Monday, August 6, 2012

Don't forget to arm yourselves!!

And from that time forth, half of my servants worked at the task, and the other half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail; and the leaders stood behind all the house of Judah.
Those who built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other hand, Nehemiah 4:16-17

Nehemiah had been tasked with rebuilding Jerusalem from the rubble it had been reduced to after Babylon's conquest. After 70 years of captivity, the king, Artaxerxes, commissioned Nehemiah to return to his home land, along with some of the Israelites, to rebuild the old capital.  But of course, as there is today, there were some people who didn't want the Jews back in their land. Poor Nehemiah had trouble from multiple fronts: The Samaritans, Ammonites, Philistines, and local Arabs. These enemies did everything they could to stop Nehemiah.  Under the threat of death, Nehemiah and his workers continued to rebuild, but they armed themselves heavily while they did so. As you can see from the above passage.. they worked with one hand, while holding a weapon in the other!
This struck me as I was reading it and I began to wonder how seriously most Christians take the battle we are all involved in. I say that because I rarely come across a believer who even mentions any spiritual warfare.  All the problems, diseases, and struggles they are enduring are chalked up to bad luck or the will of God without ever considering that we have a fierce enemy who doesn't want us to rebuild our lives on the foundation that is Jesus. An  enemy who would do everything he could to kill us, destroy our lives and make us ineffective for Christ.  Yet rarely do I hear any warfare in our prayers... but rather repeated petitions for God's help.  Will God help us? Of course.  But what some of us forget all too easily is that He has already given us to tools to battle the enemy victoriously here on earth.  So I wonder if God doesn't just shake his head and wonder why we aren't using the sword He has already put in our hand!

Jesus won the victory over Satan and his demons on the cross. Once and for all. And someday (soon, I'm thinking) Jesus will come back to claim the earth as His own. In the meantime, this is Satan's territory and he has a vast kingdom and a huge army of fallen angels and demons. They are well organized and armed for battle. And their target is mankind. 

So what are we do to?What are our weapons?  

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds 2 Corinthians 10:4 Amplified

  • Our weapons are the Word of God (Both written and verbal)  In order to remember the written, you must read your Bible all the time. You won't get enough if you limit your study to a Sunday sermon and a few devotionals during the week.  You get the verbal direct Rhema word from God by spending time alone with him.
  • The name of Jesus
Recently my husband and I were in Jamaica on vacation for our 20th anniversary. Jamaica is a lovely island with beautiful beaches and scenery and we had a great time, but it is an island that is dark spiritually.  Both my husband and I could feel it as soon as we arrived.  We spent 6 fabulous days having the time of our lives but on our last night there, we both felt something was wrong.  Not really thinking anything of it, we went to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night I was woken by flashing lights.  I peeled my eyes open to see that several lights on the wall were flashing on and off. I thought I was dreaming, so I tried to go back to sleep. But the lights persisted. I got up from bed. No one else was in the room except my husband and he was sleeping. The lights kept flashing. They had never done that before the entire time we were there and I couldn't understand it. I wasn't really afraid because I was half asleep so I went over and tried to fiddle with the wall switch. It seemed to be already off, but the lights went off and I went back to bed. Not seconds later my husband started groaning next to me in agony.  I knew immediately what was happening because I'd heard him groan like that before (another story for another time. So I sat up in bed and shouted. "Get out in the name of Jesus and don't come back!"   My husband woke up at that moment and thanked me. And we both went back to sleep.  In the morning, I told him about the lights and he told me that he was having a horrible nightmare with ravens poking out people's eyes, etc.. scary stuff. We both concluded that we must of had a run in with some demons.

I hesitate to share this because I'm sure some of you will laugh. Others will scoff and some will think I've lost my mind. I also don't want you to think I'm patting myself on the back. I was dazed and just did the first thing that came to mind. (I'm sure prompted by the Holy Spirit)  But I can tell you  with all sincerity that this happened. And it was the name of Jesus that stopped the entire thing. Coincidence?  You tell me.

My point is.....go about your work for the Lord, but don't forget to have a weapon in your hand should you need one!


  1. Mon Aug 6th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Thank-you so much for today's blog on 'arming ourselves' daily, and, for sharing your personal experience from Jamaica. I am NOT laughing/scoffing/doubting your story at all ... and totally believe what you went through. You were awakened by the flashing lights, prompted by the Holy Spirit -- ready to do battle ... commanding that Satan/evil spirits "get out in the Name of Jesus ... and don't come back" !!! How wonderful you had on "the armour of God" !!! (And, NO, it was NO coincidence.)
    Ephesians 6 tells us to "put on the armour of God daily" ... (but ... do we ...).
    Unfortunately, I don't think most of us walk through life believing we are in "daily" spiritual-warfare battles. Truth is -- we are !
    Thanks again MaryLu ... so very much for reminding us of this, and, for sharing with us.
    To God be the glory !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. What a story from Jamaica! It gave me tingles. Thank God that "He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world."!!!
    I've noticed that in your books you've included some of this spiritual warfare - it makes my heart race every time. And you know, I love it! The spiritual world is so very real - the good and the bad. And you're right, we NEED to stay armed. Too often, I'm not. But thanks for the great reminder.
    On our trip to Jamaica my husband met a local man in the ocean. My husband was wearing a necklace with a cross on it at the time. The Jamaican saw him and said "Hey mon! You believe in Jesus?" with a big grin on his face. Hubby said yes. And they proceded to have a little chat. It was kind of cool. They were the only 2 in the water and I don't think we saw this man again. (I think he managed to get around the borders of the resort and into the resort swim area.)
    Anyway, thanks again for the great post! Have a nice day ladies! :)

  3. I love the picture of the Bible and the sword.

    A few weeks ago I was studying in Ephesians, specifically about the whole armor of God. It struck me at how the Word is the sword of the Sprit, our weapon. So many of us our neglecting our weapons (and I am very guilty of this as well). We would never dream of going to battle with a dull sword, but that is exactly what most of our trying to do spiritually!

  4. Thanks for sharing that. We are under spiritual attack. You were in a country where demonic activity might be a bit more blatant than here--or at least different. I've heard from missionaries in Malaysia and like places that they have similar demonic attacks sometimes daily. there is a lot of witchcraft and active demon activity, so you were right on. We do have to remember we are in a spiritual battle, and we get lulled into thinking what we see is the whole story, when behind the scenes a war is raging for our souls. It's a comfort indeed to know that Jesus has our backs (and our fronts) like it says in Psalm 139--he goes before us and he follows behind us.

  5. I do not discount what you encountered in Jamaica at all. We would not be told to arm ourselves and stand firm against the wiles of the Devil were it not for the spiritual warfare that we would be engaged in.

  6. Wow, thank you for sharing this powerful example of why we need to be on our guard. I needed this today.

  7. Well, I braced myself for ridicule, but you all have been so gracious. It's amazing to me how many Christian I meet who don't think demons are active and even worse, who don't believe in the devil. Believe me, I'm not one of those people who blames everything on demons.. but I'm telling you, this was real. As my hubby is my witness, we came home humbled and more in love with Jesus than ever before. His name is power!

    Thank you Brenda.. I'm just praising God He reminded me what to do!

    Caroline, that's interesting about that Jamaican man! I don't believe there are many Christians on the island.. so that's cool you met one.

    Emma, the devil would love for your sword to be dull! Don't let him have his way. We all must stay in the Word. :-)

    Hello dear friend Susanne! I love what you said about Jesus having our backs and our fronts. :-)

    Yes, Vera. Great point!

    Julia.. glad this blessed you today. I know my hubby and I look at things really differently after this experience.

    Hugs to all!

  8. MaryLu, I'm grieved to think someone, especially a Christian, would think of laughing at something like this. As I read it I got the biggest flash of goose bumps I've ever had! It reads like a scene from one of your books. Spiritual warfare is all around us. If only the eyes of Christians would be open to it, and would that they knew how to wield their Sword.

    Satan is the enemy of our soul and he walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. You are so right, the name of Jesus holds such power and authority. Your story made me think of that worship song Kari Jobe and Klaus sings called "When I speak Your Name." One line says, "when I speak Your name darkness flees, it has no hold on me." Amen!

    Julia, pointed me over here and she was right, this was such a powerful story! I also loved what you shared from Nehemiah about the wall. We're to be busy about our Father's business but ever watchful and vigilant.

    My pastor made note of 2 things when he was teaching on the Armour of God: 1) the Sword of the Spirit (Bible) is our only weapon, and a good soldier looking to endure (as 2Timothy 2:3 says) must know how to use their weapon. He said the Armour of God was reminiscent of the armor Roman Soldiers wore back then. He also said the Roman Sword was called the atomic bomb of ancient warfare, that's how skilled the soldiers were in wielding it. 2) With all that armor there is no provision for the back of us. Suggesting we're to face our enemy, know where he's at, and NEVER turn our back on him. I think he also mentioned that was something Roman soldiers never did, turn away - they'd kill or be killed but never surrender.

    Sorry for the novella here! I could go on and on on this subject, in case you couldn't tell ;) I really enjoyed and was blessed by all you shared, MaryLu. Thank you :)


  9. I'm surprised you've run into so many Christians who don't believe in spiritual warfare! I'm the most "charismatically-inclined" believer in my group of family and friends, so I put more emphasis on spiritual warfare than they do, but still, no one I know denies it. 'Course, maybe it's a regional thing - where I live is sort of a hot bed for cultic and occultic activity, so we see more of that stuff. I've sensed demonic presences a couple of times in my life, too, but nothing as freaky as that - still terrified me, though, but I had enough sense to invoke Jesus's name, like you're talking about. :-)

  10. MaryLu, thank you for this post. You are so right. Spiritual warfare is NO laughing matter. I've known a few people who are wonderful believers in Christ, who have been "bullied", if you will, by the devil and his minions. Sounds to me like you were getting some of that treatment. So glad to know that there is power in the Name of Jesus, and that He alone is the source of our salvation, not only for our souls, but for those times when spiritual attacks happen. I say THANK YOU for addressing this subject in your books and on your blog. :)

  11. No ridicule here. I've heard all manner of strange stories come out of trips to Jamaica, Haiti, the West Indies, and Nepal/India.
    Funny/odd... John Bevere was at my church Sunday and his topic was "arm yourselves," from Philippians. Guess I need to pick up my weapons!

  12. It's nice to hear that some pastors are preaching on this! Maybe it's because I'm here in California, but I never hear a sermon on Spiritual warfare. Amanda, you're welcome to write a novella anytime you want! I can hear your passion on the subject through your words.

    In fact when I shared this story here in our Bible study, some of the people chuckled and were skeptical. Others I think were just being polite and smiling. Where do you live Sapphire? New Orleans? LOL. I say that because I traveled there many years ago and could feel the spiritual darkness there. (Sorry for anyone who lives there.. I mean no offense) Santa Cruz, which is a city on our coast here in CA about an hour away from me is supposed to be a hotbed of Satanic activity. I rarely go over there.

    Thank you, Ladies, for your comments!! It's nice to know there are others out there who agree with me. :-)