraine with another gentlemen, who is still there. He hasn’t been on social media for 23 hours, but as my friend is quick to note, he may just be saving his battery.

These were his last words:

How does that prompt you to pray?

Shortly before the text above, came this brief exchange:

Is any of this giving YOU hope?

I trust you are getting hope and motivation to pray for the church in Ukraine.

Again I ask you, how?

May I simply suggest, that you come to the Lord HUMBLY (Psalm 138:6, Proverbs 3:34, 1 Peter 5:5b).

I think we’ve lost the art of coming in to the Lord’s presence with humility. We don’t need bombastic praying (https://markmirza.com/glass-packs-on-our-praying/) or prayer filled with lots of words (Ecclesiastes 5:2, Matthew 6:7).

If you’re going to take the time to pray, then don’t run the risk of your prayers not being heard.

Ukrainian Church Plans Prompt My Praying

I watch what the Ukrainian Church is doing and I want to do my part. So, I plan to pray as follows.

Maybe this will help you also:

  • Pray for the resources of Ukrainian Christians who are helping their fellow countrymen.
  • Pray for opportunities to supply needs and the boldness to act when a need is seen.
  • Pray that each opportunity to engage their fellow countrymen, allows for a testimony of hope.
  • Pray for more connections with soldiers and with civilians.
  • Where there are tears and panic, pray these Ukrainian Christians will have a peace which transcends everyone’s understanding.
  • Pray they’d have such peace that they are embarrassed.
  • Pray for all Ukrainian Christians to be reminded that our residence is in heaven, not here on earth.
  • Pray for the freedom to shed tears.

Honored to serve,

PFA Prayer Prompts

PFA Prayer Prompts

FOR USE:
January 6, 13, 20, 27, 2022
3:55am till 5:00am (Eastern)

Below are each week’s prayer prompts.

Bring them to the prayer call, and/or use them on your own.

NOTE: Where a verse is bold, THAT is our focus.

NDP PRAYER FOR AMERICA

FOCUS: BUSINESS/ECONOMY

JANUARY 6, 13, 20, 27, 2022

GOD’S BLESSINGS (Jan. 6th)
Work principles in Proverbs

  • BEGIN with Colossians 3:23
    Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men (Colossians 3:23 NASB 1977)
  • Idle [Lazy] hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches. (Proverbs 10:4 HCSB)
  • Dishonest scales are detestable to the LORD, but an accurate weight is His delight. (Proverbs 11:1 HCSB)
  • “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness [perversity] of the treacherous destroys them.” (Proverbs 11:3 ESV)
  • “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits [fantasies] lacks sense.” (Proverbs 12:11 ESV)
  • “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied [fully satisfied].” (Proverbs 13:4 ESV)
  • Wealth obtained by fraud will dwindle, but whoever earns it through [honest] labor will multiply it. (Proverbs 13:11 HCSB)
  • Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 ESV)
  • Better a little with righteousness than great income with injustice. (Proverbs 16:8 HCSB)
  • The Lord demands fairness in every business deal. He established this principle. (Proverbs 16:11 TLB)
  • END with Titus 2:7-8
    in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching. Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be ashamed, having nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8 HCSB)

GOD’S HEART (Jan. 13th)
A heart after God in the workplace

  • Even on the jobsite we can be an example to our kids & grandkids. . .
    But from eternity to eternity the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant, who remember to observe His precepts.
    Psalm 103:17‭-‬18 HCSB
  • Remembering Christian business owners who put their trust in their own abilities. . .
    His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all
    Psalm 103:19 (Paraphrased)
  • Sometimes, in the workplace, because of our previous actions, we need to remember God has forgiven us. . .
    As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
    Psalm 103:12 HCSB
  • Business owners responsibility. . .
    Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
    Philippians 2:3‭-‬4 HCSB
  • Business owners motivation. . .
    Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully.
    Psalm 24:3‭-‬4 HCSB
  • When the Lord is with a businessman/woman. . .
    When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he did successful, Joseph found favor in his master’s sight. . .
    Genesis 39:3‭-‬4a HCSB

GOD’S MERCY (Jan. 20th)
God’s Mercy In the Workplace

We have been praying for Christians in the workplace. Let us now consider…

  • Workplace Bible Studies
  • Workplace Prayer Meetings
  • Sharing Christ with Colleagues

THIS WEEK’S PRAYER PROMPTS…

  • God’s Mercy to Us Prompts Us to be Living Sacrifices
    Romans 12:1 (HCSB)
    Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.
  • Tender Mercies from God
    Psalm 40:11 (KJV)
    Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.
  • The Ultimate Sign of Mercy from us
    Matthew 18:21-22 (HCSB)
    Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven.
  • Alive with Christ, What Greater Mercy Could We Have
    Ephesians 2:4-5 (HCSB)
    But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
  • We May Grudgingly Give Mercy, God Delights in Giving Mercy
    Micah 7:18 (NASB)
    Who is a God like You, who pardons wrongdoing And passes over a rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.
  • Do You Need Mercy? Cry out to Him
    Psalm 130:1-2 (ESV)
    Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
  • God’s Mercy is Great and He Does not Give Us what we Deserve
    Nehemiah 9:31 (KJV)
    Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

GOD’S GRACE (Jan. 27th)
God’s Grace in the Workplace

How do we handle persecution in the workplace?

  • May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands.
    Psalm 90:17
  • Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
    Hebrews 4:16
  • The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
    Psalm 103:8
  • And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
    1 Peter 5:10
  • For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
    Titus 2:11-12
  • For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
    Matthew 6:14
  • However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
    Acts 20:24
 

Blessings,

 

MARK S MIRZA
Founder/Author
C: (404) 606-2322
W: MarkMirza.com

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