Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Light Shall Not Be Overcome (Spiritual Warfare Pt. 3)

That would be a reference to John 1:5 if you are wondering. I want to start right in on this. We've learned who we are fighting, and how to be equipped for the fight, it's time to get down into it.

How on earth (literally) do we fight against such things as ourselves? I mean after all, at first glance it seems pretty counter productive. What about the world? Being hostile to the world also seems to give the wrong image. Finally, how do we fight against Satan, when we've never seen him physically? It seems like we have a lot to deal with. Thankfully, Christ is on our side.

To begin with, let me give you some scripture.
James 4:7 says:  

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
This passage, while being relatively short, has a lot of Truth packed into it. There are two main points. Submit to God and resist the devil.

Submitting to God may seem to be a no-brainer, but what does that really mean? To submit, in this usage, is to be obedient. How do you be obedient? Well, without going into a whole different discussion... read your bible. Since the whole discussion is warfare, let me put it like this. In war, soldiers who die, often do so because of one of two reasons. One, their commander was foolish and got them killed. Two, they didn't listen to their commander's orders and it cost them. Now when we put this into context biblically, our commander, Christ, isn't foolish. He isn't going to make a false move. That leaves one other way to lose, to disobey his orders. Thus, we are to follow his orders, and resist the devil, so that he will flee.

Now the resisting the devil part. It really comes into 3 parts: Be firm, be bold, and finally beware.

To resist, you must be firm in your faith, don't surrender an inch to any force except Christ (which in that case, surrender all!) You can't be on the line about how far you will go. Either pick up your cross and follow, or sit there, don't just tag along. Christ tells us in Revelation that he has a deep dislike for a lukewarm believer, so much so that he says will spit them out, just like lukewarm water. He would rather you turn away, than to pretend to follow.  The reason, he gives in Matthew. He tells us that it is impossible for us to have two masters. So, by being on the line and not committed to Christ, you have in fact picked a side. That may seem harsh, but it's the truth.

Be bold! Proverbs 28:1 says: 
 "The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion."
That's a bold statement in itself! You must remember that both God and Satan are compared to that of lions and for the righteous also to be compared to one too is no small thing. We need to be like lions! Why?
"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?'" (Hebrews 13:6

God speaks clearly in Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." 
Satan does all he can to stop us from doing what God commands. Through fear, doubt, confusion, all these are meant to keep us from moving forward. However with a boldness given by God, we shake off that fear and in essence look all evil in the face and say "You will not overcome." and then we just keep walking. If firmness is our resolve, than let boldness be our battle cry. If you ever want a passionate idea of that boldness, listen to You Never Let Go by Matt Redman. Whom then shall I fear? 

Finally beware. I used this wording because it's the way it is worded in 1 Peter 5:8. I've seen others argue differently, but I truly do not believe we are to fear Satan. When we fear God, we have nothing to fear of Satan. I believe when they use the term beware, it is meant as be aware, not be afraid. We are to be aware of him and what he is capable of, when we do not trust in God, and stay under God's protection. We must not try to take Satan on ourselves. Ever. You will lose, if you try.  Look at Jude 1:9:
"But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'"
Even the highest of angels, rather than trying to take on Satan himself, calls upon the Lord to fight for him. I'd say it's a pretty good idea not to try to go toe to toe with Lucifer, if the archangel won't go there. Better instead to go with your childhood instinct and tell your (heavenly) Dad that you have a bully picking on you. Let him help you out. He is more than willing to.

This leads to the pinnacle of the fight. We've talked of who we fight, what we are equipped to fight with, and how to do it. Yet we have yet to mention who we fight for, or better yet, who fights for us. That may seem like a pointless place to go, but there is no more important point to make.

Christ. He is the reason forces are up in arms against us. He is the giver of the protection via the armor of God. He is the one who calls us to submit and resist, to be firm, bold, and beware. He is the one that thousands of demons bowed down to and begged not to be tormented! Have you any idea how terrifying a demon might actually be? Yet they all shutter in fear of Him, and bow before Him.  When Jesus suppressed the storm, his disciple didn't cheer, they stood in FEAR of man, asking "who it was that the storm obeys?". While he may not look so intimidating, He is God. I can't imagine a more horrific idea than being on God's bad side. That would make a real horror movie. Thankfully He LOVES us. We are HIS! Remember that! We must also always remember that Christ has already won. With his horrific death on the cross, he died as a sacrifice for our very sins, and bore the force of God's wraith, intentionally meant for ourselves. By being a perfect sacrifice and dying, he in fact put Satan on the cross, eternally. It's those two points that should encourage you in this fight against Satan! Remember and be joyful you are the Lord's!

Now all of this is really just a broad overview of spiritual warfare. You could spend a lifetime going over every detail. Some of these things will end up being talked about later in more in-depth discussions, nonetheless this is a good launching pad for it. I hope this series encourages you, as well as makes you more aware of the things going on around you.

Much Love,
Luke
"Spread wide Your wings, O God,
Relieve this scarlet fever,
Catch every tear of mothers in mourning.
Bring life to tired hopes,
Buried in fields of flowers,
Bring many sons of battle to glory.
With every drop of blood,
Caged in this tired body,
I long to bring my father to glory.
I see a new day coming!
Maybe tomorrow...
Woe to the king of nothing.
I see a clean blood running,
Brothers of sorrow.
Here is your kingdom coming!" -Field of Daggers - House of Heroes

4 comments:

TRUTH SHARER said...

Luke:

Such a GREAT Word here because you chose to bring God's Word - His TRUTH forth! Some of my favorite Scriptures here [so I'll pick some out to address]:

First - James 4:7 + 8 = God's Presence [drawing near] is what allows us to resist that enemy of our souls.

I often quoted James 4:8 alone - and about a month ago through an indepth study - God showed me that 'context' was a huge factor here. These two verses cannot be separated. One hinges on the other because the later is the 'how' we resist - 'by drawing near' to our only sourse of light and hope and power!

Next - love Joshua [I'm in chapter 3 today as a matter of fact]. I love Joshua 1 - so much because God continually tells Joshua not to be afraid - but rather to 'take courage' simply because God KNEW that he WAS afraid [in his own power]. God gave him the reasons to NOT be afraid [because God was with him and would never leave his side].

Totally agree [from Scripture] that we should never fear the devil [our enemy]. We should be aware of his power - and we should be ON-GUARD against his schemes... satan will ALWAYS counterfeit what God is doing - always! But... only when we know our GOD - do we recognize the counterfeit. It is not enough to know the enemy and his tactics - it is much more important to know our God [intimately] so that we can recognize the enemy even in his disguises.

Bless your heart for a well thought out post! You have blessed my heart in seeing so much Scripture [our one of 3 weapons] used to fight that enemy. [the other two are Praise and Prayer]

You have blessed the Heart of Our God as well!

God's Words of the day today are
Blessing = Be one!
and.....................
Brave = Be brave and chase a lion, or two, or three today!

Choosing GREAT JOY,

Stephanie
JESUS ONLY in 2010

Patrina said...

Luke,
Good broad lauching pad. I had a hard time following - not because of your prsentation - but because I have a "bully" on my tail over at my place. so, I'm asking you to pray for me about that situaion. Pray for protection, strength, wisdom, coruarge and finally peace. The enemy is attacking my blog. I don't know why, he's targeted me, except to quiet my voice. He's targeting God's call on my life. That's what the enemy does!

I loved all the scriptures that you used here. I agree with Stephanie bout James 4:7. In fact, I like 7,8,10.....

7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

God's presence is my everything. To me, His presence comes in the form of His Holy Spirit. Do you agree? Without that presence, I am lost. I am blind. I am decieved. I am puffed up. I am joyless and depressed. I am fearful and anxious. I am selfish and rude. ....the list is exhaustive because they are all human traits. We become overcomers by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He was sent by Jesus to be His guiding presence. When I am mindful to dress with the armor of God every day, it not only protects me in the daily battle, but it keeps me minful of His Holy presence before me in battle. The battle is the Lords!! The Holy Spirit keeps me standing - in the midst of the battle. He shows me how to stand victoriously, like you said, if I follow instruction. The Holy Spirit is like a GENERAL to the commander. He also gives me discernment about this enemy of God and causes me to be "aware" of the enemy's ways and moments of deception.

I wouldn't go anywhere with out His presence before me. I look at the "sword of the spirit" as the Living Holy Spirit in me. He's my power, my defense, my wisdom. Yes, I get this from the Living Word of God too - And as Stephanie said, through Prayer and Praise - but HIs presence is right in the middle of it all. The armor is protective and the sword is defensive. We would not be overcomers without the sword - they are the LIFE of the armor.

Ready! Set! Draw Swords!

A pastor ended a sermon with those 4 words...and I have never forgotten it. I wouldn't ever want to be found...without my sword!

Thanks for the thot provoking study. I'm working on a post about how the lack of discipleship has left many christians up a creek without a paddle. The paddle would be the Holy Spirit. They have no clue to the power that is theirs!

I appreciate YOU!

Patrina ><<(">

Patrina said...

scripture referring to my comment above - I found this today in reading a devotional - I believe it is the scripture that puts the power of truth to what I was trying to say about the Holy Spirit.

“I am convinced that he is able to guard until
that Day what has been entrusted to me. . . .
By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard
the good deposit entrusted to you.”
2 Tim 1: 12, 14

Patrina ><<(">

Luke said...

Truth: Thanks so much for the compliments! I agree, I can't believe I missed James 4:8! I read it over and over again, yet it somehow slipped by me! Good catch! Your right, if you know God, then you also know what's NOT of God. =D

Patrina: I'm praying everything works out over there for you! I love your blog, it's always good to remember, when good things start getting attacked, it usually means your on the right path! Amen to your comment on the Holy Spirit! Without a doubt, He is our greatest tool possible in our survival and success in war. =)

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