Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Secret of Spiritual Warfare

   Christians are always in a state of warfare [whether they realize it or not] with the enemy of our souls. The Bible tells us precisely who these enemies are and how to prevail over them. 

   We are given powerful weapons with which to wage spiritual warfare, but our weapons are very different from what one would expect a Christian soldier to need. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, that means they are not natural weapons. They are not weapons that can be manufactured through human invention. But the weapons God gives us are mighty through Him. They are powerful spiritual weapons that will pull down every stronghold the enemy may have in our lives.
   The only way to defeat powerful spiritual opponents (principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness... and spiritual wickedness....) is by putting on the whole armor of God.
   This is not optional. Christians must use every spiritual weapon at our disposal. The "whole" armor means wearing every piece of it... at all times.
   The defensive weapon of our warfare--our armor--consists of: Truth, Righteousness, always being prepared to share the Gospel of [man's] Peace [with God], Faith, and the helmet Salvation (deliverance).
   The only offensive weapon we are given is the spoken Word of God, utterance which must always be in line with the written Word of God, applied under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus gave us a perfect example of this in Matthew chapter four, when he stuck stubbornly to his iteration and re-iteration of, "It is written...."
   The prophet Isaiah confirmed this when he wrote that those whose words did not line with what was already written had, "No light in them (Isaiah 8:20).

10: Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might[1]

[1] This simple statement, frequently glossed over and even sometimes forgotten, in studies of spiritual warfare, is the nexus, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega of the entire subject. It is so easy to fall into the deception of self-sufficiency, to confuse the power of our might with the power of His might. Yes, King David had physically mighty men in his army. Yes, Bathsheba wrote of valiant women in her letter to her son. We read about in Proverbs chapter 31. All Christians, both women and men, are commanded be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. A premiere example of how to do this, is found in the life of Moses. Moses was the most powerful man among all the Hebrews yet the most humble person on earth. When faced with the overthrow of his God-ordained government, Moses did not rally the armies, but rather fell on his face before God in intercession and prayer for a people who were condemning themselves. He knew that real victory entailed much more than mere physical victory over a physical enemy. Moses was raised a prince in Egypt. He was a physically powerful man trained in physical warfare. He was capable of fighting and single-handedly defeating multiple adversaries, simultaneously. Yet, when he became God’s man, we never again see even a hint of the masculine pride that had dominated his early life.

This is an excerpt from the Hungry Hearts Online Bible Commentary HHBC
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Monday, June 8, 2009

How Important are Our WORDS?

The words we speak are very important. It was words spoken from our hearts that first brought us into the kingdom of God (Romans 10:10,13).

What if our response to that all important invitation from God had been, "Oh, if it is God's will, he'll save me," or "Well, I can ask him to save me, and he'll answer my prayer, but sometimes he says no, so I can't say for sure whether he'll save me or not."

I can see many of you rising to your feet right now crying out, "No, no! The Word of God says he WILL save ALL who call on his name through belief in his risen son. So you can't possibly use this as a scenario. You've missed it badly!"

Well, doesn't the Word of God say he WILL do other things as well. So why can't we take him at his Word for more than salvation? Why must he stop there at keeping his Word?

Our words are very powerful. The fact that our initial access into the presence and power of God (by becoming his child) comes through heart-spoken Words is proof of that.

Our words affect those around us--either positively or negatively. They affect all of our relationships either positively or negatively. They affect us, and our mental, physical and spiritual health, either positively or negatively.

But there are those who will take the scriptural truth concerning the importance and power of our words, and twist it to suit their own self-centered, ungodly purposes.

There are those who read the scripture, that says Abraham "called those things that be not as though they were" and twist it into a useless denial of reality.

Abraham was absolutely right to call those things that be not as though they were, because he had God's promise, but there is certainly no record that he ever called those things that be as though they were not. Abraham never denied reality, and that is a subtle difference that many get confused about.

But it is true that the Word of God should always be in our mouth concerning any and all circumstances that may arise in our lives.

We are taught in scripture to "gird our loins with the TRUTH"—which is the Word of God—and it should be always be in our mouths as well as in our hearts.

Are you sick? What does the Word of God say? It says to go to the elders of the church, admit that you are sick and in need of prayer, and have them anoint you with oil and pray the prayer of faith over you.

What is the prayer of faith (faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God)? And what does the Word of God say? It says that God is our healer. It says that when we love him and are doers of the Word and not hearers only—it (his Word) is life to us and health to all our flesh (Proverbs 4:22). And I want to know that whoever is anointing me with oil and praying over me believes that—In fact, I don’t let just anyone pray for me with the laying on of hands.

These are just a few (of many) examples in scripture of what the Word of God says, about how to deal with whatever ails our bodies.

How about gossip? That involves words. Is it going to benefit us at all to go around "confessing" our healing while at other times we are indulging in the sin of gossip? Probably not.

The scriptures command us to let no corrupt communication come out of our mouths. Corrupt communication includes all ungodly speaking—not just cursing. Gossip is a sin. What is gossip? Gossip is discussing (without permission) the personal details of anyone's life who is not us.

The scriptures say our whole body can be defiled by what comes out of our mouths.

Scripture does teach that our physical health can be affected by our words—both positively and negatively. There is a very strong connection between the Spiritual and the physical.

Our words, actions, thoughts and attitudes all work together in affecting our physical bodies.

The scriptures say the curse causeless does not come (Proverbs 26:2). That is why it is so crucially important to acknowledge HIM in all our ways, so HE can direct our paths (proverbs 3:6 kjv).

It is doubtful that the majority of us are afflicted because we are so righteous that a "Job" situation is going on in our lives. But we cannot rule that possibility out, so we need be careful about passing judgment on anyone simply because they may be afflicted. But generally, that is not the case, and if obvious sin is present (all sin is not obvious to the casual observer), it is definitely a loving thing to confront it. Someone's physical life just might be saved. And wouldn't that be a good thing?

Jesus is the high priest of our profession (confession), and there is a reason for that piece of information being included in the Holy Scriptures. In light of that, is it a godly thing for our profession to be dismal, negative and unbelieving?

There is only one thing that limits God and that is unbelief: Psalms 78:40-41, How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
Matthew 13:58, 58: And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

And the scriptures do say, "From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks...."

Author and speaker, Jocelyn Andersen, is an eclectic Christian writer. She is a Bible teacher who writes about many subjects including Bible prophecy and equality of the sexes. She is best known for her advocacy in domestic violence awareness. Her book, Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, has been a staple in the library of resources on that subject.  

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