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How Do I Stand Firm On God’s Promises?

A reader asked, “how do I stand firm on God’s promises?” That’s such a universal question that I decided to put the question into a blog post. As you may already know, the battle is taking place in your mind. That’s where the enemy does his dirty work. So then, the solution is to learn to control what comes into your mind. But we can’t do that on our own. We need God’s help.

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:13)

stand firm

Satan has an agenda: bring the whole world under his control, and to make Christians ineffective in overcoming his evil temptations, trials, and schemes. He also wants To make us ineffective in leading others to victory rather than defeat.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments [speculations] and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3~5)

Paul is saying in verse 3 that we are not waging war using natural weapons; that spiritual problems require supernatural weapons. But instead, Christians are still “fighting against flesh and blood”.

If your problem is being inflicted upon you by the devil, your “flesh” cannot win. If your problem is orchestrated by beings in the spiritual realm, all your efforts to take control are doomed to failure. Your efforts are a waste of time and are at best a band-aid solution, because you cannot achieve a spiritual victory using “natural” means. We can only overcome the spiritual forces of evil by using God’s Word! (More about that later.)

The source of your spiritual battles find their roots in your mind.

Paul wrote:

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Consider:
  • Speculations take place in your mind
  • The knowledge of God is in your mind.
  • Thoughts that you don’t want creep into your mind
  • every lofty thing {a partition) raised up against the knowledge of God is in your mind

The devil wants you to “compartmentalize” your mind — to be “double-minded”. So when you attend church on Sunday, you are in the “church” compartment. As soon as you leave, the partition gets raised up, and you are back into the “everyday-life” compartment.

The power to overcome is actually built into God’s Word! When we have saturated our minds with Scripture — which is nothing less than God’s thoughts for us to live by — there’s no room for the devil’s thoughts.

How Do I Just Stand Firm ?

So the technique is:

  • As a suspicious thought comes to mind, check it against the Word of God to see if it’s a lie / deception / temptation
  • If the thought is from the liars of hell, respond by speaking the Truth of God’s Word

To learn how to control the thoughts that come into your mind, I urge you to read my article:How To Banish Unwanted Thoughts

The devil will not pull up a chair, sit down, and tap his fingers on the arm of the chair while you try to find verses to throw at him. You have to be armed and ready at all times. Trials come upon you like the proverbial “pie-in-the-face”. How you respond determines your spiritual maturity.

Biblical Example Of Standing Firm:

Practical Practice of Praise

From the book of 2 Chronicles, God demonstrates how it was the praise of the people that activated His divine intervention.

6 [King Jehoshaphat prayed:] “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.

15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.

17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”

(2 Chronicles 20:6, 15, 17)

King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah were following after God during this period in their history. A godly nation; a godly king. But suddenly a report came that would cause anyone to tremble: three armies were bearing down upon them, intending to slaughter every person!

What did they do? Well, what the didn’t do was to freak out and try to fight the battle on their own. To their credit, they did the only thing that could have saved them: they turned to God in fasting and prayer.

Important Point:

Notice that the prayer in verse 6 (below) is all about God, and not about them:

O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. (2 Chronicles 20:6)

Over and over they proclaim truths that they had been taught and were living by:

  • TRUTH: They knew who He was: “O Lord, God of our fathers”.
  • TRUTH: They praise God by asking, “are you not the God who is in heaven?” (A rhetorical question for which the answer is obvious.)
  • TRUTH: “You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.”
  • TRUTH: “Power and might are in Your hand.”
  • TRUTH: “No one can withstand you.”

Verses 15 and 17 reveal how God responded, as He spoke through the prophet Jahaziel:

3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.

6 …O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.

14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged for the battle is not yours but God’s.

17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”

(2 Chronicles 20:6, 14~15, 17)

There is an important phrase in verse 15 (above): “For the battle is not yours, but God’s”. Everyone needs to know that and take it to heart, so as to to live by it.

Also, in verse 17 I have emphasized the key phrase: “stand firm”>

Now, look at what happened:
Note the underlined text:

20 And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” 21 And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise God in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say,

“Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

22 And when they began to sing and praise God, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 23 For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another. (2 Chronicles 20:20~23)

Who but God would seriously devise this battle plan:

  • [Jehoshaphat took] counsel with the people
  • He instructed the people to “Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established…”
  • Also to “believe his prophets, and you will succeed”
  • he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise God in holy attire
  • They went out in front of the army shouting, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

WHAT??

Where were the warriors with swords and spears??

IMAGINE WITH ME:

It would be as though the Allied forces on D-day in 1944 had landed on the beach at Normandy — and then began singing to the Nazi soldiers!

That’s what it must have felt like to the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

That’s what they were — in essence — being commanded to do, right? That’s how I read it!

What they did required a very bold step of faith!

But when God saw their faith and heard their praise, He took Over:

Verse 22 says that “when they began to sing and praise God, the Lord set an ambush…”

It was the PRAISE OF THE PEOPLE that activated God’s supernatural help!

I invite you to read my article: Praise God! He Loves That. Find out how to really draw near to God.

They took God seriously

They were so secure in the certainty of the outcome in light of God’s promises that they put the musicians — the worship team — IN FRONT OF THE ARMY, FACING THE ENEMY!

And why not? They trusted God
  • They remembered the stories from their parents and grandparents about the times when God delivered their people out of captivity in Egypt.
  • They recalled how God had fed their forefathers in the wilderness.
  • They remembered how He had supernaturally held back the waters of the Jordan river while the people crossed.
  • They knew how the people marched around Jericho for seven days.
  • They remembered that, on the seventh day, the entire nation marched around the walls of Jericho seven times.
  • And they recalled how, when the trumpet sounded — and all the people gave a great shout — God caused the walls of Jericho to fall.
  • And they took note of the fact that God supernaturally preserved Rahab and her family, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

Therefore, they knew they were going out merely as spectators, and that God would fight the battle for them.

God expects us to learn from these examples:

4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Now these things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us… (1 Corinthians 10:11a)

If your “faith” is just an intellectual assent to a set of facts, you’ll never step out in faith as they did. God’s purpose for you is to transform you — often through adversity — so that He can use you for His purposes.

On the other hand…

If the principles of God’s Word have become for you a way of life, a deeply-held conviction that you live by — and if necessary, you would die for — then you are truly His disciple!

Here’s what God wants to train you to do:


Here is the entire Scripture passage:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. (Proverbs 3:5~7)

Our adversary, Satan, does not want you to trust in the Lord, because he knows that “Every Word of God proves True…” (Proverbs 30:5) and Satan cannot hang with the Truth! The Bible is the one thing in this world that the devil cannot control. He wants you to put all your trust in worldly solutions, because he can control those.

Instead, choose to trust God.

38 but My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. (Hebrews 10:38~39)

Are you “…of those who have faith…”?

~ Jan

 

How YOU Can Live In Peace

38 lessons – click/tap image above

All problems are easier to face when you are working from a position of peace and strength rather than from a position of worry, anxiety, and fear. Peace is what you long for, right?  The really good news is: EVERYONE can have peace! How can I say that? Because Jesus Himself said it.

The Battle Is Not Yours, but Gods

30 lessons – click/tap image above

This online course includes a biblical example of how God will fight your battle for you, WHEN you choose to live in harmony with Him.
ALSO: In one of the units in this course, I have shared part of my ongoing transformation in Gods “University of Adversity”.

 

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • kweyu November 21, 2018, 4:51 AM

    SHALOM,
    Thanks a lt and God bless you for the isnspiring message.SHALOM.
    Kenya,Kakamega.

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  • Beth November 20, 2018, 3:02 PM

    Thanks for this. Gods word is alive! You know I wrote to you about my fear of losing my salvation and felt extreme anxiety. Quoting from 2 chron 20v15-17 out loud really worked to reduce that. I am also learning to sing praises when the anxiety returns. The hardest part is doing it when I feel afraid. I was just thinking God said ‘do not be afraid. He didn’t say not to feel afraid. To me I think I can feel afraid but I don’t have to act it. I can still go forward and therefore not BE afraid. Hope that makes sense. Thanks

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    • Jan Smith November 20, 2018, 6:00 PM

      Beth, thanks for coming back and reading this article, and then writing a comment.
      You’re getting it!! You are absolutely right when you say that you can have feelings of fear without actually choosing to not be afraid. Seems absurd, but it all comes down to how we act…when what we SEE doesn’t seem to AGREE with what God said.
      That’s the test! It’s to stand firm:
      when what you SEE…
      doesn’t seem to AGREE…
      with what God says.

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