God has been speaking to me a great deal about understanding strategies in spiritual warfare. Most believers, if they are serious about spiritual warfare, tend to do so by the seat of their pants. For them, spiritual warfare is like occasionally confronting a bully on the playground in elementary school. They are aware of the event, but are never aware of the “long game” of warfare. Strategic warfare is a concept that is foreign to them. Unfortunately, the enemy is quite familiar with strategic warfare. In fact, it is the only game he plays.
What is the end result of this? Most believers approach spiritual warfare like they are either playing checkers or, even worse, dodge ball. Satan always plays chess! He strategically weaves things into the church and society over decades and even generations. I believe this is one reason the “Moral Majority” has become the “Minority Without a Clue.”
I plan on addressing many of these issues in our new class “Kingdom Authority & Warfare 3” this fall. Between now and then, I plan on sharing some insights to help you in the battle now. It seems that we are entering into a new stage of warfare that is adding pressure from all sides in the lives of believers. I receive e-mails and calls from Christian across the U.S. and other nations each week seeking understanding to what is happening in their lives and around them.
To start with, I want to look to the Book of Daniel for some insights. Speaking of the Anti-Christ, Daniel states:
Daniel 7:25 (NKJV)
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
The Amplified Bible gives us a little more insight:
Daniel 7:25 (AMP)
25 And he shall speak words against the Most High [God] and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change the time [of sacred feasts and holy days] and the law; and the saints shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time [three and one-half years].
I have taught for many years that the Anti-Christ system has already accomplished some of this. Daniel was writing about the end-times and that the saints shall become “worn out.” There is no way around it; Daniel was speaking of you and me. Notice that the Anti-Christ would change the times of the sacred feasts and holy days. This part he has already accomplished. Few believers know what the Feasts of the LORD are or that they are still a part of our acceptable worship of the Almighty. Instead, we have replaced them with holidays that originated in Babylon – the spiritual seat of power for the Anti-Christ system. Whether you are ready to hear this are not, it is time to grow up spiritual and fully embrace only what is in the Word of God – from Genesis through Revelation. Although I could go into more detail regarding this, I will leave that for another time.
There is another aspect I want to get into here. Dr. David Stern, in the Complete Jewish Bible, translates this verse somewhat differently. Let’s take a look at it.
Daniel 7:25 (CJB)
25 He will speak words against the Most High and try to exhaust the holy ones of the Most High. He will attempt to alter the seasons and the law; and [the holy ones] will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.
Everything in the Kingdom of God, and even this universe, moves in cycles. In fact, anything that is “alive” will have some sort of cycle to it. The Feasts of the LORD are cycles of learning more about Messiah and His workings in the full plan of redemption. There are seasonal cycles to nature. There are even cycles in the life of a woman that is all about reproduction and giving life. There are also seasonal cycles in the life of a believer and even the Body of Christ. Let’s take a look at them.
Winter: A time that appears to be dormant. Things appear to be dead. For plants, not much going on above the surface. A time to deepen the root system.
Spring: Everything springs back to life: much activity, new seeds are sown and a great deal of rain.
Summer: Things get hot, dry and a lot of hard work. Little benefit is seen from labor – which is always difficult.
Fall: Finally the payoff comes. The temperature cools down, there is a refreshing and a harvest from seeds sown and toiled over.
Looking at this list, you can easily apply these seasons to your life or your ministry. We all cycle through those at different rates. For some, it is a 6 month cycle; for others, it can be several years. The cycle is there, and it is undeniable.
Here is where the enemy’s plans come in to play. What if he is able to change your seasons? If he has done things to get us off the timing of God somewhere, our seasonal rotation could look like this:
· Winter, summer, winter, summer, winter, summer
· Summer, summer, summer, summer, summer
· Winter, winter, winter, winter
There would be no times of refreshing. There would be no real harvest. There would be only variations of the dead of winter and the drought of summer. If we are truthful, it kind of sounds like the testimonies I am hearing from believers worldwide.
I wish that I could tell you I had all of the answers to solve this dilemma, but I don’t. I do have some insights that I would like to share to restore your spiritual cycles.
1. Repentance: Repentance is always a great place to start. The enemy got in because we made a tactical mistake somewhere. Repentance always throws the devil off. He is incapable of repentance and cannot comprehend it. One of the major “doctrines of demons” today is that there is no need for repentance after you are saved. The biblical truth is that your repentance has just begun! Always be quick to repent and to be corrected by the Holy Spirit. It crucifies the flesh and breathes life into your spirit!
2. Seek to Get Back into the Rhythm of Heaven: This can start by researching and beginning to celebrate the biblical feasts. Do not just use the traditional Jewish observance. Allow Messiah to come alive and let the Holy Spirit guide you as you observe them. Never do anything that would take away from what Jesus has accomplished. Rather, seek to understand more of what He has done and what He will do. It is all there in the feasts.
There are also daily and weekly cycles that are specific to each one of us. Times of worship, devotion, fasting, prayer, study, etc. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you each week. They should get more meaningful over time and become spiritually rich. Don’t let the devil kick you into autopilot. Live each day with awareness to the Kingdom, and live it with purpose. The Kingdom of God has no drones – only sons and daughters that are alive, vibrant and aware!
3. Command the Enemy to Release Your Seasons: (Note – only do this after a time of repenting to make sure your armor is on properly.) I can tell you what I am seeing spiritually about this. If you have been going from winter to winter or winter to summer – over and over again – all of those springs and falls are not lost! I see a large dam that the enemy has erected to hold them back. You need to start binding the enemy over stealing your seasons and command him to release what he has already stolen. You may have a fight on your hands over it. Discouragement will come knocking on your door almost immediately. Actually, that is good news. Why would the devil hit you if you were missing it? Two great allies to a soldier of Christ are determination and consistency. The enemy has stolen your blessing, your refreshment and your fulfillment in the LORD. Heaven is saying that now is the time to fight to get it back. The more years the enemy has stolen means the more that must be released. It is time to go from being “worn out” to “thoroughly blessed!” The time of the harvest is near!
© Copyright 2009 by Michael K. Lake,Th.D.
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