We all have different things where we excel naturally, or at least with practice. For me, cooking isn’t one of those. I can follow a recipe, I can “google” what a cooking term means if I don’t understand the recipe. I can put together a palatable meal, but I doubt that it’s ever disguised as a beautiful presentation showing that I enjoyed creating the meal.
There have been times that my husband (who is an amazing cook) comes alongside me and helps me, adding this and that to the recipe, putting his own panache on the meal that turns out amazing. When I have his help, my limited talents working in unison with his talent creates an abundance of flavor. The same thing happens to my day (only better) when I put on Jesus before starting my day; I have an abundance of His sufficiency to meet and overcome every challenge in His might. “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8)
One of my favorite Scriptures is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). I’m learning that whatever I face, HOW I face it is the key to living the victorious and abundant life He has planned to give me hope and a future (Jer 29:11). I can’t depend on my own strengths, I must meet every day in His strength and in His sufficiency (2 Cor 12:9).
His Word gives us the “recipe” to overcoming the spiritual battle in which every believer is engaged. The first thing to remember is that we can do nothing without Him; we must abide in Him (John 15:5). We can’t have a passing acquaintance with the Lord, we must know Him intimately. Without that intimate relationship, how can we have the faith that He is with us wherever we go so that we don’t have to live in fear (Josh 1:9)?
The first ingredient that we must follow to overcome a spiritual battle is to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph 6:10). But in order to be strong in the Lord, we must first realize that we are not sufficient on our own to battle “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (v 12). That requires a spirit of humility, realizing our own insufficiency and iniquities without our Lord. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Pet 5:6-7).
The second ingredient in overcoming is faith in WHO the Lord is, what He has done, what He promises to do, knowing that He is always faithful. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb 11:6) This faith is required to engage the Lord in our battle. We must call on Him when we put on the armor that He provides for the battle. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph 6:11)
This faith in the Lord and the strength of His might is required in order to stand firm in Him, because “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). The enemy has already been defeated by Jesus, but as humans we do not have the power to defeat him on our own. We must pray without ceasing so that we recognize the attacks for what they are: the “wiles of the devil”. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Pet 5:8)
It’s important to remember that God created us, and loves us so much that He desires to give us eternal life with Him (John 3:16), He desires to come alongside us and bear our burdens (Matt 11:28), and to give us eternal life. We only need to admit that we have all sinned, have faith in Jesus because He is the only way to the Father, and humble ourselves before the Lord and repent of our sin in order to obtain His riches of grace and mercy as His gift (Eph 2:4-10). Alternatively, Satan seeks to destroy us and lead us to an eternity in the lake of fire; and if he can’t do that, he seeks to steal our joy and victorious life, to instead have us live a defeated existence. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The third ingredient is to take up the pieces of God’s divine armor. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph 6:13) The Lord knows that as lesser beings than angels, we aren’t able to stand against the enemy on our own because he has the power of a fallen angel; he was created by God and then thrown out of heaven when he became prideful and attempted a coup (Is. 54:16). This prideful and deceitful enemy is who seeks to destroy us.
But the Lord already defeated him with the death and resurrection of Jesus, and has given us weapons for warfare that are “mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Cor 10:4). But we must actually put on the armor. Just like owning an oven doesn’t make me a cook unless I properly use it, having access to God’s armor without putting it on doesn’t prepare me for battle. The only power we have in battle is to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might“, and to use the armor, in faith, that He provides for His victory.
Part of the Series: The Authority of Christ (links will be added when they are published, and more may be added to the list as God leads)
- Authority Over Corruption in the World
- Recognize Your Enemy
- Stand Firm in the Authority of Christ
- We Battle From Higher Ground
- Be Strong in the Lord and His Mighty Power
- Put On The Belt of Truth
- Put On The Breastplate of Righteousness
- Shod Your Feet With the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
- Take Up the Shield of Faith
- Take the Helmet of Salvation
- Take the Sword of the Spirit
- Pray At All Times in the Spirit
- Strength Comes From Surrendering
- Overcoming Past Failures