Combat Faith Lay Ministry
Battle Plan For Victory
by Allen Clark
This message is for mature audiences only. By this I mean you must have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior to grasp, understand, and apply what I am relating. Most importantly, you must be accepting of Romans 10:9 NKJV (Ryrie Study Bible) “… that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
My personal background took me from the Phillips Exeter Academy, to West Point, to volunteering for Vietnam service where I was assigned as an intelligence officer in the 5th Special Forces Group. A mortar round in an attack at Dak To on June 17, 1967, wounded me and required the amputation of both legs below the knees. God healed and restored me. I had known Jesus as Savior as a teenager. Six years later after my wounding I began a true pilgrimage of faith wherein Jesus was not only Savior, but also Lord of my life. Since 1973, my spiritual journey has taken me through several churches and denominations, many seminars, countless discussions with ministers, much self ministering and extensive self study in reading several hundred books.
There has always been an attempt by me to be a bottom line type of person, so I have synthesized, distilled and summarized where I am at this stage of my journey and desired to share my understanding of what we must do each day to prosper spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. If what I relate has any value as a daily checklist or guide before one heads out the door, consider laminating page 7 as a reference for the trying times we face each day, as I have done.
War and peace have been big in my life. More than anything I desire personal peace as we all do. What are some tools to achieve this sometimes elusive state for ourselves? One of my friends taught me about dis-ease. I began to realize that dis-ease in my life was at the root of my afflictions of the body, soul and spirit.
John Dawson, in his book Healing America's Wounds refers to Matthew 4:24 and writes about three categories of afflictions: for the body, it a disease - for the soul, it is torment - for the spirit, it is evil spirits. As valuable as ministers are to us, I began to realize that I must be a mature enough Christian to begin to learn truths and weapons to self minister when I face dis-ease in my life. I have put together what I believe are the most important thoughts, teachings and scripture to get me through each day.
It all starts with faith and belief that God is who He says He is, that He does answer prayers, and that our words are very important. I have used the words of scripture and speak them out loud. If we have faith in God, then we must believe in the text book He gave us, our Bible. We study our math, chemistry and social science texts. We believe what we study and regurgitate it on tests so we can obtain good grades and develop a good transcript so we can obtain jobs and become prosperous. Our most important text for life is our Bible. Although I was a very obedient cadet at West Point and an obedient officer in the U.S. Army, I have not been as obedient to what God has instructed me in the Bible. My lack of believing, faithlessness and disobedience has caused almost all of the dis ease of my life. The words we speak are critical. In Matthew 12:36 37, Jesus Christ said, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Pretty strong! Proverbs 6:2 teaches, "You are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken (have been caught) by the words of your mouth." Proverbs 4:20 22, "...my son, give attention to my words; incline your ears to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh." Our words spoken are powerful. God tells us that. Therefore, I realize how important it is what I say all day long. It is my desire to begin the day with positive words and be reminded of this all day.
We must pray daily for faith because upon faith stands everything to bring us complete health. Our prayers will be answered to change us only in the degree to which we exhibit faith in God, His Word, and His promises.
Our soul is made up of our mind, emotions and will, and from our soul are experienced the torments of our lives because we do not achieve all our goals and desires; we sin, we believe lies, and we make unwise choices. What are healthy goals for our lives? II Timothy 22 25 relates wonderful, achievable guidelines for our lives. "Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant pursuits, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition. . ." Remind your elected officials of these guidelines!
We are to reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22 ". . .love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control." When we do not reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit nor live our lives as Timothy spoke, then we cause dis-ease in ourselves, relationships go awry and torments follow.
God has taught us in II Chronicles 16:9; "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him." (i.e., wholeheartedly devoted to Him). I don't know what you think, but that is pretty powerful. In 1st John 3:22, it is written, "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things which are pleasing in His sight." All day, ask yourself, "is this action pleasing to God, does it reflect a wholehearted devotion to God?" If it does not, one lays the groundwork for a torment of the soul.
The secret to success in reducing the torments of my soul is TECAC. One night I listened to Nancy Missler who discussed this concept. She taught that if one controls the Thoughts, then the Emotions are under control. Our emotions proceed to Choices of Actions which bring Consequences with which we must live, however, good or bad they may be.
Therefore, if we analyze every thought, we can side-track unhealthy emotions before we start the negative merry go round. In II Cor. 10:5, Paul gives us a tool to do this with everv thought “… bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” Memorize it! Control your thoughts. Are they negative or positive? Will the emotions, choices, actions, consequences of that thought reflect loyalty to God, be pleasing to God? This is a simple tool to use all day long. This technique Is mandatory “…to knock down the Devil’s strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4) which oppose us and steer us to substance abuse and other major depressions.
Strngholds are the belief systems we hold which are lie-based and we erect them to defend faulty choices and improper behaviors. When I pray, I ask that my day be ordered by God. I ask God to tell me all day what and how to pray, what to do and when, who to call, what to say. Psalm 5:8 teaches “… make your way straight before my face.”
Jan 6 of God Calling states, “Discipline and perfect yourself at all costs. Do this for soon every fleeting thought will be answered, every wish gratified, every deed used.” I like that. What a goal for all of us each day. The torments of the soul, the dis-ease of daily life for ourselves and others, can all be under control when one submits to this discipline. Control your thoughts.
In order to reduce the torments of the soul, give unconditional love to all along with mercy. If you desire forgiveness, forgive all others. Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
All your sins (thought, word and deed, known and unknown) must be verbalized thru confession with repentance, so one may receive forgiveness. The decks must be cleared each day. This a spiritual truth. Unconfessed sin blocks God's power to be put to work on our behalf and allows what are defined as “pathways of evil” from the Devil to exist, somewhat like open salley-ports of our castles for enemy attacks.
We all worry constantly. The best tool I use for this is Phil.4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Worry induces stress and strain, i.e., physical disease. Act in faith and cast your worries upon God. Say, “This one is yours, God, I can’t handle it by myself.” Use Matthew 18:19 and multiply your prayer power by praying with a prayer partner.
Several of the major sources of dis-ease of our soul are anger, failures, jealousy and mistakes. A Christian minister, Liberty Savard, teaches that many of the unsettling and unhealthy issues of the soul relate to unmet needs, unhealed hurts, and unresolved issues. An audit of these issues can be made in the first column. In a second column list how these needs may be met, hurts healed, issues resolved. Then in a third column list specific prayers to accomplish your second column list. Sometimes these soulful hindrances are not even known nor remembered by us, but simple prayer to Jesus to help heal them is possible. These haunt us, become major strongholds, and we refuse to accept the consequences of these conditions. When we admit them, then we begin to accept responsibility for our own destiny. One must constantly analyze our Attitudes, Motives, and Emotions.
Our spirit is subject to what is termed "spiritual warfare." Remember the old Flip Wilson comment, “The devil made me do it.” Obviously, we do things that are unwise, unfair or wrong because we allow thoughts to become emotions which carry through to bad choices of actions and consequences. We are personally responsible for these chains of events, but it has become very real to me that there are evil spirits that affect us and are responsible for other chains of events.
Obviously, much doubt is evident that a real devil (Satan) exists. When we have these doubts, the devil has won. In warfare, we do our intelligence work and develop Intelligence Estimates. We learn all about our enemy. I Peter 5:8 teaches, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Jesus Christ says in John 14:30, “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world (satan) is coming, and he has nothing in me.” I John 3:8 teaches, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil hath sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil.” This should make the case for the existence of the evil one. Alright, you say, I'll buy the devil bit, but he can't be everywhere all the time, so I guess l'm free at least some of the time. Don't buy it!
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis is an amazingly interesting rendition of the evil spirits below Satan assigned to bring doubt, deceive, inspire discord, and separate us from God. These are attacks to work on us. There are three levels of demonic involvement in our lives: obsession, oppression and possession. We are at war every day of our lives with the hierarchy of evil. Do you need more proof of these spirits at work in the world? Daniel 10:12 speaks to this in the difficulty that Michael had in reaching Daniel because of angelic warfare with the Prince of Persia. In Mark 1:26, Jesus called out the unclean spirit from a man.
The dis-ease of our spirit occurs because demonic spirits have power over us. So how do we conduct spiritual warfare and control these spirits? First, Jesus must be your personal Savior. We must be cleansed of certain factors in our life and must keep ourselves clean each day or these techniques will not work. It takes faith and a warrior’s discipline to accomplish what I am discussing. You can assert your choice through your warrior’s will power either to accomplish/practice them or not. But, if we return to the assumption that you want finally to be rid of the dis-ease caused by a spirit that is not right, then listen and heed these words.
Begin with confession and repentance of all your past sins. I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The sins are the little ones and big ones. Accept this promise and set yourself some uninterrupted time and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your sins back through your life. Confess them to God and then forget them. God forgets them. He will forget ALL sins and mistakes no matter how serious. Repeat that process each day thereafter for all sins of that day. Take it day by day. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” I choose to believe in that teaching.
And It is tough to accept, but Satan can attack us and allow his assigned spirits access to us only as there are so called "pathways or doorways" to us. If we do not believe in Jesus Christ, if we have unconfessed sin, then there are "open" doors. Forgiveness for all who have wronged us is imperative. Personally visit, call, write, bicycle over to others, but forgive everyone. You can choose to forgive all others even though you may not really feel like it.
Some of the really big ones are next. Galatians 5:19 21 delineates the major sins. Look them up. If you are guilty of any of these, do not give up. Confess and ask forgiveness and start over. The “door” is closed. If we have unconfessed sin, the cycle starts anew. Satan has authority to return to oppress. One must choose to keep this moat as a barrier so the enemy cannot penetrate your defenses. A quick listing of other "pathways" involve pride, practice of witchcraft, addictions such as drugs/alcohol, and idolatry (false gods, but this can mean money, jobs, sports, etc.) Analyze these and cut them off through confession. Our oppression and obsessions by evil spirits can be somewhat removed by using the simple technique of confession, followed by repentance, and acceptance by God’s forgiveness with its attendant cleansing.
Matthew 18:18 says, "Verily, I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." When we pray to God, we satisfy one side of the equation. To ensure there is no negative spiritual involvement, bind the evil one in the name of Jesus from any involvement in your prayers being answered. Then ask God in heaven to loose his power to help you. Both sides of the equation are now covered.
When we are possessed, this becomes more complex and I cannot undertake that condition in this writing. James 4:7 is a special verse that is worthy of commitment to rnemory: "... therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." The way I use this in my own daily spiritual warfare is to say this verse aloud when I begin to be tempted to say something wrong or impure. It works. Also, just call out the name of Jesus, the Christ. Find the scripture that relates to one’s attack and recite it aloud.
Each day I begin my spiritual preparation for the battles of my spirit by reciting the Lord's Prayer and putting on the full armor of God as related in Ephesians 6:13 17. This is what we need for protection. Yes, it goes back to warriors of old. It worked for them, and it will work for us as modem day warriors. Hebrews 1:14 is an incredible verse, “Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” I like the idea of these special helpers being asked each day to protect and help me and my loved ones. It is these angels that God looses to help us.
The dis-ease of the soul and spirit have been analyzed. So what remains is real disease of the body. My thesis is that when the diseases of the soul are addressed and healed, then many diseases of the body also disappear or never appear.
It takes a strong amount of faith to be believing of self healing. But, give it at try. I use I Peter 2:24, "Who himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes (wounds) you were healed.” Obviously, there are those who would claim that this relates to emotional healing of sin only. I choose to use it for physical healing.
God does not desire that we be unhealed or sick. He desires us to be healed. He did His healing of many physical afflictions during his ministry. I have personally heard too many instances of healing not to believe that it is a current gift from God to continue miraculous healings. David Wilkerson, in Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately? helped me understand my own disappointment when deep faith and fervent prayer does not always lead to our and others’ healing. Sometimes abuses of our body through unhealthy habits, genetics or just plain wearing out of the body preclude miraculous healing. We must accept this reality.
However, curtailing dis-eases of our soul and spirit and praying for healing may be able to effect physical healing from bodily disease.
A medical doctor, S.I. McMillen, wrote a book, None of These Diseases. His experiences through his practice were replete with examples of bodily disease caused by emotions of “anger, passion, malice and self-centeredness.” He writes, “A great variety of resulting neurotic manifestations can produce any of the many psychosomatic diseases.” Dr. McMillen believes “Failure to possess His Spirit will make us susceptible to many diseases of the body and mind …”. In my opinion many of my fellow veterans’ afflictions” with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders are responsible for many physical ailments.
God has given us some magnificent weapons to combat the afflictions of the soul, spirit and body. Learn them, commit them to memory, practice and use them. This old world becomes easier to be our transitory residence when we use the techniques involved. It requires obedience and discipline such as what soldiers learn to win battles on the world wide battlefields. Beyond that we become more like Jesus Christ and become more prepared for our eternal residence in Heaven.
Battle Plan for Daily and Eternal Health
Allen Clark - January 2007
1.The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:9-13 2.Confess: All sins, thought, word and deed (known and unknown). “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 3.Put on the full Armor of God – Eph. 6:13-17 4.Watch what you say! “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it on the day if judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37. 5.Be loyal to God this day. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” II Chronicles 16:9 6.Obey this day to receive answers to our prayers. “And whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.” I John 3:22 7.Control your Thoughts so that your Emotions will not cause Choices of Actions with negative Consequences. “… Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” II Cor. 10:5 8.Forgive all others. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 9.Don’t worry. “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Phillippians 4:6 10.Resist the Devil. “… Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 11.Bind the devil away in the name of Jesus and ask God to loose the power to meet your needs. “Verily I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 18:18 12.Liberty Savard in her book Shattering Your Strongholds suggests an alternative bind and loose technique in which one binds self to God’s will, purpose, timing and truth, and I add the righteousness, holiness, integrity and purity of God; to the mind of Christ and ask for imparting of wisdom, insight, maturity, discernment, knowledge; and to the control of the Holy Spirit to reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit. ”… love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Gal. 5:22 13.When you want someone to understand a spiritual truth or have them develop a belief in Jesus: “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38 14.Protection and divine help: “Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them who are heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:14. Call them. 15.When you want healing: Claim the promise of I Peter 2:24, “who Himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree that we, having died to sins, might live on for righteousness… by whose stripes (wounds) you were healed.” 16.Pray in agreement with another. Matthew 18:19 Multiply the power. 17.How to live each day: A. II Timothy 2:22-26; B. Phillippians 4:8 18.Perspective on Pride: “… For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14