The unseen war

Even as a child I became aware there is a spiritual war raging all around us.  Earth is a battleground, and the children of men are the ones being fought over.  The soul is the command seat of the person.  That’s where Hell attacks.  The good news is there is a King who restores souls and leads us to the right road.

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The Shield of Faith

Of the six pieces of armour the believer is given, the shield has substance.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

When I first used the shield, I was in a battle for the mind. I didn’t know what it was or what I was doing. I just followed the King’s advice, and in a mixture of desperation and blind faith did what He said.

The shield is designed to stop burning arrows fired at us by the evil one.

At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. Ephesians 6:16

Burning arrows can be thoughts. We think they’re our own thoughts, and we entertain them.

I’d developed a severe worry habit, which I was trying overcome in different ways. I tried meditating on the word of God, which worked great over time, but its not a quick fix.

Norman Vincent Peale suggested in his book “The Power of Positive Thinking” that immediately I got a negative thought, drop it from my mind and voice a positive thought.  No, that didn’t work.

I hollowed out a tissue box, wrote ‘God’ on it, wrote out my thoughts on bits of paper and ‘posted’ them in the slot. The ‘God Box’ also worked great, over time. My 5 and 6 year old kids saw me doing it, copied me, and prayers got answered!  But again, it wasn’t a quick fix.

The trouble was I felt like I was in a war. I was desperate and in need of immediate emotional and mental relief.  I didn’t want pills as I wanted to fix the problem, not mask it.

Words have power, and the narcissist I was in an abusive relationship with seemed to know it. He said horrible things to get control of me. I’d just lost my father the month before and the abuser didn’t intend to let up or give me space to grieve. My mind was running constant re-runs of the narcissist’s words and actions, without letup. I couldn’t stop it and it only got worse. It seemed like a sick and twisted rendition of a soap opera called “Daze of my life”, with characters I hated.  The devil set the scene, wrote the script, then joined the gossips in the audience to laugh at me maliciously.

The only thing keeping me sane was my desire to be there for my young children who loved me and needed me.

The King taught me how to shield my mind by handing all the evil thoughts to him. Its called “taking every thought captive”.

… we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 

After 3 days of handing over every bad thought to the Lord, I met Jesus in a dream. I tell you, He is very much alive, He’s just in a different room from us right now. He healed me, getting rid of a cough I’d had for 10 months, and He gave me peace of mind that goes beyond all understanding.  Chapter 2 of the Kingdom tells the story.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

May His peace guard your heart and your mind.

The Sword of the Spirit

During the period I call “the depression years” my best friend suggested I meditate.  After that first contact with the King in January 1994 where I learned He loved me and I could hear Him, I asked Him how I should meditate.

A useful book called “The power of Positive Thinking” was loaned to me by my Aunt, the one who read me Bible stories as a child.  She didn’t know I’d asked the Lord how to meditate.

As I drove home through the lonely North Island roads with the book beside me, the radio announced news that the author, Norman Vincent Peale had died at the age of 95.  Noting the strange timing, I took it as confirmation I should read the book.

The author suggested memorizing Bible Verses to train the mind to think positively.  I took it on board, and after putting into practice what he wrote and memorising verses it led me to start thinking differently.  I soon found myself knocked off my feet in a spiritual battle.

“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.” Ephesians 6:12

I needed to make a stand, but how and with what do you fight an invisible foe?

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:4

Sword of the Spirit

The King taught me about the weapons I could use in the ensuing fight against His enemy. 

“Therefore put on the full armour 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.” Ephesians 6:13

The first weapon that came to hand was the sword of truth, the Word of God.

The sword of the Spirit is one of the six items or armour given to the believer in their fight against evil.  Out of the six pieces of armour, it is the only weapon.

The Bible is the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:10-17

 The Word of God

This is no ordinary book.  It is made up of 66 books by 40 authors, inspired by God.  I have heard a very good acronym to describe it;

Basic
Instruction
Before
Leaving
Earth.

God-breathed

The Bible is God-breathed, the inspired word of God.  The greatest mind in the universe is behind this book.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Tim 3:16

For all that it is God-breathed, it is sealed.  Without the Holy Spirit, it is cold and enigmatic.  The word only comes alive with the aid of the Holy Spirit, the Counsellor the King promised He would send.

Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. John 16:7

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. John 16:13.

Our spirit and unconscious mind can normally only be accessed through dreams.  The Bible is designed to speak to the three-fold part of ourselves.

For the word of God is alive 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. Hebrews 4:12

Unchanged

The Bible has not been changed.  An ancient Bible called the Codex Sinaiticus, handwritten well over 1600 years ago (around 350AD), contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. It is the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity.  It was preserved in the dry desert air of St Katherine’s monastery at Mt Sinai, said to be the oldest monastery in the world. The Greek words are the same as our English translations.

Jesus said “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18