Bible Study Notes:

Preparing the Heart for War
Ephesians 6:10-12


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
You are welcome to join us at any time!


Well we had an awful week. I had a headache for DAYS, my son had problems in school, OP got upset ... and we said WHAT IS GOIN' ON? And today, it hit me. DUH! Tonight we begin talking about spiritual warfare! And the devil was trying to discourage us. That old liar. I declare in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that satan is a liar and a fraud! And we just cast that old deceiver OUT in Jesus Name and what peace flooded our house! Hallelujah! So we are so EXCITED about the lesson tonight. It will probably take at least 3 weeks to cover it all = but the Lord is leading us to really go into detail to help you!

Father we rejoice in our victory in Jesus tonight! We declare that we are always triumphant in Jesus Christ! Jesus thank you for your precious blood shed for our sin that covers us and protects us from the enemy. Holy Spirit train us to be holy warriors, wise in the ways of the Lord, alert and attentive and fully dressed in God's armor!

satan, we come against you tonight, and bind you and rebuke you and cast you out in Jesus Name! We declare that you are defeated and on your way OUT, and we claim VICTORY over you and all your demons in the precious Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God! AMEN!

Victory in Jesus! My savior forever! He sought me and he bought me with his redeeming blood! He loved me 'ere I knew him and all my love is due him. He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood!

OK, we've been talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit and the ennoblement's that He brings into our lives. Can you remember some of the things He enables us to do?

forgiven - He enables me to give thanks!!!
Amazing Grace - To be filled with the spirit
Savior's Servant - to speak in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
Amazing Grace - Singing and Praising God

We talked about being filled with the Spirit as a command, followed by ING statements: Speaking, singing, making music, giving thanks and in verse 21, submitting. Submitting is perhaps the hardest area to yield in, and we talked at length about relationships - with each other, in marriage, for children, and employment situations.

I believe it's important to study the Bible IN CONTEXT, that is where verses are placed in relation to each other. I don't think it's any accident that Paul stressed being filled with the Spirit and being in right relationships BEFORE he talked about Spiritual Warfare.

forgiven - so when there is some serious witnessing going on in main chat with someone who is involved in something obviously demonic, is it possible that our singing praising and worshipping is in fact a form of spiritual warfare at that time?

WE ARE AT WAR!!!!!! No, World War III has not been declared. I mean we who are believers in Christ are in a spiritual battle. If you don't know that we are at war, then you need to wake up!

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Finally - after being filled with the spirit and being enabled to sing, speak, make melody, be thankful, and to submit to each other in proper relationship, THEN we are enabled to be STRONG in the LORD.

Be strong, in the Greek endunamoo {en-doo-nam-o'-o} means to be strong, endue with strength, strengthen, to receive strength, be strengthened, increase in strength. This comes from the root word dunamis {doo'-nam-is} the Greek root for our word dynamite, explosive power! We are to have this kind of explosive power in our life in the Lord that exerts force against the enemy, power for performing miracles, power to live a godly and moral life, and power to be excellent in soul. It is an awesome military might available to the army of the Lord of hosts!

God never meant for us to be weak and wimpy, and powerless before the forces of evil. We have dynamic power against the evil one, the ability to exert the force of faith and prevail. It is a command - BE strong! We have a choice to be weak, fearful and cower before the enemy. Or we can be dynamite and blow satan out of the water.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Amplified: For God did not give us a spirit of timidity - of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear - but [He has given us a spirit of] power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

We are to BE strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Power here is kratos {krat'-os} meaning force, strength, power, mighty with great power, and dominion. Might is ischus {is-khoos'} meaning ability, force, strength, and might. We do not stand in our strength - which is at best puny against the spiritual forces of darkness. We stand in the mighty power, strength, ability, force and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ. His power triumphs over sin, death, the devil, and any problem we have.

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

In olden times, after a war was won, there was always a big parade, where the triumphant army was in procession leading the captives literally by the nose. Jesus continually always is leading us in a big parade, with our enemies staggering along in defeat, being made a spectacle to the world! Be strong in the Lord's mighty power! Ok, this sounds great. Who wouldn't want the power of the Lord in their life? But how do we clothe ourselves with the Lord's strength?

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

The only way we can stand against the devil is by putting on God's armor, our "spiritual wardrobe". When you face the enemy, what garment are YOU wearing? tested? The "woe is me" robe? That's fine for pity parties, but we aren't on R&R, we're at war! The "see ME shine" frock? Well your righteousness won't get you far in this conflict.

Are you wearing your "pump iron" super stretch exercise duds? Your buff biceps may win the world's admiration, but the devil just chuckles. How about the "cap and gown" that proves you've developed mental muscles? Nope, your enemy is craftier. No garment that man can create will do. You MUST wear God's armor or be destroyed!

"Put on" is a command. It's something that you consciously do. Why must you put on God's FULL armor?

prodigal son - Only with the Full armor of Christ can we stand against the enemy

Right PS! We need to put on the FULL armor To be fully protected. It would be kind of dumb to put on body armor and forget the helmet. Or to start out to battle barefooted.

Amplified: Put on God's whole armor - the armor of a heavy-armed soldier, which God supplies - that you may be able to successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

Also you need God's full armor "to take your stand". Stand is histemi {his'-tay-mee} to cause or make to stand (in a prolonged sense), to make firm, fix, establish, to uphold or sustain authority or force, to be balanced, to stand immovable, to continue safe and sound, stand unharmed, to stand ready or prepared, to be of a steadfast mind, and of the quality of one who does not hesitate or waiver. The ONLY way we can continue safe and sound and to stand unharmed is to put on God's full armor, KEEP it on, and stand in HIS strength. Now what are we standing firm against?

Savior's Servant - Satan and our fleshly desires
Amazing Grace - The enemy!

Right! The wiles of the devil - his methodeia {meth-od-i'-ah} cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery, to lie in wait to deceive. Any effective general is going to have a strategy - a plan for conducting a military campaign. The devil's goal of course is to steal from, kill and destroy us. Tactics are specific methods to achieve the overall goal. These tactics are devised based on intelligence or "spy" reports and revised as needed. You can be sure that the demons are "spying" on you to look for weak places to attack, which are mainly revealed by what we SAY.

What are some of these wiles and ambushes that the devil tries to trip us up with?

prodigal son - By not letting us put on the full armor and by making us weak
Savior's Servant - fleshly desires

Good answers, what else? The Bible says that we are not ignorant of his devices. What are some of the things he's tried to trip you up with?

2 Corinthians2:10-11 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven--if there was anything to forgive--I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

sis d - money
Amazing Grace - Anger, self Pity, hating our neighbor, race the list goes on and on
Savior's Servant - Keeping us distracted with worldly things, TV etc. so we cant here His voice

One of the biggest devices the devil uses is offenses that lead to unforgiveness, which leads to a root of bitterness that makes us ugly and unclean inside.

prodigal son - Anger, lust, greed
Amazing Grace - Food!!!!

All good answers! His demons sit around in hell and plot and plan how to trip YOU up! BUT..... Through the study of the Word, walking in the Spirit, putting on the armor, SATAN WILL NOT OUTWIT US!

Here's another: Luke 22:31-32 [Jesus speaking to Peter] "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

Have you ever been "sifted by satan"? It seemed like such oppression came against you that you were being shook around and around? Why does Jesus allow this to happen? Shake it baby shake it! Why?

Savior's Servant - so we can grow in Jesus and be stronger like he did with Job
sis d - we have to learn to use the weapons he has equipped us with
OlePappy - If it don't kill you it will make you stronger
forgiven - In Hebrews it says that shakes those things which CAN be shaken, so that those things that CANNOT be shaken will remain
prodigal son - To strengthen us and make us prepared for the final battle

You sift flour to get out the lumps and impurities, the chaff and dirt, and to make it ready to rise! Peter was tempted to betray his Master, and did so three times, but Jesus had prayed for him, and know that he WOULD turn back, and would be equipped to strengthen the brethren. If you are being "sifted by satan", know that the Lord has permitted it and has already prayed for your victory!

Ephesians 6:12. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

What kind of battle are we fighting?

Amazing Grace - Spiritual!
Savior's Servant - against our flesh
prodigal son - It is a spiritual battle
sis d - one that we cannot always see with our physical eyes

Amplified: For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood - contending only with physical opponents - but against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

Struggle or wrestle in the Greek is pale, a sports term for wrestling (a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able to hold his opponent down with his hand upon his neck), and the term is transferred to the Christian's struggle with the power of evil.

We aren't wrestling with people ultimately, although the conflicts we have are real. But the SOURCE of these conflicts is spiritual and the first step in winning the battle, being able to hold our true opponent (satan) down with our hand on his scaly neck, is to recognize the supernatural source of the conflict.

prodigal son - we fight not what we can see with our eyes but that which dwells in the spiritual realm, powers of the darkness, satan and his demons

Now we are going to talk a minute about our adversaries. DO NOT let this make you fearful. The devil and his demons are defeated foes, but Paul is sharing this information to give you wisdom as to how to pray!

What kind of beings are we struggling with? First, they are called "principalities" - Greek arche {ar-khay'} meaning the first place, principality, rule, magistracy of fallen angels and demons. The unseen world has divisions as does the seen world - and the demons are ordered into ranks. Then there are "powers" - Greek exousia {ex-oo-see'-ah} - the power, authority or right to rule and to be obeyed.

Then comes rulers [kosmokrator {kos-mok-fat'-ore} lord of the world, prince of this age, the devil and his demons] of the darkness [skotos {skot'-os} - darkened eyesight, blindness, persons in whom darkness becomes visible and holds sway] of this present world [aion {ahee-ohn'} - period of time, age].

Then is spiritual wickedness [poneria {pon-ay-ree'-ah} - depravity, iniquity, wickedness, malice, evil purposes and desires] in high [heavenly regions] places. So what does this mean? Just like an army, demons have generals, majors, captains, and lieutenants, and foot soldiers.

When you engage in a struggle, you may be dealing with a private or a general. There are princes that have authority over cities and must be bound to loose the city to Christ. If you've read Frank Peretti's books - like "This Present Darkness" - you get an idea of what I mean' The devil can NOT be everywhere at all times like God, but he is organized and we have to have wisdom to fight him successfully.

There are two mistakes people make about this warfare.

  1. The first is not taking the conflict seriously and not realizing the forces that are arrayed against us.
  2. The second is giving the devil and his forces credit for everything that goes wrong, without taking responsibility for our decisions and actions.

Since the battle is not physical, then neither are our weapons:

II Corinthians 10:3-5: Our weapons are not physical (carnal, of the flesh), but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought to the captivity of Christ. (KJV)

Amplified: For though we walk [live] in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical (weapons of flesh and blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the (true) knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose .way captive into the obedience of Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.

Later we will go into more detail about armor and weapons, but tonight the Lord has impressed me to talk about PREPARING OUR HEARTS FOR WAR.

peanut - ot-- is that like I ask you about last week-- umm in order to be effective on the battlefield you must be both well trained and properly equipped. the warrior so to speak must have access as well to both a defensive stronghold and offensive weaponry you must know your enemy and be alert to surprise attacks

Since the battle is spiritual, we first must examine our own hearts, and prepare our minds for action.

I Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Why is this so important? Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Out of our hearts proceed all of the issues of life - the heart is the source of the mind, will and emotions and determines our actions and whether or not we receive salvation.

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Matthew 12:34 [Jesus speaking to the Pharisees] You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

In this battle, what is in our hearts and minds comes forth and will either bring us victory or defeat. That's why satan tries to "beam" us thoughts of defeat, discouragement, inadequacy, fear, envy, hatred, and bitterness, among others. If he can destroy our faith and cloud our hearts with fear, he wins by default.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Don't let the devil devour YOU! Prepare your hearts for WAR! God already knows the secrets of our hearts:

Psalms 44:21- would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?

And will reveal those secrets to us by the Spirit through the Word:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

"Psychological warfare", dis-information and "psyching out" somebody are nothing new! The enemy invented them long, long ago! What are some of the things in our hearts that would defeat us?

Alma - Guilt
Amazing Grace - What about mistrust?

Let's look at some passages prayerfully and allow the Lord to speak to you concerning them. Ask God to purify your heart by faith of any unclean thing you find there:

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

forgiven - For me, it's sort of a cross between unforgiveness and the desire for vengeance against those who have wronged my family

Dis-Information is one of satan's main tools. Guilt is a terrible force that eats away at us! Guilt was designed to bring us conviction of sin, and then when we are forgiven, let it go!

2 Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Father as I begin to search my heart in your presence I pray that you will purify me from everything that contaminates my body and spirit. AMEN

Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Lord search our hearts for worry and offenses. If we do not totally trust in you, help us to yield totally to you by faith now. If we are harboring offenses against someone or have offended someone, we ask for reconciliation and forgiveness in Jesus Name.

peanut - to doubt is to be uncertain or undecided to hesitate but doesn't it come when you don't have enough info to be convinced something is true doubt brings resolve though doesn't it

It is FAITH that empowers us to believe that which God has for us! Doubt in the Bible means to be without a way, to be without resources, embarrassed, perplexity, at a loss, to be thoroughly perplexed amounting to despair. It also means to be at a crossroads, to stand in two ways, implying uncertainty as to which way to take. It doesn't necessarily mean absence of faith, but still an uncertainty is there.

The Bible says that God has granted to EVERY one "the measure" of faith - enough to get us started, if we build on it and let it grow. Faith comes by hearing the WORD, not what someone says about the Word, or what you think the Word says, or by listening to the devils lies about the Word, but by hearing the WORD. Hearing implies reading it (or being read to) out loud.

OK, let's get back to looking into our own hearts. This isn't easy I know, but stick around, it will help your faith GROW.

Jeremiah 17:9-10: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."

Father if I have been misled or deceived in any way by my enemy, if I have substituted my will and justified my ways instead of doing your will, if I have any spiritual deceit in my heart, I ask you to correct it and cure me now. I pray by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that you will forgive me of my sins and make me pure in heart.

Matthew 13:15: For this people's heart has become callused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'

Dear Lord, if my heart has become hardened and callused, if the enemy has blinded me in any way, if my ears have become clogged with listening to the devil's garbage, heal me. Soften my heart, take away the blindness, open my ears and give my heart understanding of your ways.

Matthew 15:19: [Jesus speaking] For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Jesus, if I have evil thoughts of anger or envy, remove them and replace them with love. If I bear hatred and thoughts of death and murder towards any one, reveal it to me and replace it with a desire for their blessing. If I am entertaining thoughts of lust, to betray my covenant with you and/or my marriage vows, replace them with your holiness.

If I am coveting my neighbor's property and am worshipping the acquisition of earthly things, replace these thoughts with a desire to give. If I have given false testimony or slandered anyone, or participated in gossip and malicious talk, set a watch on my lips. Help me make restitution if possible, and look for the good and building up of all.

Matthew 18:35: [Jesus speaking ] "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."

Jesus if I bear unforgiveness towards any, no matter how great the offense, first help me to be willing to forgive. Then help me to meditate on how great was your forgiveness of ALL my sins, the sins that caused you to die on the cross. Help me to measure my offense against your forgiveness, and understand I MUST forgive to receive forgiveness.

Lord, I am weak and human and have a hard time forgetting the offense. Help me not to bring it up. When I am tempted to think about it, or talk about it or brood upon it, let me remember that the offense has been marked "FORGIVEN" and let it go. Help me to pray blessing upon the offender that they too might partake of your gracious salvation.

Mark 11:23: [Jesus speaking] "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him."

Father God I know that my faith needs to grow. Cast out the doubt in my heart that the enemy tries to plant there. Give me a hunger and thirst for your Word that I may know more of you and trust you more.

Acts 8:20-23: Peter answered [to Simon the ex-sorcerer]: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin."

Father, cleanse my attitude towards money. Remind me that I am a steward of YOUR resources, not an owner. Help me to realize that giving does not BUY me salvation, it is a response to your love and gifts to me.

Make my heart right and forgive me if I have wrongful attitudes there. Cut out any roots of bitterness there, and release me from captivity to desire for wealth and power. AMEN

John 5:42: [Jesus speaking to his critics] but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.

Jesus, search my heart and fill it with love for God and the love of God. Make me a coach, not a critic, and let your love flow out to all I encounter.

James 4:8: Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Lord, you know how we are pulled by the desire to be liked and to please men. But we also want to please you. Purify us of the need to please men so that we won't be double-minded. But that with singleness of heart we will love and worship you.

Romans 1:21: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

God, don't let my thoughts slip into darkness, don't let my thinking become worthless and foolish. I glorify You and give thanks to You, my Creator and King. If there is a spirit of unthankfulness in my heart, cut it out, and help me to be grateful for your many gifts. If I have exalted any thing above You, reveal it to me and break it apart so you can have my highest place. AMEN

Thank you Jesus for hearing and answering our prayers. Thank you for cleansing our hearts. Remind us to examine ourselves and our hearts daily so no crud will build up displeasing to you. Also Lord, teach us how to control our thought life, recognize those thoughts that aren't from you, and cast them out in Jesus Name!

satan, we are not ignorant of your schemes and we know you try to make us feel unworthy, unloved, and failures. We come against these thoughts into mighty name of Jesus and declare them LIES! We will not accept them or give you a foothold in our lives by the authority given to us by the true MASTER Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 4:27; 5:6-7, 11 …and do not give the devil a foothold… Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them… Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Now that we've examined our hearts, let's look at our lives. Have you participated in any of the occult practices, such as seances, witchcraft, tarot cards, mediumism, satanism, astrology, I Ching, fortune-telling, palm reading, tea leaf reading, crystal balls, New Age philosophy, ouija boards, or any other occult practice? These occult partnerships open a "doorway", "foothold" or "channel" that satan can use against you, even after you are a believer, if you don't "slam the door in his face".

If you have participated in the occult, you must confess and renounce specifically any occult practice you've had a part in, saying,

"Lord, I have sinned against you by [call each thing by name]."

Remember we are preparing our hearts for WAR! We don't want to shut the front door, and leave the back door open!

OlePappy - or the basement or attic doors

Or the back windows! satan doesn't care how he sneaks in - he'll use any excuse. As the Lord brings these things to your remembrance, deal with them and slam each door! Renounce Satan and his works in your life, commanding him to depart in the Name of Jesus and to trouble you no more. Close access of your mind and soul to Satan as a deliberate act of your will. Now remember this is not to make you FEAR, but to make you FREE! Ask the Holy Spirit to fill every area of your spirit, soul, and body.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Sanctify" means to cleanse, to make holy, to set apart for God's use. The Holy Spirit can and will cleanse you of every thing not pleasing to God if you'll let Him. I'm not asking you to do something that I haven't done myself!

Lord, us the knowledge and strength to be set free in Jesus Name! Father, bind these demons so that they cannot interfere, in the names of Jesus, born of the Virgin, Died on the cross, arose on the third day. Demons you cannot speak. You are bound in the name of Jesus. Jesus is Lord and Power over you demons...satan you have lost in the name of Jesus; your hands will burn if you touch these, in the name of Jesus. satan, you cannot avail yourself of these...you are bound in the name of Jesus. Jesus the Christ, Jesus the Christ...son of God, born of the Virgin, died on the cross, arose on the third day...yes that Jesus, satan in his name I command you out. demons, wither and gasp for Jesus has power over you...leave in his name, Jesus the Christ

We are not trying to hurt you, but help you. The Lord set me free from fear! I learned to shut doors in the devil's face! I learned that no power in HELL can defeat me in Jesus Christ!

Burn or destroy any occult books or false teachings you may own, astrology, horoscopes, oriental or pagan religious objects, idols, buddhas, tikki masks, magic charms, etc.

Acts 19:18-20 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. [50,000 day's wages] In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

Look what they did in the early church. MANY came and burned their magic books! And what happened? "the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power."

Do you want the power of the Lord to increase in your life? Ask Him what you need to toss. NOTHING is worth keeping if it causes you grief. I burned a whole bunch of fantasy books - which had witches and wizards as heroes. Nearly burnt the house down too! LOL

There had been a spirit of oppression there - and I asked the Lord WHY? I'm yours, have gotten rid of stuff I thought was wrong, prayed and read the word. WHY? And the Lord directed my attention to my "escape shelf" = books I'd read to escape my troubles, books that did NOT glorify Jesus!

Well we had a wood burning stove, and immediately I started stuffing them in! The fire burned hotter. I stuffed in more, and more. OOPS too hot! the stove was cherry red and the walls almost caught fire. So I quickly opened the doors and windows and closed down the dampers. The rest of them I threw in the trash with the lid off. It was raining hard so I knew they'd be destroyed! AND I WAS SET FREE! That oppressive spirit had to go - satan had no excuse to stay there! What Jesus did for me, he CAN and WILL do for you.

When Josiah became king in Israel, the whole nation worshipped all kinds of evil idols.

II Kings 23:4 4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel.

They worshipped gods and goddesses, the stars, and all that. Josiah burned all the statues and articles relating to them.

II Kings 23:14 Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.

He smashed sacred stones, and totem type poles they worshipped.

II Kings 23:24 Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD.

This godly king got rid of mediums, spirits, household idols, and all the other things not pleasing to God. He did a thorough housecleaning in Israel and God blessed him for this.

So ask the Lord, What do I need to get rid of in my home and heart to please you? When in doubt, throw it out. It's better to get rid of it, than risk keeping something unholy.

So tonight we talked about being STRONG in the Lord, about the fact that we are engaged in a spiritual battle with spiritual weapons. We also took some time to prepare our hearts for war. We asked God's wisdom in cleansing ourselves of all kinds of things, along with cleansing our homes.

As you read the Word, put it into practice by asking the Lord to reveal to you anything in your heart not pleasing to Him. Cleansing or sanctification is an on-going process.

Next time we will talk about our spiritual armor, our weapons, our battlegrounds and our enemy. It will probably take several weeks to finish, but when we do, you should be equipped and ready for battle!

Thank You Father for the protection You gave us tonight. Thank You for the Salvation, Jesus the Christ, brought to us 2000 years ago. In the name of Jesus AMEN.

Father God plant these seeds of wisdom deep into hearts and bring forth a harvest of holy warriors we pray in Jesus Name AMEN.

OlePappy - Put on your armor child of God, and the devil won't be able to tell ya from Jesus! Praise God all week!

God is raising up a mighty army! Think of this as Boot Camp for the Soul! Come back next time and we'll learn about our armor.

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice.

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Original Lesson 7/30/98
Revised: May 02, 2001