Tuesday, May 13, 2014
It Really Is A War
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.
Paul, the author of Ephesians, uses a lot of military terms in his writing. OF course, Rome was the major military force during his day, so naturally Paul would draw from this example. But why military? Why so many references to war and fighting? Why a listing of a spiritual hierarchy as our enemy? Well, he answers that question when he wrote...."For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood." You see, we really are in a battle. There are only two sides to the conflict and you are in one or the other. You either march under the covering of Jesus, or you march under the covering of Satan. There aren't any conscientious objectors in this battle. You are a major participant simply because you were born into this world.
The funny part in all of this, is the way people are oblivious to the casualties and deaths that are a result of the warfare. I know many who fill the pews of churches every Sunday, who hide their heads in the sand not wanting to believe in this battle. You start mentioning warfare, attacks by the devil and his kingdom, and they look at you like you have three heads. Never mind if you talk about deliverance. Now you've regressed to the dark ages. Deliverance? You mean the casting out and breaking off of demonic spirits? Yeppers! That what I mean. "Surely you are misguided...this is the 21st century!"Oh, I see...we have technology and smart phones....we've been to the moon and have raised up great institutions of learning. Therefore let's put all the religious talk of spiritual warfare in the category of fables and fairy tales". I don't think so.
I am surrounded by the darkness every day. I see it in the lives of those in addiction. I see it in the dead, lifeless eyes of those who have surrendered to the darkness and are simply waiting to die. But I have also seen the power and hand of God who possesses the ability to give life. I've seen lives snatched from the very edge of death and restored to wholeness. It is a battle and a war.
There are some well meaning folks so paranoid about demons and the devil that they see one behind every bush. God called us to have a balance to our lives and that includes spiritual warfare. If you are a believer........a follower of Jesus, then you do have an enemy who wants to see you destroyed. In fact according to John 10:10, that's all our enemy is good for. Stealing, killing and destroying things. Standing against our enemy, the devil, is Jesus who, in that same passage, states that "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." If ever battle lines were drawn, it could not be any more clearer than these two statements found in John 10:10.
The devil = stealing, killing and destroying.
Jesus= life, and life abundant.
That is why I'm so stoked about making sure people are aware of this warfare that is going on all around us, and is happening to us. Now don't go all paranoid about these attacks....I've read the end of the book and we win. But while we occupy these bodies and are walking around here on planet earth, we should expect to run into our enemy from time to time. We should expect to be attacked either physically, emotionally, even spiritually, but when the attack does come, don't panic and don't fear. Jesus is there to take you through it. During such times when you feel that you are under attack, draw near to your church family and share what is going on. Surround yourself with those who you know are intercessors and people of prayer. This is where we stand against the wiles of the devil. We don't retreat and we never, never, never give up.
Like I said earlier, I've read the end of the book.
God on you.....
at May 13, 2014