One of the verses from the Bible that God has repeatedly drawn my attention to over the last few months is Psalm 144:1.
Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war; my fingers for battle.
All of us were created to walk closely with God and experience His blessing and presence in our lives everyday. But there is an enemy that is bent on preventing this from happening.
It would be nice if we could just have a relationship with God without any difficulty but there is real opposition to us living a life of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
This is not peacetime. We were born into a war zone.
But God wants to teach us how to overcome and walk in victory. God wants to train us and make warriors out of us. To become lean in the Spirit. To be sharp shooters. Precision fighters that are able to take ground for the Kingdom of God.
Our God is fierce
One of the biblical metaphors for God is the Lion of Judah. He is not a tame lion. But he is good.
Our God is fierce. God wants to make us fierce too when it comes to spiritual matters. Sometimes our approach to the spiritual life is too passive. God wants to put an aggressive spirit in us that is determined to experience breakthrough.
Sometimes our prayers are for comfort and ease. But we are here to fight. We are here to wage war. When the enemy causes so much destruction and hurt and suffering in the world sometimes we need to get angry and develop a holy intolerance.
When life is challenging don't fret
If life is difficult, uncomfortable or challenging don't fret, God wants to use it to grow us. He has great things for His people to do at this time. Knowing that God is building and strengthening us can really help to focus our perspective on overcoming, knowing breakthrough is to come.
Sometimes we need to wait on God for strategies to overcome the battle that we are facing. God may give us clear and specific strategies to breakthrough.
In this last year I have been learning that a key part of spiritual warfare is praise and worship. Giving praise to God and focusing on who He is and His goodness is a key part of breaking through the lies of the enemy. The devil may throw fiery darts of negative and tormenting thoughts at our minds but as we deliberately meditate on God and His truth we overcome those attacks.
It doesn't always happen instantly. Sometimes the battle is fierce and we have to persevere for a while. We may feel like nothing is happening and we are not getting anywhere. Something particularly powerful about worship is doing it when we don't feel like it and it feels like we don't have much faith. It can be a really difficult thing to do but it is really building something solid in the spirit. As we persist in pressing into God, manifestation of God's presence becomes clearer and clearer until we experience his empowerment and blessing again in a significant way.
Conor is from Adelaide South Australia. He is a gardener and is involved in ministry. He loves God, music, reading and thinking deeply about philosophy and current events in the world.
Conor Ryan’s previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/conor-ryan.html