Spiritual Warfare: The Battle is Real

Steph Montgomery

Do you ever feel “STUCK?” You know you want to change a behavior and you pray for it often, but when the test is given to prove yourself again, you fail… 

Can you relate to this? I’ll pray so hard for God to give me the gentleness and patience I need to handle a situation, but the minute I’m given the opportunity to show God that I can do it, the devil has a foothold of me. He has found my weaknesses and uses it against me.  So often we fall into the trap that our way is the right way, we only hear ourselves, and we only focus on what our goals are, but the problem with that is God isn’t in any of it.  

“No temptation has ever overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

Our faith is like the process of building a house, we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, which is the foundation. Once the foundation is settled and hardened, we frame the house up, much like how we take the time to learn about our Father. We frame the foundation of our faith with the Word of God to teach us how to live our lives. Then the roof begins to be placed to keep the outside elements from seeping into the house causing leaks, the same way we live out our daily lives for God. If we’re not in His Word, the Bible, it’s too difficult to keep the leaks out. You see, Satan likes to find any cracks or crevices in the roof of our lives so that he can wreak havoc and begin to damage our relationship with Christ. We need to make sure we seal our roofs with a sealant to prevent the leaks. In the same way, we must take up the shield of faith, with which we use to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 

You might be thinking to yourself, “How do I keep the cracks from forming and the leaks from seeping in my life?” The answer to that is quite simply being in God’s Word daily and being in relationship with Him. The closer we grow with Him, the louder the Spirit speaks to us and we can then recognize the devil’s lies much more vividly. When I’m in the Word throughout my day, I feel different… stronger, obedient, wiser, and joy filled. I experience an indescribable amount of happiness and complete love for Christ, like nothing else is as important. However, on the days when I don’t make time for God, I get caught up in this broken world.  The Holy Spirit’s voice becomes softer and His tug gets lighter.  I get consumed by my daily life tasks, I’m a mess!  It becomes all about me and my family and not serving God. Give me an “Amen,” if you’ve been there?!

“But the Advocate, The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” 
John 14:26 (NIV)

The house being compared to our faith is a metaphor, but true in so many ways. We must know how to recognize when the devil is prowling and looking for us to mess up. I don’t know about you, but there are many areas in my life where I struggle to be everything God needs me to be, but I’m learning and growing. God has sent the Holy Spirit to enlighten me as to what I need to do. I spend so much time reading Scripture, praying, and listening to podcasts, that I’m growing closer in my relationship with Christ. Being close to Him is the most important thing to me above all others. That may seem weird to you, but it’s strange because we live in a world where so many believe it’s about us and our own happiness. When we say yes to Christ, we die to our old selves and selfish nature. If we don’t let God use our weaknesses and brokenness to glorify Him, the devil will use them to destroy us. 

Recognizing our weaknesses is such a hard thing to pay attention to in the heat of the moment. We pray, ask for forgiveness, and tell God it won’t happen again.  The problem is that our words are empty unless followed through by change of heart and action. The change of heart within ourselves and the action of the Holy Spirit propelling us to be Christ-like. I can tell you, I’m a work in progress each day.  I find it so important to be aware of my weaknesses because those are the areas that the devil will try to use against me. When you recognize what these behaviors are, you are more well equipped to battle the devil with the sword of the Spirit. 

“For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” 
Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

One of my weaknesses is my tongue and the devil really knows how to use it against me. I praise Jesus with my tongue and with the same tongue I argue with my husband. Jason and I have always loved hard, but we’re so competitive that it causes arguments and disagreements. Many times it’s me because I have to have control of everything, but God is teaching me obedience through being a better listener and partner. He’s teaching me that I’m not in control, He is. This obedience comes from me being plugged into the Word of God throughout my day. I know when I don’t make time for God, the devil will try to seep in through the leaks of my life. Can you relate?!

Changing the way I’ve been my entire life is hard, but God is worth it.  I love him more than I love myself; I choose God every time, even when it’s difficult. In order for God to change us, we have to be willing to step out of the boat and walk in faith and courage on the water to get to Him. In other words, we cannot grow if we’re not a little uncomfortable, that’s where the most growth occurs.  But it’s also where the devil likes to fill our heads with all the things that we cannot do, so there’s a battle each day in our lives. Are you going to listen to the liar, the deceiver?? Or are you going to listen to the Creator, the one who truly knows you inside and out, who loves you beyond measure, and the one who knew every hair on your head before you were even created?

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