Fighting Flaming Arrows
I did it.
After learning how to grow healthy thought trees, I chose to water the unhealthy thought tree last night and it threatened to keep me awake. Thankfully, my sweet husband prayed over me and I did end up sleeping.
This morning as I woke up feeling a little defeated, I listened to a sermon which I will talk about in this message. I prayed about the thoughts I was having and realized that they came through the back door. When that happens, it seems like it’s harder to detect.
As I was praying this morning, I realized that if you plant a negative thought, just like you plant a seed in the ground, you can just neglect it quickly and it will die pretty quickly. There is no need to go back to it a million times. Just let it die and go focus on the healthy seeds that hopefully have grown into healthy trees and keep watering them!
My negative tree had to do with a friendship from the past and one that I don’t think about too much anymore so it surprised me when it came up. There are untruths that are out there and there was no resolution which is probably partly why it still creeps back in at times. But, I also see it as a fiery arrow from the enemy. When he sees he’s not going to defeat you in the area where you typically have the most trouble, he will send a different arrow that worked on you in the past and see if that one hits. If we haven’t put on God’s armor then you are likely to get hit.
As Charles Stanley said in his message on how to defeat Satan, there are pieces of armor that we need to HAVE and then TAKE up. We know the Scripture pretty well, probably, but here is a great reminder of what it actually means.
From Ephesians 6:10-18 *
The armor that we HAVE:
1.—we have to settle the issue of our loyalty ahead of time and decide that we are going to say ‘no’ to anything that doesn’t fit the life of what God has asked of us. We cannot debate with Satan. We must decide ahead of time to say ‘no’ to anything that isn’t according to His Word
2.—we must have a clean heart and live a Godly life and want to follow the will of God
3.—strong, grounded and rooted in God and His perfect peace
The armor/weapons that we must TAKE up:
1.—this is our most powerful weapon we have as believers. God knows our need and how to meet that need. We are more likely to respond to a temptation by saying ‘no’ and then just letting God meet the need and wait for Him
2.—protection of our thinking. We cannot stop wrong thoughts from entering our minds, but we can send them out as soon as they come
3.—this is the Word of God. We desperately need the sword. It is both a defensive and offensive weapon. If we know our area of weakness and where Satan tends to hit us the hardest, we need to have Scripture immediately in our minds in order to slash at that arrow with the strongest weapon—God’s Word. So, we need to prepare ahead of time by learning them and being prepared. One of my favorites in the moment when I sense I’ve let a wrong thought in (a flaming arrow) is “I take this thought captive to Christ to bow and obey HIM” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
In the past, I might beat myself up for not seeing that flaming arrow coming and not just putting up my shield of faith immediately to deflect it. Now, I pray and ask God what triggered it, ask for forgiveness and refocus. It really makes all the difference. My day is ready with a fresh start and healthy thought trees! I just am going to neglect that seed I planted last night and let it die off. But…….next time, I’ll be prepared and not even plant it!
*Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.