10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. -Ephesians 6:10-18
There is much we can learn from Esther about how we should respond in these uncertain, end times.
The most important is how she responded when her very existence and that of the Jewish people all throughout Persia was threatened. Now she could have easily hidden her true identity, stayed in her comfort zone and ignored the reality of the situation—thinking it would never really impact her personal life; she could have responded in fear; or she could have cared only about protecting herself, not about the welfare of the entire Jewish population.
However, she did none of the above. Instead, Esther’s response was to use spiritual weapons of warfare!
“Go, gather all the Jews who can be found in Susa, then fast for me. Stop eating and drinking for three days, night or day. I and my young women will fast likewise. Only then would I dare go to the king since it is not allowed by law, and if I perish, I perish” (Esth. 4:16, MEV).
Today, we all are faced with a very similar dilemma. If it hasn’t happened already, soon our very existence will be threatened—as believers in Jesus, as a nation, as a Western civilization. We, like Esther, need to make a choice in how we will respond.
We can respond in fear; choose to stay in our comfort zones believing that it will never truly impact us personally (it’s just something we watch about “other people” on the news); deny and stay ignorant of the “signs of the times” happening all around us; become focused on self-protection not caring about others; become passive—believing the lie that things are so bad there’s nothing we can do to make an impact; just hide out and wait for Jesus to return, or we can start wielding the spiritual weapons of warfare that God has given us but that the enemy doesn’t want us to know we have!
Most of us are not even aware of the “tool belt” of weapons that we are wearing. All we need to do is start pulling them out and wielding them in the spiritual realm. You have much more power than you think! You have the power, by using your spiritual weapons of warfare, to dislodge demons and release angels in your spiritual atmosphere! If you could only see the spiritual realm around you (as Elisha did), you would realize that your true reality is what you cannot see with your physical eyes.
We need to start fixing our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen (2 Cor. 4:18). When we see with spiritual eyes how the enemy is behind all chaos, confusion, division, conflict, fear, anxiety, worry, stress, and lack of peace in our personal lives; as well as all the deception, terrorism, immorality, violence, persecution, loss of freedoms and breakdown of the family that we see in the world—then we realize that the only weapons that will penetrate and make a difference are spiritual weapons of warfare.
The problem is, so many of us are unaware of the difference between earthly/fleshly and spiritual weapons of warfare. It is earthly weapons of warfare that we usually react out of, for example: fighting back, taking revenge, getting even, proving we are right/better/smarter, and hurting others who hurt us.
Other fleshly weapons of warfare we use include: fear, stress and panic, passivity, ignorance, hiding, anger, frustration and blame, criticizing and bashing others, complaining, lying and denying the truth, control, manipulation, and abuse of power!
None of these earthly weapons will enable you to stand strong in these uncertain, end times.
In fact, all that they accomplish is to align you with the enemy and increase his reign in your situations, over your heart and on the earth! The demonic forces are already increasing in these end times, why would you want to add to their reign? Furthermore, if you don’t learn to use spiritual weapons of warfare now, you might give way to fear, deception, persecution and the risk of eventually falling away as the darkness increases (Luke 21:26; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1).
So, what are the spiritual weapons of warfare you need to be using? Here are only a few examples: prayer, fasting, blessing others, giving, praise, thanking God in advance, declaring Scriptures out loud, and taking your thoughts, emotions and words captive. You also need to use the spiritual weapons of confession, forgiveness and canceling Satan’s authority to break through the stronghold lies you may believe about yourself and God, as well as your negative emotions such as fear, stress, anger, unforgiveness, frustration, bitterness, resentment, criticism, self-condemnation, performance, shame, hopelessness and blame.
This message is not only a nice theology lesson, it is also a critical life-or-death matter! You must become aware of the spiritual battle behind the scenes, know what your spiritual weapons of warfare are, and be ready to use them. God has equipped you to stand strong in this battle and be lights for Him, but you have to be willing to pull your weapons out of your tool belts and wield them in your spiritual realms.
The time to wake up and “see the unseen” is NOW! Realize that in every moment of your day, you have the power to either increase Jesus’ reign over your hearts and over the Earth, or increase the enemy’s reign—depending upon whether you choose to use earthly or spiritual weapons of warfare.
As the world gets darker all around you, start increasing Jesus’ reign over your heart; one that will continue on into the Millennium when He will have complete reign over all the earth (Zech. 14:9) and you will rule and reign with Him (Rev. 1:6, 5:10)!
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