Pick Up Your Sword!
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Pick Up Your Sword!
Recently as I intercede, my mind has felt crowded, as if it is difficult to press through. It feels like brain fog. It’s almost as if I sense what is in the atmosphere. Maybe you have felt this way in prayer too. As I ponder what I am sensing, my mind keeps bringing me back to one thing… deception. It reminded me of a dream I had two years ago in March 2020.
In my dream, I was walking up my street with my son and daughter. As we walked, I noticed dead snakes scattered everywhere. Some snakes were also alive and would slither away quickly when we crossed paths. One thing caught my eyes. I noticed there were also many swords of all sizes laid on the sides of the road. I don’t know whose swords they were, or why they had been left there. So I picked up swords along the way and placed them in a bag I carried over my shoulder. When we made it up the street, I heard rustling in a large tree. When I looked up, there was a large black venomous snake with red eyes coming down slowly. This snake didn’t hiss or threaten me, instead made deep eye contact with me. I felt as if it was trying to hypnotize me. When I broke the gaze I reached into my bag for the largest sword I could find before I woke up.
The Oldest Spiritual Tactic in the World
I prayed about that dream for some time. I wondered why the swords were laid on the ground. Who would leave a good weapon behind when it was needed? The one thing I was certain of, was the large black snake at the end represented Satan. His approach was not violent or threatening; it was subtle. This is Satan’s oldest tactic – deception. It’s how he was able to get close enough to Eve to tempt her with, “Did God really say?” It’s why Jesus called him the father of lies (Jn 8:44).
I believe right now is a time when we must be careful about relying too heavily on many sources of information. Deception is everywhere. Because the media does not report the whole truth, conspiracy theories, and bad doctrine exist. If we are not careful we can be swept up in things that do not align with God’s word. We can end up detouring from the call of God in our lives.
In my dream, the swords were scattered. Where the owners were, I do not know. In Ephesians 6:17, we are told the sword represents the Word of God. This is a time when we must be armed with His Word. The sword is an essential piece of the armor of God, without it the armor is incomplete.
Have you been battle weary? Have you felt like giving up? Have you prayed long and seen little results? Have you have laid down your sword in sorrow, frustration, or fear? It’s time to pick up your sword again. The Word of God is a tried and true weapon every believer needs in their arsenal. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and I like to call it the love letter about the Word of God. Here are just a few benefits listed. (All taken from NLT version)
If you want to live a pure life, obey his word. (Ps 119:9)
If you don’t want to sin against God, store his word on your heart. (Ps 119:11)
If you want to be revived, it’s through his words (Ps 119:25)
If you need encouragement, it’s found in his word (Ps 119:28)
If you want to walk in freedom, it comes from obeying his instructions. (Ps 119:44,45)
Do you need hope? It’s found in his word. (Ps 119:49,50)
Do you need understanding? It’s in his word (Ps 119:103,104)
Do you want him to light your darkest hours? (Ps 119:105)
Do you need a place of refuge and shield of protection? (Ps 119:114)
Aren’t we blessed to have access to the word of God whenever we need it?
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb 4:13)
Satan’s tactic is deception, but God has equipped us with his Word and a spiritual gift called discerning of spirits. As believers we are called to gain an understanding about what is of God and what isn’t. It is so essential that it is listed as one of the gifts given to the church. (See 1 Cor. 12:10).
Discernment is deciding between what is truth and what is error, or good and evil. The decision does not come from our human emotion or earthly reasoning; it is supernatural, meaning it comes from God. Without it, the Bible warns that we may fall victim to false doctrine, false teachers, or the deceptive tactics of Satan that entangle us and lead us astray from God’s plans for our lives.
The Bible talks about mature believers having their senses exercised to discern good and evil in Hebrews 5:14, “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
How do we become mature and develop discernment? Through the Word of God and prayer.
Listed as the sword in Ephesians 6 and a double-edged sword in Hebrews 4:13, the Word of God separates soul and spirit. It is a “discerner” of our thoughts and hearts. It’s a great thing to read the Bible, but it’s an even greater thing when the Bible reads you. There is danger in people only looking for signs, and depending too much on men and women of God concerning our lives, when God has given us His Word. As we become students and lovers of the Word, we develop discernment. If we want to know God’s will for our lives, or what is to come, we must know His Word. It’s a surefire way to keep us from deception. If we want to hear God’s voice more clearly, it’s necessary to know what the Word of God says, because He speaks from His word and confirms His words.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (Jn 14:26).
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come (Jn 16:13).
Prayer is your first line of defense or your lifeline to God. It should always be our first response, not our last. This verse is well known to every person of prayer.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened (Mt 7:7,8).
Prayer is a two way communication with God. It involves both speaking and listening. When you need an answer from God, you can ask Him about it. King David was always inquiring of the Lord before he went into battle and before he made many important decisions. I think we would have a lot less trouble if we asked God about things first before proceeding. If you want discernment, all you have to do is ask for it.
This is so important. Seeking God is all about your intimate relationship with the Lord. Daily seek and attempt to be in communion with Him daily. The Bible says we are rewarded when we diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). We are taught by Jesus to seek His kingdom first and everything else will be taken care of (Mt 6:33). If you want to be a discerner, seek His will and plans, above your own (Prv 3:6).
The original text of Matthew 7:7-8 suggests a continual action. Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. This means persistence. It doesn’t mean God gives us everything we ask for, because sometimes we want things that are not in line with His will for our lives. But when we ask and seek His counsel, with the right motives. He responds to our faith in His timing.
If you are needing direction, guidance, or discernment, let’s pray together.
I come to You and thank You that You are always the same. I thank You that I can come into Your presence in times of need.
Give me a greater desire for truth that can be found in Your Word. I want a pure heart that longs to know Your will and Your ways, more than anything else. Let Your will be done in my life. As I seek Your will, I know You will show me which path to take.
I pray for Your church to walk with discernment. Deception is broadening in the world. Open the eyes of Your church to see where deception is creeping in. Let the Church test the spirits as we are instructed to do. Give us eyes to see and separate truth from errors. Help us to walk in freedom from deception. You said the truth will set us free and the truth can only come from Your Spirit and Your word.
I pray for every intercessor experiencing confusion and brain fog or mental attacks. I pray that we would not conform to this world, but have our minds renewed. You said when we renew our minds, then we can test what God’s will is (Rom 12:2).
I pray that you would release your peace over the frustrated, the heavy hearted, and hopeless. You are not a God of confusion, but peace (1 Cor 14:33). I bring every negative and hopeless thought that is contrary to God’s Word and cast it down along with any other vain imaginations. I praise You because I have the mind of Christ. Give me an understanding heart. Give me the courage and strength to pick my sword up again. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Give discernment to me your servant; then I will understand your laws. (Ps 119:125)
Did this article resonate with you? Share your favorite Bible verse in the comments. You may encourage someone!
Author Gloria Robles is a passionate intercessor with a prophetic voice for today. For more from Gloria, go to Spotify or Anchor to listen to her podcast Something To Share. Photo Credit: Canva.
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I’m so glad for this website. I also have trouble praying. It’s sporadic. Although I’m not sure why that is. With all the turmoil, pandemic and confusion in the world it’s difficult to find the truth and not be deceived. Father God give to all of your children the Spirit of wisdom, and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Ephesians 1:15-23
I am so thankful for this article. I thought it was just me being lazy and I have experienced a sense of failure and disobedience. The exhaustion that comes with the brain fog is heavy also.
I’ve been having a lot of trouble with brain fog. Even when praying with others my mind starts to wander on to other things. I stop and redirect my thoughts and pray for God to help me concentrate and to forgive me for “spacing out”. I know when I’m tired it’s worse, but I never feel rested enough, no matter how much sleep I get. I pray for God’s strength to help me with these things.
This article was definitely encouraging to me because I don’t feel so alone. Praise God that He knows what I need when I need it. God bless Gloria for writing this and for all of the intercessors at IFA.
Thank you Gloria. This goes right to the heart of the matter. Lord Jesus help us to keep our eyes fixed on you, through your Word and in prayer. May whatever is NOT of you be cut off from our vision. We wait on you to renew our strength and we trust you that you have gone ahead of us in this battle. We worship you!
These are verses I have memorized and are close to my heart when I am starting to doubt, the Lord reminds me to:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
Philippians 4: 4-7
I appreciate all the encouragement l read here, in the articles and also in your comments! IFA doesn’t come often enough for me, l wish it was every day! But reading all your comments is a huge encouragement! God bless each one of you today and always.
I have hid your WORD in my heart that I might not sin against you! My life verse from summer program for kids…60 years ago!
My favorite verse is Isaiah 40:31. But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Yes! “Deception is everywhere.”
Yes! “Satan’s tactic is deception”
Yes! …we become mature and develop discernment through the Word of God and prayer.
Yes! “Prayer is your first line of defense or your lifeline to God.”
Yes! Oswald Chambers “Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man. We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer.”
Revelation 5:8-9When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song:
Dear Heavenly Father, as we praise You and call out to You for our every need, may we fill Your golden bowls with a beautiful aroma. Keep us nourished in You, starving any influence of the enemy. I ask this in the Name of The Lamb, Jesus Christ. Amen
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
The kings heart is in the Lord’s had, and he directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.
Unless the Lord build the house the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches the house, the watchman stands guard in vain.
Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.
I was doing a personal Bible study on the 2-edged sword mentioned in scripture years ago and came across Mathew Henry’s commentary which says it is identical to the short butcher knife used by priests to carve burnt sacrifices. Used typically for close-quarter combat.
This a not contradictory to your dream Gloria. It is conformation. We are in a war and the pile of swords you saw represent the various weapons we must use to accomplish our unique assignments. A large Roman style sword would enable you to kill a large snake before it could reach you…
The swords being scattered on the ground are due to the lack of scripture being taught in the typical church.
Really appreciate your articles Gloria
Father God, please let our prayers be scripture fed and spirit led. Apart from your word and spirit, they just become flat, repetitive religious exercises. Revive us in your word
Yes, Father, You promise a sound mind and power to love. You prepare us and supply us for Your Glory. In this world of deception and people who are lovers of themselves I am relying on You to keep my mind clear and able to remember Your Word and every lesson You have ever taught me, and for cleaning out my heart of all unrighteousness. In Jesus’ Name, I Trust. Amen.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
Psalm 119: 105
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever! (Revelation 22:4)
Well this article is right on the money. I often feel like I’m walking with brain fog. I worship listening to CCM, a pray for certain situations but not for myself personally unless I feel a need. TobyMac says it best in one of his songs with lyrics of “You only look to Heaven when your going through drama” it hurts to admit but that’s exactly what I end up doing aside from blessing the food counting blessings.
I was not raised in church growing up. I have never really liked reading because I would struggle with remembering what I have read. (Reading comprehension, or I would have problems with retaining information) That’s one of the biggest reasons why searching Gods word had been so hard on me. Trusting the church has been so hard for me because growing up I felt isolated because every time I would try to make friends my family would have to move. I was Baptized in a First Baptist church in 2011 and excepted Jesus as my savior, God has my father, and I received the Holy Spirit but since I have had a very inconsistent faith. I have often said that had it not been for Christian Radio I’m not even sure if I would be holding on to my faith but it’s like God has been using Christian Music to help those like me understand not only that we are not alone but that there are testimonies of others who are overcoming.
The struggle I’ve been dealing with and the source of my lack of confidence has indeed been related to my issues with making time to commit to reading the Bible everyday, praying everyday, but listening to music has always been my safety net which I believe God has been using.
However I do feel my anxiety creep in especially when talking to others because I have trouble picking up on social cues. Knowing when to talk and how to react. Kind of expected though when growing up I pretty kept to my self a side from moving all the time my excuse would be well if I keep to myself I can avoid drama or people letting me down. That was the lie I feel for.
How can I share the gospel if I’m trying to avoid drama or conflict. How can I stick up for myself or others if I’m afraid too. That’s the brain fog I’ve been stuck in most my life. It went away a little 2011-2017 I was pretty much managing it. After 2017 it really progressed. The sources being me over thinking, knowing who to trust, etc. Just a lot of those emotions would creep in until finally 2019 I pretty much snapped from pressure of me trying to socialize, at the time I was both excited and nervous about an opportunity at a possible promotion resulting in making self paranoid and wondering am I being evaluated when am I being evaluated, are they watching me on the security cameras things like that, I was hallucinating. As a result I spent 1 week in a behavior health hospital then I was out for a week or 2 I attempted to go to church but couldn’t make it through worship without crying. I ended going back to the mental behavior health center which was a result of me not doing my follow up.
I’ve been holding on since but you know the biggest problem I have had through all of this that I have learned is that I’m extremely stubborn and trying so hard to do things myself. I was raised to be independent not rely on God. I’ve been working my whole life not serving the Lord. I started working my first real job the summer of my 8th grade year and helped my parents pay the bills. I didn’t even save the money I made growing up and when I wasn’t helping them I was buying used cars so really to put my situation through a lenses pretty much for me it’s been stubborness, and being a workaholic that’s been preventing me from my relationship with God. Then me being a people pleaser. I’m mostly willing to help but when it comes to conflict I avoid it.
What this article tells me is that God has blessed me but without reading the Bible or praying daily or opening up my heart. That I will continue to fall for the devils snares and death traps of despair. My worries of the flesh are not of God but the worries created by the evil one which is why so many lack courage, and confidence which are filled with so much self doubt.
Sean, I so relate to you as I struggle with.social anxiety, brain fog, going to church by myself, over thinking, trying to do things myself and other issues BUT God continues to reach us through His music, He does not give up. His hand is extended to you and I (as in Michaelangelo’s famous painting) and you and I feel and receive the most through His music.
Praise and worship music IS prayer and communion with God so give yourself credit for that! Contemporary Christian music also often contains Scripture. What a wonderful God we have – He shares His music to comfort and support us, to witness to us and others and it praises and worships Him at the same time! His music is a two way street.
I encourage you to continue to immerse yourself in Christian music. Attend and participate in praise and worship and cry through it; request prayer and counseling from the Pastor or others.
God has more for you and I – and you are a testimony and witness THROUGH YOUR LIFES EXPERIENCES to others. It may seem as if everyone else has it together but we all are broken. The Church is the Hospital we all need.
I’d like to end with two verses which have spoken to.and carried me through very difficult times over the past years. Sean, know that God loves you just as you are. We do not have to achieve or perform for His love. Believe that, I pray. HE LOVES YOU NOW, AS YOU ARE.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. ~~ Jeremiah.29:11 ~~
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.
– Numbers 6:24-26
One of the best spiritual warfare songs is Matt Remond’s “Bless the Lord Oh my soul”, also Chris Tomlin’s “God of Angel Armies”. “Amazing Grace” was a huge factor in the fight against slavery here in the US – and Chris Tomlin’s “Amazing Grace – my chains are gone” is marvelous.
Peace be with you brother
Hey Sean my friend, God and His Kingdom needs you !! You are obviously aware of this since you have joined Ifapray. To fight in this spiritual conflict going on right now we don’t hv to be perfect. But we Do have to be holding our Sword. Remember… if we’re not th perfect orator, it don’t matter , we must pray. If we’re not surrounded by friends in this world , it don’t matter, we must pray. If we don’t have the perfect job or family, it don’t matter, we must pray!!! Our armor may be tarnished , dented, with signs of many repairs but it will hold!! Stand beside me as we go into battle as intercessors and defeat satans great agenda’s around th world !! In Jesus name my friend
“my lack of confidence”
Sean, this stopped me in my tracks. I recently said goodbye (in this life) to my 91 year old mother and did so in thanks and praise to God. When she began to decline a few years ago, she seemed to be a reluctant Christian. She would often say, ” I don’t know where I will go after I die but…..” I would always try to correct her thinking. I went from Mom, “do you want me to pray for you?” She would give an excuse for “no.” Then to “yes, that would be nice.” Then “Mom, why don’t you begin?” Her prayers were precious. Long to short, I prayed openly with her and in my private times “Lord fill her with Godly confidence.” He did. I pray this for You and hope you will join me. Rely on Him, talk to Him, ask Him to increase your faith and confidence. He will. Peace sir!
You are so right – Satan’s tactic is deception, which enslaves us to his lies. God’s way is truth, His word is truth, His Holy Spirit leads us into all truth – Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.” He said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We need to know the truth about the virus, the vaccine, the elections, the border, the war, about everything in order to make good and right decisions – truth sets free, lies enslave. We fight lies with the eternal truth of God’s Word. That’s our hope, God’s eternal life giving word, that shines His light into the darkness deception creates, and leads us out of it into the light of God’s truth. http://www.mtothe5th.wordpress.com
During the week before Lent I asked the Lord how shall I fast this next 40 days. Immediately the Holy Spirit said to stop all the internet news, blogs and opinion sites. At first I was Ok, how am I going to do this… The final decision was to stop reading and watching anything news or political media. But keep the radio in the car (I don’t drive that much) and read Epoch Times paper on Sunday. Not an easy task for me. Some of my internet has spiritual intertwined with this type of post and this site. Here day 4 my wife is saying I am more relaxed and I am still a little lost “awkward” without that “hit” of information when I am bored or relaxing.
With all that said after reading this post (I found it by the email and it is not political) the word: medium (plural of media) came to mind. Looking up Medium and Spirit I found Mediumship; “is the practice of purportedly mediating communication between spirits of the dead and living human beings. Practitioners are known as “mediums” or “spirit mediums” from Wikipedia. I really don’t need to say any more. The only truth I trust is the Word of God.
May the Lord Bless and keep all that read this. Amen
This is the first scripture that the Holy Spirit lit up for me upon receiving the Lord’s salvation:
Proverbs 3:4-5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight.
It is our own understanding about things that hinders us. We need the Lord’s guidance to be on His chosen path to live and choose rightly.
Yes, thank you. Very timely article and prayer.
It is indeed overwhelming to look at world events. It makes one think that God has left us, our faith is being challenged. We shall overcome in Jesus name. Thanks for the encouragement.
Thank you for this word. I needed this.
The thing’s that were stated are so true. We do need to pray for discernment. That is one thing that’s lacking in most Christian’s.👍
Thank you Gloria, the timing of your article is so insightful and encouraging. I love how The Lord gave you this ‘word picture’ (thru a dream) to reveal Satan’s tactics. God’s Word, the ‘Sword’..of the ‘Spirit’, that will always reach its mark and accomplish His desire. (Isaiah 55:11). He WILL destroy the works of the enemy! Your article has reaffirmed to me, I’m on the right track…and to “not become weary in well doing..for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9)
…For the battle is the Lord’s (1 Samuel 17:47)
Thank you for this word, it resonates in my spirit and brought joy to a heavy mind. The strategy of the enemy and his plan to hinder will not prevail. For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Thank you for that article! What an encouragement to all Intercessors! We shall reap, if we faint not! There is power in prayer, hallelujah! Let’s not be one who has thrown our Sword of Faith by the wayside.
Such an important letter you have written. Excellent! Thank you for your thoughts and action items listed with Scripture to guide us. I hope you will not mind if I pass this along to many others. This is too good not to share. There is power in prayer. “Wherever two or more are gathered together, in My name, I will be there.” Blessings to you and our country.🇺🇸