Dear Ministry Partner,
Do you ever feel tired or worn-out?
Have you felt tired of "fighting"? Have you felt you
had too many "battles" — whether they were financial,
health, weight, relationships, your children, in your occupation
(with supervisors, employees, or customers), or political issues
in our nation?
One of the major tactics of the enemy
of our souls is to try to wear you out. God gives us this insight
7:25, where He informs us through prophecy that in the last
days, one of Satan’s tactics is to "wear
out the saints of the most High" (KJV). There
are two aspects to this — there is a spiritual "wearing"
on the saints, trying to deplete our spiritual and emotional reserves
through burnout & disappointment, anger & resentment,
and too much busy-ness so we don’t stay built up in God’s
Word and prayer. The second aspect is an awareness by Satan that
we believers live in a body of flesh that can get physically tired
or worn out.
Other translations render this strategy
of Satan as trying to "wear down" (NAS) or "oppress"
(NIV) or "persecute" (NKJ) or "afflict" (RHM)
the saints. Sometimes Satan tries to use a big, overwhelming issue
against a person that just seems to never end. And no matter what
you do or where you go, it is still there — like somebody
tied a helium balloon to your pants’ back belt-loop and
every time you turn around it is still there (this is typically
an evil spirit assigned from Satan, much like the apostle Paul
battled in every city — 2nd
Cor.12:7). Other times, Satan tries to use many small things
to continually aggravate and frustrate — like the proverbial
sand or gravel in your shoe. Part of the strategy of Satan depends
on your personality type, part of it hinges from your childhood
and experiences in adult life. Satan is no gentleman, and his
forces are not kind, understanding, or considerate of your misfortunes.
The enemy is always watching for "an opportune time"
4:13) or a "place" (Eph.
4:27) where he can try to cause problems or try to wear you
What can you do? Fortunately, there
are many things we can do! But unfortunately, many Christians
don’t do many of them, or enough of them — they "faint",
"give up", "cave in", or "despair"
18:1 in various translations). I have been tempted that way
many times, but I continue to "encourage myself in the Lord"
as David did when he discovered Ziklag
burned with fire and his family carried away by the enemy. Perhaps
you have felt members of your immediate or extended family have
been "carried away by the enemy" — through divorce,
childhood rebellion, drugs or alcohol, immorality, or disease?
The number one thing we must do is
stay in the Word of God. Reading in the Word is literally food
and energy to our spirit for the strength we need to resist temptation,
stand up against the spiritual pressure of the enemy, and to have
the spiritual stamina to pray. When time in the Bible drops off,
so does a person’s prayer life. It can be reversed by getting
back into the Word! This is so foundational, that many Christians
pass over it as too "basic". But that would be like
an athlete who decides eating is too basic! Actually, the most
successful athletes are the ones who take their eating and nutrition
The number two thing to do is pray.
This is also obvious, but essential. This is why I created a Bible
Reading Guide and a Prayer Guide —
to help believers stay in these essential tasks. We never "graduate"
from these in this life. I could elaborate, but I have a 6 tape
teaching series of techniques in prayer. People who want to be
"victorious" will be interested, people who don’t
mind being "casualties of war" will not be interested.
I cannot force people to win in life. I cannot make a horse drink,
I can only lead him or her to water.
As implied, another key is perseverance.
Satan literally cannot wear you out — he can only try to
make you think you will be worn out so you give up! Even though
we only have a flesh & blood body, the reason Satan is prevented
from wearing us out is God! The Word says "No
temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and
God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what
you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of
escape also, that you may be able to endure it ("bear it",
"stand up under it", "hold out", "come
through it victoriously" — 1st
Cor. 10:13 various translations). Certainly, with a body of
flesh, it is to our advantage to get enough sleep, not do things
that disturb our peace & tranquility, and eat right —
so we don’t tilt the advantage to Satan. But we can persevere.
Someone once said that 90% of winning is just showing up over
and over again. There is a lot of truth to that. You can usually
count on the devil’s side to be available, so if you give
up and forfeit the game — the enemy wins by default!
Don’t be AWOL
— that was the mighty King David’s mistake with Bathsheba.
"Then it happened in the spring, at the time
when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants....
But David stayed at Jerusalem." (2nd
Sam. 11:1) Who knows how many battles David had fought up
to that point in his life? He probably thought, "I am tired.
I’m getting older. I have fought plenty of battles. Let
somebody else go out and fight the battle." As a contrast,
consider the scriptural example of Caleb at age 40, and how he
and Joshua said "We should go up and take possession
of the land, for we can certainly do it" when
nobody else wanted to fight (Num. 13:30). Then after taking the
promised land, Caleb was still ready to fight at age 85! He personally
wanted the hill country of the Anakim, even though he acknowledged
that the city was "great and fortified" (Joshua
14:10-15). He conquered it, renamed it Hebron, and it later
became King David’s first place of royal residence.
For the Christian, we don’t
strap on a sword or get a gun for our spiritual warfare. We use
our spiritual weapons. I have two different 12 tape sets on spiritual
warfare, so I will not take the space here to elaborate. But I
will mention I have a painting of Jesus "calming the storm"
over my fireplace mantle as a reminder of the need to always take
authority over the storms of life (Luke
8:23-25). The disciples thought they were going to die, and
they knew storms on that lake! But Jesus rebuked the storm —
like we should — and then said to his disciples, "Where
is your faith?" One of the hardest things
for disciples to grasp is that God has delegated spiritual authority
to us, and it can be a life or death matter for us to use it.
This is directly opposed by the "sovereignty of God"
teaching that is so popular, and we need to "rightly divide
the Word" so that we are not talked out of using our authority.
One last powerful tool God has made
available that I must mention is worship. Deliberate praise to
God can cause tremendous spiritual break-through (2nd
Chron. 20:20-22). Too many Christians feel inhibited or afraid.
I can assure you it is not God inhibiting Christians from raising
their hands and worshiping Him! He created us for that purpose,
and we will engage in that for eternity. Do you think He does
not want us to express our adoration and gratitude to Him? In
His graciousness, God has even caused those acts of worship to
be a benefit to us — to defeat the works of Satan against
us! I even play CD’s of worship 24 hours a day in my home
at a very low volume to cause my house to have a spiritual atmosphere.
And anointed worship you can switch on anytime is one of the only
"artificial stimulants" that is actually good for you!
As you go to God, His ways, and His
Word, you can rise up over the problems and "lay aside every
weight...which doth so easily beset us" (Heb
12:1). You can overcome, and even learn to enjoy the "contest"
with every victory as points for "God’s side".
40:31 says, "Those who hope in the LORD will
renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they
will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Living in God’s Strength,
Dale & Judi Leander