Satan is the father of lies. One of the biggest lies is that we are not forgiven. If Satan wants to remind us of our past, then we should remind him of his future! Do not fear but embrace the truth! You are loved unconditionally and forgiven of your sins, which are wiped clean and forgotten! Should we not do the same with others and ourselves?
The enemy wants to control our minds. Ever notice that when we find ourselves wanting to forgive others or ourselves that we have a whisper in our ear as to why we shouldn’t forgive? The enemy often tells us that we need to be treated differently. It could be that we aren’t “respected.” How about, “I shouldn’t be talked to that way?” Ever hear that one whispered to you or have that thought come into your mind? When that occurs, we know that the enemy is at work, trying to control our thoughts and minds.
In order to counter these tactics, we must use the weapons that God has given us to win this battle with the enemy. There are seven steps that lead us to victory on the battlefield of the mind.
The first, and most important, is to surrender our lives, our hearts and our souls to Jesus. When I pray over people, the Lord has given me insights through the “word of knowledge,” as to whether or not their hearts are open to the Lord’s love and healing. Many times, there is lack of forgiveness, sin that is serious and unconfessed and weak faith. The first thing I do in these circumstances is ask them to pray the “sinner’s prayer” with their hearts and give their life to Jesus. The Lord can’t fill what is already filled with people’s own desires. We must surrender our hopes, fears, dreams, will, sins, family, finances, and anything else we are putting ahead of the Lord. When we are an empty vessel, everything changes. Lack of forgiveness melts away and miracles flow into our lives. If we are not empty of our own flesh, we will not achieve victory on the battlefield of the mind.
James 1:7-8 “For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.”
We must trust in Jesus and seek first the kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”
One way of ascertaining whether you have surrendered to the Lord is to determine the extent to which you are living in your heart.
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”
Most people don’t know what the word “righteousness” means to them. Simply put, it is doing the will of the Father. Putting God first because we hunger for His will, grace and because we love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. When we strive for that surrender and have the love of God in our hearts, we find that the lack of forgiveness we have toward others and ourselves melts away. It truly is a blessing and miracle of the Lord!
The second key in fighting the battle against the enemy and sin is asking for the release of the Holy Spirit in our lives. At Baptism we are anointed “priest, prophet and king.” When we “ask, we will receive, seek, we will find and knock, and the door will be opened.”
Luke 11:11-13 “What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
The Spirit is essential for fighting the battle against evil and any lack of forgiveness in our hearts. Ask now for the Holy Spirit to be released in your life!
The third essential is to ask for faith. When I ask people in my talks and seminars “how do we get faith or get more faith?” most do not know the answer. The answer I hear the most is pray. That is partially true, but faith is a gift. We must ask for it and expect that we will receive it.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you;it is the gift of God.”
Having faith will dramatically change our lack of forgiveness and protect us from evil.
1 Peter 5:9 “Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.”
When we have faith, it acts as a shield against the attacks of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16 “In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one.”
One of the saddest things for me is people not realizing that they are not just in a battle with a vicious enemy but an enemy who has been defeated by Jesus. We must realize that with God we have life and victory!
The fourth key essential to win the battle against evil and heal ourselves of the poison of not forgiving is to use prayer and praise. We know that the devil has to flee when we praise God. Additionally, it is important to pray for the Precious Blood of Jesus to cover ourselves and others. I often pray, “cover them with the Precious Blood of Jesus from the top of their hands to the bottom of their feet.”
Praying in the “Spirit” is important also.
Ephesians 6:18 “With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.”
Use the gift of the Communion of Saints when you pray. Ask for the protection of Michael the Archangel, pray for his intercession, ask for the protection of the saints, your guardian angel, the Blessed Mother and ask for legions of angels to protect you. The Litany of the Saints is also a wonderful prayer with which to combat demons.
Finally, saying the name of Jesus is one of the most important things we can do to win this critical battle.
Luke 10:17 “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
When we say the name of Jesus, we use the power of the Lord.
Mark 16:17 “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons…”
God has given us spiritual weapons to defeat the enemy, some of which we touched on above. This is the fifth step in our battle. The most important are the sacraments. Most of us don’t realize the power of the Eucharist and the importance of receiving it on a daily basis. Another key sacrament is Reconciliation. I can’t emphasize this enough in our battle against lack of forgiveness and the enemy. I am often asked, “How often should I go to confession?” The answer is when you are led by the Lord. For me, as someone who ministers to people, frequent Reconciliation is necessary.
Reading Scripture and praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet are also critical in our battle. Fasting gives us strength and courage to persevere. Finally, don’t be isolated. Find a prayer community and go to it often. We need the support of one another.
The sixth critical tactic in our battle against lack of forgiveness and evil is to take every thought captive.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ.”
How do we do this? Philippians gives us the answer.
Philippians 4:8 “… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Do not let anything enter your mind that is not of the Lord. Be careful about what you read, watch on television or the computer screen. There is much sin our lives because of lack of discipline in what we let enter our minds.
The final key element in our battle is to prioritize helping others and building the kingdom of God. To what extent do you use your gifts and talents to help others and your parish? How are you making a difference in ministering to others? When your focus is trying to help others, your lack of forgiveness will melt away.