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Friday, April 19, 2013

Prepared for the Battle?

I admit that I don't want to believe it. I would rather believe in circumstances or fate. I would rather believe in randomness. Yet, I can't escape what the Bible says: We wrestle against the devil and all his demons. These work against us in our efforts to bring God's kingdom to reality here on earth.

Most believers, even mature believers, know very little about the workings of the devil. They would rather believe as I would like to believe. They want to say that these things which have happened are from the inevitable bad things which happen randomly. I want to agree but I can't.

The devil and his demons are active. They work in the evil happenings which seem to be random. They work in the hearts of those who murder, lie, steal, commit adultery, etc. which destroy the society which will enable the church to see God's kingdom come. They work in the tragedies which engulf believers in order to destroy their faith. They work in the apathy of believers which keeps them off of their knees in prayer. They work in the doubt of believers so that they will stay in the wilderness and never reach the Promised Land.

Most believers think they can ignore the devil. They think that they can do the work of God without any interference. They think they can gossip and complain about each other with impunity. They do not see themselves doing the devil's will. They will refuse to work in their apathy while complaining about those who won't work in their hatred. They cover their blackened hearts with "churchy" words. They want others to see them as saints while they are unwittingly in the employ of the devil.

I recently spoke with a fellow pastor whose church has chosen to make his life so hard so that he would resign. He has complied. I am not in his shoes so I can't say whether or not that was the right thing to do. I can say that they way his church treated him fell into the hands of the devil. I believe that many of the church members actually believe they are doing the Lord's work even though they can't point to a word from God in their actions. They acted on their emotions, human reason and public sentiment.

Someone asked me who I listen to in the church/ I said that I listen to those who pray. I covet their wisdom. I share my own struggles with them because I know their hearts are not in the hands of the devil. They go through great struggles themselves. They have been brought to their knees and God is at the center of their lives. They are warriors who have opposed the one who wants their eternal destruction but can't have it. Sure, they are wounded at times. Their families, health and possessions have been attacked.

These prayer warriors choose not to use complaints as a weapon They do not accuse others for their struggles. They do not lash out at the most vulnerable person to vent their frustrations. They attack the devil with truth, righteousness, and God's word. They go into his territory to rescue those who he has claimed by sharing the gospel. They stand on their salvation and faith. They ask for and receive the filling of the Holy Spirit.They oppose him and he flees form them.

Today, I put on my own armor. I will have to face someone more evil than those who set bombs in Boston. I will go against one more evil than those who flew planes in the World Trade towers. I will face someone more evil than those who set the bombs in Oklahoma City. I will face someone more devious than the Son of Sam.

What would happen if believers took this battle seriously? No, I am not saying that they looked for Satan under every rock. I am saying that they genuinely put  on their armor and stood prepared for his attack. Would they recognize that attack and stop reacting in ways which pleased him?

Today, I will oppose him.

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.

2 comments: said...

A good piece, and a good reminder to all of us.

Alas, today, there is great apathy in this, for two reasons I can think of.  One, which is more true in the western science and technology advanced countries, even though it is also quickly spreading to the east, to Asia, and developing countries; and it is that many are tending to brush off anything that cannot be explained by science, or they explain, if possible, everything with science.  

Signs and wonders and miracles are explained away, and along with these, spiritual phenomenons.  For example, just because it is possible to recreate a model of the parting of the Red Sea in the lab, does not mean that it was a one-off natural phenomenon.  Sure, all the elements were of nature, but still it was God moving the elements to create the escape-route for the Israelites.  In any case, such parting was not a one-off thing; Jordan river was parted, too, more than once.  

Why talk about signs and wonders and miracles?  Because those who believe not, these, are likely the same ones who also do not believe the Devil was and is at work too, even as God is at work.  

In the States, I understand there is scientifically based church! How do you explain, seeing a man's leg growing in length before your eyes, with only prayer being said; science cannot explained that.  I have prayed, and a man and woman's legs grew before my eyes; I cannot explained that, only accepted it as supernaturally, God has done them, the miracles.  I don't dabble with evil, and so, I cannot give readers,  examples of evil miracles, but I can tell readers that in deliverances which I have witnessed and participated, the exceptional strength of the ministees, the contortion of their bodies, and snaking around on the floor of some of them, and the kind of foaming at the mouth of the ones manifesting, these cannot be explained by science, but were manifestations due to spiritual power (of God) was brought against spiritual power (of devil(s)).

Many of these ministees of deliverance, to the untrained ones, appeared normal, before deliverance. That they looked normal, did not mean they were not demonized or demon-possessed.  Well, when spiritual power of God acts on them, in deliverance, their true state shows up.  I am not advocating forming doctrines or theology based on experiences; I always tell people not to do that, however, we are not doing that.  Ps Prentis has given the scriptures, and there are more, in the Word.  My experience and the experiences of many, affirm or testify to the truths as written in the Word.  People who still do not believe, they are just being stiff-necked, much like the children of God in the Exodus.

Cont... said...

Cont. From above

The other reason for the great apathy for this, is the careless teaching of what happens to a person at entry into salvation. Telling believers their standing and saying that they do not need to effort to live right, thereafter, in their lives, created a false sense of superiority.  

Many of the deliverance cases, I have encountered, the ministees were Christians, believers.  Wake up, if you think a believer (a standing) cannot be demonized or demon influenced, you are wrong.  Depending on how one defines demon-possession, a believer can even be said to be demon-possessed.  

When we do not effort to live right or do not live right, it means we do not hate evil.  When we do not hate evil, it is equated as not having the fear of God.  The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom; without fear of God, it means no godly wisdom, and no godly wisdom means one can easily be ensnared by the Devil and his minions.  When we do not hate evil, we are not on God's side; if we are not careful, we mutiny against God.  What happens to people who mutiny? Do you think they still have the  covering of the Almighty? If they are bent on wickedness, and would not repent, is God to bend over to wickedness?  In such a state, would they still expect to wield the power of God to counter the evil power?  If not, how victorious can their lives be?

How can believers be so complacent about the existence and threat of Satan, when even Jesus was recorded for us, to have been a candidate to be deceived over to Satan's side!
Jesus said no servant/disciple is above his master, and what the world (epitomized power of Satan) did to Him, it could also attempt it on the servant/disciple - tempt, deceive, inflict pain, and persecute, and kill, even.

John 15:18-21 - 18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me {Jesus} before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions