God’s Plan for Spiritual Training

God is in control and runs the scoreboard and the clock of life. In this game of life, we are the victors, because Jesus has already won the victory over Satan. There is a game to be played…a battle to be fought in this life and a victory to be won and He wants you to win. Keep in the race by keeping the faith.

You keep the faith by:

  • reading the Word,
  • believing / trusting the Word,
  • praying, the Word,
  • applying the Word.

With all that said, to win a battle you must have a plan. God’s plan for each of our lives is written in His Word. We have His plan for this game of life and we have already won IF we are following the game plan, His Word.

I am SO GRATEFUL for Jesus and and His blood that was shed for me/ for you. Yes, God’s plan for WINNING in this life that was given for all mankind to receive.

How exciting it is to know that we can finish the game of life and at the end of the race say as Apostle Paul states in:

  • 2 Timothy 4:7 (NLT2) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.

Our first step in winning a battle is to prepare for it. Help is only found in seeking God’s help:

  • Stated in Matthew 6:33 and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
  • As stated in John 3:3 Jesus replied, “ I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.”
  • Later in John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Jesus tells us how to get to God. When you came into this world you were physically born of water, earthly parents, but to become a child of the King, a member of His family and a citizen of His Kingdom, you must become spiritually born of God; accept Jesus, as your Lord and Savior, truthfully repent and turn from your sins and ask His forgiveness.

Yes, ask Him to come into your heart and take over your life committing your life to Him. The Holy Spirit will help you run this race successfully when you give Him the reigns. This is the only way you will become victorious and receive the power to win and defeat the spiritual enemy and guaranteed eternal life.

To win a battle there must be time spent in training. We as God’s people must be involved in things of God…that of spiritual training and spiritual exercises…preparing for spiritual growth and preparing for the battle.

Let’s look at some scriptures that will help in our spiritual growth and understanding of the relationship which God desires with all His children.

  • 1 Peter 2:2 You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk.

Spiritual growth is an ongoing part of the believer’s life until Jesus returns…

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.

Another step in winning the spiritual battle is DAILY DEVOTIONS. We were created for God’s pleasure and as our Father, God, wants us to pay Him a visit. Daily devotions consist of Bible study, meditate (reflect) on His Word and prayer, communication, which is the very means God has given us to speak to Him.

The Bible which is the Living Word of God, when studied and reflected upon, will give us understanding and revelation; that of who God is and who we are in Christ; by the Holy Spirit, who dwells within each child of God. In your daily devotions consider making these things part of your life. Pray and ask God for a desire to spend part of each day with Him.

Pray and ask God to give you the discipline necessary to visit Him daily. Praying with your heavenly Father will bring pleasure to Him and you will receive DELIGHT that is indescribable; a peace that surpasses our own understanding. When you come into God’s presence, always remember to listen to Him, for prayer is to be a TWO WAY conversation. When you go to Him in prayer, go to Him thoroughly cleansed of sin…give Him your total body; your mind, your emotions, your will.

In other words, our spirit, soul and body which includes our mind, will and emotions are to be surrendered/ yielded to God. Anticipation and expectation to hear from God in prayer should be our everyday experience.

  • Psalms 66:18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened.
  • 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. Always ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any and all sin and then if there is sin confess these sins.

God has sent us the Holy Spirit for a purpose, to communicate with both God and His people. The battle with Satan can only be won in the spiritual world. That is to say, through the spiritual realm. It will ultimately come down to, we overcome Satan by the “blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony”.

In other words, to over comer the attacks of Satan it will take both standing firm in Christ , on/in His Word and through prayer, praying in the Holy Spirit; for the Spirit knows how to pray. Ultimately, we will always have a testimony to share when we stand firm on the foundation of Christ for Satan can find nothing in us but Christ alone.

Ask yourself theses QUESTIONS:

  • Are you a believer?
  • Are your sins under the blood?
  • Are you saved by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus)? Jesus broke the power of sin in every believers life. When we accept Jesus into our lives He breaks the power and grip of sin, and “sets us free”. FREE from Satan and His hold on/in our lives.
  • Are you ashamed to confess Christ openly and publicly?
  • Are you willing to say, “I believe Christ is the Son of God.”?
  • Are you willing to lay it all on the line? Can you say, As much as in me, I’m going with God and I’m going for God with all within me; all my mind, my will, my emotions, my soul and my spirit…my entire body belongs to God.
  • The ultimate question is: Are you willing to die for the Gospel? In Revelation 12:11, it states this about the believers… “And they loved not their lives unto death.”

Jesus overcame Satan through the Word of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are no different in that sense; we will overcome Satan in our life by the blood of Jesus, through the Word of God, prayer and through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the degree that He is residing in us.

  • Apostle Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God that we may be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Paul states in Ephesians 6:11 , to “put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (trickery) of the devil.”

The devil-Satan , is counting on that we will see the (fun and pleasure in sin). The devil is asking us to invest in something of immediate return without telling us about the risk, the outcome, the ugly side! The devil approaches us with exaggerated emphasis on the pleasure we can enjoy if we sin. The devil is counting on us to act on the immediate pleasure and does not want us to stop and think when we are approached with tempted behavior. Satan does not want us to study the Word, pray and consider if something is right or not.

Do not give Satan an opening into our lives through our emotions and mood. The devil will use this as a way to erode your character and to lead you into sin and gradually turn you away from God. We must always be ready to repent, forgive and turn away from all appearance of evil.

  • Ephesians 4:26, makes this very clear. “Be angry and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your wrath; nor give place to the devil.”

How exciting it is to know that God did not leave us defenseless; for He has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us into all truth.

What are these might weapons that we as believers are to use against Satan?

  • Ephesians 6:10-18 (NLT) A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere

Yes, as stated in verse 18, above, It will take much praying, in the spirit, standing strong in faith and in the Word of God.

Let me bring out a few of the strongholds that Satan has on God’s people; then we will conclude with how to break the strongholds in one’s life through prayer and fasting. Scriptures speaks of this battle as spiritual warfare against Satan and his demons.

  • 2 Corinthians 10:3 We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods.
  • Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

What is a stronghold? Webster describes a stronghold as a fortress, or an area dominated or occupied by a special group. We could define strongholds as the following:

  • Any ongoing condition that is contrary to God’s Word and His plans for our lives.
  • Any condition that stands as an obstacle between us and a perfect relationship with our Creator.
  • Any condition that distracts from and destroys one’s spiritual potential preventing us from experiencing life more abundantly, which Jesus said He came to bring. There is no human being that can destroy a stronghold of Satan but God. God alone is able. If God fights the battle or empowers us with His weapons, the forces of evil cannot stand. 1 John 4:4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Yes, God’s grace and power cannot and will not fail as stated in 2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.

Never forget this, His words are as true today as in the first century. Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. ”

Another vital step in our preparation for spiritual battle is FASTING. Today, Satan has his hold on many Christians through strongholds that can only be broken by the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting.

Let’s look at a few thoughts when fasting:

  • Concentration is to be on God, not on the “sacrifice” of the fast.
  • Fasting is to be a private matter between God and the one fasting.
  • During the fast spend as much time as possible in praise and worship, prayer and Bible study. Focus is to be on God and His Word.
  • Time should be spent several days in advance preparing for the fast in prayer…get God’s will in regards to the purpose of the fast.

This exercise of FASTING; that of putting God, before the needs of the body… putting God before self…will always result in a closer walk with Him, provided the motive is right.

Another factor in spiritual growth is that of Christian fellowship. Do not forsake gathering together with other Christians as stated in Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.

This is a very important factor in your spiritual growth that of personal involvement in a Christ-centered, Bible-teaching church. Forgiving others is a vital step in spiritual growth and yet a very common stronghold that Satan uses against the Christian. Unforgiveness is a very serious sin in the eyes of God.

  • Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
  • Matthew 6:14 – 15 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

When you ask for forgiveness be sure it comes out of genuine compassion and concern for the other.

Our thoughts can be a barrier blocker to our spiritual growth. Apostle Paul tells us to think on things that are Godly.

  • Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
  • Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed. Another step in spiritual growth is to be an encourager, daily reach out to another person and show acts of care and encouragement.

Lastly, GIVE THANKS. God’s blessings are all around us…in our everyday life.

  • Psalms 116:17 I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

There is no end to the list of things both material and spiritual that God has provided for each of us. We are thankful for: Life…God…family…food…home…clothes…job…etc. Be thankful.

Remember, spiritual training is always conducted one step or one phase at a time…expect the Holy Spirit to help you in your training and you will soon realize the power of God, the Holy Spirit, working in and through you.

Listed below you might say are the weapons we are to select for battle against Satan. Always keep in mind, the battle is the Lords. This fight against Satan has already been won in Christ Jesus but it will take doing our part in keeping Satan out of our life.

  • Praise and Worship: 2 Samuel 22:4; Psalm 107:8; Psalm 50:23; Psalm 150:6
  • Prayer: Hebrews 4:16; Proverbs 15:8; James 5:16; Psalm 55:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:17…Indeed “nothing happens until we pray”.
  • The Word of God: “the Sword of the Spirit” The Bible is filled with God’s promises to fight for us and with us…Ephesians 6:17; Isaiah 41:10, 13.
  • The Name of Jesus: Jesus has given all believers in Him the very authority to use His name in defeating the works of Satan and his demons…The very key is Christ in us…John 14:13-14; Acts 3:6
  • The Blood of the Lamb: There is power in the blood of the Lamb; the very power of Jesus Christ who shed His blood for the sins of the world. We are to be grateful and thankful for Christ Jesus and His blood that was shed for us. Yes, as a believer we are grateful for the shed blood in our lives and thankful for what the shed blood means in and over situations in our lives bringing about victory over Satan.
  • Revelation 12:11 (KJV) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

As stated above in Revelation 12:11. These weapons of spiritual warfare has been given to all believers who has died out of self to Christ and has allowed the Holy Spirit to guide, lead and empower them, over Satan for the glory of God and our victory!

Love in Christ Jesus,
Paul Lundmark

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