Sunday, March 6, 2016

Finding victory over the itch of the enemy!

…in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses. —2 Corinthians 6:4

The thing that really testifies for God and for the people of God in the long run is steady perseverance, even when the work cannot be seen by others. And the only way to live an undefeated life is to live looking to God. Ask God to keep the eyes of your spirit open to the risen Christ, and it will be impossible for drudgery to discourage you.(Oswald Chambers)

Ephesians 6:10-18New International Version (NIV)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
I'm guilty of getting bored and lazy with keeping up my walk. Then my guard gets let down, and Satan sees his chance to attack me. He is constantly looking for that foothold to grab onto so that he can then drag me into the dark woods. He knows me. He studies me. He knows my life story and therefore understands which footholds work best on me. My foothold wouldn't work on you...nor yours on me. We don't share the same hearts-aches or struggles or histories. He knows our soft spots.

Don't let your guard down! Keep up the good fight. You can't fight alone. You need the Holy Spirit and His power to come out victorious against the enemy's wily ways. No other quick fix will do. No other remedy. No other "do it yourself" power will work. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can overcome his attacks. He wishes to plunge us into spiritual bondage. He'll do it if we give him a chance.

The Lord gave me an interesting analogy today regarding this.

In March of 1994, I was attacked by a vicious dog. This dog was out to hurt me. He meant business! If not for the owner pulling the dog off of me, I would have been hurt much worse than I was. Even after only a minute or less of attack, my left calf and ankle were badly wounded, and I also had a nasty bite on my right ankle. I ended up in the doctors office. The wounds got cleaned out and bandaged up. I was instructed on how to change out the dressings and given a prescription of antibiotics. For several weeks I walked with a limp and had nightmares. Then I decided that enough was enough! I was not going to spend the rest of my life frightened of dogs, or plagued by scary dreams! I happened to have many positive experiences with great dogs. I wasn't going to let one dog ruin that. The nightmares ceased. I healed and life went on. However...I have scar tissue and nerve damage on my left calf some 22 years later. This scar tissue sometimes itches so badly that it is enough to drive me up the wall! If I start gets worse and worse. I have tried lotions, creams and vasoline. Sometimes there is temporary relief...but usually within a couple of hours or even less, it starts up again. After doing a bit of research I decided to try an essential oil blend. It worked! It is the only thing that brings hours and hours of relief! It's a smelly miracle. I don't always appreciate smelling predominantly like cloves...but if that's what it takes, I'll do it. Even so....sometimes I get lazy. It starts itching while I'm laying in bed. I don't feel like getting up, finding what I need and using it: a messy oil diluted in a carrier oil. Instead, I reach for the cream on my night stand. An hour later I'm scratching again. Why won't I ever learn? I get up, go smear a bunch of smelly oil on my leg....crawl back into bed and sleep soundly!

There are no substitutes when the enemy is grasping for a hold....aggravating you with the itch of painful memory, resentment, unforgiveness,...whatever your particular itch is. The oil of the Holy Spirit is the only relief from it. Call on Him! Get into the truth of his word! Put on the armor of God for battle. Persevere though His power. Now! Don't reach for the cream on your night stand...get up!

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