Saturday, August 25, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
WEAPONS OF WARFARE
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.~2 Corinthians 10:3-6~
As you come to God on behalf of others, there will be times you will need to battle against the powers of darkness. It is God's will for us to tear down strongholds in people's lives and loose them in areas in which they have not been able to freely function. This is a primary purpose of the spiritual weapons God provides for us. As we war on earth, it stirs divine intervention from heaven. God has provided all that is necessary for successful spiritual warfare; your part is to will to use the weapons His Word guarantees will destroy enemy strongholds.
Warfare has four possible attitudes-offense, defense, detente, and desertion...Satan gets along very well with Christians as long as they are on the defensive, seeking detente, or deserting. Therefore, if we are determined to see him defeated in our own hearts and in our own society, we must always be committed to the offensive.-Arthur Mathews, Born for Battle, p.51
We, like Paul, are merely weak humans, but we don't need to use human plans and methods to win our battles, praise God. God's mighty weapons are available to us as we fight against Satan's "strongholds." We as Christians must choose whose methods to use, God's or the world's. Paul tells us that God's mighty weapons are prayer, faith, hope, love, God's Word, the Holy Spirit and all are powerful and effective for use. (See Ephesians 6:13-18)! These weapons can break down the proud human arguments against God and the walls that Satan builds to keep people from finding God. When dealing with the pride that keeps people from a relationship with Christ,we may be temped to use our own methods. But nothing can break down these barriers like God's weapons.
Pieces of Armor
Belt...Truth...Satan fights with lies, and sometimes his lies sound like the truth; but only believers have God's truth, which can defeat Satan's lies.
Breastplate... Righteousness...Satan often attacks our hearts-the seat of our emotions, self-worth, and trust. God's righteousness is the breastplate that protects our hearts and ensures His approval. He approves of us because He loves us and sent His Son to die for us.
Footwear...Readiness to spread the Good News...Satan wants us to think that telling others the Good News is a worthless and hopeless task-the size of the task is too big and the negative responses are too much to handle. But the footwear that God gives is is the motivation to continue to proclaim the true peace that is available in God-news that everyone needs to hear.
Shield...Faith...What we see are Satan's attacks in the form of insults, setbacks, and temptations. But the Shield of faith protects us from Satan's flaming arrows. With God's perspective, we can see beyond our circumstances and know that ultimately the victory is ours.
Helmet...Salvation...Satan wants us to doubt God, Jesus/Yeshua, and our own salvation. The helmet of salvation protects our minds from doubting God's saving work for us.
Sword...The Spirit, the Word of God...The sword is the only weapon of offense in this list of armor. There are times when we need to take the offensive against Saran. When we are tempted, we need to trust in the truth of God's Word.
In the Christian life we battle against rulers and authorities (the powerful evil forces of fallen angles headed by Satan, who is a vicious fighter, see (1 Peter 5:8). To withstand their attacks, we must depend on God's strength and use every piece of His armor. Paul is not only giving this counsel to the church, the body of Christ Jesus/Yeshua, but to all individuals within the church. The whole body needs to be armed. As you do battle against "the powers of this dark world," fight in the strength of the church, whose power comes from the Holy Spirit.
These who are not "flesh and blood" are demons over whom Satan has control. They are not mere fantasies-they are very real. We face a powerful army whose goal it to defeat Christ's Church. When we believe in Christ, these beings become our enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from Him and back to sin. Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns, because Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord's side. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us His Holy Spirit within us and His armor surrounding us.
If you feel discouraged, remember Jesus'/Yeshua' Words to Peter: "On this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it"~Matthew 16:18.~