Some seasons are definitely more intense than others. Sometimes, you may even feel like the "darkness" is closing in, and it may feel like you can't seem to find the way out.
But God never leaves us. He is our victory!
When you realize that you are a child of God (Romans 8:14-16),seated with Christ in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), and that through Christ you have all power and authority to expose and push away the darkness, you will find yourself fighting less and less and resting into God more and more. Knowing your identity is utterly important, and learning to partner with Holy Spirit will help you know when to fight and when to rest.
The more you learn to battle with Holy Spirit's help, the stronger you become and the better you get at fighting the next battle that may come. Before long you realize that you actually have the victory and you will then understand that because of Jesus, you are more powerful than you thought.
John 16:33: "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
That's right y'all...Jesus has overcome the world, and Jesus lives in YOU! There is always victory over darkness because of what Jesus did at Calvary. And the Bible says that He who is in you is greater than the one in the world (1 John 4:4).
If you feel like you're fighting off some dark times, here are a few keys to unlock the over comer within you.
Keep in mind these are just keys - there is no formula except to find intimacy in the Holy Spirit and follow His lead. Ask Him to reveal to you if you need to partner with these keys or not.
Open your heart to Him completely, and He will show you the very BEST way for you. JESUS is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), not human philosophy or even helpful keys from someone who has found victory in it. Always, always go back to Jesus for your help.
1. Know who you are. Jesus didn't just die to get you to Heaven and to cover all your past sins. Jesus died as you so that you can be like Him in this world. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says it this way:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Unless you know who you really are and all that Jesus did for you at Calvary, the darkness will torment you. You are a new creation in Christ, a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), and you have been crucified with Him and therefore made dead to the power of sin in your life (Romans 6:6). All of this makes you able to come boldly to the throne of grace in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16) and rest securely in the Presence of a Father who loves you more than His own life itself.
2. Don’t let the enemy speak or get a word in. Only speak the words of God over yourself and your situation. Only agree with truth. Only agree with scripture. Don’t allow the devil to get a word in and don’t EVER agree with him! John 8:44 says that not only is he a liar and the “father of lies,” but there is absolutely zero truth found in what he says.
A personal example is from a season where the devil tried to tell me that I wasn’t good enough to be in ministry. I could have dwelt on that lie – agreed with it, mulled it over and over in my thoughts, put my sword down and thus sank into depression feeling very sorry for myself – and I was indeed tempted to do so. But immediately I began to declare the promises of God over my life! I spoke aloud scriptures that God had used to confirm a calling on me, and I continued to prophesy good things over my life and my future. Any time the devil tried to say, “but what about this” or “what about that,” I disagreed with him in my mind and my heart and I verbalized what I believe to be the calling that God has on my life. I also went back and looked in old journals and reminded the devil that he had no proof of what he was saying. God’s calling has been clear over many years and I could no longer allow him to keep me silent or boxed.
It is also good to point out that we need to be careful of what we are feeding ourselves during our times of battle. Television, radio, social media, friends – even world news can be something that the enemy uses to feed you with fear, doubt and angst. Worship music, Christian podcasts and friends who have your best interest at heart are the healthiest “food” during the dark times. Certainly fast from these things if Holy Spirit calls you to do so, but don’t ever isolate yourself!
3. Remember and meditate on the good things God has done in your life. Psalm 145 (NIV) says it beautifully:
“…Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you…”
It goes on to say that He upholds those who fall. He gives food at the proper time. He opens His hand and satisfies your desires. He is near to those who call on Him, and rescues those who love Him. Our strength will surely return if during the dark times we would take each of these verses and meditate on the times in our personal lives where God specifically opened His hand to us, or when He rescued us, and when He came near. There has surely been a specific moment when He has done these things for you. Don’t let the devil steal your memories of the faithfulness of your God, and give no room to distractions that would keep you from thinking on these wonderful things.
4. Learn to PRAISE. Romans 8:6 in the New Living Translation says that when we let the Spirit control our minds our thoughts lead to life and peace. I have found that the best way to let the Spirit control my mind is to Praise God. Chains fall off when we praise God – Paul and Silas are a perfect example of this. In Acts 16, they were imprisoned and began to sing praises to God, only to find themselves free with an open door out of jail! I’m certain that there is a whole other lesson just in praise itself, but for now I think it important simply to understand that praise is a key that unlocks your chains and brings down walls (think Jericho!). When we praise God for who He is and what He has done, our mindset shifts and we find the life and peace we thought we lost. It’s often a sacrifice because it’s not always easy, but even if your praise is in between sobs and snotty tissues, it will still transform you.
5. Remember you are in a Spiritual Battle. Read Ephesians 6 and don’t forget it. There are spirits and principalities and powers that absolutely HATE the Jesus in you. They will do whatever they can to keep you behind the smoke and mirrors so that you will not ever see how powerful and scary you really are because of Christ in you. The truth is that the devil's only power is to lie and deceive you because he was stripped of power at Calvary (see Colossians 2:15). This is where your armor comes into play! For every lie the enemy hurls at you, God has equipped you to overcome it. The devil is a liar and the father of lies, and it's him that our battle is against, not other people or ourselves. There is no longer any darkness inside of you because there is no darkness inside of God, and God lives inside of you (1 John 1:5; John 8:12; Ephesians 5:8).
Above all, stay connected to Him in the Secret Place. Do not neglect your intimacy with His Presence - in fact, fiercely protect that time! More than any keys I could give or any advice or opinions of man, it is the embrace of the Father that you need.
I'll leave you with a beautiful picture from Isaiah 45 (NLT) as I believe it is a promise of God for our lives. Meditate on it and use it for yourself if you need. God never lies.
2 This is what the LORD says: “I will go before you… and level the mountains. I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. 3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.