You gotta know when to hold ‘em
Know when to fold ‘em
Know when to walk away,
Know when to run!
These lyrics from the song, The Gambler, by Kenny Rogers came to mind today as I contemplated some principles of spiritual warfare that I teach.
When the enemy is invading your territory (i.e. your home, your relationships, your business), it is vitally important to know which action to take.
There are times when you are supposed to “hold ‘em” – that could be standing your ground, making declarations in the spirit realm or even confronting another person about the darkness they are bringing into your territory.
There are times when you need to “fold ‘em” – that made me think of folding your hands together to pray for the situation. Maybe the bulk of the warfare is just clearing out the emotional baggage in your own heart and mind. This usually requires repentance – your own, or on behalf of someone else, and often on behalf of someone in your bloodline or ancestry.
There are times when you need to walk away. Yes, this is hard. But sometimes the best thing to do is pray for the other person and then say, “This is not my problem. You need to figure this out.” You emotionally disconnect from the darkness they are bringing into your life. You still love them, but you just step back from being emotionally attached to their breakthrough. This is often the hardest step for most of us to take because it doesn’t feel like love – but it is. It’s called Tough Love. And it can be a critical step to surviving a battle.
Lastly, “know when to run” means to be very aware of backlash from the enemy after you have stood your ground. You don’t literally “run”, but you do make sure that every door of opportunity that he has used against you is slammed shut and sealed with the blood of Jesus. You don’t open it and check to make sure – you keep that door closed!! If alcohol has been a problem for you, you don’t take one sip at a party just to see if you’re still free of it. If a certain person has been removed from your life, you don’t send a birthday text just to make sure they know you remembered it was their birthday. Don’t do it!
Backlash Can Be Brutal
I think the hardest part of spiritual warfare is the surprising force with which Backlash hits you. Usually when you least expect it. You’ve done the hard part of standing your ground, cleaning out the emotional “garbage” from you and your bloodline, releasing your sense of responsibility for the breakthrough of the people involved and finally you rest. Ahhh, the breakthrough is coming – I can feel it. You may even begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Then, BAM! You get hit by something unexpected that is designed to shake you to your core. It is sent to rattle you – to cause you to question who you are and your basis for authority. It’s happened to me many times.
Yet all you can do is STAND. Just keep moving forward in faith. Even when it seems impossible and you are ready to give up. Just do it. (And having done all, stand. Ephesians 6:13)
One of the enemy’s main tactics is to get your eyes off of the Father’s goodness and blessing to you and instead turn your eyes onto the darkness he is attacking you with. Use all your strength to ignore him and turn your eyes to God. Stay in Peace – he hates that!
You will keep her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because she trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
Backlash can be brutal. It makes you wonder who you are and what you think you are doing. It can attack your body, your mind and/or your emotions. Sometimes it is so vile, you don’t even realize what is going on. You just know you are miserable!
THIS is when you need the body of Christ around you. THIS is when you need a stable prayer partner or someone you can call to help you. Having a person who is very prophetic and sees in the spirit clearly can really help you break the power of backlash – because you will think you are losing your mind. You need someone who can tell you, “Wait. This isn’t yours. This is backlash. Let me pray.” And when they do, suddenly all the effects of backlash disappear.
I didn’t know that the enemy could attack your emotions and suddenly make you feel depressed, overwhelmed, jealous, fearful, suicidal, [insert any negative emotion here] FOR NO REASON. I thought emotional attacks were related to your actions – for instance, if you focus on your problems, you can get depressed or feel overwhelmed. But when you are suddenly hit with deep, overwhelming emotions that are dark, it surprises you. You have no idea why they are there. You can’t “fix” ‘em because they are NOT yours! They are often so thick that it is hard to think clearly so it may take a while for you to figure this out. That’s why having a close relationship with another intercessor or prophetic person can really help – tell them how you are honestly feeling and then the Lord can give them insight for you.
You gotta know when to hold ‘em
Know when to fold ‘em
Know when to walk away,
Know when to run!
And how do I know when to do each of these in battle? , you might be thinking. Answer: ATL
That means Ask The Lord. He is the Commander-in-Chief and He is the only one who knows which step is needed when. You follow Him and everything will work itself out for your good.
Got any keys that help you in battle? Please feel free to comment below so we can learn from each other. 🙂
Rating: Inspirational, Educational
War Room was the #1 movie in America last week. It is about the power of prayer and how it directly, significantly changes the lives of those who are prayed for as well as the one who is praying! I loved the movie and have seen it twice. It is very inspirational! I encourage you to see it. Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIl-XY9t_Lw
In War Room, an older Christian woman, Clara, explains to a young wife and mother, Elizabeth, that instead of fighting with her husband, she should do her fighting on her knees in prayer. She explains that we are all in a battle and that we need a War Room – a place we can get alone with God and connect with Him as well as plan strategies against the forces of darkness. Clara shows Elizabeth her War Room – a small walk in closet with prayers and scriptures posted on the walls. The movie shows Clara in her War Room, praying for Elizabeth and others.
Many people have become inspired to create their own War Room. I saw one video of a man with 5 children who said they didn’t have any space in their house. However, after the entire family saw the movie, the kids (who were older) decided to turn their old playhouse into the family War Room. They put Christmas lights up and added floor cushions so that they could sit in there and pray. He showed how the children had written out their prayer requests and taped them up in the playhouse. This father was grinning from ear to ear, so proud of his children and their desire to pray. Oh, may we all be so passionate and childlike in our trust in Father God! ♥
Do you have a special place where you pray each day? If so, please feel free to leave a comment and tell us about it. I have heard that if you pray in the same place every day, that place starts to change. It becomes “charged” with a spiritual atmosphere that others can feel. They showed that in the movie too. 🙂
By the way, if you need some inspiration and/or training in prayer, there’s a special book released as part of this movie. It’s called The Battle Plan for Prayer. It looks good! There are more resources on their site: http://warroommovieresources.com/
Update: You can now watch the movie for $6 on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1TFGseu
When I was new to the idea of confronting spiritual darkness, I met a couple who seemed to have a little more experience in this area. The wife could discern whether an object had a curse on it by holding it in her hand. The husband could discern spiritual activity (angels & demons) – he said he saw them like comic book characters.
When I met them (nearly 20 years ago), they reported having some experience in helping people get free of oppression from dark forces. I had very little experience so I listened to what they had to say. They seemed balanced – not flaky like other Christians I had known. They taught me some things that I still use to this day.
One of the principles they learned (from experience) was spiritual protection. They reported having really bad experiences of “backlash” after a ministry appointment unless they specifically prayed for spiritual protection. I have incorporated the prayer they taught me with other prayers the Holy Spirit has impressed on me from time to time.
Whenever you directly confront darkness or dark forces through prayer, intercession or in a ministry setting (i.e. praying for someone who is oppressed by evil), afterwards it is a good idea to pray something like this:
“I bind all Retaliation, Revenge, Retribution and Jealousy from off of me and everything associated with me. I cancel all witchcraft and any soulish prayers prayed concerning me or my family. I close every open door to the enemy’s realm and I seal them with the blood of Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for your protection. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Obviously, there is no set formula – you can adapt or revise this prayer to suit your own needs. I have added some parts to it over the years based on my own experience. My friends used to call this “binding the three Rs”. Later they learned that they should add Jealousy. The 3 Rs is still a shortened way to refer to this. My husband and I have also found it helpful to pray this on a regular basis, regardless of what kind of ministry we have been doing lately.
Sometimes when we leave a specific location and are on the way home, I will feel impressed to “cancel any trailing or lingering spirits”. Sometimes I will get a specific impression to “cut off all communication devices of the enemy” and I may also cancel “any watchers or listeners”. A friend of mine has seen watchers and listeners – they are creepy. Just like in a real war in the natural, you might have these elements, right? So it makes sense to me that you might need to pray specifically against these in the spiritual war we are in.
Another couple I know have a habit of praying a “golden dome of protection”. This is particularly helpful if you are in a setting where you feel uncomfortable in your spirit, but you do not want to leave. I have prayed this at a restaurant, for instance. I ask God to fill this dome with His presence around our table and remove anything that does not come from Him. Immediately I feel at peace and I feel comfortable staying at the restaurant. It feels like a personal “force field”. I have found this very helpful and have used it when needed.
How about you? Have you found any specific prayers of protection that have been helpful? If so, please comment below. It is good for us to learn from each other – we all get stronger that way.
This memory keeps standing out in my mind so I guess I should share it next. It’s a little “out there” – it creeps me out whenever I think of it.
I was traveling for business. My brother happened to be in the same city, attending the wedding of an extended family member. He called me and said he was very worried about a certain sister’s safety. She had been at the event and then disappeared without telling anyone she was leaving. They later found out she had boarded a bus to go back to her home. This concerned him greatly because she had been telling him she was relieved to be away from home because she was in a very abusive relationship and the man had recently threatened to kill her. No one could understand why she suddenly left to return to him.
My brother is a man of prayer – when he is worried, his first defense is to intercede and ask God to intervene. He asked me to meet him to pray for this sister. We decided to go for a walk – there were too many people in the house and everyone was upset about the situation. We figured being outside would help us clear our heads and enable us to focus better in prayer.
As we walked, he did most of the praying. I just agreed. At one point, I “saw” this very, very large being above us. In comparison to its size, we looked like ants. I could see its legs like large columns going up and up. I sensed that it looked down at us, specifically at my brother, and it was annoyed at his prayers. The attitude conveyed was, “You think you have a right to pray for her safety? She’s mine!”
My brother interceded harder, asking God to save her life and protect her from the violence of the man she was going home to. He’s very bold when he prays. He prays with great authority and obviously he annoyed some very large being that was watching over this situation.
We finished praying. He walked me back to my car and I drove to my hotel. Even though we had closed out our time with prayers of protection and covering for ourselves, I had the uncanny feeling that this being was going to manifest in some way the next day at my job. I prayed about it several times that night, but I could not shake that feeling. I didn’t know what to expect. We had been praying against violence, bloodshed, the spirit of death, etc – anything that seemed related to the attack against this sister.
The next day at work, I was on the alert. I prayed on the way and I prayed when I arrived. I didn’t like knowing that somehow this spirit was going to show itself in my work day, but I was glad I had advance warning. I didn’t feel afraid – I just prayed for grace to know how to deal with it when it happened. For some reason, I didn’t feel I had the authority to block it from manifesting.
I was managing a small office of people. They needed an extra pair of hands to get a job done so the district manager had approved for a temporary labor office to send someone over. The man who arrived surprised me. He looked kind of like Santa Claus – he was older, overweight and had a white beard. The work assignment was physical labor. I explained this to him and asked if he felt he could do the work. I was a little concerned because he looked about ready for retirement, not a full 8 hours of physical labor in the sun of a very hot climate. He said he was fine and I sent him outside to be trained by one of our regular personnel.
About an hour and half later, he came walking into the office holding his left hand in his right hand and said, “Can someone help me please?” We all turned to see him – blood was dripping from his hands as he walked across the floor. I was shocked. Thankfully, the rest of the staff responded immediately. One of the office clerks had nurses training in her background and steered him toward the bathroom so she could see how bad the wound was and clean it up. Another staff member had training in blood borne illnesses and notified me that he knew how to clean up a blood spill correctly and proceeded to do so.
We had never had someone injured in this office before – at least not to my knowledge. We were all quite puzzled in how he could have hurt himself – and after only working for a little over an hour by himself. Thankfully, his wound was not serious. The office clerk got the bleeding stopped and bandaged him up from the first aid kit. I called the temporary labor office and our district manager for instructions on where to send him for treatment. I gave him the information and off he went.
As he left, I could not stop shaking my head. As soon as I ‘d seen the blood dripping on the floor, I’d known. This was a manifestation of that spirit of bloodshed and violence. I was very thankful it had been minor. That spirit seemed intent on intimidating me more than anything else – no real harm was done. The man would recover with a few minor stitches. I don’t know why this played out the way it did, but it made a definite impression on me.
Has anything this strange ever happened to you? What did you do? I’d love to hear stories from other people. I don’t often share these because most people have no frame of reference for something so odd.