A Steadfast Spirit in Prayer
- Friday, June 14, 2013
"In warfare and seasons of trouble, there is a quality of suffering and perseverance that actually births in us a greater anointing to work the works of God. God actually trusts us because He trusts what He sees of suffering inside our heart and life. We cannot build anything without suffering... Good leadership knows how to suffer; they know about patience and perseverance to stand their ground."
God is looking throughout the earth, and He sees those who are steadfast in spirit. Is your spirit steadfast even during times of intense spiritual warfare? Do you know how to stand steady in hard times even when the enemy targets you with lies? Are you standing your ground in your thought life, and are you bringing your thoughts captive to Christ?
It’s not easy to navigate through life with all the uncertainties facing us. We go through times of job promotions and losses, prosperity and adversity, love and loneliness. We must learn to be very careful in our walk through life. I remember when I was simply walking with my husband and looking at the beauty of nature when suddenly I stepped on a small round chestnut, lost my balance, and fell on the ground. A little shaken and with a few scrapes and bruises, he helped me up. We carefully continued walking steadfastly forward. Little round chestnuts were all over the road. Almost as if they were dangerous landminds, I gingerly stepped around them as we proceeded on our walk. That day I learned a lesson about walking steadfastly.
How do we navigate through such constant change and intense warfare in our thoughts? How do we navigate around the landmines in life? It seems that our inner resolve must be strong. A fixed heart in prayer positions us, strengthening us from within to receive God’s power moment-by-moment and day-by-day. God wants us to stand firm by taking our thoughts captive through prayer. Obviously while walking I wasn’t standing firm. And what happened? I fell! But I got up quickly and proceeded on, being much more careful.
Even if we have made a great fall, we can get up and get moving again. But we need to be careful of the landmines. They can be negative thoughts about God, about ourselves, and about others that especially tempt us during a difficult time. Strongholds are powerful. But God will help us to be steady if we resolve to be faithful and steadfast in spirit and in prayer. He will renew a steadfast spirit within us. King David prayed for a steadfast spirit and wrote in Psalm 51:10:
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
My husband put many new windows in our house. Windows are important. This life is a small window of opportunity to stand fast in prayer, to choose to love God with all our heart, and to believe His truth in the midst of difficult circumstances. God sees whatever suffering each one of us has to go through in this life. Suffering and perseverance is an important part of life. When we face suffering, there is a powerful anointing for fellowship with God. He is inviting us to draw nearer to His heart through it.
One of the books I am presently writing is called The Invitation. God is inviting us into a glorious place of power and relationship, but it’s up to us. Will we accept His invitation? Will we be steadfast in seeking Him? Will we cling to His truth and His Word? We all love to be invited to special events by important people. This invitation is the greatest invitation any of us will ever receive in this life.
The challenge for us is to love God and believe Him through everything that comes our way. This is where we will find His strength and grace to carry us through. King David was a man after God’s heart who constantly pursued Him. A steadfast heart knows how to take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. We have a window of opportunity right now to pursue God. David declared in Psalm 108:1, “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul.”
I have noticed in my life that after I have gone through an especially enduring season of warfare, God brings a breakthrough and increases the anointing in my own personal life. I look back and see the grace of God that carried me through. The battle has to do most often with taking thoughts captive in prayer and believing God for breakthrough. Satan does not like prayer. Standing strong in perseverance is a daily task, but God’s grace has been sufficient. If you are involved in prayer, I am sure you can identify. Battles make us strong, firm, and steadfast. We read this in 1 Peter 5:10:
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
The Call for a Steadfast Spirit
“Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!” (Psalm 119:5)
Let’s never think that we are the only one going through warfare and needing a breakthrough. All of God’s people who have been used by Him have come face-to-face in confrontation and warfare in the area of taking thoughts captive through prayer. Everyone has had to learn to be steadfast. It’s inevitable.
The famous revivalist, John Wesley, was steadfast in difficulty. Imagine the thoughts that the enemy must have shot into his mind when he was facing rejection and defeat. You probably never knew this about his life. Look at the breakthrough he experienced when he had a steadfast, persevering spirit and continued to trust God. A page from his diary reads as follows:
• Sunday morning, May 5 - Preached in St. Ann's, was asked not to come back anymore.
• Sunday p.m., May 5 - Preached at St. John's, deacons said, "Get out and stay out."
• Sunday a.m., May 12 - Preached at St. Jude's, can't go back there either.
• Sunday p.m., May 12 - Preached at St. George's, kicked out again.
• Sunday a.m., May 19 - Preached, deacons called special meeting and said I couldn't return.
• Sunday p.m., May 19 - Preached on the street, kicked off the street.
• Sunday a.m., May 26 - Preached in meadow, chased out of meadow as a bull was turned loose during the services.
• Sunday a.m., June 2 - Preached out at the edge of town, kicked off the highway.
• Sunday p.m., June 2 - Afternoon service, preached in a pasture, 10,000 people came to hear me.
Wouldn’t you have felt like giving up if you were John Wesley? Look at what God did through His life because he persevered!
All inventors have to be extremely steadfast. Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” Did you know that the first electric light was so dim that a candle was needed to see its socket? Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first airplane flight lasted only twelve seconds. One of the first steamboats took 32 hours to go from New York to Albany, a distance of 150 miles. The first automobile traveled two to four miles per hour and broke down often. But look at what these inventions can do today. These inventors had to believe in breakthrough in the face of great endurance and difficulty.
Perhaps you are going through a challenging time when the devil is relentlessly attacking your mind. You know that you need to be steadfast and persevering, but it’s difficult. The enemy tells you, “You’re a failure. You’ll never make it. You might as well give up.” These are merely lies and the strongholds of the enemy. The warfare seems intense, and you need a breakthrough that only God can give.
Realize that you are not alone. There is a battlefield of the mind. Many of us are facing a battle one way or another. We need a steadfast and persevering spirit in intense warfare. We need to believe God’s truth rather than the enemy’s lies. What should we do in times of warfare? Here are a few suggestions:
• Put on worship music, sing to the Lord, and praise Him in the midst of difficulty. This will touch your spirit and impact your emotions (Ephesians 5:19-20). Listen to peaceful, quiet worship music. If you are getting fearful over situations in your personal life, the economy, weather conditions, or terrorism, this is an incredible way to stay in God’s peace in the midst of battle.
• Speak God’s Word over your personal difficulties. Speak God’s Word over your life and the lives of those around you. Speak God’s Word over your nation. You are aligning your heart with God’s heart as you speak it out loud.
You may feel the intensity of spiritual warfare. It may be hard to hold steady in prayer. Landmines are going off all around you. Negative thoughts are trying to invade your mind. God is inviting you into deeper intimacy by teaching you to take your thoughts captive through prayer. He wants to strengthen your arms in war. Don’t give up. Persevere in prayer. Your breakthrough may be right around the corner.
Be steadfast in spirit as you face the battlefield of the mind. He will keep you in perfect peace as you take your thoughts captive through prayer. God will help you step around those land mines safely and victoriously when you trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3).
"There is an anointing for fellowship with God in confrontation that births a bestowing of Kingdom in our hearts. Kingdom is given to us in the violence of confrontation. The Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (see Matthew 11:12). We need a godly violence in our hearts that says, “We are not going to be moved; this is what we believe in. We are going to stand here; we are not moving. We are standing here, and we are believing God.”
*This Article First Published 6/14/2013
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