Sunday, January 31, 2010

Knowing the Enemy (Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 1)

This is a topic I feel that is the most important to begin on considering this is the premise of the whole direction of the blog. I feel that if we started anywhere else on any other topic or idea, we would be getting ahead of ourselves. I'm making it into two posts though because there is a lot to talk about and it breaks it up a bit. So let us have a little talk about spiritual warfare shall we?

Before I begin into this, I want to make one fact perfectly clear: The war is already won. Christ gave that final blow on the cross two thousand years ago.

Colossians 2:15: "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross".
Hebrews 2:14: "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil"
Satan knows this, and he is trying to take every single man, woman and child he can down with him. He plans to show no quarter, no mercy to anyone.  Now I'm sure some people are really skeptical about the idea of spiritual warfare. They think it's a bunch of hocus pocus that isn't very biblical. I believe they may have gotten that view from seeing the other side of the issue, those who make too much of it. The people who focus to much on demonic forces and rely on rituals and such to deal with it. I can tell you now that we are certainly in a war at this present moment.
Ephesians 6:12: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Does that not make it clear what we are at war against? It's not with nonbelievers, or other religions but against Satan. Behind all of it is him. He is a coward and he'd rather send others than do it himself.
This is a war we fight on multiple levels. We fight this war against the flesh, the world, and Satan and his forces. You see the flesh is our own mind. It likes to work against us. Check out Romans 6:12.
 "Therefore, do not let sin rule your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires."
This is where evil manifests in the form of doubts, fears, pride, lust etc. Think of it as the undercover agent of the evil opposition. It works within us, against us. It can be the hardest side to face. To realize you yourself can be the enemy. However there are the other two fields of battle which we have to contend with.

The world is one of the last two. Look into 1 John 2:15-16.
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world."
The world feeds the flesh. The two work hand in hand with each other. The world is our pop culture, the ways of society, the ways of those not in the faith. Often times the ways of this world seem to be harmless but in reality they are but a snare.

Finally we have the big one, the one that in essence is the cause of which the other two are formed: Satan and his demonic forces. This one has a lot of scripture and I feel that it's one of those things you can't skimp on so let's get into it.  
 Ephesians 2:1-3"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath."
Now this one has a lot in it. The key part is where it mentions how we use to follow the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit at work in the disobedient. That's Satan. Notice it mentions how we were objects of wrath, which is all we manage to be on his side. You can see how this verse incorporates all of the fields of battle in it.
Colossians 1:13: "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."
One thing this verse shows, that we will go into more in a bit is that he uses deception as one of his main tactics, he loves to fight dirty.

1 Peter 5:8: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
 This is one of the two lions for the inspiration of the title Waging War with Lions. It's to me one of the most complete pictures of his true nature, in comparison to his outwardly nature of that of an angel.  These three verses give you a clear portrait of the final side of the fight. However, here are some names used to describe him, that are rather fitting: The Accuser, The Adversary,  The Deceiver, Father of Lies, Murderer, Ruler of This World, The Serpent, Son of Perdition, The Tempter. These are all biblical and all show who he really is.

Now we see what are battles are against. It's time to get into what weapons these areas use against us. Satan's number one weapon of all is deception. He appears to the lost as something beautiful or worthwhile and once you fall into it, he ensnares you. For believers he uses guilt and the weight of your sins against you, even though Christ had made it clear that your sins are forgotten.  He uses fear to freeze us in our place. Satan is a master of propaganda. He mocks Christ and all he stands for. Where there is the Holy Trinity, their is also the evil trinity consisting of Satan, the false prophet and the beast. Both sides have a throne and temple, both have apostles. They are near opposite copies of one another in all ways except in one aspect. God is almighty, all powerful and trumps Satan. However, this doesn't stop Satan from perverting the minds of others into thinking what they see is the real Truth.

This perversion is even seen in this very topic; spiritual warfare.  He likes to trick people into focusing far too much on the darkness and the wishy-washy side of it all, so as to divert and disorient others. He tries to make people focus on rituals to rid demons etc, rather than on the one True Way, Christ. He also likes to make himself appear bigger than he is. I'll say it again. Satan has LOST. The war was won before you were ever born. Him and his minions aren't things to fear. They have no legitimate power, remember they tried to take the throne from God and He threw them from heaven. The only power they have is the power God let's them have (which isn't much in comparison) and one day he will strip it from them for good.

We'll pick up from here on the next post over resistance. I suggest you take a break and think all of this over and contemplate it for a while. As always comments and personal input are welcome as well as encouraged.

Much Love,
“The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.” - Albert Camus


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