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.

RELATED POSTS

HOW TO PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD AND DEFEAT THE ENEMY

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR?

Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT DIE SPIRITUALLY


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. 

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).

Spiritual Warfare 5: HOW TO ANNIHILATE UNSEEN ATTACKS

Whether you are an Atheist or a Christian, everyone is in a spiritual war with the devil and demons (evil spirits) if you know it or not (Revelations 12:9 and John 10:10). We are spirit beings in a physical body, living in a spiritual world within God’s physical creation (Colossians 1:15-16). 1Corinthians 2:11 states, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except for the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” You receive the Holy Spirit of God the moment you believe with your heart that Jesus is the Lord and the Son of God and confess He has risen from the dead and is in heaven (Rom. 10:8-10, Col. 3:1). Then you become one spirit with God (1Cor. 6:17). Now the Holy Spirit helps you comprehend the thoughts of God and enables you to fight the unseen spiritual battles to live a victorious life.

Every day we need to prepare for a spiritual war with evil spirits that attack our mind and body. Ephesians 6:12 states, “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.” The demons (evil spirits) want to deceive us and tempt us to sin so that we remain under the wrath of God (Eph. 2:1-3). Prepare for spiritual warfare every day by:

  • praying and praising (Phil. 4:4-7 and Heb. 13:15)
  • pondering Scriptural truths (Ps. 119:15 and 48)
  • putting on the armor of God every day to stand firm against the schemes of the devil
  • being alert and standing firm in your faith as you rely on God’s strength (Eph. 6:10-18).

In the previous posts:

  1. You discover the source of truth and how to discern the truth by putting on the belt of truth. And why it keeps you spiritually stable and not double-minded.
  2. Then you learn why the breastplate of righteousness protects your spiritual life and how a reverent fear of God will keep you safe.
  3. Next, you learn how to live in peace with God and humanity by strapping on the gospel of peace to your feet, so where ever you go, you do not slip and fall when offended.
  4. And you discover why the helmet of salvation protects your mind and how to take every deceiving and tempting thought captive.

This post describes the sword of the Spirit and how, why, and when you use it. Learning to use the sword of the Spirit in spiritual warfare is essential if you want to be victorious over unseen spiritual battles. The objective of demonic forces is to keep you doubting and insecure in your relationship with God.

What is the sword of the Spirit?

In the spiritual realm, the “sword of the Spirit” is Scriptural truth. You can also see it as the Holy Spirit’s sword. Only the Holy Spirit sees how the unseen evil spirits are attacking. Jesus said in John 14:26, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” The Holy Spirit will bring to your mind the scriptural truths you memorized and stored in your belt of truth. 2Timothy 3:16 tells us that God breathed out all Scripture, so God’s Word is powerful when we speak it out against temptations and deceptions of the enemy.

Why do I need the sword of the Spirit?

We face temptations to worry, be frustrated, be impatient, judge others, doubt, be depressed, be fearful, and so on. The sword is both a defensive and offensive weapon in the list of God’s spiritual armor. All other pieces of armor are protective. We are told in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Where do your thoughts and intentions come from, God’s truth or the devil’s deceptions? God’s Word is powerful through the Holy Spirit to discern and annihilate every attack of the enemy on your mind and heart.

For instance, Jesus knew the Scriptures and rebuked Satan’s temptations immediately (Matthew 4:1-10). Therefore, you must read your Bible daily and memorize the truths to be victorious over the many unseen battles. Just as Jesus’s spoken word had power over the devil, so our words have power when we speak scripture to defeat unseen demonic attacks exposed by the Holy Spirit. But, if you don’t know the truth, you will suffer many oppressive blows from the unseen enemy, and he will spiritually and emotionally cripple you. Have doubt and discouragement ever crippled you? It has crippled me. What are some unseen battles you face or have seen other people face? We need to know the truths of the Bible not only for ourselves but to encourage others when they are facing unseen battles.

Four ways to use the “sword of the Spirit” to defeat the enemy?

If you ever watched a Gladiator movie or documentary? The Gladiator’s sword was secured by the Gladiator’s belt and was always by their side. They even slept with their swords. The sword is for close contact fighting, which means you are fighting for your life. To be good at using your spiritual sword, do the following four actions.

1. Read the Word of God to expose the unseen battle with lies and temptations.

The Holy Spirit uses Scriptural truths to reveal the lies and temptations the devil puts into your mind that cause strife and confusion. For example, when I read Romans 12:10 to, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” The New International Version says, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” The Holy Spirit exposed the unseen battle of sin in my heart to dishonor my husband by speaking disrespectfully and not valuing him above myself. So, I confessed my sin to God and my husband, then ask each to forgive me (1John 1:9 and James 5:16). Then I prayed and put off the dishonoring spirit that gained access to my heart and put on the truth that I am to be honoring and loving in what I say and do. I used the sword of the Spirit to defeat the unseen spirit that gained access to an unsubmitted area of my mind.

Joshua was a great fighter in the Old Testament. He said in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” So why should you meditate on God’s instructions and promises? How often must you meditate on God’s Word? You can increase your knowledge of the truth by listening to the Bible on your cell phone, CD player, iPod, or MP3 player while doing things, like cleaning the house, washing/drying the dishes, driving, cutting the grass, and so on.

Just like the Gladiators had their swords by their side day and night, so we need to keep the Word of God on our minds day and night to be ready for unseen ambushes. The sword is useless if you don’t have it with you or know how to use it.

2. Use the sword of the Spirit to eradicate your fleshly, sinful desires.

James 1:21 states, “Therefore put away [loose, untie] all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness [humility] the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” Filthiness is indecent, immoral corruption, or obscenity. Something rampant is spreading unchecked, such as widespread wickedness. Wickedness is having an evil, depraved moral character. To put wickedness away from you, you must also put off the spirit of pride because pride keeps you from acknowledging your sin and repenting. Repentance is to put your sinful longings away and train yourself to be godly and do what is right (1Tim.4:7-8 and Col. 3:5-10). Then you can receive the “implanted word” of life and truth, the Holy Spirit of Jesus, into your heart, which will save you.

Each time you read the Bible, ask God to expose known and unknown sins controlling your thoughts. The Holy Spirit uses Scripture (the sword) to correct the wrong thinking from lies the devil has used to cause you to act in unloving ways. Then keep your mind on the things of the Spirit so you can put to death the sinful deeds of the body, which begin as a wrong thought (Romans 8:13). To learn more, read my post called “Are you in control of your life?” and “Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).”

3. Memorize Scripture to increase the size of your sword.

Do you want to fight with a pocket knife, a skinning knife, a dagger, or a sharp sword? The more you memorize Scripture, the bigger and sharper your weapon will be. Practicing using the truth is essential to be ready for any spiritual attack. A dull sword is ineffective. So constant Scripture memorization is a discipline that should be a daily habit if we are to keep our sword sharp. You can write a Scripture verse or verses on a 3×5 card that you put in your pocket or purse. Pull out the 3×5 card while waiting for the light to change, walking somewhere, waiting in line, doing the dishes, folding laundry, exercising, etc. I copy and paste Scripture passages from Biblegateway.com and attach the verses to cardboard, and put it on my elliptical to memorize Scripture passages as I work out. When I walk for exercise, I memorize Scripture. I pray the scripture using my Scripture prayer book. Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers.

4. To be good at using your sword, practice with it.

Just like practicing a sport or art makes you proficient. Practicing God’s commands (instructions) makes you skilled in using the truth of His Word. The more biblical truth you know, the more effective you are at using the sword of the Spirit to defeat the enemy with the help of the Holy Spirit. James 1:22-25 explains, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” Be honest, how many times do you read the Bible, then later can’t remember what you read? But do you remember the Scripture verses you applied to your life to transform your thinking? My husband journals the Bible and says that it has helped him store the truth in his heart.

How to use God’s Word to slay the lies and temptations of the enemy.

When you have the truth of God’s Word stashed in your “belt of truth,” you can pull it out whenever you are in close combat with the enemy. For example, you need healing, but the devil tells you that God doesn’t heal or won’t answer your prayers. Quick, use your sword of the Spirit to slay doubts. Remind the enemy of your soul of the truth and recount all the times Jesus healed and answered prayers. The demons may come at you with an accusation like you don’t have enough faith. Slay that accusation and speak the truth that you only need faith as small as a mustard seed to move mountains. The demons may come back again with condemnation and accuse you of sin, and God won’t hear your prayers. Slay the curse and remind the devil that you are forgiven, and God does not hold your sin against you. He comes back and tempts you to be depressed, worried, or discouraged. Strike your enemy with the truth that God is faithful and say, I can hope in Him. He is going to use my suffering for good because I love Him.

Conclusion

Spiritual battles play out millions of times and in thousands of ways. The only way to be victorious is to put on God’s armor, stand firm in the strength of the Lord, and fight the unseen battles through praying, praising, and pondering scripture.

Daily pray: I take up the sword of the Spirit (Scriptural truths) and rely on the Holy Spirit to strike down every temptation to yield to my pride and deceitful, sinful desires. I will discipline my mind to memorize Bible verses and practice them. Through prayer, I surrender to the Holy Spirit’s control and guidance over my thoughts. (Heb. 4:12; Rom. 8:5-8; Mat. 4:1-10; John 16:13-14.)


RELATED POSTS:

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Mission Statement for my life and how I will accomplish it.

What is Wrong with Fairness?


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. 

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 4: How to Protect Your Mind

Who or what is directing your thoughts? How do you make decisions? Spiritual warfare is fighting the unseen battles through praying, praising, and pondering scripture. Only the Holy Spirit can see the unseen spirit world around us. The Holy Spirit is the helmet of salvation that protects our minds. Suppose we don’t take the helmet of salvation and put it on. In that case, we will be susceptible to every deception and temptation designed to destroy us. Temptations are made to look good but are deceitful, and they all begin as thoughts.

I said in the post called “What Happens If You Don’t Put On The Whole Armor?” that I thought Christian leaders fell into sin because they did not have on the “breastplate of righteousness.” After developing today’s post, I also believe they failed to put on their helmet of salvation. Not only did they not fear God and turn from evil, but they also did not rely on the Holy Spirit to discipline their minds. We, too, can be captured by sinful desires. Therefore, putting on all the spiritual armor of God has to be done every day because the unseen demonic world works 24/7. These evil entities seek to devastate your relationship with God and each other. We need the Holy Spirit to help us recognize thoughts of temptation and deception. He also convicts us of sin, so we can repent and restore peace with God and each other again. Ponder the following Scriptures:

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. – Romans 8:11

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. – Romans 8:5

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16

How do you know you have on the helmet of salvation?

Suppose you believe the truth and rely on Jesus to be righteous, but you don’t renew your mind and instead continue to live a worldly life. In that case, evil spirits will maintain control of your mind and tempt you to doubt your salvation. Worldly living keeps you from bearing the fruit of the Spirit because you are not abiding in the words and life of Jesus Christ (John 15:1-8). In his book The Weapons of Your Warfare, Larry Lea suggested you may not have salvation if you are not excited about it.1 Read over the following facts, and if they don’t make you happy and grateful, you need to evaluate if you have believed from your heart and have the Holy Spirit as your helmet. So are you:

  • Thankful that the blood of Jesus has redeemed you from destruction and the power of Satan.
  • Excited that Jesus, the perfect sacrificial lamb, rescued you from the wrath of God and forgave your sins.
  • Joyful that Jesus freed you from sin’s control that leads to death, and now you experience peace and abundant life.
  • Grateful that Jesus is preparing a place for you in Heaven so you can spend eternity with Him.
  • Thrilled that Jesus rose from the dead and sits next to God the Father interceding for you.
  • And so on.

When we receive forgiveness and redemption through Christ Jesus, the helmet of salvation helps us work out our salvation by daily renewing our minds with truth from God’s Word (Philippians 2:12, Ephesians 4:23, and Romans 12:2). 2Corinthians 4:16 states, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” You renew your mind by putting off resentments, false beliefs, and sinful desires, then putting on the truth and your new self. What does your new self look like?

Ephesians 4:24 states, “And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Colossians 3:10 states, “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

In his book Dressed to Kill, Rick Renner said, “The devil’s entrance into the life of a believer is allowed primarily through that believer’s negligence. He slips in through an uncommitted, unrenewed area of the mind.2” When you renew your mind with truth from God’s Word, Satan can no longer influence your mind in that area.

With the “helmet of salvation” on, you can do the following:

You walk by the Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit. With the helmet of salvation on, the Holy Spirit can guide your thoughts that support spiritual life and peace. Romans 8:6 states, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” When we walk by the Spirit, we will display the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

You can grow in your knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:5 says we find the knowledge of God when we fear Him. You reverently fear Him, and want to please Him. So you abide in His Word and practice your faith by keeping His commandments and doing good to others. Hosea 6:6 states, “For I [God] desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” And 1Corinthians 15:34 (KJV) states, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

We can take every thought captive to obey Christ. We must take every thought captive that goes against the knowledge of God. 2Corinthians 10:5 states, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Having on the helmet of salvation helps you capture arguments and lofty opinions the devil plants in your mind.

The Holy Spirit’s power will help you can submit to God and resist the devil. If you don’t submit to God and take ungodly thoughts captive, the ungodly thoughts will lure you into sin. When your thoughts are not submitted to God, you are not resisting the devil. Romans 8:7 states, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” With the helmet of salvation, you have the Holy Spirit’s divine power to take ungodly thoughts captive and submit your mind to God and be godly as you think His thoughts. See James 4:7-8. 1Timothy 4:7-9 states, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths [lies]. 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.”

Put on your helmet of salvation to safeguard your mind.

You have authority through Jesus Christ over ungodly thoughts. You have divine power through the Holy Spirit to not give in to sinful-fleshly desires but to live by the Spirit. Romans 8:13–14 states, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and daughters] of God.” And 1Peter 1:3 states, “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.”

As a believer, you are a child of God, and you have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16b). So, because you have the mind of Christ, you can submit to the Holy Spirit and allow the fruit of the Spirit to control your life (Galatians 5:22-25). If you don’t submit to God and take ungodly thoughts captive, they will lure you into sin.

When I submit my concerns and conflicts to God, I can take offending thoughts captive, forgive, and not let the offense produce the fleshly desire to be angry and unkind. When I yield to the Spirit’s control and forgive offenses, I can be humble and patient. For example, someone was throwing trash in my yard when they drove past. Not just a little garbage, a lot. I suspected who it was through the process of elimination. I became offended, and I wanted to get them in trouble. Wait a minute, capture wrong thoughts. In prayer, I took my upsetting thoughts captive and put them off, and then I gave my frustration to God. The day I submitted my frustration to the Lord about the trash, someone had cleaned up the garbage in my yard when I was at work, and no one threw trash in my yard after that.

Conclusion

Daily pray: I put on the helmet of salvation and take every ungodly thought, offense, and unholy desire captive and make it submit to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. I have the mind of Christ and His authority to overcome every obstacle to my faith in Jesus, my Savior. I will forgive offenses quickly so the devil doesn’t get a foothold in my mind to produce the fleshly desire to be angry, impatient, and unkind. I will renew my mind with the truth in God’s Word daily. (2Cor. 10:3-5; 1Cor. 2:16b; Col. 2:9-10; Matt. 6:14-15; Eph. 4:26-27; Jam. 1:14-15.)


1. Lea, Larry. 1989. The Weapons of Your Warfare. Lake Mary, FL. Creation House.

2. Renner, Rick. 2007. Dressed to Kill. Tulsa: Teach the Nations.

RELATED POSTS:

Spiritual Warfare 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH

Spiritual Warfare 2: HOW TO NOT DIE SPIRITUALLY

Spiritual Warfare 3: HOW TO BATTLE FOR PEACE

How The Spirit Gives Life.

Are you in control of your life?

Part 2: How to Overcome Evil with Good.

Four Realities of the Spirit World

POSTS on Thoughts



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. 

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 1: HOW TO DISCERN THE TRUTH

When you think of spiritual warfare, what do you think of? One thing is for sure, we all face assaults from unseen demonic spirits. One of those assaults is deception, which is why we need to know the truth. What is truth? Some people say truth is relative to what you want to believe. One of Satan’s greatest offensive tactics is to deceive us because he is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Satan began his deception in the Garden of Eden. The Apostle Paul said in 2Corinthinas 11:3, “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.” Have you known Christians who walked away from their devotion to Jesus Christ because of a false belief? One clue you are believing a lie is when you are mentally struggling with an issue.

We need the belt of truth to discern the truth from falsehood and unhealthy beliefs. You hire a detective to find the clues that lead to the facts. But what facts do you want to believe? Would you trust the facts presented by journalists, entertainers, friends, or the Bible? Our personal detective is the Holy Spirit. John 16:13 states, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to understand the truth in God’s Word. If the Bible makes little sense to you, then you may not have the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit dwells in us when we believe and ask Jesus into our hearts (Eph. 3:17). Remember, the Holy Spirit is one part of the Trinity nature of God. The three parts of God are the Son, Father, and Holy Spirit. So, to ask Jesus into your heart, you get all three parts in one Spirit. For example, Romans 8:9-11 states, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” With the help of the Spirit, we can know the truth. John 14:26 states, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Discerning the Truth

The best way to increase your ability to discern truth is to apply God’s Word to your life. Putting on the belt of truth secures your beliefs, so you are stable and not easily influenced by empty philosophy (James 1:8). So, if you doubt God’s Word is the truth, then you will be unstable and tempted to believe all kinds of false teachings and philosophies. Being devoid of truth leaves you feeling empty and despairing. So, learning and applying biblical truth is crucial for victory over the evil spirit rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers over this present darkness (Eph. 6:12). We quickly forget so we need to meditate on His Word day and night. Joshua 1:8 states, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Also, read James 1:22-25.

Through prayer, I humbly ask God to reveal my false beliefs. Then, I yield my mind to the truth of God’s Word and resist the devil’s devious enticement to please my deceitful, corrupt desires. Jeremiah 17:9-10 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? ‘I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.’” Ask God to search your heart and mind for false beliefs or corrupt desires and to transform them with the truth, so your efforts will produce good fruit. Psalm 119:11 states, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Reading your Bible every day, memorizing scriptures, participating in Bible studies, and attending Church services all strengthen the belt of truth.

Truth Sets You Free

Not only does the belt of truth secure godly beliefs in your mind, but it also sets you free. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him,If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Abide means to dwell, remain, or stay. So when we stay in God’s Word, we will know the truth and become free from our old nature based on false, unhealthy beliefs.

Truth Sanctifies You

Another function of truth is to sanctify us. John 17:17 states, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” According to Webster’s dictionary, sanctify means to be made holy or set apart as holy and made free from sin. Jesus Christ sanctified us when we believed (2Cor. 1:2). Sanctification is the process of putting off your old sinful thoughts and putting on a new way of thinking and behaving (Rom. 6:19). Ephesians 4:21-24 states, “Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off 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 the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Evidence You Have ON The Belt of Truth

Do you practice the truth? 1Jonn 1:6 states, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.John. 8:12 states, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” How do we know if we walk in darkness? Ephesians 5:8-9 states, “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” If you do what is right, practice the truth, and your heart wants to please God, you know you are in the light and not in darkness. 

The Bible also says to put on the armor of light and walk in the light of Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul encouraged the Believers in Rome to put on Jesus Christ, the “armor of light.” Romans 13:12–14 states the following:

The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off [loose, let go] the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

When you put on the armor of light, it protects you from evil. The light also exposes your sinful desires (the works of darkness), so you can repent and put your mind on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5–8). Remember, the devil accesses your mind through the weakness of your flesh. Satan also gains access through our resentment from offenses, forgiveness closes that door.

Proverbs 4:19 states, “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.” Ask God to search your mind and show you the sins or resentments waging war against your soul (1Pet. 2:11). The soul is the origin of our thoughts and will, which determines all behavior. And the soul is considered the moral or emotional nature of man. So, the unseen battleground is for your soul.

John 3:20 states, “For everyone who does wicked [evil] things hates the light, and does not come to the light for fear that his works [deeds] will be exposed.” When God shines His light on your sin, then pray and verbally put off what He has shown you, in Jesus’ name. If He exposes resentment, forgive those who caused the resentment and loose the painful emotions in Jesus’ name, and then be thankful for something to transform the memory. Jesus set you free from the control of sin (Rom. 6:14, 18), but you still need to take captive the thoughts that lure you to sin or to be resentful (2Cor. 10:5).

The second evidence you have the belt of truth on is loving others in deed and truth? 1John 3:18-19 states, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him [God].”

The third evidence is keeping the commandments of God. 1John 2:4-6 states, “Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

Conclusion

The truth is the opposite of deceit or falsehood. If you doubt the truth of God’s Word, then you will be unstable and influenced by any false doctrine. You need the Holy Spirit to dwell in you and help you know the truth so you can be set free from the bondage of demonic deception. The belt of truth helps secure healthy beliefs about yourself, others, the world, and God. The truth also changes us from the inside out, so we can love from a pure heart and do what is right. You know you have the belt of truth on when you desire to meditate on Scripture and please God. The belt of truth is necessary to have on if you are to remain secure in godly beliefs and not be deceived by the devil.

Pray:I put on the BELT OF TRUTH and will ponder scriptural truths day and night so I don’t sin against You and to succeed in all I do. I will depend on the Holy Spirit to lead me in truth, so I am not deceived. I humbly yield my mind to the truth of God’s Word and resist the devil’s temptation to sin through my deceitful, corrupt desires. (Josh. 1:8; Ps.119:11; James 4:7-8; Jer. 17:9-10; Eph. 4:22.)

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