TO ALL WHO LOVE JESUS,
2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,...
A "Powerless Church"
Today, we are living in perilous times - as if you didn't already know that, right? Truth is, many Christians today may be aware of the the sea of iniquity and perversion that surrounds them, yes - the question is: WHAT ARE WE DOING TO STOP IT? What are we as members of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ doing to oppose the evil we see all around us?
For many Christians, that is a job they leave to their pastors, or to the missionaries in a faraway country, or to a few individuals in their church who do "evangelism". Casting out demons, seeing people healed of all manner of disease and infirmities through prayer in the name of Jesus is sadly today- a rare experience or occurrence in the modern church. Sadly, even having people set free from their sins by hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them has become an oddity in many churches today. Truly, we have replaced the weapons of spiritual warfare with carnal devices patterned after the world's system of success.
Having a beautiful building, with all the embellishments and adornments that accompany a religious facade, has replaced in many denominations today - the inward power of God's holy presence. The word of God(if it is still preached), is often twisted out of context, or reinterpreted to fit the wayward doctrines that have crept into the church since the days of Christ and the apostles... Europe, once the bastion and center of Christianity has now less than 3% of it's populace actually identifying themselves as practicing Christians. This abandonment, did not happen in one night - it slowly evolved over centuries of apostasy and departure from the early teachings of the scriptures and doctrines handed down at the beginning... Paul warned his' apprentice Timothy that this was coming, see: 2 Tim.3:1-5. 3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves,... 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
ARMED & DANGEROUS
Demons trembled when Jesus walked the earth. The devil was on edge when Paul or Peter, or any of the early apostles or followers of Jesus made their way through a town. Why? They knew they knew the power they possessed! The early church, the first century Christians were "armed and dangerous" - and the kingdom of darkness shrieked in horror whenever a spirit filled believer set out on his' or her' daily walk that day. Wow! I wonder what the powers of darkness think when we as modern day believers roll out of bed to face the day? You think they shake and cower in fear at the thought of you or I coming out to meet them in combat? Probably not by what we see all around us. In reality, many Christians today are afraid of their own shadow, let alone the thought of facing a real honest to goodness- DEMON FROM HELL. That is for many, the way it truly is.
The human eye cannot see the weapons of our warfare, nor can the human ear discern their sound; but make no mistake our heavenly Father has not left us defenseless, neither has He left us to fend for ourselves with our hands our with bullets or man made weapons of our imagination - not hardly. God has given us every spiritual weapon we need to destroy, and dismantle the strongholds and devices of Satan without even lifting one finger... Hmm, unless we count lifting our hands in prayer.
THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
After 40 years of wrestling with demons within and without the church, and having spent decades studying the scriptures on the subject of spiritual warfare; and having read numerous books and booklets on the subject - I offer the following "things" as weapons God has given us to war against
Satan, demons, and all that is evil. Time does not permit me to elaborate or expound on each, but leave that to you the reader to study and search out on your own... These are not necessarily listed
in an order based on "priority" - that is a matter of varying opinion.
The Love of Jesus Christ/The Love of God in our heart: 1.Co.13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ/The Power of God: Rom.1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (see - 1 Co.15:1-4)
The Holy Scriptures/The basis for truth necessary for salvation in written form to man: 2 Tim.3:16
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
The Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer/follower of Christ: JN. 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive,because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
The Gifts of The Holy Spirit that are imparted by this indwelling Presence: 1 CO. 12:1-11
The exercise of earnest prayer, often accompanied by "fasting": MT.17:21 (Jesus addressing the question of casting out certain demons) However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
The Armor of God/Eph. 6:11-12
Closing thoughts: The dumbest and most ignorant Christian in town, or in a local church filled with the love of God in his or her' heart, and filled with the Spirit of God will put to flight legions of demons long before the most cocksure, puffed up believer ever will! Knowledge is fine when married to humility, but by itself it is a most sure path to failure in spiritual warfare. Never leave home without having first examined your' own heart and life before God. The devil knows when we are walking in disobedience and sin; and he will bring you into condemnation and render you ineffective and powerless with guilt and shame... never, never enter into spiritual warfare unless you have asked God to cleanse you of any and all personal sins and offenses. Take care of your own backyard, before you set out to clean someone else's. Remember, the battle begins with a clean heart and the love of Jesus in our hearts. The devil trembles when we walk in love.
to be continued...