Fervent_13_FocusIsTheAntenna

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Strategy 2: Your Focus (pages 39-54)

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“You’ve remembered to submit to Me, but you’ve forgotten to resist the devil.” These are the words that God whispered to my heart when I was right in the middle of a recent, difficult season. While I was going through it, I spent a lot of time curled up in bed unmotivated to do anything, or barely getting through the day. The adversity I was facing was nearly more than I could bear, yet I remained passive. I did not take my stand against the real enemy — not until my eyes were opened to the truth.

Focus

Priscilla Shirer’s Prayer Strategy #2 is Your Focus: Fighting the Real Enemy. Focus is about seeing clearly, and the devil wants nothing more than to keep you blind to the deceitfulness of his ways, and the truth of God’s ways. “Focus is the antenna that prayer helps to keep raised and alert, making you keenly aware if somebody’s trying to play you for a fool” (p. 40).

Submit and Resist

James 4:7 says, “Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” (HCSB). During that hard season I continually submitted to God, which is the first part of the verse. But I neglected the second part — resist the devil. That, my friend, is what the devil counts on every time.

See Clearly

We may be battling an unseen enemy, but when our eyes are on the Lord, He helps us see clearly. Let’s not put all our focus on the devil, but let’s not ignore him either. The devil’s strategy is to try and keep us distracted or make others around us seem like our enemy, in order to keep us blind to his schemes. Asking God to make us aware of the devil’s devices and to help us turn our attention and emotional energy toward resisting the enemy is a good prayer strategy.

Live as an Over-Comer

Jesus gave His life for us. When He did, He made us more than conquerors. Daughter of God, you are an over-comer. Live as one. Because of Jesus, you are a victor. The devil has had his way far too long. You’ve remembered to submit to God. Now remember to resist the devil, because he’s your real enemy. When you do, he must flee.

What’s Next

For Wednesday, read Strategy 3: Your Identity (pages 55-70)

Discuss

Which of the verses on pages 51-53 stood out to you most strongly as you wrote your prayer strategy? What steps are you taking this week to remember who your real enemy is?

TexturePhoto-Gather-680 Michele-Lyn is a New York City girl living in the country in Florida. She is a wife and mama of four who has finally learned to hold tightly to what is most important, and let go of all the rest. She is the founder of The Pointed Life, which through devotions, studies, and videos encourages women to lead a life that points the way to God. It is her heart’s passion to help other women know the truth of who they are in God, so they may run free in their purpose. She’s also a longtime advocate for World Help. You can connect with Michele-Lyn on Instagram, Facebook, Periscope, and Twitter.

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  • http://www.cunninghamtwo.wordpress.com Stephanie Cunningham

    I really resonated with the verse from Micah 7:8. “Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Thought I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.” I appreciate that this verse doesn’t discount that we will have enoucnters with the enemy. That life will feel dark, we will fall, and have times where we feel like we’re in the pit. Thankfully, it also brings us back to the character of the Lord, who is a light for us and will not leave us fallen and in darkness!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Stephanie, yes! I love your commentary on Micah 7:8. It’s telling of the Father’s character and His love for us. The thing about God’s grace and mercy is He doesn’t judge us as if we had no struggle. Jesus can sympathize with our struggle, because He lived as one of us and among us. How kind our God is. <3

  • Mandy Fouts Pfeiffer

    Not one verse in particular stood out to me, but I found the language in them all to be so reassuring. Sometimes I get stuck and feel like I’m falling without a net… But just need to say these out loud. he will rescue me. He will revive me. He will stretch out his hand to save me. He will delight in me. He will strengthen and protect me.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Mandy, amen!! Yes, sweet sister. The devil is a non-stop liar, and we need to be non-stop proclaimers of the truth! He is a good, good Father, and will never leave us. Oh, what comfort! During those times you feel stuck and like you’re falling, I pray you feel God’s presence like never before. <3

  • Amy

    First, Matthew 6:13 stands out as The Lord’s Prayer is my go-to prayer and truly comforts me each and every time. Another verse that particularly spoke to me was Psalm 30:1: “I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.” God *refuses* to let the devil win. He is always in my corner and will never give up on me! He is my Strength and my Salvation.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Amy, I absolutely love that truth!! God “refuses” to let the devil win!! Amen! We should too! The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty. Thank you for sharing these verses. <3

  • A

    Michele-Lyn, thank you for this post-praise the Lord because I need it today. The enemy never fails to strike when we are down, but Jesus is the rock and refuge on who we can stand and shelter. If I know nothing else, Abba is such a good, good Father :)

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      You are so welcome! An yes, you are so right. I love that the Lord goes before us and the battle is His! He is faithful to give us strength when ours has wained. And He is our strong tower we run to and are safe. He IS so good!

  • Holly Poe

    I loved Micah 7:8 and 2 Thessalonians 3:3. I claimed them last night/this morning around 12:30 after a nightmare that felt like a spiritual attack – I grabbed my palm cross and started thanking Him for holding my right hand and protecting me from the evil one.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Holly, those promises are so good. You wielded your sword of truth well, my friend. I pray you have sweet sleep tonight. <3

  • Danielle

    Wonderful post and just what I think a lot of us need to hear today! I know I did!

    We are not weak, and we are not to be fearful. We need to stand up for God and resist. Thanks!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Danielle, you are so welcome. I think the most important thing for us to remember, even when feelings of defeat overwhelm us, is that God is FOR us. He is so good and faithful. <3

  • Beth Williams

    Michele-Lyn,
    I love Psalm 30:1–God refuses to let enemies have upper hand. Psalm 138:7-In the midst of trouble & I have been there this year God revives us! So glad!
    Blessings :)

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Beth, I love that promise. We should refuse as well! Our enemy is a liar, but the truth does make us free. Amen!

  • Katie Miller

    This was a tough strategy for me to read. I feel my prayer life has become very distracted. I’m realizing that the enemy has a hand in that and I need to submit to God and resist the devil! I think Psalms 30:1 reading resonated with me because it’s saying the Lord will rescue me and protect me from the enemy taking over me. Not that He will stop the enemy from coming at me but that He will protect me from the enemy having triumph over me! I just need to be aware and keep praying for focus and strength!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Katie, you shared such wonderful insight here. Thank you so much! I love that promise in Psalms. If God is for us, who can possibly be against us? :)

  • Stephanie Ravencraft

    Matthew 6:13 stands out to me because this is a prayer I memorized as a child but did not really think or focus on what it said until just recently. To pray for God to not lead me into temptation and protect me from evil is an important strategy for me right now so I can focus on letting God fight my battles.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Stephanie, thank you for sharing where you are right now. I love that reminder to pray that we would not be led into temptation and to deliver us from evil. May we all remember this. <3

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Loved this post. How often have I forgotten the “two” of this one-two punch for handling life when the enemy tries to take control? I’ve often forgotten to resist the devil. Your words made so much sense to me, Michele-Lyn!

    I think two verses stood out to me:
    Psalm 30:1 ~ “I will exalt you Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.” What victory and reassurance is in here!
    Psalm 138:7 ~ “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.”

    I can walk in confidence because God’s got me.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Jeanne, I am so glad you were able to relate to this, especially James 5:16. I now that we are not supposed to focus on the devil, but we are not supposed to be ignorant of his schemes either. May God give us wisdom and discernment. <3 And I love those verses!!

  • Inspire With Courage

    Colossians 2:15 “In this way, he disarmed[a] the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” It peeked my curiosity so I dived in and read all of Colossians 2…if you haven’t read it you MUST! I’m so moved and inspired, chasing after Jesus has been by far the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. Thank you Lord for loving me through my self-doubt, hurt, confusion, anger, all of sins against you, thank you! Colossians 2:6 “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.”

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      That verse is Colossians, and the chapter for that matter, is so full of insight and truth. Thank you for sharing it with us. <3 Isn't our God so amazing!! I am so thankful that work He began in us, He will continue until it is complete. Praise Him!!

  • Rebecca Jones

    I had a problem that was the opposite, I resisted the devil so much, spent time on the casting down imaginations verse and helping others, that I wasn’t submitting to God as much I thought, The devil comes immediately to steal the Word sown in your. When you hear and don’t understand. I found Matthew 13:19 more helpful than Mark;s account of the sower. It;s an on going process,every day we have to remain good ground.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Rebecca, thank you for sharing with us. We are so in need of God’s wisdom and discernment, aren’t we? I am so thankful God is faithful to provide it to us when we ask. And I pray that all of our hearts will be fertile ground for God’s word to bear fruit. <3

  • Sarah Jo Burch

    I was struck by Ephesians 1:21 (He is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else – not only in this world but also in the world to come). That’s a much worthier point of focus than myself or all of things I mistakenly think are the root of problems (but turn out to be the fruit, instead).
    This morning I sat down with my weekly to-do list, and made a prayer strategy for it – I know that there are areas that are likely to be attacked (the process of buying a house, an upcoming four-day weekend with the strong possibility of unmet expectations…) so I’m trying to be proactive about praying to build up the weak points *before* they’re attacked, instead of after.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Sarah Jo, wow! You shared such good insight. And I love hearing about your practical application, too. For so long, much of my struggles came from a lack of discipline. How wonderful a practice it is to write down prayer strategies. I pray we continue!

    • @i_am_his_Eph1

      I have never thought to pray over my week and upcoming “weak” points. How brilliant that is. I am going to adopt the same. Thanks for sharing that!!

  • http://www.undergraceandovercoffee.com Andrea Mitchell

    Oh, wow. I read these words just now “While I was going through it, I spent a lot of time curled up in bed
    unmotivated to do anything, or barely getting through the day. The
    adversity I was facing was nearly more than I could bear, yet I remained
    passive.” and thought, “this is exactly me.” I’ve submitted, but have not fled.

    I had to go back over those verses once again. 2 Thess really stuck out to me the first time around (He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.), but now in light of seeing my passivity for what it is, Micah 7:8 truly hit home. The enemy may have rejoiced yesterday, but “though I fall, I will rise… the Lord is a light for me!”

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Andrea, thank you so much for sharing with us. And I read your comment as a declaration of truth! It’s so good to declare truth, especially out loud. God’s word never returns void, but accomplishes what it set out to do. <3 Amen!

  • @i_am_his_Eph1

    Michele-Lyn: What you described in your first paragraph was a mirror of my struggles just a week ago. This book has been so inspiring to me to stop praying in the spiritual hallway and get my butt in the living room and fight where the real battle is going on. My fervent book is already lovingly dog eared, penned and highlighted. I find I am sharing it’s quotes and verses with others in my circle, encouraging everyone to get it! Thank you ladies for choosing this book for the book club. I have always been an advocate for prayer but I can’t admit I’ve been doing it well or strategically. Learning to fight the lies of the enemy in the way that it will actually count is an essential tool I will be able to pass down to my children and loved ones. My verse I chose was Micah 7:8; ESV Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. I like how this translation states “when I fall”. Because we all do. And “when I sit in darkness”… when i can’t find my way out, when I feel lost in my perspective of the situation.. the Lord WILL BE MY LIGHT! Praise God for that. <3

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Oh, wow! Thank you for sharing all this here. I am so glad that you have been encouraged by the book and the club and by this post. May God continue the work He is doing in your life. <3 May He continue to awaken our hearts to prayer.

  • Jodi Koepke

    So many of them stood out to me. Romans 8, Phil 2, Psalm 138, Matt 6 and 2 Thess 3. I have stuck this strategy prayer on my bedroom cupboard door to be in my face and also in the War Room app that I use for some of my prayer journalling.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Jodi, I love how wisely you are wielding the sword of truth!! So good! :)

  • Pamela Stewart Sarver

    I loved many of these verses. They are saying that God wants me more than anyone to succeed in being victorious over the enemy. These verse tells me that even though I may fall when the enemy attacks, that the enemy should not start to party because the Lord will lift me up with His mighty right hand and save me from the darkness because He is light. With the mighty power of God who lives in me I will be able to rise again and the Lord will be delighting in me and encouraging me to never give up. He is mighty to save. He is with me. He will never leave me. He will always love me.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Pamela, what a powerful declaration of truth you’ve made here. What life giving words! Thank you for sharing your insights. <3

  • Katie Landers

    John 10:10 was mentioned on page 50 and even though it was not a verse quoted on pages 51 – 53, it really stood out to me. God wants me to have an abundant life–one filled with Him and His promises. When my focus is on God and I am in prayer with Him, my life is always more abundant, more full. Thanks, Michele, for an encouraging blog post!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Katie, yes and yes! “God wants me to have an abundant life.” I love that verse and the truth encourages and strengths my soul. Thank you for sharing with us. <3

  • Melissa Henderson

    One of the verses that speaks strongly to me is 2 Thess. 3:3 “The Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” I am thankful for God’s love and protection. He is always with me.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Melissa, yes and amen! I love that verse. The faithfulness of God never ceases to amaze me. It’s so good to know Him. <3

  • http://theodoregreat.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-faiths-confession.html Theodore Great

    Exactly what we need to hear, especially in the era where technology has become distractions and we tend to procastinate to actually doing something!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn Ault

      Theodore, yes! Priscilla hit the mark on this!