Invisible War

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor 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.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians. 6:11-17

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.” Is. 54:17

“Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Jesus

Evil lurks in the shadows. The spirit of unforgiveness transforms into a predator and stalks his next victim. The wolf crouches and slowly encircles your camp searching for unlocked gates that are easily accessible. There he strategically plans his attack. He’s in!

You begin to sense disruption in your life. “Why is everyone against me?” you plead. The spiritual battle remains cloaked as your focus initially rests upon the flesh and not against the powers of this dark world. Now deep within your camp, unforgiveness invites anger and resentment. Your hedge is weakened as you’ve turned your eyes from the Lord and have discerned fiery arrows blistering the air around.

You withdraw from the footing of your cornerstone and attempt to locate the origin of the arrows through your own power. Each step away from the Rock creates a chill and frailty. You reach the edge of illusion and divinity and come face to face with pure evil! The dark cloak of fear grows violently – the source – spiritual rebellion and defiance.

Disbelief quickly transforms into reality. “Oh Lord, my God! Save me!” you shout. You sense the Holy Spirit stirring deep within your soul. Reconciliation overtakes your conscience. You speak, “Lord, please forgive me for my disobedience and rebellion. I ask that you carry me safely to your hiding place. You already won the battle against good and evil, and You hold the keys to victory and life. As a child of the King, I rebuke these weapons formed against me in the powerful name of Jesus Christ. They will not stand!”

Darkness flees in an instant. You remain prostrate in holy submission. As you lift your head, you see the silhouette of your Savior with outstretched arms. Darkness cannot exist in His presence. The dove of peace shields you as you regain clear focus on Jesus. The Lord says, “Keep your eyes on Me, the perfecter of your faith.” He continues by stating Psalm 91:9-16

If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Encouragement

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

We Are God’s Ambassadors

11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

encourage

Did he say homework? [Smile] Yes, our pastor ended his piercing sermon on Sunday with the statement, “Now here’s your homework for this week. Read the passage in 2 Corinthians 5 and think about how this relates to encouraging others.” Since then, I’ve read the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 5 several times, and God peels back the layers each and every time.

To be fully honest, God is revealing more and more about the true meaning of life. No, I’m not being overly dramatic. Just like I posted in my last blog, “What are we doing?” The answer is very clear. We are called to live fully in Christ and share His gospel in all that we say and do. The passage above is even entitled, “We Are God’s Ambassadors.” If, therefore, we are God’s Ambassadors, then we represent God Himself! This most certainly makes me stand a little taller and serve a little harder. I pray that we act upon this very important role and responsibility by seeing others how Christ sees them –

Colossians 3:3, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

2 Corinthians 5:21, For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

Galatians 3:27, “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.”

Do you see? As believers, we have actually “put on” Christ just like wearing new clothes. God strips us from our old, worn-out garments, and He clothes us with purity through His perfect reconciliation…[ponder]…then why do we treat each other with such antagonism?

I must admit dear friends, we have an “ego” problem within our churches and communities. We spend an exorbitant amount of time critiquing, criticizing, and crucifying our brothers and sisters – especially our anointed ministers – and to that I say, “ENOUGH!” I have only one word that sums up this demon – PRIDE. Sadly, the spirits of pride, rebellion, and division parade around our church hallways, homes, offices, etc. with such ease because they are given legal permission to commune in our minds. This saddens me greatly.

[Error in spiritual thinking]

“That worship music just isn’t my style, they need to stop all that hand-raising and moving around and just sing hymns. That’s how it has always been done. If they don’t stop then I’m finding a new church.”

“I’m going to ask the pastor on Monday if he owns a suit because he apparently can’t find one to wear on Sunday mornings. All the former pastors in this church have worn suits, why can’t he?”

“Who made this new policy change in the church? I don’t like it, and I’m going to withhold my tithes until they change it back.”

“Why is that new couple sitting in my seat? Don’t they know that’s my seat? I’ve sat there every Sunday since I was a little boy. They are going to have to move.”

“Who approved to plant a tree right there in the front of the church? It should have gone on the side. I’m going to complain to the grounds committee.”

I think you get the point, and if I’m stepping on toes…then I will call it a spiritual piercing in the hopes that we are sharpening each other instead of offending one another. I pray that we all crucify our own flesh and put on Christ! Start encouraging and stop antagonizing; the world is watching, and right now they see a broken body in Christ. It is up to us to show the world that we can humble ourselves and live as ambassadors to the one and only King!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

What Are We Doing?

Psalm 101

I will sing of your love and justice, Lord
    I will praise you with songs.
I will be careful to live a blameless life—
    when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
    in my own home.
I will refuse to look at
    anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
    I will have nothing to do with them.
I will reject perverse ideas
    and stay away from every evil.
I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
    I will not endure conceit and pride.

I will search for faithful people
    to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
    will be allowed to serve me.
I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
    and liars will not stay in my presence.
My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
    and free the city of the Lord from their grip.

Stressed Young Woman

I received some devastating news a few days ago. My childhood best friend’s mother passed away unexpectedly. When I saw my friend’s name scroll across the caller I.D., I was initially thrilled. We haven’t spoken in so long now that we live in separate states. I was most certainly not expecting to hear the words, “She’s gone.” I sank. I spent my entire childhood in her home. We lived in the same neighborhood, and both of our families shared life together. She was such a kind woman. During summer breaks, I am certain I became one of her own kids as I spent as much time as I could there. Those memories are priceless!

I was convicted thereafter. I couldn’t help but think, “What are we really doing as Christ-followers here on earth?” I must share the thoughts of my friend as it speaks volumes:

“Do not take a single day for granted. We aren’t promised any time at all here on earth. Make sure people know how you feel about them. Get right with God, and get right with others, or you may lose the opportunity. You may be the only bight spot in someone else’s day, make the most of it!”

This my friends is the answer! We are called to grow closer to God through an intimate relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. We are charged to share this relationship through His gospel with those around us. We most certainly are instructed to quickly forgive in order to prevent Satan from gaining a foothold, and we are always advised to be the salt and light of the world.

I also providentially came across this passage in Psalm today. I encourage you to read it carefully, and meditate on it wholeheartedly. Psalm 101:2 says, “I will be careful to live a blameless life.” How many of us can actually say we strive to live a blameless life? What about living with integrity? Do you protect your eyes from all things vile and vulgar? Are we convicted yet? [YES]

We will miss our dear family friend. Yet, in true encouraging fashion, we are still being reminded to live like Christ through the reflection of her life and to that we say, “Praise God!” I echo my friend’s words. Strive to live a blameless life dear friends. Be the salt and light in a tasteless world.

What impact are you leaving? Better yet…what impact are you LIVING?

In loving memory of Ms. Rita Mann.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Journey

Philippians 1:6

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

God at work

We are called to give God thanks in everything! Some experience a lifelong journey of trials and tribulation. Others “appear” to coast through this life without much turbulence. We are not called to compare or even judge. In fact, we are instructed to keep our eyes on Christ. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” So—what does your journey look like?

I couldn’t help but think about this passage while a physician was injecting medication to block nerves in my eye socket, temples, jaw, and forehead yesterday morning all while experiencing the worst migraine in my life. You see, I’m on a journey (and so are you!). I will give God all the honor and praise even when I’m severely nauseated and vomiting from migraine pain. I will lift my hands to the Father even when I can’t stand up on my own strength, and my wife has to guide my steps. I will call upon His name when the doctor says, “You need another surgery which most likely will leave more scars on your face.”

As my thoughts pondered enduring another migraine surgery and the very real possibility of facial scars, the world grew quiet. The doctor continued to speak but my thoughts drifted to [scars]. Have you ever, truly, thought about the excruciating pain Jesus Christ went through. What about His scars? The one to two inch scars that remain around my head, neck, back, and hip from a previous unsuccessful surgery are nothing in comparison to whips, thorns, nails, rods, and spears.

John 19:1-3, “Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.”

This my friends represents pain, suffering, and scars! Even more, Christ willingly endured this torture, unimaginable pain, and death on a cross out of obedience to the Father’s will. This obedience resulted in our eternal salvation. His suffering, pain, and scars were used for our good! I truly try to apply this in my life. There is nothing happening to me that surprises God the Father. He is in complete control.

Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”

My pain and scars are nothing in comparison to the enteral salvation given freely through nail-pierced hands. I pray not only for a physical healing in my life but for a testimony. I don’t want to be healed just for the sake of being pain free. No, my journey will be a testimony that will draw others to Christ.

What is your journey? When you feel like you cannot take another step or the scars paralyze you emotionally, focus on the One who endured such torture and has the scars to prove it. He sits at the right hand of the Father awaiting to see us face to face. What a glorious day that will be. Tears will be erased and scars will melt away as we receive a new body in His glorious space.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Provider

Genesis 22:1-2; 7-14

Some time later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called. “Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.” “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”

12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” 13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”).

walk

“Where are we going, Lord?” I ask.

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“What’s over that hill? I can’t see Lord?

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Am I lost, Lord? Are you speaking? I am getting nervous.”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“I’m so far away from my comfort zone, Jesus. What is this about?”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Wait! Over there! I see the enemy’s army amass. Are they coming for me?”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“But Lord, the evil is close. They are playing tricks on my mind.”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Why is my focus being drawn away from your voice?”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Have we stopped moving, Lord? It is dark all around, but your light remains bright.”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Do you hear that, Lord? There are voices of angels around me.”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“The scales are falling off; I can see!”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“There is healing in this place – a renewed mind – clarity unfolding!”

-“I will provide!” He replies.

“Prayer is overtaking the darkness, Lord! Your people call out to You!”

-I DID provide!” He replies.

“The Holy Spirit rushes in like a mighty wind. I know I can see it, Lord!”

-I DID provide!” He replies.

“The burdens are slithering out of my head, Lord! The pain doesn’t exist!”

-I DID provide!” He replies.

“What was once considered personality flaws are now being cast down in Your name.”

-I DID provide!” He replies.

“We stand amazed under your wing!”

-I ALWAYS provide!” He replies.

————————————————-

At just the right moment, the light shatters the darkness, and all is made clear. I am not alone. In fact, I’m surrounded by the voices of many believers. “Jehovah is gathering His people!” they cry. “We are one body in Christ!” they proclaim.

Worship breaks out in one accord, “Praise His holy name. Let all that has breath praise the Lord! You are our provider. Your ways are higher. You brought forth the blameless Lamb, Your Son Jesus, to take away the sins of the world. Evil convinced us that we were walking down a path of shame for our sinful ways, but You alone provided the sacrificial substitution when Satan’s finger was pointed right at us. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!”

Matthew 24:34, “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Who Are You Kidding?

1 John 2:4

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,


I’m truly starting to understand the differences. In one corner you have head knowledge. In the other corner you have heart faith. I have said once before that many will stand before the King and sadly hear, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” 

Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

What does this look like on earth? For starters, I cannot and will not judge. However, the Word makes it very clear that believers should bear fruit! 

Galatians 5:22-23, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Where do you see yourself?

-peacemaker or instigator?

-gentle or harsh?

-calm or rash?

-joyful or sorrowful?

-kind or abrasive?

-humble or prideful?

We are not perfect, BUT the Spirit yearns to produce such good fruit when we actively strive to become more like Christ. We must stop saying, “I know him” but our actions scream otherwise. 

Do you find yourself stirring up trouble? Do you rebel against worship? Do you secretly seek praise and reinforcement to feed your pride even when it comes to “Godly things?” Who is responsible for instigating these evil fruits within you? It’s time to clean house my friends! 

Question: Do you REALLY know your King? Let Him search your heart – for there you will find your answer. 

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Burdened 

John 14:1-4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”


We cannot avoid it. We live in a sinful world. The flesh battles against the Spirit daily. There remains an internal struggle in the hearts of every human. Things happen that cause our hearts to be troubled. What does Jesus say about burdens and troubles? 

How can we measure the level and impact of our troubles? The answer lies within your emotional reactions. Jesus clearly states that we should not let our hearts be troubled. Why? He knows HOPE! In fact, Hope = God. Jesus was verbally declaring the promises of the Father! In that, we should be filled to the brim with excitement. You see, our Hope isn’t in this world, people, or things. Our hope is in the Lord. 

When troubles stir, people disappoint, stress abounds, bodies ache, and the mind controls, we should look to the Hope in our Savior. We focus on Him alone for He has gone to prepare a place for us! Do you truly believe? He not only is sitting at the right hand of the Father, but Jesus has gone to prepare our eternal home. He promises, therefore, to return for His children! To that I say – BE GONE burdens! 

Challenge: Dear friends, it’s time to self-evaluate. If you are only on a spiritual high when things are going your way then you need to assess your level of true dependence upon the Lord. Allow the Potter full access. How are you responding to the trials in your life? Are you weary? Are you burdened? Are you depressed? Or… Are you hopeful for the promises to come?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Are You Coming?

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Are You going

I work with some of the most amazing people in the world. God has blessed me with a team that exhibits a vast array of personalities and spiritual gifts. We are beyond blessed to be in a “helping” profession. We get to see God’s work first hand even in physical healing. It never gets old, and I’m always looking for the Spirit. In fact, I listen intently when my team speaks because I want to hear more than the literal terms; I want to listen for God’s message through their conversations no matter how unrelated.

Just this morning, I was blessed to have a spiritual conversation with a new team member. She brings such light, spiritual awareness, and truth. She is gifted and people cannot help but listen when she speaks. Her genuine heart is tangible and visible. She is more than an answer to prayer; she is a gift. This spirit-filled lady made a profound statement today that I couldn’t get out of my head all day. We were discussing the importance and power in worship. We both expressed disappointment when those around us simply appear unmoved and unaffected by His presence. She then stated, “I’m going to the throne room no matter what so are you going with me?”

YES – she gets it! Not only does she “get it” but she helped me understand it too! You see there is power in worship.

Exodus 23:25 – Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.

Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Acts 16:25 – About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

John 4:24 – God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

Joshua 6:2-5 – But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.”

I must admit, my friend is right! She’s going to the throne room to worship, and I want to go too! She doesn’t become frustrated when those around her fail to be moved. In fact, this drives her to worship more for she knows the Father is WORTH IT! The Father’s room is deep and wide. His grace and mercy bind us together in one body. The Father yearns for all His children to – come! Don’t delay dear friends. Meditate on the Word; pray without ceasing; and worship like He deserves!

Friends, I’m going to the throne room to worship…are you coming?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Glow

Philippians 2:4

Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

glow

God placed a very special friend in my life over a year ago through providential occurrences. At our very first encounter, God spoke, “You will minister to him.” The problem…I was out of town and didn’t even know this man’s name. I said, “God you must be kidding, right?” His response was steady and sure, “You will minister to him.” The conviction was so strong and the voice so loud that I almost started to believe that the people around me heard God’s voice too! There was nothing left to do than to obey. That simple act of faith and obedience has taken us down a grateful road for well over a year.

Through a series of special “God winks,” we have become good friends and have shared life together. Even more, you would never “put us together” by society’s standards. You see, we are complete opposites honestly. This is what makes this a beautiful God-designed encounter. In full transparency, I do not care about what society tries to define upon my life. I seek to live and act like Jesus. I would venture to say that Jesus also met and shared life with people that society would consider “opposites” even today. For starters, Jesus was ridiculed for being friends with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 7:34). All I have to say is, “Praise God” that glory came down and broke bread with sinners – like you and me!

I found out today that this friend might be moving far away. “Lord, are we done?” I asked. “I thought I was to continue ministering to him. How can I do that so far away?” I continued. The Spirit stated, “I’m the One who brought you together so trust Me to deliver for physical distance is only a barrier for those who don’t believe.” I must admit, this was hard to hear! “You’re right, Lord, I humble myself and place my human restrictions and finite cognition into your control and hands.”

I call upon you too dear believers. Please pray with me. I pray that we are in agreement and in unity with our prayers for each other. I pray for God’s blessings over my friend. I pray that he will fully surrender to the King. I also pray that God will continue to equip me to minister, lead, and/or instruct however He sees fit. Ultimately, we are called to “take an interest in others.” So, our journey is not done just because of a possible move far away; it is just beginning a new chapter.

Question: Are you taking an interest in others around you?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Distracted

Proverbs 4:25-27

25 Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. 26 Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established. 27 Don’t turn to the right or to the left; keep your feet away from evil.

focused on christ

“He seems determined!” Satan grumbles to the demons and tormentors. “This cannot happen,” he continues. “Where does his strength come from?” He has had enough and strategizes devious plans to kill, steal, and destroy the unsuspecting Christ-follower.

In the meantime, the believer yearns to know Christ more. He isn’t perfect – not by far – but he strives. His heart bleeds for the Father’s kingdom. He is on a journey, one initiated by salvation and punctuated by deliverance, clarity, mission, and purpose. Every thought and every action is measured by Christ’s motivation, intent, and will. His life’s verse would most certainly be Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”

Focused, driven, and purposeful are words I would use to describe this believer. His eyes pierce for a glimpse of the Father’s goodness in this world. He seeks the Father’s understanding and listens intently for the Spirit’s call. “What is He whispering today?” he would most certainly declare. He rebukes fear in Jesus name because 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Yes, he embodies the power of the Holy Spirit. The same God that raised Christ from the dead lives in him. He cries out for unity and spirit-filled conversion. His visions are persistent. God is speaking and he begs for more.

But…just then…he feels a cold chill trickle down his neck. The breath of death appears to have been unleashed from the depths of the abyss in full battle gear. He senses fear and knows death has brought his unprofitable friends: fear, doubt, insecurity, and distraction. This child of God timidly turns to face the challenge. With unsuspecting force, he is knocked down. The weight of destruction is now fully upon him. He weeps.

“This was too easy,” the reporter shares with the evil one. “It appears that the strong one is in fact – weak!” Satan stops pacing and unfolds his arms. He turns and sits basking in the news. “Picking them off one by one is the only way my kingdom will survive,” he acknowledges to himself. The evil one dismisses the court and rumblings are heard throughout the depths.

In complete surrender, the believer calls upon the Spirit of the living God for he knows he is nothing without Christ. His mouth opens and the sword of Spirit, which is the Word of God utterly destroys any chance for these evil powers to overtake this child. An army of angels arrives through the prayers of frontline believers. With a mighty wind, piercing light, and fiery petitions, the evil is rebuked and flees.

“Wait, what? Why are you all back so soon?” the evil one babbles. The demons cowardly state, “We thought he was giving up. He was still but his words were sharp. They were too bright! The forces of the heavenly realm overtook us.” The evil one leaps forward with humiliating tongue, “But wasn’t he alone? You couldn’t take out one single believer?” The demons now shaking from comprehension, “But he wasn’t alone! His prayers, the prayers of others, and the Spirit of the Living God were surrounding him.” Satan slumps to his knees, “You all are useless.” With cold eyes, he looks up and exclaims, “I will always seek to destroy them, and I’ll be looking for his open gates.”

The believer begins to feel Christ’s presence surrounding him – covered in His wing. He hears, “Rest my child. You are not alone nor will you ever be.” The Spirit continues, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” [1 Peter 5:8]. “Put on the full armor of God daily, and never stop focusing on Christ, the One who initiates and perfects our faith.” With renewed strength and purpose, the believer seeks to share his testimony for God’s glory. – Amen

Thankful,

Christian Armetta