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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Is Sickness Demonic?

In the Gospel we find many accounts of individuals who suffered from disease, epilepsy (Mat 17:14-18), muteness (Mat 9:33), blindness (Mat 12:22), self cutting (Mrk 5:5), fever (Luk 1:33-36) yet these same individuals found their wellness after Jesus (or a disciple) had delivered them of a demonic spirit (Mat 8:16). This inescapable subject has brought forth many questions and even more interpretations of the same scriptures. Many common questions include:

  • Are all modern illnesses demonic?
  • Are only some of them demonic?
  • If someone is sick or mentally ill do they simply need demonic deliverance to be healed?
  • Are we super-spiritualizing medical issues with the idea of demons?
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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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Being Eternity Minded

Things Above

Colossians 3:1 – If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:2 – Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Being “Eternity minded” or “Kingdom minded” has been one of the biggest revelations for my life in Christ. It has helped me be conscious of the bigger picture of God’s plan and activity and because of this my actions have changed too.

It’s so important to take our eyes off of ourself and look around, but more importantly to look up. What is God saying about today? What is He seeing and feeling? What does He want to happen today?
It’s all too easy to get caught up by life and just focus on the temporary things around us, our bank account, our image, our stuff, our job security, or political problems. If we don’t watch it the concern of the world will slowly squeeze us dry and pry us apart from God, but only if we let it.

Mark 4:7 – “And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop.
Mark 4:14 – “The sower sows the word.
Mark 4:18 – “Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
Mark 4:19 – “and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

We Died

Colossians 3:3 – For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:5 – Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Think of it this way: we were born in to our physical bodies on this planet, here we are primarily subject to our sinful tenancies. But what happens when someone dies? The body decays and comes to nothing while the spirit ascends to heaven. Similar to this picture we who have accepted Christ have died to our carnal self. So our sinful life died yet our spirit remains and is perfected by God and serves God. If we go back to sin we are bringing back from the grave that part that we left behind when we turned to Christ.

Romans 6:4 – Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Christians are not to live in a way that obeys their natural desires the moment they occur for we died to that part of our self. Now not all desires are bad of course but we need to check our motives before we act, and on the more questionable decisions go to God first instead of acting before thinking.

So when you are tempted to sin, remind yourself that “I have died to this thing, I don’t live for me anymore, I live for God”. That is being Kingdom minded because it puts your will in the backseat and God’s will in the drivers seat.

Phlippians 3:20 – For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Eternal Reality

Do you ever imagine what the eternal result will be of your decisions? It’s kind of a scary thought, especially if you’ve been making careless decisions without considering the long term effects. So think of your relationships – what effect will you have on their eternity? Will they be able to look back and say “you loved me and helped me get closer to God” or “You were nice but you didn’t really do anything, you never told me about God”?

These are weighty questions but important ones none the less. Thinking this way helps me keep my focus on what really matters – God and His Kingdom coming to Earth (Matthew 6:10). You only have one chance at this Earthly life, don’t waste it like the unfaithful servant did, but invest your time and reap a harvest that will last an eternity.

Blinded by the Dark

Why do people not choose Christ? I ask myself this question often when I meet people who are willfully unbelievers. Is it that they don’t see enough hard evidence? Is it that they have had a bad experience with Christians or church and avoid it altogether? Is it that they find the requirements of Christianity to heavy a burden? It is often a mixture of these, but ultimately the reason for continued unbelief is none other than the Devil. He has blinded those who continue in unbelief from Christ. Now I know that  this sounds quite radical and it also may sound as if I’m giving too much credit to Satan;’s abilities but I believe I am simply acknowledging his tactics. Satan simply does not want people to turn to God through Christ.  And when they are not born again they are more to Satan than to God being enemies of God. Let’s look in to this dynamic of the spiritual world and where it meets the minds of men.

Satan’s Agenda

2Corinthians 4:4 – whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

The context of this scripture reveals who Paul is talking about – they are the people who “are perishing”. And who is perishing but those who do not heed to the Gospel and give their lives to Christ (John 3:16). So in verse 4 the unbelieving are identified as being blind to the truth of Christ, who blinded them? The Devil, and he did this so that “the light of the Gospel of Christ (would not) would shine on them”.

2Corinthians 3:14 – But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

Ever since Lucifer was defeated in battle and kicked out of Heaven he seems to be on an unstoppable mission to spoil anything and everything he can just to tick God off. And since he realized he could not win in against God and His army what was left? Us! From the very beginning Satan has been steering us away from God. Satan is using everything he has to keep us from realizing the truth which is God’s reality, love, and forgiveness. When a person allows Satan to deceive them (and the individuals free will does play the lead role in their becoming blind) they will not accept Christ for who He really is, they will remain alienated from God and unforgiven of their sin.

1John 2:11 – But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

The Liar

Other then trying to spoil everything God has made, Satan has also been a liar from the very beginning (John 8:44). Can you think of another story in the Bible that has to do with Satan, sin, and “vision”? The Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:4 – Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Genesis 3:5 – “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

If you take everything Satan has ever said and flip it around to the opposite meaning you will almost always end up with God’s truth. Satan says “Look at you, you’re a terrible sinful person who can’t be used by God”. However, God’s truth is “In my eyes (the only ones that matter) you’re forgiven and perfected by Christ, people like you are exactly who I always use!”.

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