I confess that I have a countless number of topics that God has laid on my heart to preach to myself about on a regular basis, but the timeliness to get them put together in a somewhat organized fashion and and publish them is something that I am very slow at and am trying to learn how to manage my time and the importance of things. That being said I do recognize that I need to discipline myself to be more prompt and consistent with my blog because these are important not only to myself, but hopefully to others who might read them. I am a natural, in the flesh, procrastinator and am an easy target to the enemy…the enemy being the demonic forces.
Which brings me to the topic for today which is warfare. I want to discuss that there is a war that’s going on and a lot of it has to do with things unseen and our lack of preparation to face the day-to-day battles. I falter often in recognizing this daily and often end up wounded or a casualty by underestimating the seriousness of the matter.
The ground zero of this war is within us and around us. It is a war that involves humans and God. God created humans, humans rebelled, God consistently worked with the humans who would cooperate for a time, but then turn away, and the war would continue. The human side started in the Garden of Eden, which many are familiar with already.
The difficulty of this war is that there is actually 3 sides. God, humanity, and the demons…led by Satan/Lucifer. The satanic war with God started long before humanity was created. So this isn’t a tug-a-war situation. It’s not like God is pulling one side of humanity and Satan the other. But, the cost/reward does land us on one side or the other, between God and Satan. On the humanity side, we do have a say and some control as to where we end up. Humanity is but a frail creation. Created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. (1 Cor 10:31, Ps 73:25-26)
Our undoing from the original design was/is selfish pride. Adam and Eve fell into the lust of the eyes, the desires of the flesh, and the pride of life itself. (1 John 2:16). And from that fall we’ve struggled continually to fall in line with the “right” side of the war. We’ve been given our marching orders to comply with God. We’ve been instructed how to resist the temptations of the enemy. (1 Cor 10:13). And even have a helper in our journey through the battlefields…the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26, Rom 8:26-27).
There does come a time when God lets go though and leaves us to our own devices. Humans consistently and naturally rebel and turn from God, exchange the truth of God for the lies of the enemy (Rom 1:24-25), and God gives them over to their selfish desires. We see this not only in our world today, but it has been going on for centuries. Look at the Israelites and let’s compare them to humanity today.
God spoke out after calling His chosen people (the folks God was going to reveal everything about Himself to and through), and told them here are the rules with me. God made it clear; we shall have NO other gods (Ex 20:3). But, a dozen chapters later and…TA DA!…golden calf (Ex 32:4)! This was just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the Israelites journeys, the people displayed a continual rollercoaster of ups, downs, peaks and valleys. Even though there is so much between the lines of Scripture that happened (things not recorded), there is plenty of evidence recorded that God would instruct, reward, the people would resist, wrath would come, they would repent, reward would come, and the cycle would start over…again and again and again!
Even though we are living in the present, if we could zoom out and look at the last several hundred years, we would see essentially the same pattern of behavior going on with Christians. It’s clearly like Jesus said in Revelation that the believers are “lukewarm”, but that he would rather them be either hot or cold. Some people get on fire for God for a season and stay strong, some fizzle out. Some people are just cold and callous to everything related to Christianity or the Bible. And then there are the fair weather Christians, the “lukewarm” ones who like to ride on the crest of fluff and happy living, never truly zealous or consistently true to the word of God.
It’s clear people who completely reject it have a wall up and, barring a work of the Holy Spirit, will remain that way. Then there are the zealous people who are on fire for God and have a deep commitment to His Word. Many people, including self-proclaimed Christians, find them annoying because of their passion. But, I have to believe that God would rather have them that way and annoying rather than cold or lukewarm. The problem with the lukewarm people, of which I have been most times in my life, is that you get on fire for a season, or a reason, but then the spark fizzles when you encounter real life and easily falter in your faith, turning off God and just relying on yourself.
Where I have struggled with this is that I have found it difficult to find the means to trust that God will direct my steps versus me taking the reins and doing what I think best. But what I have discovered, even though I struggle with from time to time, is that a lot of God’s steps and directions that we seek are printed in the Word of God, which I have spent a lot of time neglecting over the years.
A very simple definition of faith is taking God at His Word. As it says in Hebrews chapter 11, that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Basically being assured that the Word of God is complete and true. We also have hope that God is in control and He is showing us that through His Word. Also in His Word are His promises to us. And as we have a conviction, a trust in His Word, we are strengthened to face every obstacle each and every day.
Many of heard that the Bible says that we are to put on the armor of God. Ephesians chapter 6 covers this. And part of that armor is having a weapon, the sword, which is the Word of God. Yet as we stand in the middle of the battlefield without a weapon, how can we expect to defeat the enemies all around us? This is where so many fall. People want the spiritual life and walk, but don’t want to take the time to equip themselves with what’s necessary.
We are already at a deficit because of our selfish pride and sinful nature. The enemy is a master manipulator at drawing out our sin nature to where we easily stumble in our day-to-day lives. That is why it becomes more and more imperative that we know the Word of God and trust the Word of God and use the Word of God as the sword of the Spirit, to stand firm against that enemy.
The enemies of God our very crafty and have devised an incredible battlefield strategy. It is so easy to deceive people because we have plenty of pagan temples, also known as modern day churches and denominations, that lead people into false understandings of God and His Word.
People lacking Biblical knowledge easily fall into temptations and sin and desire soft leanings and understandings, so as not to burden our souls with heavy things of God. Thus, many of these pagan temples stopped teaching the Bible or theology and never speak the Gospel. Welcome to Bible-free Christianity. Another name would be Social Christianity. Either way, it is false Christianity.
Most people would rather take the easy way. All ‘happy happy joy joy’. But, as CS Lewis put it: The safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…
God’s way isn’t easy, but the final reward is greater than one can imagine! Do we enjoy our best life now? Or do we follow God and His Word for our best life eternal? You can’t have it both ways!
The battles in any war are vicious and are often filled with lots of casualties. But, we don’t have to be a casualty of Spiritual Warfare. Christ has already proclaimed victory in the war. Yes, each battle is difficult and we can easily get hurt. But we don’t need to succumb to wounds and lose hope. By equipping ourselves to His Truth, His Word, we can get to the promise. Each day is new, good and bad will fill it. There is fierce fighting, casualties strewn all around, wounds deep and infected. The land is littered with the souls of those fallen because they walk and want the cultural Christianity that these pagan temples with denominational names offer. But we don’t need to be seduced into the lies when we embrace the truth. We can stand firm in the truth that’s within His Word.
Time to put away my selfishness. As His Word says: Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
— James 4:7-8