I am still writing something up but wanted to give the the scriptures to begin to look at the them. I am copying a few who asked me about the scriptures as well. Later, I will provide a more detailed outline/study
“From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall.” Nehemiah 4:16-17 NIV
Main Message: Just as Nehemiah surveyed the threat that Satan was sending to Nehemiah’s mission and then equipped his people with weapons for warfare, pastoral leadership must to the same thing. Satan is and will attack our mission to make it seem impossible but, we are not naked and defenseless; the Lord has provided us spiritual weapons of warfare.
Nature of Our Weapons. Nehemiah equipped his team with the weapons of the time and moment – spears, shields, bows and armor. We do not wage war the way the world wages war; our weapons are not carnal but spiritual.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12-13
We use the spiritual gifts and weapons that the Lord has provided. Some of them are spiritual gifts that the Lord has provided by the Holy Spirit. Others are weapons that we must choose to exercise.
Weapons of Praise and Prayer. Surely, praise and prayer are our anchors. I trust that you have your own source of scriptures that speak to the power of our prayer and the power of our praise. They are foundational. I will forward some of my favorites in the more complete study but some that immediately come to mind include: Let everything that has breath praise the Lord; the Lord inhabits the praises of his people; the prayers of the righteous availeth much; pray without doubting or wavering, the double minded person is unstable in all his ways; the joy of the Lord is my strength; pray without ceasing; I love the Lord, he heard my cry . . .
Gifts Given from God/Building/Spiritual Muscle Weapons. Some of our weapons are purely the gifts that the Lord has provided to the church. In other cases, the Lord has told us that we must choose to strengthen our spiritual muscles in certain areas. In other words, it’s on us to exercise and build up our spiritual muscle in these areas. Here are the verses referenced in the sermon:
Ephesians 6:14-17. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 4:11. So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,
Romans 12:6:8. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
1 Corinthians 12:8-10.To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
Galatians 5:22:23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Do not agonize over the distinction raised between gifts that are given directly from God and those that we build up like exercising our muscles. The key is to look at the range of the Weapons of our Warfare, that the Lord has provided that we will not feel we are defenseless we are not.
Be reminded that our name is victory because the Lord arose victorious! Our weapons have divine power to demolish strongholds!