Blessing Those Who Persecute You - Part III

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NKJV)

Over the last two devotionals we have been looking at this exhortation to bless those who persecute us, and we have given examples of Jesus and Stephen doing it—showing us that we can do this with the help of God.  

Still, some may find themselves unwilling to even attempt to bless those who persecute them because of the hurt and pain they have suffered.  If this is something you or someone else you know may be facing, then it is important to know there is a stronghold from the enemy hindering the obedience to God’s clear command to “bless” those who are persecuting. To remove this hindrance we must answer the following question:

Q: How do we pull down a stronghold from the enemy?

1. We can pull down strongholds by applying God’s Word as outlined in 2 Cor 10:4-5 by Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. When we are being attacked or persecuted, we need to identify the origin of the attack.  Remember, every evil thing has its origin in Satan.  Knowing this, we should take our thoughts captive and then line them up with God’s word.  If we find our thoughts coming against God’s Word, then we need to immediately get rid of them. 

2. The second thing we need to do to remove spiritual strongholds is to Proclaim God’s Word out loud! Most of the time when we are attacked we can be tempted to say unedifying words and claim we are somehow “victims.”  This is a lie from the enemy!  God has allowed this persecution and He has a plan and a purpose for allowing us to go through it (cf. 1 Cor. 10:13; Jer. 29:11; Rom. 8:28). If we are complaining during our trials and tests, then we are actually inferring God doesn’t give a hoot about us, or perhaps He is unable or unwilling to care for us—this is another temptation from the enemy to doubt God’s provision and protection—be sure to cast these thoughts down.  

So instead of complaining, start praising God in the midst of the storm.  Find some Scriptures proclaiming God’s promises for what you are going through and then begin to say them out loud—rebuking the enemy's lies.  For example: when you find that things are crazy and appear to be out of control or hopeless, you can say out loud, “Father, you have told me through Your Word that You will use everything for good for those who love you and are called according to Your purpose.  Lord, I love You, and I have been called by You—I know You will use this for good.”  

3. The third thing we need to do to pull down these strongholds is to Be faithful and fully determined to apply God’s Word and His agape love to others. We need to do this by simply asking God to change our hearts, by breaking them for what breaks His.  David had a great way of approaching this task as outlined in Psalm 51.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalms 51:10 (NKJV)

Q: So what is a good, solid application for doing this?

a)  We need to continue to seek God, stay in His Word and continue to prayerfully read, meditate upon it, and then consistently apply it to our lives.

b)  We need to keep attending a good Bible teaching church, weekly group or home Bible studies, and keep fellowshipping with other strong believers.  Remember, iron sharpens iron (Prvb. 27:17).

c)  We must choose to keep from being conformed to this world, but instead we must choose to be transformed by the renewing of our minds—and then we are to be committed to that transformation (Rom. 12:2).

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to guard yourself against being double-minded and unstable in all of your ways.  Keep from having one foot in the world—lusting and longing for what it has to offer, while having the other foot in the eternal things of God, as this would be disastrous. Choose to do things God’s way today—just one day at a time—don’t worry about tomorrow.

STUDY QUESTION:  What are the three ways outlined in this devotional for pulling down the spiritual strongholds of the enemy?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you see areas where the enemy has a stronghold in your life with respect to blessing those who are persecuting you?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:  Ask God to reveal to you any areas where you might have strongholds. Lay these things at God’s feet and submit to His Word, His will, and seek His power to proclaim and walk in victory in these areas.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father, thank You for the resources and strength to do these things You have called me to do. Father I need Your help today for pulling down strongholds the enemy has put into my life.  I purpose in my heart to submit to You in these areas. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Be Blessed, Pastor Scott






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