Jesus’s Final Message to The Seven Churches

Do we only have to believe to inherit eternal life? What about those people who believe but do not repent of their sinful life? Will they get to heaven? What does God say? You first must believe and accept forgiveness for your sins, but God’s instructions are clear; we need to seek Him and do what He commands with our whole heart (Ps. 119:10, 34, 69)? Many distractions keep us from seeking God and obeying Him with our whole hearts. So, we first must ask God to show us what they are and then repent. In my life, resentments kept me from obeying God with my whole heart. Other people may be distracted by worldly enticements that draw them away from complete devotion to God. Often we do not make it a priority to please God and bring Him glory. Jesus addresses all these and more in His final word to the seven churches.

Jesus’s final words to the seven churches give us a glimpse of what will be ours if we overcome our sin and Satan’s temptations. The reoccurring theme is to conquer. According to Webster’s dictionary, conquer means getting possession or control of by winning a war.  What did the churches need to conquer? What do we need to conquer? For one thing, never forget we are in a perpetual war with the devil who wants to steal, kill, and destroy us.  Too often, we forget or ignore this fact to our peril.  The following scriptures should put the fear of God in our lives and encourage us to stay in the battle to conquer our spiritual enemy.

To the Church in Ephesus

Rev 2:4, 7, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

To the Church in Smyrna

Rev 2:10-11, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days, you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”

To the Church in Pergamum

Rev 2:17, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.

To the Church in Thyatira

Rev 2:26-28, “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star.”

To the Church in Sardis

Rev 3:5, “The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.”

To the Church in Philadelphia

Rev 3:10-12, “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.”

To the Church in Laodicea

Rev 3:15-16,21,” ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Conclusion

Are you aware of the spiritual warfare all around you and the need to conquer it? I wrote a series of posts on spiritual warfare that are found in SPIRITUAL WARFARE POSTS. I hope you are as encourage as I am to continue to fight because once we conquer one battle, we will have another. Jesus will help us. Heb 12:1-4 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” NEVER GIVE UP; KEEP LOOKING UP.


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a person making the request.

How to Avoid the Dangers of Coveteousness

Will going to church get you to heaven?  Instead, is your heart willing to understand and obey what the Bible says we are to do? Understanding the Bible only comes from God. Doing what the Bible tells us to do can only be done with a willing, humble heart and God’s enablement. Psalm 119:16-18 explains, “I will delight in your statutes [will of God]; I will not forget your word. 17) Deal bountifully[graciously] with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. 18) Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law [instructions].” Is this your prayer? 1John 2:17 states, “And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” Coveting the things of the world will distract you from doing the will of God and abiding forever with Him. Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”

If you have a strong desire to gain possessions and you find fulfillment in buying things, ask God to root out the unhealthy belief that you need possessions for whatever reason. Ask God to help you tear down the covetous stronghold that keeps you in bondage to being controlled by worldly possessions. To learn more about strongholds read STRONGHOLDS—What Are They and How Do They Affect You


Psalms 119:36 states, “Incline my heart to your testimonies [will], and not to selfish gain [covetousness]!” Albert Barnes explains this verse in his Bible Commentary Notes (1834).

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies – Cause my heart to be inclined to them, or to be disposed to keep them. This, too, is a recognition of dependence and a prayer for guidance.

And not to covetousness – To gain; to the love of money. This seems to be referred to here as the principal thing which would turn away the heart from religion, or as that from which the most danger was to be feared. There are undoubtedly many other things which will do this – for all sin will do it; but this was the chief danger which the psalmist apprehended in his own case, and perhaps he meant to refer to this as the principal danger on this subject which besets the path of man. There are many more persons turned away from the service of God, and kept away from it, by covetousness than there are by any other one sin. When the psalmist prays that God would not “incline” his heart to covetousness, the language is similar to that in the Lord’s prayer – “And lead us not into temptation.” That is, restrain us from it; let us not be put in circumstances where we shall be in danger of it. We are not to suppose that God exerts any positive influence either to make a man covetous, or to tempt him. See Jas_1:13-14.


I have been writing posts about wealth, contentment, and godliness. To keeps these three principles in balance, we must seek God for a humble, thankful heart that desires to please God more than ourselves. Seek to gain more spiritual understanding instead of material enrichment. If you haven’t read any of my posts in this series, you can read them now.

What is Godliness?

I have been pondering this question for years.  Webster’s dictionary (1957) defines godliness as being godly, which is 1. of or from God; divine 2. devoted to God. Dictionary.com (2021) says godliness is the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devoutness and moral uprightness. Because of my abusive past, I did not fit the description of godliness. I was angry, controlling, impatient, and insecure. When God healed my soul wounds, I was free to focus on His way of living in love instead of living out of my past hurts.

How To Train To Be Godly?

When you train for something, you make an effort to learn and practice to improve your knowledge and skill. In verse six, we are to train ourselves to be godly, that is, to think godly thoughts based on the truth of God’s Word. In my post called What Controls Your Thoughts?, I explain how our thoughts control our beliefs, and our beliefs create feelings, and we express our feelings in our behavior. So when we discipline ourselves to think God-pleasing thoughts, we will believe what is true and display godliness. Dictionary.com (05/2021) says godliness is the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devoutness and moral uprightness.

How Contentment with Godliness Increases Independence, Time, and Wealth

Contentment with godliness is a great gain because we are free to focus on loving God and serving Him and others. When we are content with minimal possessions, we gain independence, time, wealth, and so on. When we are content, we no longer have to spend our time and money on worthless, vain things that need maintenance and storage.

How to Balance Wealth and Contentment

It comes down to greed versus gratitude and contentment. What controls your attitude and thoughts will influence your actions. Are you grateful for the wealth God has given you, or are you greedy for more? Are you content with pleasing and loving God, or do you want more for a greater sense of security and self-importance? You can balance wealth with contentment when you have submitted all you have to God and are grateful.

How to Pursue and Achieve Godly Character

To be excellent at anything, you need to train yourself to improve and then pursue your goals. Also, pursuing godliness makes us a vessel for honorable use. Thankfully, we have God’s divine power to help us achieve the virtues of God and His divine nature. Achieving godly character and excellence should be our number one priority because one day, we will stand before God and what will He find in you? Will you be ashamed?

How a Pure Heart is a Godly Heart

Why should we have a pure heart and live godly lives? We will be blessed. Psalm 119:2-3 states, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!” One of the best ways to purify your soul and live a godly life is to memorize scripture and practice them. Psalm 119:11 states, “I have stored [hidden] up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” On the one hand, we know what we need to do; on the other hand, what is our plan

How to Use God’s Divine Power

2Peter 1:3 states, “His divine power has granted to us all things [everything we need] that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” God gives us His divine power to be godly when we know Him and His promises. Ponder for a moment that you were called to share in God’s glory and excellence. I can only partake of God’s glory and excellence through His divine power to think godly thoughts.


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a person making the request.

How to Use God’s Divine Power

I have been doing a deep dive study into godliness and godly thinking. To read my previous posts about godliness, go to Posts About Godliness. Today, I want to explore God’s divine power and how to use His divine power to be godly. 2Peter 1:3 states, “His divine power has granted to us all things [everything we need] that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” God gives us His divine power to be godly when we know Him and His promises. Ponder for a moment that you were called to share in God’s glory and excellence. I can only partake of God’s glory and excellence through His divine power to think godly thoughts.

Knowing God Gives us His Divine Power

Knowing God is the same thing as knowing everything about your best friend. You learn to trust when you know someone cares for you and will be faithful to protect you. When we know God intimately, we know we can trust Him and not be ashamed to ask for His divine power to live a godly life and not return to our futile lifestyle of sin. Galatians 4:9 states, “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?” And, 1Thessalonians 4:3-5 states, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” Also, Titus 1:16 states, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

Everyone I know who knew God and His promises and then went back to the corrupt world and their sinful desires, did not prosper or have peace and joy. Another way to know if you know God is whether you love people, even difficult people. 1John 4:8 states, “Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love.” Do you love people as God loves them?

Meditating On God’s Word Helps You Know God

If you don’t read your Bible and meditate on its truths, how will you know God and His promises, and how can you claim His promises by faith to activate His divine power. 2Peter 1:4 states, “By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” Through claiming His promises by faith, we gain His divine nature that helps us be godly and overcome our sinful desires. Read how God did many miracles in my life in the post called: Trust God to Keep His Promises

Faith Activates God’s Promises and Power

Our faith activates God’s power in our lives. His power then guards our hearts until we see His salvation. 1Peter 1:5 states, “Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” The NASB translates this verse as, “Who are protected by the power of God through faith.” And NIV translates it as, “Who through faith are shielded by God’s power.” We activate God’s power by putting off our pride and humbly praying and seeking Him for grace and help to think pure thoughts so we can live a godly life. James 4:6 states, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”

God’s Divine Power Can Destroy Strongholds

The Bible also tells us we have divine power for spiritual warfare. 2Corinthians 10:4 states, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” I explain how to use God’s divine power to destroy strongholds in my e-book called “Hope for Complete Healing” on my website. I also did a series of posts on using God’s divine armor to defeat our unseen enemy. You can read them here.

Conclusion

Isn’t it great that we don’t have to make an effort to be godly because we have God’s divine power when we know Him? The way to know someone is to spend time with them and do things with them and for them. Knowing God is easy because we only need to read our Bibles and claim His promises by faith. Our faith in Him activates His power for any situation we may face. When was the last time you put your faith in God to help you in your time of need? Sometimes he does not answer our prayers the way we want Him to, which you can read about in my posts on why God may not answer our prayers.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a person making the request.

How to Pursue and Achieve Godly Character

Have you admired people who were excellent at what they did and do? How can we achieve excellence of character? The first discipline is to train to be excellent, and the second discipline is to pursue your goals. I have been writing a series of posts on how to achieve the goal of godliness. Why should we pursue the goal of being godly and holy? 2Peter 3:10-11 explains, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.”

The first post in this series covered what being godly was. The second post explained how to train to be godly. The third post described how contentment with godliness increases independence, time, and wealth. The fourth post admonishes us not to seek riches and how being rich distracts us from pursuing the character of God. In this post, you will learn what and how to achieve godliness; God’s divine nature.

Why Should I Pursue Godly Attributes?

To accomplish the objective of being godly, we need to pursue God’s virtues by striving for or seeking to acquire moral excellence, which is right thinking and acting. I want to finish where I started in the last post. 1Timothy 6:10-11 states, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. Through this craving, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs [griefs]. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” And In 2Timothy 2:21–22,the Apostle Paul explains, “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the Master, ready for every good work. So, flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” To be a vessel of honor and have a pure heart, you first must pray to put off (repent of) dishonoring lustful passions that contaminate your heart and then pursue and put on righteousness, faith, love, and peace.

  • You pursue righteousness by putting your faith in Jesus Christ’s ability to help you do what is right because He is your righteousness (Rom. 1:17; 3:22).
  • Pursue faith by reading God’s Word and memorizing Scripture (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 13:7).
  • Pursue love by putting off pride and forgiving those who sin against you (Mat. 6:12–14; 1Cor. 13:4–7).
  • Pursue peace by giving all your problems to God, trusting Him, and forgiving. If possible, you are to also live peaceably with everyone (Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14).

How To Pursue and Achieve the Virtues of God

The Apostle Peter’s instructions in the following passage give us hope for achieving godliness, excellence, and holiness. Read 2Peter 1:3–11 slowly and meditate on each prepositional phrase.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire [lusts].

For this very reason, make every effort [diligently pursue] to supplement [add to]your faith with

virtue [moral excellence; goodness], and virtue with

knowledge [of God and His truth], and knowledge with

self-control [self-rule or self-discipline], and self-control with

steadfastness [perseverance, patience, and endurance], and steadfastness with

godliness [be like God], and godliness with

brotherly affection [kindness], and brotherly affection with love.

8) For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.

For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A promise is an assurance we can claim as ours. This passage promises we will never fall if we diligently pursue and practice faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, and love. Verse 8 guarantees that if we possess these qualities, we will not be ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Peter tells us to be diligent, which means to apply ourselves to accomplish something. 2Peter1:3–11 is full of many incredible truths. I encourage you to read a conservative commentary of this passage for a better understanding. Memorize these verses, so you don’t forget to do them because they are vital to being victorious over the unseen battles for your mind. Remember, God has given you His divine power through Jesus Christ, and you can partake of His divine nature through the promises found in the Bible. How fantastic is that!

Conclusion

To be excellent at anything, you need to train yourself to improve and then pursue your goals. Also, pursuing godliness makes us a vessel for honorable use. Thankfully, we have God’s divine power to help us achieve the virtues of God and His divine nature. Achieving godly character and excellence should be our number one priority because one day, we will stand before God and what will He find in you? Will you be ashamed?

RELATED POSTS:

End of Time POSTS


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of eight prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a person making the request.

How Contentment with Godliness Increases Independence, Time, and Wealth

What is the difference between a content person and a person who wants to be rich? Are you the rare person who is content with only the necessities for living? Why do we always want more and better things? To be honest, I struggle in the area of contentment. I think, if only I had this or that, then I will be happy. Do you struggle with contentment too?

The post called What is Godliness? explains what godliness is. The post called How To Train To Be Godly? describes how to train yourself for godliness and why. In this post, we will explore the benefit of being content with godliness. This post was challenging to write, and you may find it difficult to read.

Is Contentment the Evidence of Godliness?

1Timothy 6:6-8 states, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these, we will be content.

But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1Tim.6:6). The context for this verse is because the false prophets thought being godly would help them get wealth. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy that he will have great gain when he is content and godly.

Webster’s dictionary defines contentment as being happy enough (satisfied) with what one has or is and not desiring something more or different. For example, Jesus was content with food and clothing, but can we? We also need a place to live, but do we need two or three places to live? We need a vehicle to get places, but do we need a Lamborghini? I learned that what you have must be cared for and maintained. I discovered that worldly things distract us from pure devotion and service to God because our commitments and possessions control how we spend our time and money. A higher-paying job often comes with more time commitments and stress that distracts from time with God and fellowship with other believers. The Apostle Paul wrote the following to Titus about worldly passions and purity in Titus 2:11-14:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

When we believed and are saved from God’s wrath for sin through Jesus Christ, His Spirit, called the Holy Spirit, enters our hearts. The Holy Spirit helps us “renounce ungodliness and worldly passions” through His divine power so we can “live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives.” The Holy Spirit also purifies us as God’s possession, so we can do good works.

Can we remove all worldly things and activities from our lives and love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27)? Is it possible to give up watching ungodly television, or watching the depressing news, or movies that glorify wickedness? Yes, with the help of the Holy Spirit in us.

My husband and I decided to minimize our possessions and be content with less. The question you ask for each item you pick up is, “How does this bring value to my life.” Donate the things that will have more meaning to another person. Do you know how hard that is to do? I became so attached to what I have that I wonder if they are idols in my life. Reducing your possessions to only what is necessary for living or ministry is freeing. I find it interesting that Paul makes the distinction that “we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” What possessions are distracting you from pure devotion to God? 2Corinthians 11:3 states, “But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Ask God to search your heart and mind (Jer. 17:9-10) to reveal your idols and if your possessions are possessing you.

Conclusion

Contentment with godliness is a great gain because we are free to focus on loving God and serving Him and others. When we are content with minimal possessions, we gain independence, time, wealth, and so on. When we are content, we no longer have to spend our time and money on worthless, vain things that need maintenance and storage.


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a person making the request.

What is Godliness?

I have been pondering this question for years.  Webster’s dictionary (1957) defines godliness as being godly, which is 1. of or from God; divine 2. devoted to God. Dictionary.com (2021) says godliness is the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devoutness and moral uprightness. Because of my abusive past, I did not fit the description of godliness. I was angry, controlling, impatient, and insecure. When God healed my soul wounds, I was free to focus on His way of living in love instead of living out of my past hurts. I share how God heals our inner wounds and painful memories in my online book.

What does the Bible say godliness is?

Paul writes to Timothy the following in 1Timothy 3:14-16. “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” From this passage, we learn that:

— Godliness is a mystery.

— The person of Jesus Christ represents godliness.

— Godly is the way to behave in the church of the living God.

1Timothy 4:7-8 states, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” In these verses, we learn that:

— Godliness is demonstrated by how we think.

— We train ourselves to be godly.

— Godliness benefits us in the present life and the life to come.

1Timothy 6:3-5 states, “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”  We learned that:

— Godliness is the sound teaching of Jesus Christ.

— Ungodly people crave controversy, quarreling, dissension, friction, and so on with people.

— Ungodliness is depraved (corrupt) and deprived (robbed) of the truth.

— False teachers think godliness will bring financial gain.

1Timothy 6:6-11 states, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” What we have learned:

— Contentment is the evidence of godliness.

— Godliness does not desire to be rich.

— We are to pursue godliness along with righteousness, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness.

2Timothy 3:5 states,  “Having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” We learn from this verse that there is power in godliness, as explained in 2Peter 1:3. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”

2Peter 3:10-11 states, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness.”

Conclusion

Over the next few posts, I will dissect and delve into each of these passages in more detail and provide additional scriptural explanations. I would like to know your thoughts, so please leave a comment because I am only a student of God’s Word and have not attained complete understanding. I like the fact that the Apostle Paul admits that godliness is a mystery.


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a person making the request.

HOW TO STAND FIRM AGAINST AN UNSEEN ENEMY

What does it mean to stand firm against an unseen enemy? Who is my unseen enemy? Ephesians 6:10-13 states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 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 firm.” You cannot withstand against evil spirits in your own strength. Many of the girls in my County Jail Bible study say they are determined not to return to drugs and alcohol. But sadly, those who did not commit their lives to God and rely on Him for strength return several months later. The devil is always seeking to tempt us to depend on ourselves or an idol instead of God.

How We Have Strength To Stand Firm

Memorize Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” God strengthens those who abide in Him as a branch abides in the vine and receives strength from the vine. John 15:5 states, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” We stay connected to the Spirit of God (the vine) through praying, praising, and pondering scripture. To abide means to stand fast, remain, dwell, or remain attached to something. Abiding with God includes memorizing Scripture passages, praying about everything with thanksgiving, and loving Him and others by serving them (Gal. 5:13-14 and Deut. 11:13).

It is worth repeating; the devil’s strategy is to separate you from God, who is your strength. The devil used this strategy when he tempted both Eve and Jesus, and he hasn’t changed. Eve did not take the tempting thought captive to disobey God, and humanity is still suffering the consequences. Jesus was victorious over the devil’s lies by taking the tempting thoughts captive and using Scripture to defeat the devil. Because Jesus defeated the devil and did not sin, now we can enjoy the benefit of life through righteousness in Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:11).

The more Biblical truth you know, the stronger spiritually you will be. For example, Satan puts a deceptive thought into your mind that you are weak, and God won’t help you. What do you do? You can believe the lie and live a defeated life. Or you can command the lie to be gone from your mind in Jesus’ name and speak the truth that you can do all things through Christ, who is your strength (Philippians 4:13). I can’t possibly list all the lies the devil will put into your mind. But if you memorize the truths in God’s Word, you will recognize the lies of the enemy.

Examples of God’s Power in The Old Testament

Exodus 14:13 states, “And Moses said to the people, Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.’” Fear causes you to run away to escape a threat. No matter what you are facing now or are going to face, God is bigger and can work a miracle in your life, but you must stand firm in His strength and on His truth.

Another great Old Testament example is the story of King Jehoshaphat, who was outnumbered by his enemy. He humbles himself before God and seeks His help. God tells Jehoshaphat in  2Choronicles 20:17, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow, go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” I don’t know what battles you are facing or will face, but I know God is for you, not against you. I memorized Isaiah 41:10, which states, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I spoke this truth out when I was going through a tremendous battle at a previous job. Reminding myself of God’s truth helps me stand firm against the unseen attacks of the unseen enemy.

How to Stand Firm

1Corinthians 16:13 states, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”  1Corinthians 1:24b also tells us to stand firm in our faith. We grow stronger in our faith when we read God’s Word (Rom. 10:17). You can’t stand firm against the unseen battles of temptations and deceptions without the knowledge of the truth. The belt of truth and the rest of the armor of God help you stand firm in your faith. Ephesians 6:13 states, “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 firm.” But you have to put it on every day through prayer. See the post called PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF GOD PRAYER MODEL.

Galatians 5:1 states, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” The devil does not want us to be free from our passions, immoral and impure thoughts, greed, coveting, anger, etc. He wants to keep us in bondage to our sin, but we are to stand firm by submitting to God, not the devil’s temptations and lies. James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Read my post HOW TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK IN YOUR LIFE to know how to stand up to the devil and make him run.

Conclusion

This following Scripture passage clarifies what the devil does and what we need to do not to get devoured. 1Peter 5:8-9a states, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.” Many Christians do not resist and are defeated by the unseen enemy. If you are a victim of the devil and allowed him to put you in bondage again, Jesus wants to set you free again, look up and pray for His help and strength to get out of the pit. Psalm 40:2 states, “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Memorize all the Scripture verses in this post so you can remind yourself to be watchful and to resist the wrong thoughts the devil puts in your mind and stand firm in your faith.


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Image by Lorraine Cormier from Pixabay

Spiritual Warfare 7: HOW TO MAKE PRAYER YOUR AROUND-THE-CLOCK SECURITY GUARD

Since evil spirits are invisible, wouldn’t it be great to have an invisible around-the-clock guard who can warn you of a spiritual attack and protect you? Ephesians 6:18 states, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication [requests] for all the saints.” Prayer is a forgotten part of God’s armor, but it is essential for using the rest of the armor because that is where spiritual warfare is fought.

When you pray, you become connected to the Spirit of God, called the Holy Spirit, who lives in your soul/heart. The Holy Spirit can see the evil spirits attack and warn you and then help you be victorious when you have the armor of God on. Prayer is how we draw strength from God and rely on Him to protect us. Praying is the key that “activates” the armor. When you don’t rely on God through prayer, you will lose every spiritual battle. I have written many posts on prayer, which you can find in Posts about Prayer.

Unanswered prayer is a spiritual battle we all face. Because evil spirits know that prayer is powerful and connects us to God’s power and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Therefore, they will put doubts, distractions, and deceptions into your mind to keep you from praying. So, we need to be alert. 1Peter 5:8 states, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” He mainly attacks our minds through deception and temptations, which I covered in the last nine spiritual warfare posts.

I. How do you pray constantly? 

Ephesians 6:18 states, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication [requests] for all the saints.” I believe praying at all times means always being mindful to turn every thought into prayer. For example, if you see an ambulance, pray for the paramedics and the injured or sick in the ambulance. If someone cuts you off on the highway, pray a blessing of safe travel for them. As you look at the people you walk by, intercede for them. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the Apostle Paul encourages us to “pray without ceasing.” And Romans 12:12 states we are to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  So if I think about someone, I will pray for them at that moment. I immediately turn my concerns over to God instead of thinking about them and being tempted to be anxious. When I am having trouble with something, I seek God for help and guidance. If I am tempted to be angry, I ask God to take the anger from my heart and give me peace. When I walk by my refrigerator and see the missionary pictures, I will pray for them as I go about my kitchen tasks. And so on.

II. What do you think it means to “pray at all times in the Spirit”? 

There are several ideas about what it means to pray in the Spirit. One scholar said, that “praying in the spirit means to be directed by the spirit to pray for certain things and for certain people.1” Albert Barnes said in his commentary that “praying in the Spirit is to pray with His aid.”  Romans 8:26 states, “Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

Those in the charismatic circle say praying in the spirit means we pray in “tongues” (a spiritual language). The book of Acts explains how people spoke in tongues, a few places are in Acts 2:4, 2:38, 19:6. 1Corinthians 14:1-2 states, “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.”  1Corinthians 14:14 states, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.”

We receive the Holy Spirit of God the moment we put our faith in Jesus to be our Lord and Savior. Some biblical scholars say you can have another “baptism/filling of the Spirit” as a separate event given as a gift from God when we ask for it (Luke 11:13). Regardless of what terminology you use, there seem to be separate Holy Spirit infilling events, which causes controversies in some churches.

III. What does it mean to be alert in prayer?

We are to stay alert through prayer because prayer is our guard that protects our thinking. After all, that is where we fight the spiritual war (2Cor. 11:3). When we are not praying, our guard is down, and we become vulnerable to Satan’s unseen attacks. Even Jesus often went alone up into the hills or some other desolate place to pray (Luke 5:16). He knew He needed to commune with His Father.

We, too, need the help of God our Father in heaven to fight against Satan and all the demonic forces of darkness. 2Corinthians 10:4-5 states, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” The weapons of our warfare are God’s armor and His power through the spoken word. My short book on this website explains how to use prayer to destroy wrong thinking, false beliefs, and strongholds. DISCOVER A NEW REALITY.

We can talk to God about anything; besides, He knows everything and is always with us (Ps. 94:11, 139:2-4). God wants us to make requests because He wants to answer our prayers. Isaiah 65:24 states, “Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”

IV. What do you think it means to “keep alert with all perseverance, making supplications [requests] for all the saints?”

First, to “keep alert” means to watch for opportunities. Second, “with all perseverance” means never becoming discouraged or disheartened and not growing weary of making requests for others. Third, “saints” are those who are the children of God. The following Scriptures call believers in Jesus Christ saints: Ephesians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; and Colossians 1:2. 

Prayer also involves worship and thankfulness for all God has blessed us with, or thankfulness for the various truths and promises found in the Bible. Praying at all times is easy when you abide in Jesus Christ (John 15) by letting your mind dwell on Him and not on things of the earth. Note, we do not have to be perfect for God to answer our prayers. We need to humble ourselves by abiding (remain in and dwell) through prayer in the heavenly place with Christ and in the Word of God.

2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Conclusion

Most people are told to set aside time for prayer every day, which is a good practice. Jesus took time for prayer. But praying all the time is a different discipline. Though both prayer methods require mental discipline. I can’t stress enough that through prayer, you stay connected to God, who is your refuge in times of trouble and will protect you from the evil one (2Thes. 3:3). Psalm 91:9-10 states, “Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent [dwelling].” When you pray continually, you are dwelling with your Lord. 

Footnotes:

  1. McDonald, William. (1995) Believers Bible Commentary

RELATED POSTS

Psalm 91:7-10 — PROTECTED FROM EVIL AND HARM

Psalm 91 Posts

SPIRITUAL WARFARE POSTS

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Spiritual Warfare 6: HOW FAITH OFFERS FULL PROTECTION

Have you ever been in a snowball fight as a kid or threw little rocks and sticks at each other? It helped to have a trashcan lid to shield and deflect the snowballs or sticks. Maybe you looked for something to hide behind for some relief for a short while until someone found you. In this post, you will learn why you need the shield of faith and when and how to use it.

The problem with spiritual warfare is that we don’t see what is coming in our direction or when it will come. It is safe to assume we will continually fight a spiritual war for our souls. Consequently, we need to stand firm in our faith. Without faith, we are vulnerable to every empty philosophy, temptation, and deception hurled at us. A warrior’s shield is the first layer of protection.

In my last post, I explained that we should expect spiritual war because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1John 5:19b). The Bible says we need the shield of faith to protect us from the fiery arrows the unseen enemy shoots at us. Ephesians 6:16 states, “In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Because you can’t physically see the invisible flaming darts, you need to keep the shield of faith up. Faith protects you from the following:

  • darts of doubts designed to destroy your convictions and knowledge of the truth;
    • arrows of temptation designed to weaken your resolve to die to sin and to be holy as God is holy;
    • missiles of accusation designed to make you feel insecure, rejected, and worthless;
    • flaming arrows of condemnation for things you have done in the past that would keep you in bondage to shame and guilt. Guilt keeps you in despair and makes you ineffective; and
    • thoughts of failure and rejection.

What is faith?

When I think about faith, I think of a warm, secure, peaceful place for my mind to dwell. In that safe place, I have no worries, fears, anger, and so on. I have peace when I trust God has a purpose and is in control. I trust that He will work everything out for my good because I love Him (Romans 8:28). The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I could not see how God would work out all the problems I was facing when I became a single mother. But I decided to put my hope in Him and stay tight with Him through prayer and praise. The other choice was to become depressed and angry about how unfair life was. When I put my trust in God and claimed His promises during my divorce, I saw God do many miracles, which strengthened my faith. You can read my story WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION? My Story.

Hebrews 11:6 explains, “And without faith it is impossible to please him [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Though you do not physically see spirits, you can observe the evidence. For example, you can see the destructive force of evil in a person’s life who has yielded to the influence of evil spirits. Peace and life are evidence that a person has yielded their mind and heart to God (Rom. 8:6).

Faith became a shield for me as long as my mind was on the things above where my savior, Jesus Christ, is. Colossians 3:1-2 states, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” When I think about the things on the earth, I become anxious, especially when I watched the news. I feel peaceful and secure when I think of God’s goodness and sovereignty over the affairs of our country and my life.

When I am anxious, I often will recite Psalm 91, then I immediately relax and feel peace, especially at night when my mind can’t stop thinking about life’s worries. You can read the series of posts I wrote on Psalm 91 in Psalm 91 Posts. 2Samuel 22:31, Psalms 18:30, and Proverbs  30:5 states, “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” We take refuge in God through praying, praising, and pondering Scripture.

Faith believes that God will do what He promised He to do. Luke 1:37 states, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Faith is the childlike trust that what God has promised, He will do. You put your spiritual shield of faith into action by claiming God’s faithfulness to keep His promises. See my post about the 15 promises we can trust God to keep. However, the shield of faith is useless if you do not meditate on or memorize God’s Word. As you memorize Scripture and claim God’s promises, you are strengthening your shield of faith so the fiery arrows from the devil cannot penetrate your mind.

Why do we need the shield of faith?

1. The shield of faith protects your mind from deception. Often, people unwittingly put their faith in lies from the devil, such as, “I will never succeed” or “I am not worthy to be loved,” which produces sorrow and many times destructive thoughts. Your faith in Jesus and applying the living water of truth extinguishes the devil’s darts of lies and accusations. The allegations and enticements seem so real that many people believe them and try to build their lives upon them. Satan’s lies are empty and destructive.

2. The shield of faith will strengthen the faith of others who are struggling. People grieving a loss are the most susceptible to spiritual attack? It could be a loss of health, a job, a loved one, and so on. When you are in a community of believers, they can cover you with their shield of faith through prayer and encourage you to keep your hope in God’s promises. Also, Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” The faith of other believers encourages our faith when we are in a battle because their faith helps us stand firm in our faith. For example, when soldiers stand close together and lock their shields together, it forms a barrier against an attack. Do not forsake going to church. Satan will throw all kinds of offenses at you, so you quit going to church, which will weaken your faith to fight the spiritual battle he wages to take your soul.

In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter denied knowing Jesus three times because he was alone and his faith was weak. God’s Word says that Satan comes before God to accuse us. Read Job 1:6-12 to learn how Satan asked permission to test Job’s resolve to fear God and not sin. We will learn more about the power of prayer in the next post.

3. The shield of faith helps you believe in God’s promises. Trials and temptations will cause you to either have faith in God or doubt His promises and mentally dwell in the pit of despair. When trials test our faith, and we resist the temptation to worry or despair, we will become stronger. James 1:2–4 states, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials [temptations] of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness[endurance, patience]. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Three different words describe what testing of our faith produces: steadfastness, endurance, and patience. All are necessary to be victorious in the unseen spiritual battles. For an example read about Paul’s thorn in the flesh in 2Corinthians 12.

  • Steadfastness means firm, fixed, settled, or established, or constant and not changing.
  • Endurance is the ability to last, continue, or remain, or the ability to stand pain, distress, fatigue, etc.
  • Patience is to bear or endure provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

Where do we get faith?

First, you need to get the shield of faith from Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 states, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Second, we get faith from reading the Bible. Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” So, when you study God’s Word and pray daily, your shield of faith is up, and the devil’s arrows bounce off. But when you miss time reading God’s Word and praying, your protection is down, making you vulnerable to Satan’s temptations and lies. You will lose spiritual strength and health when you don’t read your Bible and pray daily.

Conclusion

Daily pray: I take up my shield of faith to block the fiery arrows of condemnation, accusation, temptations, doubts, and flattery of the enemy. I believe that God loves me, cares about me, and is the shield that protects me from evil. I will strengthen my faith by meditating on Scripture day and night. (Eph. 6:16; Rev. 12:9; 1John 3:1; 1Peter 5:7; 2Thes. 3:3; Rom. 10:17)

HOW TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK IN YOUR LIFE

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1John 3:8b). What are the works or schemes of the devil?

  • Deception, so we remain self-focused and unforgiving (John 8:44 and 2Cor. 2:10-11).
  • Temptation, so we sin and stay under God’s wrath (Col. 3:5-9).
  • He inflicts us with illness (Acts 19:12 ).
  • Entrapment to do his will and not God’s will (2Timothy 2:26).
  • Oppression (Matthew 8:16).

To not get caught in the devils schemes, Ephesians 6:11-12 states, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” What does a warrior do? A warrior trains and is prepared to fight.

I have been doing a series on the armor of God, but this is Easter weekend, and I want to remind you that Jesus has destroyed the works of the devil in your life. I like the following passage because it reminds me how to be victorious. Hebrews 12:1-2 states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jesus Christ is alive and is seated at the right hand of God. He gives us the spiritual authority to fight against the demonic spirit world and their work of deception and temptations. The following are four truths explaining why we have dominion over demons through Jesus Christ:

1.  Jesus has dominion over the demonic realm. This truth is found in Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Every spiritual entity yields to Jesus. And 1Peter 3:22 states, “Who [Jesus] has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected [submitted] to him.”1 Because Jesus triumphed over the demonic ranks, so can we. Colossians 2:15 states, “He [God] disarmed the rulers and authorities [the demon ranks] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him [Jesus].”Therefore, Romans 8:37b, “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

2.  We have the same authority as Jesus when we daily submit to His leadership: This truth is found in Colossians 2:9–10, “For in him [Jesus] the whole fullness of deity dwells in bodily form, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Because Jesus lives in our hearts, we are “filled in Him”, and we have His deity and authority because He becomes our life as explained in Colossians 3:4a, When Christ who is my life appears.” And Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.” And 1Corinthians 2:16b states, “We have the mind of Christ.” If Jesus Christ has all authority, and He is our life, and we are one spirit with Him, then we too have His spiritual authority. The Bible says we have power over demons and evil spirits.2 Still, we do not have control over another person’s will to choose. This truth transformed my unhealthy belief and the resulting offenses I held against God for unanswered prayer. I prayed for people who were making wrong choices, and my prayers went unanswered because they have a free will.

3.  We have authority in Jesus’ name. This truth is found in John 14:14, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” Also, Psalm 124:8 says, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” God will answer our prayers when we follow the parameters found in John 15:7–16; 1John 3:21–24; and 1John 5:14–15, summarized below:

  • We must abide in Jesus and live through Him, and His Word abides in us (John 15: 7)
  • We bear fruit (John 15:16)
  • Our heart does not condemn us because we please Him and love others (1John 3:21-24)
  • Our requests are submitted to His will (1John 5:14)

God’s sovereignty is difficult to understand because the thoughts and ways of God are above our understanding.3 Also, doubt and habitual sin block our prayers, so God may not respond to your prayer requests.4

4. We have the keys to the kingdom. Matthew 16:19 states, “I [Jesus] will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Also see Matthew 18:18.) When you have keys, you have the authority to lock or unlock your house or wherever the key fits. In the spirit realm, the kingdom’s keys allow you to bind (lock) or loose (unlock). The Greek meaning for “bind” is to tie or knit, and “loose” means undo or release. Jesus does not give specific examples. The Bible also uses the terms put on, which can be interchanged with “bind,” and put off for “loose.” Ephesians 4:22-24 states, “To put off [loose] your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on [bind] the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” In prayer, you must first loose or put off your old self consisting of wrong thoughts and false beliefs so you can bind or put on your new self that conforms to the truth of God and be holy.

ONLY as we submit to the Lordship of Christ Jesus do we have dominion over the demonic world. James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” For example, as long as I worried about something, I was controlled and consumed by it. Satan was able to control my mind through that worry and keep me self-focused and in despair. He tempts me to imagine all the terrible things that will never happen, so I become angry. I let Satan steal my joy and peace. As soon as I submitted my concerns to God and put them in my “God Cares” box, then I could keep my mind on the things of God, and Satan could not torment me again. Satan cannot read your mind, but he does hear what you say. So RESOLVE to do what HEBREWS 13:15 says, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Modern King James says, “Confessing His name.” King James says, “Giving thanks to His name.

Conclusion

Because you have the life of Christ in you through the Holy Spirit, you have His divine power and authority. So, when you keep your mind on Christ through continual prayer and praise and by faith apply His truth, you will remain in victory over every scheme of the devil. You will suffer defeat when you let your mind dwell on the troubles and allurements of the world. So, daily submit your mind to God’s control and abide with Him through prayer and praise. Be watchful for pride because it blocks Christ’s power in your life for victory over demonic activity.

Reflections and Applications:

Why do you think submission to God’s authority is the key to keeping our victory?

Why do we need to keep our minds on heavenly things and not earthly things?

Section Footnotes:

1.  Demons in subjection to Jesus: Heb. 2:7–8.
2.  Authority over demons or evil spirits: Mat. 10:8; Mk. 6:7,13, 16:17; Lk. 9:1–2.
3. God’s thoughts are greater than ours: Is. 55:8–9.
4.  Doubt and sin block prayers: Ps. 66:18; Is. 59:1–2; Jm. 1:6–7.

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Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).