If You’re in a Battle… Choose the Rock

One of the most common and unfortunate misunderstandings that people have today involves the fact that they do not realize that a spiritual battle cannot be fought and won with carnal weapons. In today’s world, it seems that almost everywhere you go, you come across someone who is chronically depressed, and is either taking prescription medications for depression, getting help from a professional counselor or psychiatrist, or both. Some of the latest statistics from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) report that depression affects one out of every ten persons in America. In addition to the statistics on depression, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug use and Health, 23.5 million people 12 years of age and older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009. When you consider these statistics, it becomes quite clear that great numbers of people in America today are fighting personal battles that start within their minds, and often try to anesthetize the pain of what they are facing in life by using drugs or alcohol. When the stress, fear, and uncertainty of life becomes too much for a person, and they feel like they have no other alternatives, a life of depression and alcohol or drug abuse is often the result. This is incredibly sad because there is an answer available for all of the stress, anxiety, and confusion in their lives, and that answer is found in a having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Depression, and substance abuse both originate from a person’s inability to effectively handle the stress that life throws their way. All stress and fear originates with thoughts that attack a person’s mind. In the Bible the Apostle Paul admonished Timothy that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and a sound mind. (2nd Timothy 1:7)  It is my opinion that every worry, every fear, every episode of stress, and every battle with drug or alcohol dependency that any person will ever face is brought about by a demonic spirit. In the Bible in Ephesians 6:12 we are told, 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.” (NIV Bible)

The world today is full of people facing depression and substance abuse that are going through life trying to fight a battle that is against demonic spirits and influences with their own power and with their own determination. No amount of willpower, counseling, or self-help books will ever give a person victory over the demonic oppression and attacks of Satan.

Take a look at what the Apostle Paul said about how we should fight our battles in the Bible in the book of 2nd Corinthians. Paul said,  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” This passage spells out the truth that those facing fear, worry, depression, and despair need to understand; as Paul said, Even though we are humans, we do not battle against a human enemy. Because we do not battle a human enemy, we cannot fight with weapons that are of a human nature. We have to fight the attacks that Satan, the enemy of our soul would bring against us with the power of God. It is the power of God that will enable us to overcome the strongholds that the enemy tries to establish in our minds. The battle all starts and ends in a person’s mind. Did you notice Paul used the phrases casting down imaginations and bringing into captivity every thought?  This reminds us that every battle against fear, and depression is fought and won in the mind. Thoughts are a powerful thing! I once heard a quote that said, ” Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”  It all starts with our thoughts, which can end up determining the paths we take in life. This is why we are told in Romans 12:2 that we should not worry about what the world thinks, but we should allow God to change our thinking. In this passage of scripture we read, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (New Living Translation)

Just about everyone has heard the old Bible story about how the young boy David defeated the enormous Philistine giant Goliath. If you need a refresher on this story, just get a Bible and go to the 17th Chapter of the Book of 1st Samuel; you can read all about it. When you read this story, you will see that David had courage and  faith in the God that he served, and his faith and trust in God empowered him to defeat the giant that he faced. David’s own brothers thought he was crazy for even thinking about trying to defeat Goliath. David’s brothers were using human (carnal) reasoning. David was the youngest of the sons of Jessie, and he was just a boy. David wasn’t trained in the tactics of war like his brothers, and was not a veteran of numerous battles like they were. When David refused to back down from Goliath, Saul the king tried to give David his armour, his helmet, and his sword. David’s brothers and King Saul were thinking in terms of fighting a spiritual battle with carnal weapons. David knew the weapons that man could offer were of no use against Goliath. David understood that the battle he faced was not against flesh and blood…but against spiritual wickedness in high places. David chose not to go to battle using what King Saul offered. The weapons David chose were a sling and a rock. When David approached Goliath on the battlefield he told Goliath, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1st Samuel 17:45-47) Please take notice that David said, “ …the LORD will conquer you!” David knew the battle did not belong to him, but it belonged to God. David conquered the giant he faced with the Rock. 

My question to you today is…what giants are you facing in your life? If you have spent your entire life trying to make sense of life only to suffer defeat after defeat, and setback after setback, perhaps it is because you are trying to fight your giants with the weapons of man. In other words, you are trying to fight your battles in your own strength and abilities. We don’t defeat our enemy by might, or by power, but by God’s spirit working within us. David knew this; that is why he chose the ROCK. Psalms 18:2 says, The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety”. If you want to be victorious over the giants that you face in life, you have to do as David did and choose the ROCK. That rock is Jesus Christ.  Don’t go through life trying to fight spiritual battles with carnal weapons. You will never win! Let Jesus fight your battles.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Mark

 

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