Question sent to Ask Pierre:
How do you find your way back? I have strayed from my faith… I have been supporting My 16 year old son in his battled to stay in front of the evils of depression from drug and alcohol addiction… I do try to have the faith that this will pass and that there is a hope for the great healing that is long overdue. The faith is disappearing day by day. I try to show strength and stay positive but in the inside I’m screaming for someone to save us as I’m starting to feel we can’t save ourselves…
In every battle, you have allies and adversaries. In Part 1 of my answer to this question, we looked at three spiritual allies in the battle to keep our faith: God, the Bible and Christian community. In Part 2 of my answer we looked at four ways Satan seeks to destroy our faith in God. Here in part 3 we will look at our strategy for fighting back for our faith in God.
A Different Kind of War
You have already realized that keeping your faith strong during hard times can be a real battle. The Bible actually says that we are in a war. Now I know that sounds a bit alarmist at first, but let me clearly explain.Why didn't anyone teach me in #Sundayschool that there is a #battle for my #faith and how to #win it Click To Tweet
In the battle for your faith, you are in a spiritual war, not a physical one. What do I mean by a “spiritual war”? It is a war that is very real, but you cannot always see it with your naked eye.
Explaining the existence of these unseen spiritual realities, former science teacher and devout Christian Steve Myers writes:
Scientifically, we understand the atmosphere in which we live is filled with electromagnetic radiation. The visible spectrum which we can detect with our eyes is the most present and tangible to us.
The vast majority of these energy levels however, are not open to inspection by our five senses: x-rays, radio waves, ultraviolet, infrared etc. Even before the invention of instruments for detecting these areas beyond our natural sensory capacity, they were just as real as they are now.
It is therefore not surprising that God, the Creator of all things “seen and unseen” would provide us useful information concerning spiritual realities about which we would otherwise be ignorant.
Forces of good and evil exist in the world we live in. Some of those forces can be seen – a kind deed done by a stranger or contrarily a murder reported on the nightly news. Some of those forces are unseen, such as angels, God, demons and Satan. (Hebrews 1:14, Ephesians 6:12)
In either case, seen and unseen, the Bible teaches that the world we live in is not just a material world, but a spiritual one. Spiritual forces of good and evil are present throughout this world.
A Different Kind of Artillery
Similar to a physical battle, we need the right artillery to fight the fight of faith. However, the way we fight for our faith is completely contrary to the way you think of fighting as you see in the world today.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
In this post, we will look at 4 of the most essential weapons God has made available to you in Christ so that you can win the battle for your faith.
In the fight for your faith, it is vital to stay connected to your commanding officer, God. (2 Timothy 2:4) As discussed in Part 1 of this series, God is your greatest ally in your battle to keep your faith. Therefore it is imperative to stay in close communication with Him through prayer.
My oldest brother battled addictions for years. During those battles, which included run-ins with the law and prison, my Mom was steadfastly on her knees praying for her son.
Eventually, the prayers won the battle for my brother’s life. He was not only delivered from the snares of drugs and alcohol, he became an amazing Christian man! His life transformation and Christian witness was instrumental to my own conversion.
The victories my family has seen and continues to experience all began with my Mom who chose to battle the war for her son’s life and sobriety in prayer. There is no doubt in my mind that my mom’s prayers literally saved my brother’s life and as a result many more lives!Victory began when #mom chose 2 #fight in #prayer for my #brother #sobriety #prayingmothers #family Click To Tweet
One form of prayer that has great power, but is often forgotten is thanksgiving. In challenging times, it is more difficult to give thanks. However, it is the exact thing we need for our emotional and spiritual health.
Thanksgiving helps us to stay positive and focus on that which is good in our lives. And no matter how bad things get, there are always blessings in the midst of the trials. You just have to look for them and thank God for each one.No matter how bad things get. You always can find a reason to #givethanks #thanksgiving Click To Tweet
Research has actually proven that thanksgiving is a powerful force against depression. Thanksgiving also has other emotional, relational and even physical health benefits. When God instructed us to give thanks in the Bible, He was telling us to do something that He knew was for our betterment.[Watch Amazing Sermon on the 4 Benefits of Thanksgiving]
A football player would never think of entering the field without wearing proper equipment. A soldier would never go into battle in plain civilian clothes. Yet, too often, Christians start each day without first putting on their battle gear.
In the book of Ephesians chapter 6, the Apostle Paul gives a detailed description of the spiritual war we are in and the armor of God we need to put on every day.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
Just as you would put on your clothes at the start of the day, you can also put on your spiritual garments in prayer. You can find many “spiritual warfare prayers” by doing a Google search* for this term, but the easiest way may be to just read these verses over at the start of your day. For example:
“Lord, I put on the full armor of God today. I put on the belt of truth around my waist, the breastplate of righteousness over my chest. I put the gospel of peace on my feet. I take up the shield of faith to extinguish Satan’s lies. I put the helmet of salvation on my head and the sword of your Word in my hand.”
You can even exercise your rightful authority as your son’s mother and pray these vestments over your son and family.
“Lord in your authority, I pray the full armor of God over my son (name), my husband (name), etc. I put upon them the belt of truth…”[*For a more detailed look at spiritual warfare and a longer spiritual warfare prayer, download my scholarly research document, The Fight We Face.]
From my own experience, I have found that a simple spiritual warfare prayer can keep away more darkness than you could ever imagine. I believe praying these types of prayers is essential for anyone seeking true victory in their Christian life.A simple #spiritualwarfare #prayer can keep away more #darkness than you can #imagine. Click To Tweet
Now who ever heard of love being a weapon? That sounds ludicrous!
Once you get beyond the shock, you can begin to understand that love is a powerful weapon for good. Learning to love God and love others is the key to living victoriously in Christ. In fact, no other weapon is stronger than love!
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
“Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8a)
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Practically speaking, the best thing you can do for your son is to love him. You yourself cannot set him free from his addictions or depression. That’s God’s job.
What you can do is show him the love of Christ that he needs each and every day. Love has the power to change people from the inside out.
Learning to truly love your son in the way he needs to be loved will be the challenge. At times, love needs to be “tough” and at other times gentle. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom to know how to love your son.
I encourage you to love well and keep up the fight for your faith!
Readers, what other weapons of faith can you think of?
Have a question about life and faith? Ask Pierre!