We just got back from a retreat where I saw Jesus release a lot of freedom in people. They were freer to worship, open up about what’s really going on, freer to give away. It’s so cool that when you take the time to seek God. He just loves to reveal Himself in new and powerful ways. But how do we maintain that kind of encounter?
I’ve been to several conferences and retreats now, and so often you come back really excited and ready to take on the world. Then things start to happen that tear you down. You’re attacked. Maybe a relationship blows up, or you get disappointing news, or you start having trouble hearing God…the list goes on.
Our topic was spiritual warfare and how we engage in the battle. I think it’s easy to have a limited view of what spiritual warfare looks like. It’s many times much more subtle than we expect, and how we engage in the battle is also much more subtle. Our speakers did a great job meshing together in their pre-planning with each other and giving us challenges to engage.
Some of the main points I recall were:
- Intimacy with God is key to this battle and one the biggest weapons
- The Battle is really for the mind so we need to take each thought captive
- Learning self-control, especially in your discontent, is key. In short, stop complaining and gossiping…for this opens the door to the enemy.
So we encounter Jesus…he speaks to us, frees us, gives us wisdom and insight, reveals more about who He is and who we are…How do we maintain that momentum and keep growing?
What I’ve experienced is actually a very simple answer. It’s so simple that I think most of us brush over it and then wonder why it’s so hard to keep momentum. Most of it is contained in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray. And for me, this one line in there is key: Give us today our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).
Give Us Today Our Daily Bread
There’s a reason Jesus said daily. The enemy’s tactics are often very subtle, and if he can slowly move you away from a daily connection with Jesus, he can keep you in a cycle of ending up in the same place, usually frustrated and discouraged. Jesus was flexible with when he had his daily connection with God, but the scriptures seem to portray that he always connected. Whether early in the morning (Mark 1:35) or late at night (Luke 6:12), he knew how crucial receiving his daily bread from the Father was.
Maintaining momentum is coming to Jesus daily and asking him how can I walk this out today. Where do I need to be empowered? How can I go deeper? What’s in the way? How can I give away what you’ve done in me? It’s our intimacy, connection, our closeness with Jesus that makes the difference in the battle for our minds and our lives. Dramatic? Yes, it is. 🙂
After a powerful spiritual encounter, many of us tend to try and just ride on that wave for a while. I challenge and encourage you to not only ride the wave you may be on now, but to daily prepare yourself to catch the next one.