Battles are raging around us. Whether we want to be or not, we are part of those battles.
Every day the children of God are coming under attack. Some are just the day to day battles that come with living in a fallen world, and some are attacks of the enemy that are meant to destroy us.
Some attacks are obvious, while others are more subtle. The enemy has many tools at his disposal, and he will use whatever means he can to cause us to stray from the path God has for us.
But we don’t have to let him win. We can be prepared.
We are daughters of The Most High God. We have been redeemed by the blood of The Lamb. We are more than conquerors through Christ.
There is no reason we should be conquered. There is no reason for us to live in defeat. There is no reason that we should let the battles we encounter turn us away from our faith.
But that is exactly what I see happening.
Instead of standing against the whiles of the devil, the women of God are falling under his attacks.
Maybe you don’t see it. Maybe you say women are stronger now than ever before. I can understand why we would think that way, but if we look closer, if we look with spiritual eyes, we see the truth.
Falling to the devil’s attacks doesn’t always mean falling into terrible sin. The devil is just as happy when we are distracted from God’s purpose for us. We might be living the good life, but if that’s not where God wants us, then the enemy has won.
A woman who is standing on her own is not necessarily strong. She may just have fallen for the lie that she doesn’t need anyone else. Even God.
What looks like a woman living up to the expectations of modern feminism, is often a woman who has rejected God’s plans for her life.
When we take our lives into our own hands, we are doing exactly what our enemy wants us to do. We are making ourselves our own god.
That is the way the world does things.
But God’s warrior princesses are supposed to be different. They are set apart and called to higher purpose. When a daughter of The King of kings is dressed for battle she will look very different than what the world expects.
She relies on God’s strength not her own.
This can’t be said enough. We don’t have the strength to stand against Satan on our own.
In the book of Acts there is an account of some men trying to cast out a demon in their own strength. The demon reacted by saying, “I know Jesus and I know Paul, but who are you?” Those men left that encounter bloodied, bruised, and naked. (Acts 19:13-16)
Even Michael the archangel wouldn’t accuse the devil himself. Instead he said, “The Lord rebuke you.” (Jude 1:9)
If we’re not careful we can easily fall into the trap of trying to do battle with the devil on our own, and find ourselves spiritually bloodied, bruised, and naked.
She is focused on spiritual things.
We’ve all heard the phrase “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” But I don’t think it’s really possible to be so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. If we are truly heavenly minded, then we will have a love for others that will motivate us to reach out to them and point them to Christ.
I do think it’s possible though to be so earthly minded that we’re no heavenly good.
Jesus called Peter offensive because he savored the things of men, not the things of God. (Matthew 16:23)
So many things in this world are calling for our attention. A lot of those things are good things, but not necessarily the things that God want’s for us. If we have our focus on the material things, then we will easily be led astray.
But if our focus is on spiritual things, God will lead us on the right path.
She puts others before herself.
Our culture today is very self-focused. We’re all about what we deserve.
But God wants something else for us. He knows that the true path to joy is in putting others first. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as our selves. (Matthew 22:39)
Over and over again in the Gospels we see Christ putting the needs of others before his own. In Philippians Paul tells us that this should be our model:
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, Philippians 2:4-7 (Emphasis added)
When we make our lives about us, we are missing God’s call on our lives, and handing the devil a victory.
She practices self-control.
Self-control is something else we don’t hear a lot about. We want instant gratification. We want to indulge every whim and every desire.
But some things are not meant for us. That doesn’t always mean they are bad things, just not what God has for us.
There are some things that may be bad for us, that will hinder us on our spiritual journey. If we want to we want to live victorious lives, we need to say no to those things.
We need to evaluate what we do before we do it through a Kingdom lens.
We don’t have to do something just because we think of it. We don’t have to have everything we want. We don’t have to say something just because it pops into our heads, and we don’t have to act a certain way just because we feel a certain way.
Our feelings are temporary. Our actions, as well as our words, often have lasting consequences.
She makes a point to communicate with The Commander.
Communication is a key part of any relationship. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father is no different. If we want our Christianity to be a true relationship we must communicate with The One whose sacrifice made the relationship possible.
We don’t have to go through a human mediator or priest; we have a direct line to our Commander, with The Holy Spirit interceding on our behalf. (Romans 8:26)
He wants us to talk to Him. Hebrews tells we can come boldly to throne of grace. (Hebrews 4:16)
Not flippantly or arrogantly, He is still The Creator and Sustainer of the universe, The Lion of tribe of Judah, And The Great I Am. He is more than worthy of our reverence.
To come boldly is to come as His beloved child, not the slaves to sin we once were. We can bring our burdens and lay them at His feet. He wants to carry you. Let Him.
She studies her training manual.
When Jesus contended with Satan in the desert, He used the word of God as His defense. (Matthew 4:1-11)
This is our defense too. Against the lies of the devil, the lies of the world, and the lies we tell ourselves. Lies are everywhere today. It’s hard to sift through it all to find the truth, but when we turn to The Word of God we find the source of all truth.
The Bible is being attacked now more than ever. The attacks come not only from the world, but from those calling themselves Christians, pastors even. But Christ Himself promised that His Word would last forever. (Matthew 5:18) The Psalmist said it this way:
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalm 119:160
All the other promises contained in scripture rest on this one promise being true.
If we are going to refute the lies of the devil, it most only be with the truth of God’s Word.
She wears her armor.
This isn’t just any armor. And it’s not armor she makes for herself. This is another thing that makes us look at the women of the world and admire their strength. They’ve made themselves armor to protect themselves from the hurt they know is waiting for them.
What we don’t see is how that armor also chokes out truth, love, joy, and so many of the good things God wants for us.
Strength isn’t putting up barriers so that no one can hurt us. Strength is letting them in, and giving God the pain when they do hurt us.
God’s armor is perfect. Made up of Truth, Righteousness, The Gospel of Peace, Faith, Salvation, and The Spirit, it is underpinned and covered in prayer, and can only falter if we neglect to wear it.
She is willing to obey.
She doesn’t just obey because she’s supposed to. She obeys with a willing heart. Anything else is works that will be burned as wood, hay, and stubble. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
Obedience isn’t trying to earn our salvation, or God’s favor. We can’t do anything to earn those things. We obey because we already have God’s love and favor.
Obedience is how we demonstrate our love for God. Our obedience shows our heart not only to God, but also to the world around us. Jesus told His disciples:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
The book of James encourages us to have a walking faith, a faith that is put into action. James tells us that not only our love, but our faith is also demonstrated by our works, (James 2:18) and faith without works is dead. (James 2:20) Later in the book James tells us to submit to God.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
I don’t think that the order of this verse is an accident. James is telling us that before we can resist the devil, we must submit to God.
As we already saw, we don’t have the strength to resist the devil on our own. This is where submission to God comes in. We need His strength to be victorious over the devil, but we won’t have it if we are still trying to do things our own way. It’s also the book of James that tells us God resists our pride.
Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6
Preparing for spiritual warfare is about learning to do things God’s way instead of our way. From our source of strength to the way treat others, God’s way is so much better than ours. If we put our lives in His hands, we’ll learn to trust Him through our darkest battles, and He will lead us out victorious.