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Monday, January 14, 2013

Ready for Battle with Satan?


Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

It sounds too much like the boogie man when we speak of evil spirits or demons or the activity of Satan. Many believers choose to avoid thinking like this. They want everything to have a psychological or circumstantial reason. They like to think of sin as a human flaw rather than a spiritual cooperation with an evil force. They speak of Satan as if he is detached from things. They look at his actions as mere consequences of the Fall. In other words, they think sin entered into humanity through the sin of Adam and Eve but they do not see Satan as actively working to entice sin in the world today.

Surely, there are those who bring spiritual warfare to ridiculous levels. They think of demons hanging around certain objects which were used in sinful activity. These demons are like ghosts who haunt a certain object or place. These demons won't affect you as long as you stay away. This is the stuff for Hollywood movies but not for true spiritual warfare.

Satan opposes the work of God. He opposes God's creation. He opposes life itself. He opposes godly worship. He opposes prayer, witnessing and following God in faith. He is constantly active to see that all that God loves is destroyed. He stands continually asking for permission to attack God's creation. He sends his demons to do as much as they are allowed.

Yet, Christians for the most part spend very little time in prayer. They do not see recognize Satan's attacks. They do not put on the full armor of God. So, Satan attacks them where they are vulnerable. He attacks the truth, righteousness, the gospel and even the salvation of the believers. He keeps them so concerned about the world that they spend no time in the Word of God. Turning to God's Word each day would have him running for this is the sword placed in the believers' hands to attack him.

Therefore, Satan continues to attack churches and believers because he is largely unopposed. The leaders of a church see decisions as political rather than spiritual. They work on procedures for business meetings rather than prayer for God's will. They get support from others to do what they want. They speak badly of each other and do not recognize their own participation with evil when they poison the spirit of the church.

Many believers think of prayer as a sideline activity. They believe the decisions to build a new building or to launch a new program are the activities on the field. They see prayer like cheers which encourage the team. They don't know that prayer is where the battles are fought. 

The same is true of a daily quiet time. The Word placed in their hearts each morning give them a weapon to attack what they will face during the day. The Bible says that resisting Satan will cause him to flee from us. How are we going to oppose him without God's Word? This is the very means Jesus opposed him. Yet, for some reason we want to make our battle with Satan hand-to-hand rather than have a sword.

So, put on your full armor. Satan has come to oppose you today. You had better be ready.

3 comments:

high-expressions.blogspot.com said...

“but they do not see Satan as actively working to entice sin in the world today.” Comment: Scripture said this: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Pet 5:8).

It is unwise of preachers making light of the above verse (1 Pet 5:8). It clearly exhorts us to be self-controlled and be alert. This scripture should be NOT expounded in the likes of the devil is but a roaring lion, it does not bite! The evil spirits will ensnare us, if we are NOT self-controlled and alert. All these mambo jumbo, about upon salvation we are perfect are rubbish; if it were so, there is no need of such exhortations for us to be of self-controlled and be alert.

“These demons won't affect you as long as you stay away.” Comment: Demons can be hanging around certain objects, and can be likely to be found at certain places or settings, but it is NOT demons won’t affect us as long as we stay away. Exhorting people NOT to enter into the lions’ den, without any realm or reason does make sense, but it is NOT that we are to live in fear, for Scripture said: For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Tim 1:7)

We should exercise wisdom, and when we talk about wisdom, Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the fear of the Lord is specifically referring to hating evil (Pro 8:13 & Ps 34:11-14). Hating evil is the beginning of wisdom. What does hating of evil entail? It does NOT mean to fear evil, but is to think no evil and do no evil, and stand up for righteousness. It is NOT physically distancing ourselves from evil as such, but rather it is NOT to be engaged in evil, and how to protect ourselves from being drawn into evil or be ensnared by evil spirits.

Satan and his minions seek to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10a), and they would devour those they could (1 Pet 5:8 – see above). Are they looking for victim to ensnare? Yes. Are they looking for habitats or what they call as their home? Yes. Do they have preferences? Yes. I will NOT go into details, but it suffices to say righteous men go for light, wicked men or evil spirits go for darkness. The next text is about men, but they are equally applicable to evil spirits, for where the evil men are, it is likely there, you will find the evil spirits:

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:19-20)

Is there some kind of darkness in you? If there is, you may be vulnerable, even if you try to physically distance yourself! The evil spirits have preference for the dark; when you have a darkness in you, you give the evil spirits a foothold to insist on their hanging around. Similarly, if you are full of light, demons physically near you, they would tremble, and scatter even! On the other hand when there is some kind of darkness in you, there is hardly any place you can run to; the solution is still to have that darkness in your life, addressed.

Demonization and demon-possession are very real. I encounter them in my ministry every now and then. For example, which normal person would, when you pray for the person, fall to the ground, and then go face down, back facing upwards, and then contort his or her body. Or which normal person would, when you pray for the person, vomit out white stuff like the stuff, mad dogs would have foaming at their mouth. Or which lady would run round the room when you, in your prayer, repeat the phrase, “The Blood of Jesus”, and would afterwards, needs the strength of 5-6 men to hold her down.

Cont. on next page

high-expressions.blogspot.com said...

Cont. from above

“He is constantly active to see that all that God loves is destroyed.” Comment: This is true. We, men, Satan wants destroyed.

But is this really true: “He stands continually asking for permission to attack God's creation. He sends his demons to do as much as they are allowed.” Comment: My current stand is that, even though there are OT scriptures, from the Book of Job, saying that Satan sought God’s permission to test Job by afflicting him, and NT scriptures pointing to Satan asked to test the Apostle Peter, God is NOT in the business of cutting deals with Satan, so to speak.

To me, these examples represented challenges or attempts by Satan to mock God. In the two examples, ultimately God prevailed; Satan’s attempts failed. Yes, we can say overall, everything that happens, including things done by Satan and his minions, God has allowed it, because He is aware of everything that goes on, and does have the capability to stop it if He so desires, but still I believe we are NOT having the scenario of “In general, every time Satan or his minions want to act against someone, Satan would go to God first, and ask God if he could do such or such, to that someone”. We really have to be careful with holding God culpable for every evil thing that happens to us. In war, it is possible, either side throws a challenge to the other side, but it is NOT they are working together.

We can all believe and take comfort in Scripture’s declaration that in God there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). There is no evil in God, and God cannot be evil. He is set apart to holiness. If He is NOT holy, He is NOT God.

“Yet, Christians for the most part spend very little time in prayer. They do not see recognize Satan's attacks. They do not put on the full armor of God. So, Satan attacks them where they are vulnerable.” Comment: These are true. Scripture, in Eph 6:10-18, gave us the full armour of God. It takes a whole long article to talk about what is involved in putting on that armour. It is obviously NOT put on, by our mere mouthing that we are putting on our armour right now! And NOT even by accompanying that with mere actions, of say, putting a helmet on, or shoes on, etc.

“He keeps them so concerned about the world that they spend no time in the Word of God.” Comment: Maybe the intent was NOT just referring to, be concerned about the world; perhaps, more of referring to pre-occupation with the things of the world, the love for the world, and the things in it. We are to be concerned with our world - our family, our community, our nation, and our world, but we are NOT to love the world, and things and the empty shows of the world; but Satan would like us to be pre-occupied with that.

This is the “evergreen” temptation of Satan; he even threw it at Jesus when Jesus came out of His 40 days and 40 nights fast. Satan was wanting to interest Jesus with his offer of the world to Jesus. Jesus threw the Book at Satan, so to speak, and replied that “For it is written, “. So, unless you and I spend time on the Book, we are NOT going to be able to resist Satan by the recalling and living out of what the Word said, against whatever the temptations that Satan would throw at us. And we need the Word to know the will of God for our life, and for our situations. We cannot live life without feeding on the Word. Satan went away when Jesus successfully resisted him at The Temptation with the Word of God thrown back at Satan. Satan will only flee from you and I when we successfully resisted him, and so, said the Word, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7)

Cont. on next page

high-expressions.blogspot.com said...

COnt. from above

“They don't know that prayer is where the battles are fought. “ Comment: We have to realise that we have been created a little lower than the angels, including the fallen angels. Satan and his spiritual minions are fallen angels. As mortal men, we cannot really fight and expect to win over the spiritual beings; we can win only when we fight them with divine empowerment. It is through prayer that we get our divine firepower. In prayer, we asked for divine help, we asked for divine weapons, and we invoked the name of Jesus. In prayer, we stand up and show to the enemy who we are in Christ Jesus. Spiritual warfare is engaged through prayers, NOT by punching the air around us.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions