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Waging War With Your Promise

waging war with your promise

What are the needs and problems you have been praying about during the fast? Do you have a word from God about them? If not, have you asked God to speak to you through scripture about each need?

Having a word from God about your need is the starting point, not the ending point, of receiving an answer to your prayers.

Now that you have a word, what do you do? Do you just sit idly by and wait till God fulfills His promise to you? No, you wage warfare with the promise! This is what we’re going to see today.

This may seem like an odd way to end a fast… but chances are that your causes for fasting have yet to be solved. Just because the fast is ending today does not mean that your role in prayer concerning them is ending. It’s just beginning.

So as we close the fast, we’re going to look at what our next steps should be.

Step One: Get a Word From God

If you do not have a personal word from God regarding your need, start there today.

Romans 10:17 says,

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (NKJV).

In the original language, the word used for “word” is rhema. “Faith comes by hearing the rhema of God.”

Rhema means “that which is spoken, a sentence; saying, speech, discourse, a declaration, command, or promise.”1

In other words, God takes the whole of His word, the logos, and breathes upon on a specific passage and speaks it into your situation.

Have you ever read a passage dozens of times and the next time you read it, you see and hear something you never did before? That’s because the Spirit breathed upon it. He spoke it into your life.

When God gives you a personal promise, He speaks His will in advance, before He brings it about. He reveals the end from the beginning.

Isaiah 46:10-11 says,

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ … What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do” (NIV).

When God reveals the end from the beginning, He is prophesying over our lives. He is declaring that some specific thing will occur in the future. That’s a prophecy.

You may remember that when I tell my story on television and radio and in speaking events, I share the promises God gave me regarding my illness:

  • The promises in Zephaniah 3:19-20 saying He would turn back my captivity before my very eyes
  • From Isaiah 49 saying the generations born in exile would return and those who devoured me would be far away. That the captives of the most mighty and the most terrible would all be freed (vv. 19-21, 24-26).
  • From Habakkuk 2:2-3 saying that the things He planned wouldn’t happen right away. “Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (TLB)
  • Years before I “lost my mind” and experienced the dementia and desolation that you now see on video, God spoke through Isaiah 49:19 and said, “Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away” (NIV). When my life and mind and cognitive abilities became desolate, the Holy Spirit reminded me that God saw it coming. It was not beyond His control. Through this passage, He had spoken of it far in advance, and spoken of it as past tense. God was in control of even this. 

As you may know, God spoke these words when I was able to walk and talk … but these promises underwent a death sentence. All human means of fulfillment was sentenced to death. My illness advanced over a period of years. I eventually became confined to a wheelchair for a decade, and to bed for years. I screamed and wailed and hit my head with my fist for months on end. Everything went the opposite direction of what God promised.

After the promises of God are spoken, they undergo a death sentence. Things worsen. God sentences to death every human mechanism of fulfillment. It looks completely hopeless in the natural—for a month, a year, a decade, a couple of decades or more. This can be very discouraging, even when you know it’s completely normal and part of the process.

It’s so discouraging that you’re tempted to be angry at God and just give up. This is when it’s crucial to not give up and to not let the enemy steal the promise. We must fight the fight of faith and continue to believe that God will do what He said He would do.

Step Two: Wage Warfare With the Promise

Paul wrote to Timothy saying,

“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18, ESV, emphasis added).

Notice the last phrase of that verse: “that by them [the prophecies previously made about you] you may wage the good warfare….”

When God speaks to us through His word and declares the end from the beginning—when He speaks a prophecy over us—we are to wage war with the promise!

  • “…use those words as weapons in order to fight well…” (v. 18, GNT)
  • “…that by them you may strongly engage in battle…” (v. 18, HCSB)

We are to use the promises God has spoken to us as weapons to strongly engage in battle.

The Violent Take It by Force

Matthew 11:12 says,

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force” (ESV).

The violent take it by force. There are some blessings that come to us as part of our inheritance in Christ. We do not have to exert effort to receive them. Our salvation is an example of this—we do not receive it according to our works. We are saved through faith by the cross and the blood of Jesus only.

But there are some blessings that must be taken by force. In this category are the promises, the prophecies, God has given us. We must take the weapons of God’s personal promises and use them to go to war against the enemy.

When we take them and go to war, we do so knowing that God has already equipped us to win.

Take It

God provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness. But He did not put it in their mouths. They had to get up, exert some effort, and go take it.

You and I have to go take our promises and possess them. This is called appropriating God’s promise. It’s seizing and possessing the “promised land.”

When the Israelites entered the promised land there was faith involved, battles involved, offensive effort involved. God did not pick the people up and sit them down in a vacated promised land that was theirs to possess short of any battles. They had to do something. They had to exert effort. And so do we. We have to lay hold of what God has promised. And we do so by force, by waging war using the promise as a weapon.

Five Ways You Wage War With Your Mouth

There are five ways you wage war that involve your mouth. They are:

  1. Speaking to yourself, taking every thought captive—and depriving the enemy of the materials to build a stronghold.
  2. Speaking to the enemy.
  3. Speaking to God and reminding Him of His promise.
  4. Speaking of the nonexistent things as a co-Son.
  5. Speaking to the mountain.

Speak To Yourself and the Enemy: Stop Building a Fortress

I mentioned earlier how discouraging it can be when there is a long delay between the speaking of the promise and its fulfillment. During this time, we tend to not only let the enemy steal the promise, we build a fortress for him to use as his defense!

Every time we have thoughts contrary to what God has declared, we build a fortified dwelling for the enemy—a fortress.

When we think wrong consistently, each thought is a brick in the wall that gives the enemy the material to build a fortress in that area of our lives. It could be bricks of doubt … bricks of lust … bricks of fear … bricks of unbelief … bricks of worry … bricks of discouragement. Or it could simply be bricks that verbally state what our circumstances are—not what God has said about them.

To prevent this, take your personal promises from God, put on your helmet of salvation and pick up your shield of faith and sword of the Spirit—and fight the enemy.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

Go to war using God’s personal promises and destroy the enemy’s strongholds!

Speak to the enemy. And speak to yourself—take your thoughts captive and deprive the enemy of the materials to build a fortress.

A Few Personal Examples

I wrote here and here about some of the more recent personal promises God has given me. Several of the promises involve resurrection of dead things. For the sake of providing an example, I’ll cite a few of the promises.

Ezekiel 37:1-14:

This is the passage regarding dry bones being put back together and raised on their feet a mighty army. A few verses from this promise are:

“I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. … 9This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’…

11They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them….14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live….'”

I was broken and struggling in my health and cognition in 2012 after a health setback. Through this passage, God told me He would put me back together, breathe His life into me, and raise me on my feet a mighty warrior. He would open my grave and bring me up from it. In the years since, things have worsened. My dry bones have been treated to a few trips to the crematorium. They’ve been ground to fine ash.

Psalm 71:9-20:

“9Cast me not off nor send me away in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent and my powers fail. … 16I will come in the strength and with the mighty acts of the Lord God… 20Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.”

I went into detail in another post explaining the meaning of this promise in my life. But in short, due to age, health, lack of funds for medical treatment, and caregiving, God has caused me to see many, bitter troubles. My strength is spent. My powers fail. Much of my life has been relegated to a grave in “the depths of the earth.”

Proverbs 23:18:

“Surely you have a wonderful future ahead of you. There is hope for you yet!” (TLB)

This verse echoes Ezekiel 37:11 above, especially in the NIV translation.

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

In many ways, it’s as if my future has been stolen from me. Certainly the past eight years were not at all what it seemed they were going to be, not what life seemed to hold prior. And they’ve affected the next eight… and so on. It has made my future seem bleak and hopeless, especially as my age quickly advances.

Example of Waging War and Speaking These Promises to Self and the Enemy

The following is pasted from my prayer journal. It’s from a time that I was on my knees in prayer, typing what I was speaking to myself and to the enemy:

Dry bones are not my promise! Cremated ashes are not my promise! Resurrection is my prophecy! God putting me back together, breathing new life in me, and bringing me up from my grave is my prophecy! Bringing me up from my physical grave, spiritual grave, ministry grave, financial grave, mental grave, emotional grave, health grave!

God putting His spirit on me and causing me to live is my promise! The Spirit bringing me to life and standing me on my feet a mighty warrior is my prophecy!

God IS giving me back my life! God IS opening up my grave and bringing me up from it! It does not feel like it. I don’t see it in the natural. But it is happening! My hope is not cut off! God has given me a wonderful future ahead.

Hopelessness is not my prophecy. (Prov. 23:18) I have a wonderful future ahead of me. There is hope for me yet! My hope is not cut off!

Being cast off in premature old age is not my prophecy. Being forsaken when my strength is spent is not my prophecy. Coming in the strength of the Lord and with his mighty acts is my promise. Though You have made me see troubles many and bitter, Lord, You are restoring my life again. From the depths of the earth You are again bringing me up.

I possess strength now in Jesus’ name. I possess vision now in His name! I possess health, energy and vitality and vigor in His name! (Ps.71, Deut.8:18, Ezek.37) I possess the breath of His spirit, raising me to my feet a mighty warrior! I possess greater influence and anointing in ministry! (Ps.71, Isa.54:2-3) I possess more ground for Shades of Grace! (Isa.54:2-3) I possess every purpose for which God made me — every purpose completed and fulfilled! (Ps.57:2)

I came back to my journal months later and wrote something contrary to God’s promise:

I’ve gone so many years like this, that I can’t see anything different. I have no desire to do anything or be anything different. There is so much I know God wants for Shades of Grace, but I can no longer envision it. I can only see, and only feel like, resigning from life. No energy. No vision. No passion. I’m grieving the loss of much personally and professionally and suffering so much additionally in my health….

Then I discerned what was happening, and began speaking to the enemy:

THIS IS FROM THE ENEMY!!!!!!! NO MORE!!!! YOUR TIME IS UP, SATAN!!!!! I SERVE NOTICE ON YOU, YOUR TIME IS UP! VACATE THE PREMISES!

YOU ARE EVICTED!!!! EVICTED FROM SHADES OF GRACE!!! … EVICTED FROM MY PRESENT! EVICTED FROM MY FUTURE! EVICTED FROM MY HEALTH! EVICTED FROM MY ENERGY! EVICTED FROM MY MIND!!! EVICTED FROM MY VISION! EVICTED FROM MY CALLING! EVICTED FROM MY PURPOSE!

THIS GROUND IS NO LONGER YOURS!!!! IT’S MINE IN JESUS’ NAME AND BY HIS DECLARATION, HIS PROMISE!!!! HE HAS GIVEN IT TO ME, NOT YOU! SO I TAKE IT BACK IN JESUS NAME AND BY HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY!!!!!

You can also wage war by giving God thanks for what He has done in fulfilling your promise, even though it is yet to be manifest here in the natural realm. For my Psalm 71 promise, this would look like:

Lord, thank you that I have come with Your mighty acts and in Your strength. Thank you for restoring me to life again! Thank you for bringing me up from the depths of the earth, from my grave!

I hesitated to share these examples; it makes the post too much about me. Also, I don’t want to limit your scope. How God leads me to speak to myself and the enemy will be different than how He leads you. Your needs and promises are vastly different. How you respond will be, too. But I felt led, for whatever reason, to share.

Speak to God and Remind Him of His Promise

In Psalm 119, the psalmist tells God to remember His word—the promise in which God had caused Him to hope:

“Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope” (Psalm 119:49, ESV).

We can pray and speak this scripture back to God: “Father, remember Your word to Your servant in which You have made me hope. Fulfill Your word to me, Lord.”

In 2 Samuel, David reminded God of His promise and asked God to do what He said He would do.

“Now, Lord God, fulfill the promise forever that You have made to Your servant and his house. Do as You have promised… ” (2 Samuel 7:25, see also 1 Chronicles 17:23, HCSB).

The Good News Translation says:

25And now, Lord God, fulfill for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would28And now, Sovereign Lord, you are God; you always keep your promises, and you have made this wonderful promise to me.

We can pray this scripture to God also, along with Psalm 119:49. “Father, do what You said You would. Fulfill Your word to Your servant in which You have made me hope!”

It doesn’t matter how long it has been since God gave you His promise. Perhaps you’ve been waiting for years. It’s not too late. Don’t quit too soon! Wage war with the promise!

Don’t judge the situation by the way things appear. Don’t go by what you see but instead by what God has said. Hold on to the promise and trust God while you’re waiting and warring.

Some ministers term reminding God of His promises “binding God to His word” … or having a “holy argument” with God, in which you lay your promises before God and make your case.

No matter what we call it, we’re bringing His promises before Him and asking Him to do what He promised.

Speak As a Co-Son

Jesus’ Role in Creation

God does everything in accordance with His divine nature. He is bringing about the new creation the same way that He did old.

God the Father devised the plan for creation. Everything to ever come into existence begins in the Father’s heart and mind.

God the Son is the embodiment of Father’s thought and being. He is called in scripture the “Word” of God. Andrew Murray refers to Jesus as the “speaking self” of the Father.

When the Father wanted to create world, He thought up plan and the Son spoke it into being. It was the Son’s job to speak what the Father thought.

  • “In the beginning was the word… Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:1,3, NIV).
  • “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth…For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:6,9, NIV).
  • Genesis 1 says, “God said, ‘Let there be light…'”. It does not say that He thought a thought or or wished a wish. He spoke a word. And He did so through the Word, Jesus.

This was consistent with Jesus’ life on earth. He was continually checking in with heaven to find out the Father’s will, and then speaking and doing it.

The Holy Spirit is the executor of Father’s thought and the Son’s word.

Creation was brought about by the Father’s will, the Son’s word, and the Spirit’s way. The Father thought up the plan for creation. The Son spoke the word, and the Spirit brought it into being.

God is bringing about the new new creation the same as He did the old. In other words, there are things yet to take place in your life—they have yet to be created. They’re going to occur by this same process—the Father’s will, the Son’s Word, and the Spirit’s way.

We Are Co-Sons With Jesus

Scripture says you and I were made co-sons with Jesus.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17, NIV).

When we were born again, we were joined to the Godhead, made joint heirs with Christ and given full rights as a co-son with the Lord Jesus. We are not co-Fathers or co-Spirits.

As such, we have the same responsibility as the Son — speaking the thoughts of Father.

“I believed; therefore I have spoken. With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13).

Our Ability to Join This Process of Creation

Biblical faith is simply our ability to join this process of creation.

We:

  1. Receive truth from the Father’s mind.
  2. Speak the word of authority with our mouths.
  3. Hold fast our confession in the face of contradicting circumstances, while the Holy Spirit brings into visible being what was true all along in the invisible, spiritual world.

We are in the same position Christ was when He was on earth. Our job is to confess on earth what is true in Heaven—to call those things that are not as though they are. As a co-son, we are to follow Christ’s example:

Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]” (Ephesians 5:1, AMPC).

Therefore, if Jesus was in your need today, in your cause for fasting, what would He have done?

  1. He would have checked in with heaven to find out the Father’s heart and mind about the situation. If you have a personal promise from God about your situation, you have already done this part. God has revealed to You His will.
  2. When He received the revelation, the promise, He would have spoken as God does about it.

And how does God speak about situations? He calls those things that are not as though they are.

God “gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed” (Romans 4:17, AMPC).

Whatever promise God has given you, you speak as if the fulfillment already exists. You say the same thing with your mouth that God has said in His word to you. You take a stand on Word of God and continually make a declaration based upon that Word.

This can be embarrassing, because it puts you in such a position that if God does not work a miracle to keep His word, it will appear as if God’s word is a lie and you are a fool for believing it.

Only What Originates in the Father’s Heart

Remember, only what originates in Father’s heart can we as co-sons speak into existence with word of authority. You don’t pick your wishes and desires and begin speaking them. You pray through until God has revealed to you what His will is and you’re 100% certain of it, without a shadow of a doubt.

This is not “name it claim it” hocus pocus. This is not speaking personal wants and desires like pushing buttons on a vending machine, expecting God to deliver our selection. God is not a genie granting wishes. This is the Biblical process of faith. And it shows us why, as co-sons, our words are so important.

The Twelve Spies

When you think of the importance of your words, think of the twelve spies who scoped out the promised land. They each received what they had spoken, for good or for ill. In Numbers 14, we see that by his words that echoed God’s decree, Caleb settled his destiny for the positive. God brought him into the promised land. But as for the rest, well God did unto them as they had spoken.

“As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall…” (Numbers 14:28-29, NIV).

The spies—who acted out of unbelief and did not act according to what God had promised them—received what they “said.” They did not receive the promise. They died in the wilderness. Indeed, God had given them a promise. But they never saw it fulfilled… all because of their unbelief, which was expressed by their words.

Whatever your promise is from God, know that how you respond to it with your words is crucial!

Speak to the Mountain

“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:23-24, ESV).

Notice the mention in Mark 11:23 of the word “say” and “says.” Whoever “says” to this mountain. … What he “says” will come to pass.

We have to talk to our mountains! And talk out loud! It does not say, “whoever thinks” or “whoever feels” but “whoever says.”

Angels Give Attention To His Word

Angels give attention to God’s word.

“Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word” (Psalm 103:20, NKJV).

When we go to war with the promise and speak it aloud, it affects what happens in the spiritual realm. It affects what angels are able to do in response. Angels don’t just respond when God speaks His word—they respond when we speak it as well. Jentezen Franklin asserts that we have “unemployed angels” because we refuse to echo God’s personal promise and speak it aloud over our circumstance.

Other Ways of Waging War

There are additional ways that we fight the fight of faith after God has given us a promise. There are often actions God wants us to take that are specific to the circumstance. God wants us to act as if it is so, when it’s not so, in order for it to be so, because God said it’s so.

For some things God has promised, there are no major actions that can be taken other than how we speak about it. But for other things, there are tangible things God wants us to do out of faith.

For example, I mentioned in another post a step of faith that involved something financial. I had fasted and prayed for 40 days regarding an income increase to Shades of Grace. There was something I always knew I would do after God provided in that way. During the fast God began speaking to me about acting as if it was already so—about exercising real faith in advance. Like the lepers who went to show themselves to the priest as healed, before they were healed, God led me to act as if He had already provided the income increase. He asked me to do the thing I would have otherwise done after the promise had been fulfilled in the natural. It was scary, and risky. But that’s faith.

For more on embracing God’s promise by action, see the “Faith for the Supernatural” series, particularly the second message there called “Don’t Flake Out! Get Rid of the Fake Out: Moving Beyond Powerless Substitutes to Effective Faith.”

Three Recommended Sermons

There are three excellent sermons that I highly recommend.

  1. The Power of Personal Prophecy by Jentezen Franklin. I had never thought of 1 Timothy 1:18 in this context until I heard this excellent sermon from Jentezen Franklin. Highly recommended!
  2. A Personal Promise by Jim Cymbala — These two sermons by Jim Cymbala talk about asking God to do what He promised.
  3. God’s Personal Word by Jim Cymbala

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is: Don’t let the enemy steal your promise!

Go to war with your personal promise. Wage good warfare. Speak to yourself. Speak to the enemy. Speak to God and remind Him what He has promised you. Speak as a co-son—speak of the nonexistent things God has promised and foretold as if they already exist! Speak to the mountain. And hold fast your confession of faith while God brings the promise to pass. It may be days, weeks, months, or years, but do not give up! Do not quit! Do not waiver in your belief and expectation! 

A Moment of Worship: Prophesy Your Promise

Prophesy Your Promise featuring Bryan and Katie Torwalt
Written by Mack Brock, Katie Torwalt, Bryan Torwalt
From the Album: Praise Before My Breakthrough

Listen on Apple Music | Download from iTunes
Listen on Prime Music | Download from Amazon

Bible Reading: Romans 10:17; Isaiah 46:10-11; 1 Timothy 1:18; Matthew 11:12; 2 Corinthians 10:3-4; Psalm 119:49; 2 Samuel 7:25; John 1:1; Psalm 33:6,9; Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 5:1; Romans 4:17; Numbers 14:28-29; Mark 11:23-24; Psalm 103:20

Questions:

  • What are the needs and problems you have been praying about during the fast? Do you have a word from God about them? If not, have you asked God to speak to you through scripture about each need?
  • How does it make you feel to know that God will speak to you through His Word and show you the end from the beginning—that He will give you a promise and reveal what is going to occur in the future?
  • Once God gave you a promise, did you stop there, thinking that was the end of the matter? Or did you know that it was just the beginning of receiving your answer to prayer?
  • In what ways are you waging war against the enemy with God’s personal promises to you?
  • What are you doing to lay hold of God’s promises to you? In what ways are you appropriating His promises and actively believing Him for them? Or are you expecting God to drop the fulfillment of His promises in your lap?
  • Are you going to God and reminding Him what He promised you? Are you asking Him to fulfill His word to you? Are you binding Him to his word?
  • How does it make you feel to know that as a co-son with the Lord Jesus, you have the same responsibility as the Son — speaking the thoughts of Father?
  • How are you fulfilling Romans 4:17 and speaking as God does about your situation? In what ways are you speaking of “the nonexistent things that He has foretold and promised as if they already existed”?
  • What promises of yours are you speaking so radically about—agreeing with God and speaking what He has said in His word—that if God does not work a miracle to fulfill His promise, it will look like God’s word is a lie and you are a fool?
  • What are the mountains in your life? What promises of God are you speaking to them? 

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  1. E.W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal Publications, 1999), 897


 

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