Healing the Heart, Part 3: War

Posted: May 10, 2024

This is the third of a three-part series on healing the heart. In part one we looked at bringing down the walls and barriers that block our healing. In part two we exposed the lies the enemy hides in the heart, broke those strongholds, and received healing. Now we move forward, walking it out as an overcomer.
Which requires going to war.

September 4, 2020, 5:30am. I’m alone in the desert on the third of a three-day solo trip seeking God. As I watch the sun break over the horizon, God exposes a deep-seeded, decades-old wound with a lie that is attached to it. Simultaneously, the enemy attacks with fear and thoughts of turmoil and doubt. I’m confused; God is there yet He’s allowing me to be attacked while in His presence. I’d assumed that since He had exposed this wound (which He does with an intent to heal) that I wouldn’t have to deal with warfare… but I also know He has a way of blowing away our theology and assumptions of how we think life should play out. The words “should” and “assume” are often exposed as broken crutches. Sometimes we are allowed to enter into a spiritual dogfight to force us to stand up, persevere until we overcome, and learn what God wants to teach us.

As God exposed the wound and the lie (which had fear attached to it), the enemy counterattacked with a hissy-fit, like a snake that had been hidden in the darkness, and was now exposed. An intense battle is a good sign, there is a significant piece of the heart that is about to be taken back.

I continued to pray, taking the lie to the cross, renouncing any agreements in the manner we looked at last week, inviting God in to heal. The enemy didn’t go down immediately, it would be another hour until the victory was sealed. While some battles are resolved quickly, others can take longer, even hours.

If you want to live with a heart that is alive and experience the abundant life Jesus offered (John 10:10) on an ongoing basis, you will have to fight for it. In each of the three parts in this series, spiritual warfare is required. The enemy attacks with fear, pride, and other ways to convince us to hide our struggles, wounds, or sin behind a wall. Go Jericho on the walls and expose the wounds and lies, and he’ll throw a fit to keep us from healing. He knows he will lose ground in our life and we can gain strength spiritually, if we keep our prayer life fired up and walk in the truth.

The enemy knows you will be a spiritual threat if you keep healing and discover the abundant life Jesus offers. If you catch fire and sell out to living your life for the eternal, becoming a part of God’s work to set captives free in the process, he will lose more ground in the hearts of others. Many believers don’t realize the spiritual weapons they have or the potential of their life when they walk with God, or what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit of power, love, and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

You are at war.

So is your marriage, family, and every church. You must become a spiritual warrior, which means investing much time in prayer. There are no shortcuts here. If I had tried to ignore the intense spiritual battle that was set against me that early morning in 2020, or didn’t realize it was warfare, the chances are high that I wouldn’t have received the victory and healing God was offering. I had to fight.

There are many in the body of Christ who are living ineffective, defeated lives because they will not stand up and enter into the battles that must be fought until there is a breakthrough. They put up the white flag with the first sign of resistance or strife, curl into a ball of fear, seek comfort in their sin-addictions and love-counterfeits, check out with video screens or other forms of entertainment, or shore up the walls in their heart. They are in bondage.

In response to part 2 of this series, one woman posted the following on our Facebook page:

“Almost ALL of those lies I have believed since age 3. I am now 76 and still struggle to believe that ANYONE could love me. I have a great counselor (not a Christian) who never belittles the ‘mustard seed’ of faith I have left. I just never can believe I have any value even to Jesus.”

It grieved me to read her story. I suspect that some of this dear woman’s struggles might be that she hasn’t had someone to walk her through to healing and victory. With God, we’re never far away from the strength, healing, and love we’re hungry for. But we must do our part.

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:12

You can take the way of the spiritual pacifist if you like, but there are no neutral zones in spiritual warfare. God gives us moments of protection and rest, but there are no guarantees the enemy won’t be allowed to assault us, even then. I’ve encountered spiritual warfare in the majority of the solo desert trips I’ve taken. Jesus was confronted by Satan in the desert during His 40 days of preparation for ministry there. We should expect no less…

“Praise God for your report that the Devil is paying attention to you—so long as he keeps firing at us you may know he thinks that we are worth watching.”
-Oswald Chambers

…That is, if our lives are worth attacking. Why attack a sleeping, prayerless Christian who lives for pleasure and entertainment? That might rouse them to pray or to take their relationship with God beyond church on Sunday, which the enemy surely doesn’t want.

You won’t hear about spiritual warfare from most psychologists, counselors (secular and Christian), or many churches. Every man, woman, couple, and youth who comes to us for help is dealing with spiritual warfare, whether they realize it or not. (Many don’t, which is the fruit of a church that avoids talking about warfare and equipping people in this arena.) The church has been getting overrun for years and yet we don’t seem to get it that we are a church at war in dark times. If they understood this, every church would run prayer meetings throughout the week.
That is, the churches that know the power of prayer.

The Anschluss comes to mind, when Nazi Germany took Austria in 1938 with little more than token resistance. The time is long overdue for equipping and challenging God’s people to step up to the battle lines and make an impact, His way.

You must be prepared to fight for your heart, and for that of others.

Watch the thoughts that wander into your mind. Anything that doesn’t line up with Scripture has to be interrupted and taken out. Don’t allow thoughts of bitterness, condemnation, judgement, resentment, doubt, fear, lust, or discouragement to run unchecked in your mind. For example, if a lie you’ve struggled with in the past has been “I’m on my own,” you can pray something like this, aloud if need be: “Lord, thank you that You will never leave me or forsake me, and You’re with me now. Thank You for the Holy Spirit who lives in me. In Jesus’s name, I reject the lie that I am alone. I love you Lord. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit now.”

Listen to what your emotions are telling you about your heart. If you struggle often with fear, anger, lust, hopelessness, apathy, self-loathing, a strong sense of emptiness, or clingy-neediness; if your heart feels like a rock (which, if allowed to go on too long, is dangerous), or you often feel drained, your heart is flashing red warning lights that you need help or need to make a change. It could be that a wound is surfacing in your heart, there’s sin you’re hanging onto, someone you need to forgive, or maybe you’re wiped out and need an extended period of rest. Don’t ignore or steamroll your heart with busy-ness, pleasure, or some other love-counterfeit. Ask God to reveal what’s happening in your heart and what He wants you to do.

Be discerning. If you’re going through a rough time, ask God to reveal to you if you’re going through warfare or if there’s something in your heart that needs to be resolved so you can respond appropriately to the situation. Some temptations are flesh-born while others are assaults of the enemy. Both may occur simultaneously.

Learn the authority you’ve been given in Christ and how to fight. I’ve written an article on spiritual warfare at https://theroguechristian.com/spiritual-warfare/ to get you going.

You will have to go to war against your flesh, with all of its self-seeking, pride, lust, pleasure-seeking, anger, and fear. There are days when the battle against the flesh is tougher than warfare.

The church is an army; isolated soldiers are easily picked off. You must be a part of a tribe, preferably with other believers who have a heart for God, His word, prayer, and want to make their lives count for eternity. A Bible study where everyone hides and doesn’t share what they’re going through isn’t what we’re talking about here. Every believer desperately needs the support of others; someone they can send a prayer-flare to in time of need.

Persevere. Don’t expect the Christian life to be easy. You may get attacked when you’re exhausted. In that case, ask God for the strength to persevere and keep…

We’re back to prayer. Prayer is your conduit to the most powerful Being in the Universe, who loves you, sees what you’re going through, offers the way through, the strength you need persevere and the wisdom to know the path to take (or whether to wait). With God’s word, prayer is the source of your spiritual power, your life, your hope. Prayer is a weapon of massive spiritual force that many believers don’t avail themselves of, thus, their defeated lives. Prayer is the only thing we are told to do unceasingly. To kindle your prayer life is to set your heart on fire. Prayer meetings must be a part of your life, which means you cannot live an isolated life as so many are.

“Pray without ceasing”
1 Thessalonians 5:17

You will have to be willing to go rogue, that is, go against the grain of spiritually passive, isolated, prayerless, distracted Christianity that doesn’t face its sin. There will be times when God puts you in a situation that blows your theology, screws your comfort zone into the ground, places you in a spiritual firefight, forces you to give more of your energy or time than you would like and pour everything out (as Jesus modeled for us), or He asks you to do something that you don’t want to.

In other words, when He asks you to be a living sacrifice that is broken bread and poured out wine for others. We fight for our heart and heal so we can be a blessing to God and others, not waste our lives on pleasure-seeking.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Romans 12:1

Every believer can experience the abundant life and live a life that counts for eternity. If they’re willing to fight for it.
What is God saying to you today?