We work to overcome Satan - in our own lives, in the lives of others, and in the kingdom - by our testimony. The testimony here is not shared to glorify our selves or others. It is shared to glorify God and his Son Jesus Christ, to overcome, and to help others overcome.
And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)
After answering my prayer for fear of the Lord, God showed me the prayer to test the spirits and the prayer to put on his armor.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:10-17)
I confess that I never saw this as something a person actually did and never imagined this as something a person did as a prayer. Mark Bubeck did and his book The Adversary was one of the first God led me to. Putting on the armor of God became the first thing I did every day.
Choosing to Die and Be Replaced
To go forward I had to cast out the those things in me that were choking the word. If I command them to be plucked up by the root in the name of Jesus, they would obey and leave.
I realized the choice. The cares of this world, desires for other things, pleasures of this life, and trust in false riches were rooted in what I desired and what I believed: what I wanted to have, what I wanted to consume, what I wanted to be, and what I wanted others to think I was. If I cast them out and let the word produce its desires and beliefs, then I would die and the word would replace me.
An evil spirit had been in my life for 13 years and I had been completely unaware of it.
While reading the book of Matthew in 1983 I noticed how frequently God ministered to people in dreams: 1:20, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22. It occurred to me that, if I asked, God might minister to me in dreams as well. So I asked. The first night I did this I had a dream. In this dream God showed me the evil spirit and commanded it to leave.
I have had, and continue to have, my share of prayer that does not produce the results prayed for. The degree of success has increased dramatically and the reasons for failure have changed.
My early failed prayer was due to a failure to understand what prayer really is and a failure to understand God. Without really examining what prayer was, I “prayed” according to what I thought it was: asking God to do something.
In late September of 1983 I prayed for the fear of the Lord and God answered. Here are the details.
I was divorced. I decided that I had to live my life according to the Bible, possibly more completely than I had ever witnessed. I had begun dating a young lady and had reached a point in my life where I consciously wanted nothing more than for her to love me. I would have given up my job and every thing I had. Nothing else mattered. In the midst of this a co-worker loaned me a tape on fear of the Lord by Joy Dawson. She described the benefits of fear of the Lord and it was clear this was something I needed to pray for. So I did. Ironically I found it much easier to believe that God would answer the prayer for fear of the Lord than any other prayer I might ask.
I was reading scripture on the coldest night of our Michigan winter when the fan on my furnace started squealing. I wasn't sure what I should do. I had deliberately set aside that time to read scripture. Should I stop and work on the furnace or keep on reading. I decided that the scripture was more important and kept reading.
After a while I got tired. The fan on the furnace was still squealing as I asked God if I should sleep. "Yes." I checked again as I wanted to make sure I was truly submitted about sleeping. "Yes. I want you to be so at peace trusting me that the world can be in turmoil around you can you can still sleep." So I slept.
I no longer remember exactly how this interaction with God began. I think I was reading the Bible and the Spirit of God drew my attention to this verse:
If you love me, you will keep (obey) my commands. (John 14:15)
“God, don’t I love you?” I asked. I worked and then came home and sowed the word of God into my heart so it would produce what God wanted in me. I fasted and prayed. I submitted myself to do what he told me to do. And, infrequently, but sometimes, I did not obey his commands.
A long while back I had a housemate who was struggling to find a job. Part of the problem was that he didn’t have reliable transportation to even get to job interviews, let alone to a job.
I had both a car and a job. I figured I could get to work other ways. It might take more time and effort, but I could get to work. So, after some prayer, I decided to give my car to my housemate.
When I gave him my car, however, I also believed for a one hundred-fold return (from Mark 10:29-30) on what I gave. I would encounter others in need and I needed to have the resources available to help them too. I needed the hundred-fold return to have the resources to help more people.
A member of a church I attended testified that God had healed her of a progressive food allergy.
According to her testimony she had been diagnosed with a food allergy. At first she was allergic to one or two foods, but over time became allergic to other foods - foods that she had eaten all her life with no problems. She got to where the only thing she could eat without a strong allergic reaction was some crackers and water.
God answered my prayer for fear of the Lord, then showed me to put on his armor and that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against a spiritual enemy. After seeing the benefits of the armor and the spiritual war, I wanted to warn others and share the knowledge of the benefits of the armor with others. In seeking God about this he showed me a picture. In the picture a Christian wearing the armor of God does battle against Satan who is portrayed as a seven-headed red dragon. They are fighting over people. The people have closed their eyes and are unaware of the battle.
I kept thinking about this picture and how much it would help others become aware of the battle and of the need for the armor of God. But I knew, that unless God worked a miracle, I didn’t have the talent to create the picture. Finally, one day I thought about hiring an artist. As I sought God he confirmed that I should.
God began directing me to write a newsletter teaching others how to pray. I was submitted to follow his direction, but I was puzzled. I had been praying to receive a wife for several years and the prayer had not produced any results. I had become convinced that God was not withholding from me so the problem with the prayer had to be on my end.
I asked God, “How can I teach others how to pray when I have been unsuccessful in my prayer for a wife?”
“What instruction would you give someone who came to you with that prayer problem?”
Shortly after my wife and I were married we began talking about having children. We decided that we wanted two - a boy and a girl, born close enough together that they could play with each other. We thought about twins.
The scriptural basis of our prayer, the word of God that would produce the result, was 1 John 5:14-15.
This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: and if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
We searched the Bible to see what it said about having children and having twins. They appeared to be a blessing. We asked God and felt that the prayer was according to what we desired. So we prayed for twins: a boy and a girl.
In 2009, while seeking to better understand scripture so I could better understand God and draw closer to him, I saw prayer for God to send the Spirit of truth to help me understand. Of the Spirit of truth Jesus said,
When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he will not speak of himself; but whatsoever he hears, that will he speak: and he will show you things to come. (John 16:13)
I had never thought of this as something I needed to pray for. I thought he had been sent and I didn’t need to do anything. That day I saw it differently and asked God to send him to guide me.
I had attended a minister’s conference in Tennessee and was on my way back home. During the conference one of my roommates commented that he sensed God’s anointing on me. I didn’t sense it and really had no experience with respect to God’s anointing and how to sense it.
While driving back to Michigan I was listening to praise music and praising God when I felt spiritual energy boil up inside of me. I built up beyond what I could contain. I didn’t know what else to do so I laid my hand on the dashboard of my car and prayed in tongues.
Testing Whether a Spirit Is of God
After receiving the answer to my prayer for fear of the Lord I realized that survival depended on reliably and consciously hearing God’s correction, instruction, and direction. Hearing could not be imagined, it had to be true hearing. Only God’s true direction would save me from destruction. It was my vital necessity and I ordered my life in a manner consistent with seeking it as my vital necessity. I went to work to take care of the cares of this world and came home. Once home I read the Bible. I fasted food and water. They were not my vital necessity - the word of God’s direction for my life was. If seeking at this level proved insufficient then I was prepared to take vacation or quit my job so I could fully seek God. Nothing mattered more than his direction.