Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weapons of Warfare

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.  – 2 Corinthians 10:4-6

Imagine a world at war against sinister creatures from another world.  They are invisible, they spit deadly poison, they are bent on the destruction of all goodness.  This is the worst movie monster Hollywood special effects could ever come up with times 10.  And, these creatures are real, they are the original Hell’s Angels, a thousand times as mean as the biker gang.  They are dirty, deceptive, dubious demons.  Oh, and their favorite lie is to get us to think that they don’t even exist.

No gun will can harm them, even a nuclear bomb would be rendered ineffectual against them, they are spiritual beings.  Thankfully, we are not without defense against these evil things.  Since they are spiritual beings, they require spiritual weapons.  The weapons are given to us by God and through Him they are mighty.

The demons like to attack the saints on two major battlegrounds: the world (culture, media, other people, etc…) and our mind.

In the battlefield of the world, the strategy is distraction and temptation.  The world is always providing distractions to our lives to try to tug us away from spending time with Jesus.  A hair dryer would do no good without being plugged in to a power source.  If a Christian is not constantly being plugged in to The Power Source (that is God) then we become powerless.  A powerless Christian may still be saved, going to heaven, and all of that; but when it comes to making a difference in the world for the Kingdom of God, they are useless.

With temptation, the object is to pull us into disobedience against God’s word.  The demons take our sinful desires and use that against us.  James 1:13-15 tells us that we are tempted by our own desires.  The desires lead to temptation and temptation leads to death.  Also, when we are in direct disobedience, we are not under the blessings and protections of God.

The battleground of the mind is an entirely different battlefield.  Here the strategy is to use fear, self-defeatism, depression, anxiety, etc… to stop or hinder spiritual growth.  When we are hindered in our mind, it is difficult for us to live out the purposes God has for us.  Our problems, in our mind, become greater than God.  We separate ourselves from the truth of God.  You say, “I am afraid.”  God says, “I did not give you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).”  You say, “I am anxious.”  God says, “Do not be anxious, I am taking care of you (3 times in Matthew chapter 6).”  You say, I am worthless.  God says, “I have chosen you as an adopted child, therefore, you are a prince/princess in my Kingdom (Romans 8:15).”

Satan loves to plant these lies in the minds of believers, because when we believe these things it’s like calling God a liar.  The worst thing is that sometimes the demons will twist our perceptions and distort other peoples words to plant these lies in our minds.  Sometimes, a demon can convince a person to tell an outright lie to speak against you.

Here, we are told to take every thought captive.  Taking captive is not passive.  If an army invaded a fort and took all of the opposing soldiers captive, they would storm the gates with siege weapons and swords swinging.  That’s the picture we’re supposed to get here.  We must storm the gates of our mind, tear down everything that opposes Jesus.  This is a constant battle, one that must be fought every day.

Here are some spiritual weapons that God has given us:

Prayer – Prayer is communicating with Jesus to whom all authority and power has been given (power over every demonic force even), Matthew 28:18

Fasting – Fasting when mixed with prayer is a hugely powerful weapon.  Mark 9:29

Declaration of God’s Word – When Jesus was tempted, He matched Satan with Scripture.  Matthew chapter 4

Repentance – When we experience godly grief, we can repent.  Repentance leads to salvation without regret.  2 Corinthians

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