Wednesday 15 July
Priscilla Reid and her husband Paul have recently joined the lead team of ARC Ireland after many years of leading CFC in Belfast.
I’ve been encouraged to be here. This morning Greg spoke about evil and spiritual warfare. That was the subject I felt the Holy Spirit had laid on my heart to speak about this evening, so I felt it was underlined.
The important thing to remember is that the battle belongs to the Lord. You need to know which side you are on when you are in a battle. You also need to know which fights to pick!
Jesus has already won the battle on our behalf and it is from that premise, we look at the subject tonight.
“You have called us to a battle
You have called us to a life…
You have bought us with a price.”
He has called us to this life which involves being on a battlefield. But when we talk in these kind of terms, we start to get into a very military mode. The Bible does talk about armour and weapons but the whole point of it is that they are not the weapons of this world. It is going to look entirely different.
The Lord drew me to Psalm 23. It is maybe not the most usual place to think of when we are talking about spiritual warfare. Right in the middle of what you are facing, God is laying a table of provision for you and He is inviting you to come.
In the middle of what you are facing, tonight you can come to the table and find provision. At the table, we can be still. A battlefield isn’t really a very still place. It is full of noise, mayhem and confusion. But we can sit at the Lord’s table and be still. We can come away from all the competing voices in our head. We are in relationship with a God who can make a way when everything seems lost, when it all seems impossible.
We know the story of the children of Israel when they came to the Red Sea. God gave them a solution than nobody else could have thought of. “Do not be afraid, stand firm and you will see deliverance … the Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” God really wants to underline these verses to you tonight.
A battlefield is a very frightening place to be. We don’t battle against flesh and blood but it is no less real. But the Lord of angel armies is on our side. If we can get stirred up at a human level when we watch battle scenes in films, then how much more should we be inspired and encouraged to know that the Lord is fighting for us!
Moses also said, “Stand firm.” And that is what it says in Ephesians 6. Let us stand our ground and not give way. Just sit still before the Lord and say, “Lord, I want your creative solutions.”
When we come to a table, the Lord provides us with support and relationship. I love sitting around a table with good friends, good food and conversation. We were never made to battle through on our own. The enemy does everything he can to isolate us. It is about teamwork. We all have a part to play. We need to stand together.
The battle is won when hands are lifted up to the Lord. If we really want to see ground-taking for the kingdom of God, are we prepared to join together and hold up our hands to the Lord our God? We need to support each other. If we commit to this as a people, God will respond to the cries of our heart.
When we are still before the Lord, He shows us the unexpected solutions and prophetic strategies. There is no five-step plan, no set pattern. We need to be still before the Lord and say, “In this situation, what would you have me do?” That was a repeated pattern in scripture.
The prophetic is about hearing the heart of God . We need to say, “Speak Lord for your servant is listening.” What is God saying about your children. For too long, I was saying, “Woe is me, I have a prodigal.” God wanted to give me a picture of the promises He was speaking over my daughter’s life. God has a prophetic strategy for your family, for your child, for your workplace…
As the church in Ireland, God wants us to have listening ears. One of the ways we will see ground taken is if we are prepared to ambush the enemy. We ambush him when we do things that he doesn’t expect. He has done everything to bring division in this land - in families, in communities, in churches and between churches. I started to realise that the way we defeat the enemy is to come in the opposite spirit.
We are talking about love and grace. We have the most amazing message that this world can ever hear. We have a message that can change and heal broken lives. If we can come in an opposite spirit. If we will harness our energies. If we will love each other and support each other and honour one another, then we will confound the enemy. Let the Holy Spirit use us to be the peacemakers. God promises us that He will give us more and more prophetic strategies to see the enemy defeated in our nation.
We are all on a battlefield but for some of us, the battle seems too fierce and our arms are drooping. Tonight, the Lord wants to come and strengthen those arms and pour fresh strength into you.