Speak Boldly — Expect Warfare

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When we speak boldly for Truth, we will be vehemently tested.

I’ve seen this in my own life. As I’ve chosen to speak boldly for Christ, I can usually expect a time of warfare right around the corner.

Peter went from the pinnacle of honor to the very depths of warfare in one fell swoop.  And he didn’t even realize it had happened, until Jesus addressed him as Satan.

The apostle Peter learned a lot through hard experience.  He learned, for example, that crushing defeat and deep humiliation often follow hard on the heels of our greatest victories.  Just after Christ commended him for his great confession in Matthew 16:16 (“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”), Peter suffered the harshest rebuke ever recorded of a disciple in the New Testament.  One moment Christ called Peter blessed, promising him the keys of the kingdom (vv. 17-19).  In the next paragraph, Christ addressed Peter as Satan and said, “Get behind me!” (v. 23)…  ~John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men

It seems to be the way of things. As soon as we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9), we can expect the battle to begin. The battle is for our souls. Of course, we know we’ve been sealed in the Holy Spirit and nothing will separate us from His love.  No one can snatch us from His hand.  But, we can become ineffective in our witness.  We can become frustrated and weak by the warfare, so much so, that we choose not to hold up the light as high as we once did.

I’m in danger of doing just that.  Warfare has been stepped up in my life, and I would love to go hide under the bed with my lamp.

“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed,
but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in can see the light.”

Paul asked for prayer that he may continue to speak boldly in the face of tremendous warfare.  And the warfare he was under was far worse than anything I’ve yet to endure.  Beatings.  Persecutions.  Hunger.  Stoneings.   (2 Corinthians 6:1-10; 11:24-27)

Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of His power. Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. . . . Pray for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak – that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak. ~Ephesians 6:10-20

I’ve not had to endure anything close to Paul’s struggles.  And when I think of what our Lord endured, I am humbled:

Think of Him who endured such opposition against Himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against sin. ~Hebrews 12:3-4

I am taking up the full armor of God so that I may be able to stand.  And I’m also requesting prayer.  I really need to continue to speak boldly as I know He has called me to do.  Please pray that I would have the words He desires for me to speak.  As we’ve been instructed, the tongue can be set on fire by hell (James 3:1-6).

I want my words to be heavenly.

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18 responses »

  1. I remember Don Miller had once written about the use of “war” terminology as a metaphor. It was quite astounding to realize that someone has cancer, we use that very same metaphor.

    “People fight cancer.”

    “Cancer must be conquered.

    “People battle cancer.”

    “Tumors must be eliminated.”

    All metaphors of war. And yet–Miller has written–when someone is sick, it is actually not healthy to use such negative terminology. The very mention of the word fight in the middle of the night makes me want to surrender and go back to bed. (But I don’t know when I’ll be online again so I want to make the most of my time.)

    Amazingly enough, we do the same thing with people but with economic metaphors:

    “We value people.”

    “We invest in people.”

    “We treasure our friendships.”

    “And friendship pays the price for our mistakes.”

    So, when I am struggling–and I am–it is much, much more healthy to think positively about the experience than it is to burden myself with negativity.

    So while I am passing through the fires I prefer to think of it as santification. Being made holy.

    I want my words to be heavenly, too.

    And I certainly don’t want to ensure my own destruction in the process.

  2. I’ll pray for you Michelle, that you’ll be protected from attacks, and for heavenly words. And don’t stop speaking boldly, people need to hear truth!

  3. Hey, Nor! So glad to see you online, even if it’s only for a short while.

    I’m not seeing the negativity of using war terminology when speaking of the struggles in our lives. I hear what you’re saying about it causing us to want to “surrender” when we’re tired and not able to fight anymore. But the terminology of warfare is necessary when coming against evil. And the beauty of it all, scripturally speaking, we get to run to Him in the warfare and He does the fighting for us. We stand firm, wearing the armor, praying (that’s the running to Him part) and He comes to fight the battle.

    “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts.”

    Daniel 10 is a great chapter to see how this works in our lives. Daniel prayed fervently for 21 days for an answer from the Lord. And when Michael showed up to help him, to relieve Daniel from his distress, Michael explained the warfare he had fought to get to Daniel to deliver his message of strength. Michael had been sent to Daniel on day one, but the spiritual warfare was a great battle in the heavenlies and he finally “broke through” due to the fervent, effectual prayer of a righteous man (Daniel).

    Some people think that’s not real. I happen to believe all of scripture. Makes me a fool in the world’s eyes, but I’m okay with that. 😉

    Love you, Nor! I’m praying fervently on your behalf.

    **********************************************

    Thank you so much, Rain!!! I needed your words of support today. Weariness can cause doubt. I value your prayers. Thank you.

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  4. Hey Sis 🙂

    The strongest piece of His Armour we can ever wear – and also the Greatest, most powerful weapon He possesses that we need to acquire in us also…

    is LOVE.

    When His Love is in our heart and we operate from it, our heart has the greatest possible protection, we are at our most Spiritually ‘healthy’ and ‘strong’ and if we use it wisely as He instructs then no foe can withstand against it for long.

    Let Love be your strength and ‘sword’. HISWORD.

    You already know you have my prayers.

    🙂

    <B

  5. Thanks, Love. You are SO right! When we are dealing with people, we must love above all else. But our struggle is not against flesh and blood.

    “…according to this world’s present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience, among whom all of us also formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest…” ~Ephesians 2:1-3

    “Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens…” ~Ephesians 6:11-13

    I know it’s not a thought many want to engage, but I do believe we are up against more than just disagreements among brothers. Evil forces do work in this world…energizing the conflicts among us, and in us. I think.

    Thanks so much for your prayers. I am in need of them.

  6. Hi Michelle, I’ll join with your other friends here and pray for you. This post has really helped me over the past couple of days. I have been in a battle too, and it helps to remember that there is a real spiritual dimension in times like this. That verse from Hebrews was so good to read – to keep thinking of Jesus and what He endured, so that we don’t grow “weary in our souls” and “give up.”

    I came across this verse in Isaiah today and I thought of what you were asking here, for God’s help to continue to speak boldly as He has called you, I hope it encourages you:

    “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their revilings … My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation” Isaiah 51:7,8.

    Love you Michelle.

  7. It’s so good to hear you say this post has helped you over the past couple of days, Birgit. That really blesses me!

    And thank you for the scripture from Isaiah. It gets to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it? We need to remain steadfast. Those who know His law need to speak boldly of His ways. Expecially at a time when men will not endure sound teaching, wanting to gather around themselves teachers who will “tickle their ears.”

    As long as we’re living His Word (not just hearers–but doers), we can know we’re on the right path.

    Love you, Birg! 😉

  8. One thing I have learned about warfare over the past 60 years – it is something you do. I pray that its not just something I keep talking about but actually attack the enemy.

  9. How do you attack the enemy, Papa? All I’m sure to do is speak the Word of Truth and pray. I do find the warfare stepped up whenever I’m bold for Him. Do you see that in your life? I’d like to hear your perspective.

  10. Hi Sis, in case my first comments were read in some way other than i meant ( and i am not saying they completely were, by any means! ) 😉

    I did not intend to imply our struggle was against OTHER people or their flesh or ‘blood’.

    I do believe though that our greatest ‘difficulty’ is in overcoming our own flesh and blood – the body we mostly still live in – so that we live ‘completely’ in His.

    I’m really unsure how many people agree with or fully understand that bit?

    By developing our Love for Him and therefore for all mankind we gain Armour and a Sword to fight any physical AND spiritual ‘warfare’ and we ensure we fight on the Right ‘side’, for True reasons.

    Love (for Him . for others as self) builds up the spiritual body that we may live in it, not that of flesh and blood.

    I agree with you that the war between The Enemy and Jesus/God is far more difficult than any we might ‘choose’ down here. As we live more in Him we will likely recognise those battles more than our own.

    Fortunately we are not required to tackle such warfare completely ‘alone’ – we have others doing battle with and for us, alongside of us and above us also.

    We can stand and be counted for whom we ‘choose’.

    It is important we do not let ourselves be distracted or caught ‘unawares’ by things our earthly self (physical body) believes is more ‘important’

    As i believe you and i both agree – it is important that we seek Him first and foremost, then follow His ‘lead’

    It is up to each of us to figure out for ourselves if that can best be done physically or spiritually – or both at once..

    Unless Scripture tells us otherwise?

    <B

  11. I see what you’re saying, Love. The struggle against “self” and dying to our desires is the toughest one, I think. We seem to think our desires are all legitimate, and why can’t we have what we want when we want it? Of course, I do believe that is the basis of all our struggles: our sinful flesh. Even when thinking we’re not to blame for misunderstandings among friends, a closer look will usually reveal a lack of love on our part, and a selfish motivation.

    Being aware of our own motivations may help bring us quicker to our knees, don’tcha think?

  12. Absolutely 🙂

    i try to ‘observe’ mine (without judgement at the time) so as to gain a deeper understanding of how they are buried inside of me and lead me ‘astray’ in order that i can work with Him in eliminating them so as to be better guarded against them in my future acts/thoughts.

    Repressing them and pushing them ‘down’ can sometimes cause greater suffering than ‘rooting them out’ cleanly.

    His aid is indispensible to this.

    Only His spirit inside of us is incorruptible – we remain ever vulnerable in our own consciousness that has grown from our earthly body to weakness and temptation that the various powers place in our path.

    Stay Strong Sis ! 🙂

    <B

  13. Hi Michelle, however this sounds: I read a prophetic word yesterday abour warfare and God says He’s got your back.

    Here you go:
    March 31, 2009: I heard the Lord say: I’ve got your back; just keeping moving forward. Be effective in your warfare by being aware when you are under attack, by knowing the nature of your enemy, and by exercising your authority to stop him. And, I was reminded of what Ulysses S. Grant said, “The art of war is simple enough. Find out where you enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving.” Isaiah 52:12 For you shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. (Marsha Burns)

  14. “Repressing them and pushing them ‘down’ can sometimes cause greater suffering than ‘rooting them out’ cleanly.”

    Amen!! I think that’s the point of “a root of bitterness” in Hebrews 12:15:

    See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled… (NASB)

    Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. (The Message)

    I am standing strong, Love. Thanks for your support. 😉

    I like that thought, Rain. Be aware and know. The Lord is hemming us in from before and behind. We are not in this alone. Thanks! I needed that. 🙂

  15. Yes, this is true. And I am learning that even when the force against you seems strong, He is stronger still. He likes being strong for us. So like a man. Flexing His muscles; standing up for us to the bullies. Proving no one’s as strong as He is. 😀

    He is strong for you, Michelle. 🙂

  16. Hello Michelle,
    Firstly; I thank our Lord Jesus Christ, for your life and of everyones in this wonderfull website. Great content such as this, is like a “cup of cool water in a desert”, to God be the Glory!

    There is a verse that (i believe) we are familiar with but it was not mentioned, 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
    Amen!

    The verse clearly “confirms” that there will be tempations which often would take us to our limits, but also gives us the “assurance” of a way out.

    To elaborate on the way out, please read 1cor13:1-8

    Lastly, a verse that i encourge all of us to have in our hearts: Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you”
    Amen!
    The Lord is the one who fights all our battles, and he has already won it on the cross. Our mandate above all is to “fully, wholeheartedly” obey him and his commands, that is the key to our victory. and remember “Through Jesus, all things are possible”
    I will definetly continue to pray for you and your wonderful ministry,
    God Bless you my Sister and Brother in the Lord 🙂

    Mr.Alberto***

  17. Mr. Alberto, thank you so much for this encouraging comment. I really needed to read this today, and I know that God sent you this way. It’s been almost two years since I wrote this post and I can see that spiritual warfare has been intense for quite a long time. Yes, I need to remember He has always made a way of escape, to be able to flee temptation. Our warfare is spiritual and we do have weapons that will tear down fortresses…and love, love, love, love, love will make a way.

    Thank you, again, for the motivation to persevere. 🙂

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