Spiritual Warfare Takes Teamwork

(NET) Proverbs 24:6 for with guidance you wage your war, and with numerous advisers there is victory.

While this Proverb seems to be about military strategy and leadership it contains a deeper truth that if used will lead to a healthier Christian walk.
War and battle was a big theme in the Old Testament. Israel was often at war, they were constantly being judged by God through attacks from other nations. Satan also opposed Israel since they were God’s nation. The Devil tried to take them down but when they were right with God they won and when they were not right with God they failed and were defeated. Many scriptures refer to this part of the culture that existed in those times and when non believers or new Christians read these scriptures they are confused or turned off when they see killing and war in the Bible. While I don’t have the perfect answer as to why God seemed to condone war but I do know that today, in the days of the New Covenant, our struggle is not one against other people but against spiritual powers. This world is currently influenced and to some amount controlled by the Devil. So what do we do about that? Spiritual warfare.

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Hot Christian Sex

Ok… sorry about the title but after reading a recent secular “study” on individuals who left various sects of Christianity and thus found more enjoyment in their sex lives I feel the great need to write on something that is very near and dear to my heart (I am still a newlywed after all)- the powerful truth about sex and Christian sexuality.

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The Story of Exodus pt.5

Victory over Amalek

At the end of chapter 17 in Exodus is a short story of Israel’s engagement in battle against Amalek and his forces. As strange as it sounds, somehow Moses discovered that when he raised his rod, the Israelites began to win in the battle, and when he lowered it they began to loose. I wonder if Moses caught on to God using him and his rod, probably everywhere he went he took that rod, you never know when God would ask him to use it. God turned it in to snakes and back in to a rod before Pharaoh, He used it to part the Red Sea, He used it to bring water out of a rock, and now to be victorious over the enemy. Perhaps our modern equivalent to Moses’s rod is the memorized and spoken Word of God. We lean on it and God uses us as we use it (the scriptures) in obedience to Him.

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The Story of Exodus pt.4

Manna

In Exodus chapter 16 we find Israel leaving an oasis with 12 springs and 70 palm trees (perhaps symbolic of the 12 disciples and 70 disciples in Luke 10) and entering the wilderness once again. This is now 2 months and 15 days after leaving Egypt. Despite Israel’s abundant praises to God in the previous chapter they are once again complaining to Moses (instead of praying to God) about their unfavorable conditions. One of Israel’s problems which may have originated from their years in Egypt was that they never prayed to God for help but complained to a man (Moses) instead. To get through our desert we must put our trust in God instead of man (Psalms 118:6-8). None the less, in response to their complaining, God promises bread from heaven and quail for meat. Here God has provided for their basic need – food, but later with the coming of the Messiah we see God providing for an even more important need – salvation and forgiveness (John 6:27).

God commands the Israelites to put some of the manna they gathered in a jar to remind the future generations of God’s provision in the desert. This jar was later stored in the Ark of the Covenant and kept with Israel as a reminder. Take time to remember what God has provided you. Don’t forget His many blessings.TO help you in this I suggest making a “blessings journal” and write in it every detail about each circumstance that God brought you out of. With this you can remind yourself in dark times of God’s faithfulness and you can share your many testimonies with others.

The Manna was considered bread from heaven, in the Bible, bread has many significant roles.

  • The manna in the desert gathered and eaten daily.
  • The bread of the tabernacle (and the temple) baked daily and set before the holy of holies.
  • The bread (and fish) which Jesus divided for the multitudes.
  • The bread that was eaten in the last supper which symbolized Christ’s body.

In John 6 Jesus calls Himself the “bread of life” which came from heaven to feed the spiritual need of man which no other thing could satisfy. Manna in Exodus was a prophetic type of Christ, it came from God, not from man. It was God’s provision, and it was just enough for each person as Christ is always enough for us. They had to gather it daily as we should commune with Christ daily.

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The Story of Exodus pt.1

Slavery in Egypt

The People of Israel were slaves in Egypt for 430 years until they were rescued by God. They were the offspring of Jacob who’s son Joseph was at one time 2nd in command of all of Egypt (Genesis 41:39-45). After Joseph died and all the descendents of his fther lived in Egypt a new king eventually came to power who did not respect God’s people, the Israelites (Exodus 1:8-11). The Jews were not ruled fairly, we find one account in Exodus where their quota for bricks increased but their resources to do so were removed (Exodus 5:6-9). The Israelite enslavement in Egypt is similar to our enslavement to sin and the weight that rests on every person’s shoulders until he is redeemed by God (Rom 6:23, Jhn 8:34).

The culture of Egypt was that of carnality, materialism, idolatry, and polytheism. This is the exact opposite of the culture that God desires us to live in (Rom 12:2). The culture of Egypt had worn off on the Egyptians; they adopted the ways of the world and trusted in man instead of God. Like the Israelites of Exodus we were born in to slavery (of sin) we have no say in it and it plays no favorites (Rom 3:23, 5:18-19). Because of Adam and Eve’s choice we suffer. Some people see this as unfair on God’s part, but on the contrary it shows His unswerving character which holds to His agreements. God clearly informed Adam and Eve what not to do yet they did it anyway (Genesis 2:16,17). When He says something, He means it. It also serves as an example of how our decisions affect others mainly our own children. Your life is not an isolated set of events, the choices you make effect who you are which then effect friends, family, and later generations.

Passover

Passover is a Jewish holiday that is still observed to this day. The first Passover was the night before the Israelites left Egypt (Exodus 12). God gave the instructions to Moses who then delivered them to the people. Each household was to acquire a spotless lamb, cook it, and eat it. The blood from the lamb was to be smeared on the outside of their house’s doorpost. Interestingly enough the Passover is the only Jewish holiday that Jesus is recorded to of observing. This is significant because the Passover Lamb and blood is symbolic of Jesus as the Lamb of God that was killed to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29) and who’s blood is applied to each believer (1Peter 1:18-19). On the night of the Passover all 1st borns of every household died if there was no blood on the doorpost, this is symbolic of the spiritual death one encounters if they are not covered by the blood of Christ (John 3:16). Without it, their sins are not atoned for and they are not washed clean.

At the beginning of Exodus 12 God told Moses that he and his people were to have their own calendar separate from that of the Egyptians and that their calendar was to start with the month in which they left Egypt. When we first confessed our sins to God and accepted Him as Lord and Savior of our life our new life began at that moment. It’s important to draw the distinction between your old life and what is now your new life as a Christian. Your testimony is how God brought you to the place of decision and gave you your new life. In Deuteronomy 5:14-15 God says that the Sabbath is a day of rest so that you will remember that God has delivered you from slavery and labor. It’s important to remember where you came from so that you will always be grateful for God’s saving grace and working hand in your life. When we forget what God has saved us from and where He has taken us we become complacent and apathetic towards God. Make sure to take time and look back and acknowledge what God has done.

The Bread of Life

Jhn 6:27 – “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Jhn 6:51 – “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

The Jews wondered around in the Wilderness of Sin for 40 years because of their complaining, sin, and testing of God. Somewhere near the beginning of this trip God had to provide food for them so they could survive the desert and get to the Promised land. He sent bread from Heaven – manna. Similarly the world at the time of Jesus’s birth was a barren desert (spiritually), man had no real path to salvation and an even slimmer chance at knowing God personally. But God provided what mankind really needed – not bread for the stomach but the bread of eternal life.

It’s important so recognize that Jesus came from God directly and the salvation He offers doesn’t come because of our goodness or worthiness. Jesus in John 6 corrected the peoples opinion in reminding them that the manna in Exodus came from God not from Moses, just as He himself the bread of life came from God. Jesus’s name means God is salvation and His title “Emmanuel” from the Old Testament means God is with us.

Jesus was sent from Heaven to satisfy the true appetite of the soul, the need for a savior. Despite this act of God, the world is still trying to satisfy their unsatisfied appetite with idols, false gods and distractions from the true God. Sadly the world has been eating the wrong bread, temporary bread that avails to nothing in the end (Pro 16:25). When you accept Christ as Lord and Savior you tear down those idols and acknowledge God for who He is. You begin to eat the True bread and not the counterfeit.

Jhn 6:35 – And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

Which bread are you eating to sustain your life?

 

 

 

The Word for the Homeless

I had an idea a while back to give Bibles out to homeless people that dwell in my area, but not just any Bible – the idea was to highlight certain passages of the Bible that dealt with specific topics in different colors. So far the simplest categories I could come up with were Christian Identity and Instructions, Christ and His Work, and Sin.

My hope is that the recipient would look at the Bible in a new light – as something that has answers instead of an intimidating book I could never read. As they flip through it not sure what to read they may find helpful passages that they would otherwise have skipped over.

I posted this as it may help other believers in their Bible reading and I’d appreciate it if any of you have any scriptures to add to this collection.

 

Jesus and His Work

Isa. 9:6

Mic. 5:2

Mat. 4:23, 8:29

Mar 3:11, 15:2

Luk. 4:43, 5:31-32, 27:70

Jhn. 1:1-14, 29, 8:28, 10:30, 12:50, 14:10, 15:1-2, 20:28

Act. 8:37, 9:20

Rom. 1:4, 3:24, 5:8, 5:8-11, 6:8

Php. 2:6-11

Col. 1:3, 13-22, 2:9-15

1 Tim. 3:16

Tts. 2:11, 13-14

Heb. 1, 2:3, 9-11, 18, 4:14-16, 9:13-15

1Pet. 1:18-21, 3:18, 4:6-10

2Pet. 2:1-2

1Jhn. 2:1-2, 3:1, 4:9-10, 5:5, 20

 

Christian Identity & Instruction

Psa. 1:1-5

Pro. 16:2-3, 6-8, 16, 18, 22, 25, 32

Isa. 1:16-17

Mat. 6:33-34, 7:14, 21-24, 10:39

Mar. 13:35-37

Luk. 11:13, 12:34-36, 14:27, 18:17

Jhn. 14:13-15, 21, 15:7, 12-13

Rom. 6:1-3, 8:1, 6-7, 12:1-2

1Cor. 6:12, 10:13, 13:4-8, 14:1

Gal. 5:22-26

Eph. 4:1-6, 17-19, 21-28, 5:1-5, 8-11, 6:10-18

Php. 2:3-5, 3:8, 18-20

Col. 1:10-12, 2:8

Tts. 2:12

Heb. 11:1, 12:1-8, 13:5

Jam. 1:2-4, 7-10, 12, 2:14-17, 3:3-12, 3:16-18, 4:3-8, 17, 5:7-9

1Pet. 1:13-17, 22-23, 2:1-3, 3:9

1Jhn. 1:6-10,16, 2:3-6, 15-18, 3:1-3, 16-20, 4:1-3, 7-8, 11

 

Sin and the Carnal Nature

Psa. 1:6, 32:5

Pro. 15:29, 26:11, 28:13

Isa. 1:18, 59:2

Mat. 5:28, 12:31

Luk.8:17

Jhn. 3:19-20

Rom 6:1-3, 23,

1Cor 6:9-13

Gal. 5:19-21

Eph. 5:5-6

Col. 3:5-6

Heb. 10:26

Jam. 1:14, 4:4

1Pet. 4:18

1Jhn. 1:8, 10, 2:15-17, 3:15