the Messiah we were born again into spiritual conflict with the forces of
darkness and into a daily walk in a hostile world. However, we were not left
without means of endurance and victory, and the Bible teaches us about the
weapons our Father appointed for us during this age of warfare and grace. From the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) to the shield
of faith, the helmet of our salvation and more, the Scriptures instruct us
how to defend ourselves and take the offensive against the enemy. Every
believer ought to be familiar with these weapons and accustomed to using
them, for this is our life in this world.
those weapons, three are with us every moment of every day. And while some
may be called upon at times to directly confront spiritual powers in the
Lord's name, all of us face the many faceted reality of evil and its ensuing
conflicts. These three are the weapons of our warfare that can most
consistently and reliably keep our feet on the Rock.
the great spiritual principles which the Lord introduced into our troubled
world, repentance is second only to faith. In almost all of His public
messages the Lord Yeshua made reference to the centrality and power of
repentance, and His entire ministry was introduced by John the forerunner
declaring to Israel,
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
repent means "to return" in the original Hebrew. Returning back to what is
right; to what we, as a human family, used to know to be true. By saying
repent, the Lord not only commands us to comply with His plan for our
lives, He actually empowers us to choose change. Change is possible. Changing our course is possible. But like an ocean liner in the depth of the
sea, turning a huge vessel takes time, consistent pressure of the rudder,
and forward motion.
Repentance is a weapon.
If used correctly and often,
it cancels out most of the
devil's pressure points.
Repentance is a weapon. If used correctly and often, it cancels out most of
the devil's pressure points. According to Scripture, Satan works exclusively
through deception and condemnation. First he sows deception in our minds,
leading a person, a community or a nation off the path of truth. After the
lie has been lodged, believed and practiced, the enemy comes back with a
heavy yoke of condemnation, distancing us from our heavenly Father through
guilt, shame, and fear. Deception and condemnation therefore work in tandem,
producing endless cycles of death. The only way to break the cycle is
through repentance and confession.
Repent, and get the devil off your back. Repent, and stop the flood of
accusations coming against you. Repent, and liberate your spirit from the
heavy shackles of shame and remorse. Repent, and be free to rise as an eagle
and soar with the Spirit of the Lord. You have been commanded and empowered
to repent. It can be done!
this life we recognize that change is gradual. Transformation and
glorification are the final goals of a life long process. Repentance,
however, is a daily miracle we can all choose while on this glorious journey
back home. Why not start today?
all the commandments of the Lord, the commandment to forgive has been the
most quoted and more wrestled with than all the rest. While forgiving
demonstrates the very heart and drive of God's intention toward His fallen
children, it is also the most difficult virtue to fulfill on a consistent
basis. Why is that? Why is the greatest commandment the hardest to perform? The reasons are numerous, and we will address only the most basic of them.
been falsely taught, many believe that
forgiveness means that the offending party
be readily accepted into your circle of trust.
First, we need to realize that our fallen nature is incapable of
forgiveness. The "flesh," that corruptible humanity we all partake of, is
instinctively more prone to harden its heart and seek vengeance than to
forgive and release an offense. Recognizing, crucifying and denying that
fallen nature in us can be difficult and often requires struggle. In other
words, forgiveness is not always easy.
Second, many who confuse forgiveness with trust hold back forgiving an
offender because they cannot trust them yet. Having been falsely taught,
many believe that forgiveness means that the offending party must be readily
accepted into your circle of trust and treated as a safe friend. The fact is
that nothing can be further from the truth! Yeshua Himself, the king of
"on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men."
Apparently, in the beautiful heart of the Son of God, forgiveness and
distrust existed side by side without conflict. While He poured out His life
in love's greatest expression to obtain forgiveness for all of us, He was
also very realistic about the unreliable nature of His fallen brethren and
knew how to draw boundaries. Forgiveness does not constitute automatic
same is true for us. To forgive means to release from debt; to give up the
rights of vengeance and retribution. Paul said,
"Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God,
for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"
(Romans 12:19). Yet, while forgiveness releases the offender from
payback, it doesn't procure instant trust or fellowship. Trust has to be
earned, and fellowship cultivated.
Those who haven't been taught the distinction between forgiveness and trust
often struggle with shame and are battered with guilt. Not able to readily
trust or experience deep fellowship with a forgiven offender, they doubt the
reality of their forgiveness and can enter into condemnation by religious
spirits and legalistic brethren who pervert the Word of the Lord. You
however, if you have truly released your offender from your heart and wish
them nothing but God's will, have no obligation to live under such
at peace then. It is possible to truly forgive without trust.
Reconciliation, like personal transformation, is gradual, and has to grow
through authentic and tested relationship that builds layer upon layer. God
forgave us completely and eternally through the sacrifice of His Son. Yet,
though reconciled to God in Christ, we are daily growing in our fellowship
with Him, drawing ever closer and reaching ever deeper into His heart. The
Father shares His true treasures and secrets only with those whom He can
trust. Forgiveness is instant and is by choice; trust is gradual and is
supported by mounting evidence.
Having cleared these obstacles, why is forgiveness so important as a weapon
of warfare? First, because it is the greatest testimony of the Lord's nature
and mission to set the captives free; it is a mighty blow against the forces
of evil that seek to bind and imprison souls. Second, due to the intricacy
of our human nature and tendency to emulate whatever we focus on, our only
ticket to true freedom is in releasing those who offend us. As Craig Hill
from Ancient Paths ministry says, "Our soul is like a camera—whatever it
focuses on, it creates an image of it." Whose image do you want to have
imprinted on your heart?
through forgiveness are we able to free our souls from the troubles that
touch our lives. That is the reason why the Lord's first commandment after
His resurrection had to do with forgiveness. In the upper room, on the
resurrection day of First Fruits, Yeshua said,
"'Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.' And when
He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy
Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them;
if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.'"
(John 20:21-23). For your own sake, let go of the offense and use the
weapon of forgiveness.
Worship and Proclamation
The third weapon of
warfare that is common to all of God's children is worship and proclamation. One doesn't have to acquire special training or qualifications to be a
worshiper and to declare the truths of God. On the contrary, the gift of
worship and of declaration is so intrinsic and natural to the human spirit
that the Scripture testifies that
"From the mouth of infants
and nursing babes You have established strength, because of Your
adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease."
Your words are declarations of faith that
fall, like seeds,
into the soil of your life and into your
sphere of influence.
Worship has to do with our attitude—proclamation with our words. The first
biblical sighting of the word worship, shacha in Hebrew, is found in
Genesis 22 where father Abraham says to his servants to
here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship
and return to you."
(Genesis 22:5). Abraham's worship on that extraordinary day had
nothing to do with singing or with music. It had everything to do with his
sacrificial service and full obedience to God's command through the
agonizing offering of His beloved son Isaac. Worship is the heart of a
person—proclamation is the words.
Together with an attitude of worship, all ancient cultures recognized the
significance of words. By words covenants were cut; decrees were set in
place; blessings were pronounced, and judgments laid down. The principality
of Islam understands it. It has expanded across vast territories through a
consistent public proclamation of its doctrines as they are announced daily
by loud speakers from minarets all over the world.
Likewise, the Gospel of our Messiah was to spread throughout the earth by
words. The psalmist prophesied, saying,
"Sing to the Lord, bless
His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of
His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples."
(Psalm 96:2-3). Yeshua Himself commanded us to
"go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God."
(Luke 9:60). The expansion of His kingdom is fundamentally determined by words enforced
through an attitude of worship fused with faith, devotion and passion.
Whether in our individual lives or in the life of our nation, the right
words are essential. The words that come out of our mouths and proceed out
of our hearts create a spiritual "climate" that affects our lives and our
experience on this earth. There is a reason why Proverbs 19:21 declares with
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will
eat its fruit."
And Peter exhorts the first century disciples, saying,
"Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from
evil and his lips from speaking guile."
(1 Peter 3:10).