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Have you ever had those "runs of luck" during which everything seems to come down at once -- fall apart, go haywire?

Everyone has. Things break down. There are sudden, major repairs. There is painting that needs to be done. There may be huge medical bills, or some other financial hardship. You have a fender-bender (or worse). A job may be lost. There are family problems. Siblings are going at it. Parents are dying. You can't seem to find inspiration. There may be sickness. There are unexpected extra unavoidable expenditures. A relationship falls apart. The air conditioner won't work.

It can be spiritual warfare. It can be an attack. It can be the simple trials of this place we call earth -- where, hard as you may try, you will never find the magic bullet for total happiness (that's reserved for Heaven). We're not called to worldly perfection; we're called to react to every adversity -- and they always come -- in a positive way.

Just do this -- try -- and God smiles. Reacting positively to adversity sharpens your spirit.

When a run of "misfortune" occurs, there are two important strategies:

One is to rectify what is wrong and recapture what was lost. Go back in prayer and replace everything that flew out the window. Pray with specificity. Concede nothing to the enemy. Pray health back. Pray back holiness. Pray back peace of mind. Pray that $200 car repair back. Pray to get what it cost for that burst pipe. Pray for the extra tax dollars you didn't anticipate having to send. Pray about every single thing, and in some way God will replace it (if not in kind, in a fashion that fits His Will). Too often, we obsess on bad turns of events ("woe is me") instead of taking action. In this way do we sit back and let more happen. Simply put, we play defense instead of offense. We pray against misfortune instead of for recovery (and a bubble of protection).

When we're on the defensive, we're often back on our heels (which makes it easy to stumble, or even fall, backwards).  As Roosevelt said, we have only to fear "fear" itself! Take the offensive and recapture what was "stolen" from you! (Look how, against the odds, Europe was taken back from Hitler.)

That's one chief strategy -- in what is so frequently spiritual combat. Our time is rife with this! The enemy has stepped up pressure. It is a "world war."

The second tactic: pray that "Jesus Ascended" intervene and break communication between demons, powers, and principalities. When a spirit is harassing us, it's often a lower one that's getting its marching orders from above. Pray to break that link. Pray to disrupt demonic strategy (in the Name of Jesus). Bind the "strongman" (to recover spoils, again in the Name of Jesus).

"Virtually every demon power within a person has a territorial spirit in the heavenly realm or in the atmosphere," notes a deliverance expert named Don Dickerman in a book called People, Pigs, and Principalities. "The demons on the inside are like a cell, or a seed, from the territorial demon." Ask Jesus to disrupt that. "The Lord has made a public spectacle of demon powers through His death, burial, and Resurrection," notes Dickerman. "There is no power that is not subject to His control and beneath His Name. Principalities and powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places have all been disarmed by the Cross. The Savior, by His death and Resurrection, took dominion from them. I have never encountered a demonic power that does not recognize this as the truth."

Divide, conquer -- and recover. Recapture.

I say "Jesus Ascended" because that emphasizes that He recovered what was lost due to Eve and Adam.

Meditate on this: Jesus is above every power and principality. They fear Him. They fear us when we invoke His Name. They can do nothing permanent to us (as they could not permanently kill Jesus, as they could not keep Him in a tomb) unless we let them. Take back turf from the enemy! Take back "France." Take back "Poland." Take back "Austria." Don't sit there and weep over your "losses."

There is no such thing as a loss unless you look at it that way.

There is only a cause for prayerful correction.

There is only the opportunity to show strength, courage, and calm in the face of adversity.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Who can stop God, if God wants to bring back what was taken?

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Philadelphia-New Jersey and Connecticut!]

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