Turn on the news and you will find a war brewing over politics, the Middle East, and how policy should be handled. Turn on a television sitcom and you will find a war brewing over sexual orientation, tolerance, and marriage. Walk into a room with unbelievers, and you will find a war brewing over opinions, perspectives, and truth.
Unfortunately, none of these culture wars even touch the devastation the actual war is creating – the war for your soul and the soul of every person you come in contact with. Jesus knew we would walk into a war zone every day, so He gave us tools to fight and fight well. But in order to fight well, we have to be well connected to our Commander (John 15:5). We do this best in two primary ways:
1. Reading God’s Word
Too often believers flounder through circumstances, unsure what to say or how to handle the situation. The good news is that Jesus gave us a battle strategy through His Word. The plan is already in place. Why wouldn’t we consult the strategy before we walk onto the battlefield? He even told us how to arm ourselves when we go to war (Ephesians 6:10-17).
The daily battle will never be easy. Jesus didn’t promise a struggle-free life to believers. In fact, He promised the opposite (John 16:33). But we struggle less when we know our Commander’s instructions.
But God’s Word isn’t just a book. It’s living and active, a sword for us (Hebrews 4:12). And we need to approach it as such.
Make sure you are ready to hear from God when you sit down to read your Bible. Ask Him for a soft heart and mind so that you can better understand and obey what He calls you to (Psalm 119:33-34). Develop a plan to study His Word. Set aside time, designate a place, keep a journal, and choose a translation that speaks to you. When you discipline yourself to prioritize God’s Word, you are effectively preparing yourself for battle.
Prayer is the believer’s direct line of communication with God. It’s not enough to just study His Word. We need to take time to talk to our Commander, as well (Ephesians 6:18). We are not limited to talking to God at certain times or in certain circumstances. In fact, scripture tell us to pray at all times (Psalm 55:17).
Jesus taught His disciples how to talk to Him in Matthew 6:9-13. In this prayer, Jesus focused on who God is and what He wants to accomplish, and then He prayed for His needs. God welcomes honest prayers, questions, and emotions, but we must remember our role when we pray: He is the Commander, and we are the foot soldier. He sees the big picture that we can’t. He is working behind the scenes on our behalf. He is giving us all the tools we need to face the enemy. We can trust Him to know best.
The war is won. The battles will continue until He comes back, but He didn’t abandon us to face them alone. Our best tools to fight well lie in direct communication with our Commander.
We know that it can be difficult to trust a God you can’t see or audibly hear. Dr. Jeffress has addressed questions about the Bible and prayer in many of his messages. Links have been provided for you below. You can also purchase Dr. Jeffress’ book Spiritual Essentials for even more on how to pray and study God’s Word.