Wednesday, 26 December 2012

De-Generation Gap? (part 2)

  “And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.” Judges 2:7

(Continued from Part 1)

Joshua, like Moses before him, was by his life, obedience to God and leadership, a powerful and sustaining influence among the people of Israel. While he and those of his generation, who with him, had experienced God’s deliverance and leading of Israel to the Promised Land still lived, the people were overall closer to God in their minds and hearts, and served the Lord in what He had commanded. This is not to say that there were no rebels or some who didn't choose otherwise during that time. The record shows, that both during the time of Moses and the time of Joshua’s leadership, some failed to obey God, incited rebellion against God’s authority, and paid dearly for their dissention and disobedience.

It does seem however, that the generation which grew under Joshua had overall a closer sense of God than the generation which followed - the latter being labelled in verse 10, as ‘not knowing the Lord or His works’!  We read further that the net result of this ‘not knowing God’ as the previous generation did, was their abandonment of the God of their fathers. No doubt they had heard about the works of God which their ‘fathers’ had witnessed, and had received the instructions their leaders and parents had passed down faithfully to them, but they had no personal experience or reference point to the events that made Israel the nation it was, after being delivered from slavery in Egypt. They had not seen with their own eyes, the conquest of the land they were now blessed to live in, and God’s mighty hand in providing it for them. They may have continued in the ‘religious’ aspects and practices of their fathers, but they took for granted the things that the previous generation had cherished and considered precious. They lost sight of the history and foundations which made them what they were in the present. They lost the awe and respect for the separation and holiness which made Israel God’s people in the first place, and a chosen race to stand out as ‘different’ from the heathen world around it. They no longer held the vision of being the priests and kings God had intended them to be, influencing the people they came in contact with FOR God, and not being influenced by them AWAY FROM God.

Without those ‘anchors’ in place, and with a strong heathen influence at their doorstep, their spiritual stability suffered quickly. The verses that follow, describe how they did evil in the sight of the Lord, forsook the God of their fathers and chose the idolatry and ways of the world - the ungodly nations around them! The very thing God had carefully and painstakingly forbidden and commanded Israel to keep separate from. Such a loss from just one generation to the next! Interestingly we can spot the same arguments they used to justify their adoption of heathen practices, among Christians today. Some Israelites for instance, ‘copied’ the idols of the pagan nations, but called them by the name of the God of the Bible, or claimed them to represent Yahweh. This was such an abomination to God, that severe punishment followed their actions. Sadly and in spite of God’s constant reminders and reprimands, Israel continued on a downward spiralling pattern of spiritual disintegration, as one generation gave way to the next and more liberal and tolerant practices were adopted.

As we have noted, there is a similar pattern afflicting and disintegrating Christianity today, particularly in western nations, which in the past have been the bulwark and stronghold of the faith and the source of worldwide influence of the gospel. Each new generation although perhaps initially keeping to the main doctrines of the faith, seems to overall lose some of the faithfulness, closeness to God and separation from the world, which the previous generation exhibited and maintained.Exceptional individuals exist in every generation reflecting a closer and more perfect walk with God, and reminding us all of how we should serve the Lord, but in general there is a loss of faithfulness. The vision, fire, desire and obedience are dimmed down, so low in fact that in surveys taken in our Christian, western nations, there has not been found to be any statistically significant difference between evangelical Christians and unbelievers! This is not mere generational preference, it is spiritual degeneration! 

Effective leadership helps, but there is however a sad human limitation in the influence we can exert on others, particularly those of the generation which follows our own. We can tell them, show them and teach them, but we cannot pass onto them our personal experiences - those they must desire and discover for themselves! Our love, fear and obedience of God and our efforts in serving Him in the present generation then, should be most excellent and of the highest quality, reflecting the greatest faithfulness and deepest conviction, so that the next generation may have the best possible example to view, remember and follow. Whenever we lessen or compromise our stand for God even a little, we should think that the damage we are doing is not merely to ourselves and those of our immediate family, that would be bad enough, but we should consider also how we will impact and further disadvantage the chances of spiritual survival for the next generation. 

Let us be true soldiers of the Cross and followers of the Lamb, fighting to stem the flood of degeneration which threatens the very existence of true Christianity, remembering the question that Jesus put to us as His disciples, when He returns, will He find faith on the earth?
The only way we can possibly resist this tide of change and deterioration, and make a difference, is by individual personal determination to pray and stay close to God, relying on His strength not to abandon, compromise or lessen the values of the Word of God; to live each and every day as responsible, mature, Bible-instructed and informed believers, wholeheartedly upholding God’s truth; to teach them to our children and our children’s children; to hold on firmly and stay faithful in this endeavour until the end!  

De-Generation Gap? (part 1)

  “And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.” Judges 2:7

We should greatly rejoice over the blessing of having leaders who stay close to God and inspire us by their lives and teaching to do the same. Their experiences, love for God and the anointing the Lord bestows upon them, touch us and affect us with positive and powerful impact, encouraging us to stay the course, walk the path and run the race. The unhappy truth is that with each subsequent generation of believers, there are fewer such leaders, and there are increasingly more changes and challenges which face Christians and the church.

The dilemma which plagues the human family as one generation fades and gives place to the next, is recounted in the verses of this chapter. In modern days we have coined the terminology ‘generation gap’, to describe the often sad lack of connection in many of the vital aspects of life, between contiguous generations. It is a term attempting to define the distance, dislike and disagreement, which exists between any present generation and the next. This ‘gap’ has been blamed for the breakdown of communication between children and their parents, the tearing and disapproval of the values of prior generations, by contemporary society, and the disagreements which reign whenever a task or situation is approached and either the ‘new’ way or the ‘old way’ of doing things, is being invoked! The distance between generations seems to be widening and attempts made to bridge ‘the gap’ are usually short lived, but they seem to nearly always be efforts by the older generation to accept and embrace the ways of the newer.

For Christians, this generational distance raises a concern by far greater than what is fashionable to wear or what may be acceptable social mores. Due to the eternal and absolute nature of the values taught in God’s Word, believers in each generation are faced with the ever increasingly difficult task of determining how to remain ‘in pace’ with the times, and yet avoid the compromise and weakening of the principles God. It seems that in the church, each new generation, will tend towards ‘making changes’ that the previous generation considers inappropriate and dangerous. Once the previous generation ‘dies off’ or becomes a minority, ageing and ‘irrelevant’ background voice, the changes made by the present generation become the new ‘norm’ , challenged only by the whispering memories of past legacies, or by the new, even more daring, liberal, bolder and even more widely disregarding proposals of the newly forming next generation.

At face value all this may not appear to be ‘such a big deal’, and that the problem is merely one of preferences between one generation and the next. It is by many considered normal, necessary and even healthy, to insist on generational change and identity, simply accepting that all change is automatically or overall,  ‘good’. While it is true that some things could be put down to generational preference, this modernising of thoughts and ways among believers is not without serious repercussions. It frequently promotes a departure from old, established and known ways, to what is more world-friendly, tolerant and accepting of the contemporary thinking and behaviour. There is a very strong influence, which the unsaved and sinful world exerts upon the members of the church. This impact has grown exponentially in the last 20 years with the advent of the internet, computers and the ready availability of mass media.

The lines of distinction between the godly and profane have become so marred and blurred, that the pressure Christians must resist, is not just the obvious avoidance of sin, but also, and more dangerous in the long run, the changes which overall lessen and lose our true Christian identity. This is so obvious a battle field, that in a self-deceiving effort to keep this identity, the nominal distinction is made, by attaching the word ‘Christian’ to whatever worldly activity or pursuit is undertaken by believers. So that for instance, when adopting the music of the world, known for its God-insulting themes and designed with beats and structures to pump those soul-damning ideals into the mind and heart of listeners, the church attaches ‘Christian’ in front of it, making it ‘Christian rock and roll’. Although with altered lyrics, the music remains unchanged from anything one can hear readily on a secular radio station, reducing the distinction between the secular and the sacred. Many Christians and their leaders justify the compromise and consider it so acceptable that anyone not subscribing to it, must clearly be 'out of touch'. They also refuse to acknowledge the reality of its influence and the effects and ungodly changes this is bringing into the church.

In other instances doctrines, concepts and practices which were denied by previous generations and considered ungodly and dangerous, are being remodelled, renamed, embellished and read into the Christian ‘frame’. Individuals of great influence and means, posing as ministers of the Gospel, present these adulterated and poisonous beliefs to eager and biblically ignorant minds, changing what they will think, feel and believe regarding God and His Word! This ‘new’ and re-defined Christianity then arrogantly stands in sharp contrast to the ‘old’ ways, belittling and victimising them as ‘narrow’, ‘bound’ and ‘irrelevant’!

The problem is that whilst seeking to reach to and be relevant in a modern society, unhappy and ungodly compromises are made. Note they are always made by the believers, not by the world! It is stated that it is done in an effort to reach the lost. This is in itself wrong. In reaching the lost, Jesus didn't direct us to adopt contemporary culture, in fact He himself flew in the face of many of the cultural dogmas of His day. Interestingly the practices then continue in the churches, this time the justification is that this helps to ‘keep’ the lost that were reached! In an attempt to ‘please everyone’, that is - trying to content the preferences of members of all generations, we can lose sight that we are first called to please God. Introducing and supporting worldliness in the church, because the new generation feels more comfortable and content with that approach,  seems to ignore the fact that God hates it, warns His people against it, and that the church happens to be His, not ours!  

These compromises by degrees, have led God’s people away from the absolutes of scripture, and often diminish the impact of God’s word in the life of believers. The damage is achieved by mixing down and diluting the message of the Bible in its application to life, lessening its authority and relevance, and reading into it the current, ungodly worldview, whilst at the same time upholding and magnifying the religious practices associated with it. This is not a new problem, and a careful study of the scriptures makes it clear, that as believers we ought to ‘err on the side of caution’, when it comes to change. Our text and many scriptures like it, describe aspects of this age-old predicament which faces God’s people. (continued in Part 2)

See also:

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Free to Serve!

"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." Romans 6:22

God gives us our start by setting us free from sin. What a joyous thought! Free from the prison which bound us and kept us spiritually locked away and closeted in death. Free from the degradation and decay of mind, heart and soul. Free from the anguish, shame and guilt of our past and from the fears of awaiting future judgment!

Without this initial and miraculous intervention of love and deliverance from God, we would never experience what things more He has for us. Following deliverance from sin and our old self, we become servants of the living God.  No longer in the choking grasp of the hard taskmaster of sin, we now serve the living, loving God who, as a gentle and firm Shepherd, leads us, guides and protects us through the journey of life.

In this capacity we are exposed to lifelong, faith building experiences which mould and shape us into the people God wants us to be. The glorious times, as well as the times of hardship and suffering, all play a part in the making and forging of the disciples of Jesus. We discover and learn to savour the blessing and privilege of being servants to God. The appreciation of this position grows sweeter and dearer as time passes, as we recognize that we have found our true purpose in life, and would not want to fill any other station than that to which He has called us.

The entire process of cleansing, changing and establishing His servants, can be summarised in this one word: sanctification. This is the condition of being made holy unto God. It is God's main action in the heart and life of the believer. It is being made more like Him and becoming a clearer, better reflection of His essence and character. The Bible calls sanctification ‘God's will’ for His people, and we see in this verse that it is to be the fruit of those who serve God. It is the distinguishing sign therefore between believers and pretenders, and the value which in the end will mark the church, the spotless, unblemished, pure Bride, which Jesus is coming for and which He will present to Himself.

Every human produces a ‘fruit’ in life. Outside of Christ and His values, however our natural produce is nothing to be desired and is in fact overall, little more than an ooze of decay and death. We have no good thing is us and even at our very best, our fruit is marred, flawed and bitter, a result of the ‘tree’ it issues from. The bible lists the works of the flesh, and this natural yield from our beings is what contaminates and mars everything and everyone; its effects can be readily seen all around in our society and world. We all, individually and personally need to be freed from sin and its abhorrent fruit and effects, and only Jesus can perform this miracle!

When we become servants to God, we are grafted into the life of Jesus. Energised by His Spirit and power which now flows through us, we are given capacity to bear new, good and lasting fruit. This is now the fruit of God’s Spirit in us, no longer our own. Through Jesus and His values living and working in our hearts, the quality of the fruit we can bring forth and the motivation for doing so reflects the purity, wholesomeness and beauty of God – it is now fruit unto holiness.  It is evidence that the King of Kings is in residence in this servant’s life. It shouts and testifies of spiritual freedom, life and growth. It proclaims the reality, power and holiness of God and adorns our thoughts, words, habits, actions, desires, preferences and choices.

This condition of holiness is not temporal or for this life only, but extends into eternity. Our text states that the ‘end’ of holiness is in fact, a never ending everlasting life! Heaven is the everlastingly holy place, the abode of the supremely Holy God, and the final destination of all divinely-delivered and sanctified believers, God’s servants who have lived holy lives, separated from worldly ways and consecrated unto the Lord!

What a glorious journey is depicted in these choice and anointed words! A passage from death to life - a voyage of liberation, sanctification and ultimate eternal glorification!

See also:

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Higher Thinking

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s thoughts are beyond our finite capacities. By ourselves and without His help, we would never fathom them or grasp them. To teach us His ways, God related all we need to know in an enduring ‘love letter’, inspired to tell us enough about Him to honour and love Him, how we got here in the first place, and to convey to us the plan and purpose of our existence. The Holy Bible – God’s Word, is the only reliable tool of communication from God and the sole repository of truth about the One true God, His works, ways and thoughts. Since it was given to mankind, all kinds of exertions have been made to illustrate, define, explain and analyse this divine mandate, in order to comprehend God’s revealed will and message to us.

It is here that we can learn all that is known about God, His ways, His thoughts, His creative acts, His directives and purposes, and here too, that we can focus our minds and harness our hearts to imbibe knowledge, wisdom and understanding not found anywhere else. Entire libraries of books, references and commentaries have been written over the centuries in an attempt to explain God’s letter to man and exhaust its incomparable treasury. Every week, thousands of sermons and lessons are delivered to listeners, expounding some aspect or topic of God’s Word. Although this has continued for centuries, yet this heavenly resource is not exhausted. Many have spent their whole lives digging deep into the truth and message of the Bible, only to find that one lifetime is simply not enough to plumb its depths.

In spite of the unceasing and widespread drawing from this spiritual well, the multitudes who daily drink from its living waters continue to find a quenching for their thirsty souls. Its truths, principles, concepts and applications adorn and direct the lives of people of all ages and walks of life, from all cultures and in all times. Its stories and the message they convey, teach each new generation how to live good, God-honouring and fruitful lives with the same impact and freshness that was found by ancestors of old.

The Bible has held the most prominent place and exerted the greatest authority in all areas of mankind’s development and advancement. Its principles and truths have contributed and impacted man’s achievements of an almost unending list of structures and learning including government, art, science, history and human relationships. It was the first book printed on the newly invented Gutenberg press in 1440, and has been the No. 1 bestselling book since the 15th century, topping the sales of all other printed matter every year with an overall, staggering 6 billion copies printed! The Bible also holds the number one position as the most sold and popular digital or electronic book (e-book) in the world!

What makes this enduring product something more than a mere book of printed words on paper or electronic screens, is the fact that the Bible is God’s Word. It is a living Word, so relevant and applicable to the essence of humanity, that it transcends time and culture. It is the message which God Himself, by His Spirit and power, inspired and communicated to mankind, and which He still stand by without revision or alteration, for it was perfect for humanity from its inception. It speaks to our souls, and reveals to us who we really are, and makes known the purpose God has intended for our lives. It answers the essential questions we all ask, and explains why we are here and where we are destined to go. Its testimony of itself is that it is established forever, it is enduring and will not pass away!

God makes it clear to us that there is an unmeasurable distance between His ways and thoughts, and ours. This is what makes His Word incomparable and unsurpassable as the means of comprehending God.  God’s ways are higher and greater than anything we could ever imagine or come up with. What is more, even with God’s revelation in hand, man cannot in his natural mind and ability reach to the loftier and more profound thoughts and ways of God, he needs the Lord's Spirit to inspire, illuminate open and clarify what is revealed from God's mind and word. Without the influence, teaching, strength and ability of God’s Spirit, man cannot live and practice the ways of God consistently or successfully. Mankind is by nature weak and imperfect, unable to direct life’s affairs without the help of the Almighty. History demonstrates the obvious failure of even the best efforts that were made without regard to God’s revealed principles. This is why as humans we cannot make up our own minds about what is right and moral, but must rather enquire and learn these values from the One who is perfect in all His ways and has the authority and ability to dictate these standards.

Human nature is fallen and it has a natural bent toward sin, wrongdoing and evil. Man’s laws and restrictions are not enough. Without the influence of the Holy Spirit and the direction of God's Word, humanity is lost and hopeless lacking moral strength and destitute of any true and enduring value. We should be glad that there is an All-knowing, All-powerful and Ever-present God, who cares so much for us and whose ways are far above ours.  We ought to rejoice at the fact that He has revealed His higher ways and thoughts to us in His Word, so that we may grow towards His perfection, learning and becoming increasingly better human beings, through obedience and application of them. It should be considered our privilege to love and serve this Great and Almighty Benefactor, who more than anyone or anything else, can make such a positive and eternal improvement of our lives and destiny. What joy and great liberty we find when we are filled with the new knowledge and understanding we can gain through Jesus! This opens to us ways above our natural ways and thoughts greater, higher and deeper than our own natural thoughts. Life is totally different, new and worthwhile when we begin to 'see' things God's way! 

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Monday, 22 October 2012

True Peace

"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:6

Peace is the speech topic of so many world leaders and generally the aim of humanity. Represented by symbols and gestures recognized by people everywhere, this elusive ingredient to the recipe of happy existence seems, in our troubled and hectic world, harder than ever to find and harder still to maintain. Perhaps the problem is not going to be fixed on a world-wide basis, until it is fixed on a personal, individual level. Should peace truly reign in every person’s heart, then communal peace and peaceful co-existence would not be such a problem. The question then is how to get that peace in each individual’s heart and mind?! Is there an answer?

Martin Luther King is quoted as saying that “…peace is not the absence of tension, but the presence of justice”.

The daily struggle of the human family is to gain and maintain life, with peace as its highest ideal. A peaceful life, content and free from the trauma and fear which characterizes our existence seems to be everyone's ultimate goal. To that end we work, strive and labour.  All kinds of compromises, many very poor, are made in an effort to ‘keep the peace’. In vain however, we reach for this desirable quality in life, if we strive in our own strength and by our own carnal values. The carnal mind is selfish, sensual and self-serving. It limits, obstructs and narrows the flow of life; by its very values, it destroys the very peace we all seek and will ultimately results in death. 

So many wrongly think that surrendering to the carnal mindset by adopting the trends and image of the world, following what everyone else is doing, being part of the crowd, and removing the tension of living a consecrated life for God, even at the cost of their soul, is where peace may be found. Some, when they first leave the ways of God and turn their backs on obedience to His principles, sense a momentary and false peace, a release of the tension. The conflict between the flesh and the Spirit ends and the pressure appears to leave them. This is not true peace - it is surrender to the enemy. The temporary relief is due to their laying down their spiritual weapons and ceasing the fight against the tyranny of the flesh. Deceived by this seemingly ‘positive’ result they tread down the path of self-destruction. Led by an illusion, which continues to appeal to their flesh, like the proverbial donkey after the carrot, they continue to travel away from God, only to find further down the road that nothing really satisfies, and not only they have no true, lasting peace, but worse that they have sold out the Prince of Peace and are now under the yoke and slavery of a merciless tyrant! No true peace exists there, only sorrow, degradation and ultimate death.

Man’s best efforts to bring about peace, through reforms, edicts, programs, therapy and a host of other schemes  continue to fail or at best produce a very poor facsimile - the equivalent of a plastic bauble rather than the real jewel of peace. The removing of God and His principles from humanity’s efforts can only spell ruin and compromise. Peace without the Giver of Peace is neither true, lasting nor altruistic. Peace which is not true peace, is a deception; peace which doesn’t last is self-defeating; peace which doesn’t reach out to touch and bless others is selfish and highly perishable!

Here then is the bible recipe and answer for all that the human heart desires. The message is clear, real peace cannot be obtained by means other than a godly, spiritual mind. True personal peace seems to be not the removal of life’s irritations and inconveniences, but the result of a stern judgment, a sentence brought against our fallen carnal nature for the death it delivers when we subscribe to its desires and promptings. Through the power of the Spirit of God, we must judge what we think and do by God’s standards, resist fleshly desires, and say NO to our carnal nature. This may not remove the tension in the short term, but it will in due course, allow a different mind to the fore, a mind guided and led by the Spirit of God and His word.  Spiritual mindedness is a surrender to God and His ways; It is thinking of and doing life from God’s perspective not our own; it is an embracing of the values that judge our fallen nature and free us from the bondage of the sin it fosters. The spiritual mind can reason in the spiritual realm, comprehend spiritual truth and make us spiritually liberated, set free! This is where true personal peace is found! The result of the spiritual mind is life and peace!

Jesus said : " peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you...". This is the kind of peace worth having! God-initiated, preserved and eternal peace, is the kind of peace which is beyond all human understanding and yet is ours for the having through the Lord Jesus. Lifelong, God-less efforts to find true and lasting peace any other way will fail. However a person whose mind is connected to, settled in, obedient and practiced in the spiritual thoughts and principles of God, will experience the kind of abundant life, peace and contentment not found anywhere else or by any other means. Now that's true living!

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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

On a Special Diet

 "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious." 
1 Peter 2:2-3

It was love from the start! I know this is how this father felt at the sight of each newborn God has added to this family. To see each of our babies come into the world, added unthinkable joy and thrill to us as parents, along with a deep sense of new-found responsibility and an overwhelming feeling of wanting to protect and provide. I guess this is the story of every loving couple who has been blessed with having children, and the follow up to that beginning, (as the same mums and dads have no doubt discovered), is that there is a whole lot more to raising children than there is to conceiving them! 

From the beginning of life outside the womb, the healthy baby seeks nutrition from mum. This is an intense desire and so strongly built into the human make up, that when it is not fulfilled on time or enough, there is a very clear message, an unmistakable outcry from that little person that solicits urgent action to fulfil the need! We have all smiled at the distinctive happy grin on baby’s face, when the tummy is full and contentment washes away the tears, easing the infant into blissful sleep!

The necessary nutrition and sustenance of food is not something babies measure, reason or can even plan, they just desire it! They crave it so much that it takes precedence over all other needs. A healthy baby needs little or no encouragement to consume a nutritious meal. Something God has written somewhere in our being, incites us to want this sustenance. This is not because as babies we know or understand the processes by which it works in our bodies, but simply because somehow we know we need it! Without it we cannot survive - and survival, growing, becoming stronger must be our first and greatest priority.

It should be the same on the spiritual plane, with us and God's word. The desire to receive, eat, be filled with and digest the word of God and pray should hold priority over all else. We may not fully comprehend how God make it all work within our spiritual person, but somehow we know it does. This makes prayerfully feeding on God’s Word our daily, necessary priority, vital to our spiritual survival. The indication in our text is that even as we grow in Christ, we should not lose the healthy appetite and desire for God and His word that we had as new born-again spiritual infants! The initial milk of God’s word and the more solid food which follows, is the necessary diet for our soul, for spiritual growth and well-being.

God has provided the most appropriate and nutritious fare for our souls by giving us His Word. Nothing should replace our desire to feed our minds, hearts and souls upon it. Sadly, as in our physical eating, our spiritually healthy diet is often replaced with ‘junk food’, which can never truly satisfy nor bring benefits in the long run. In fact it has the opposite effect. Feeding on the wrong things, results in spiritual health issues, the obesity of the flesh and other inner problems, all of which threaten the loss of our spiritual life in Jesus!

Peter reminds us that if we have tasted of the grace of the Lord, His great love and salvation, we should continue to appreciate the savour of His Word and Spirit, and subscribe for life to the spiritual diet that brought us back from spiritual death to life in the first place!

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Sunday, 7 October 2012


"(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)" 2corinthians 10:4

Weapons, warfare, strongholds! We are left without a shadow of doubt from the terminology of the Bible, that God wants us to understand and remember - WE ARE AT WAR!

It is challenging to our minds to think that the Prince of Peace, who calls us to live peaceably with all men and to make our utmost effort towards loving and genuine, harmless cohabitation at a physical level, issues at the same time a very real, strong and serious call to us all, to fight valiantly in spiritual warfare.

We are soundly reminded in Ephesians Chapter 6 that our enemy is not “flesh and blood” and that is why we read here that our weapons cannot be those we might provide for ourselves by which we might deal with physical foes. They cannot be the weapons of the flesh for they cannot provide any benefit or defence in the battles of the Spirit. Such man-made weapons could never prevail in this conflict, regardless of how advanced or impressive they might be.

Nevertheless should we be able to see with spiritual eyes the mode of dress of true believers, we would see them in full battle armour, arrayed and ready for the enemy, should enmity arise anywhere, anytime. A description of the spiritual armoury we are able to receive from the Lord and use by His might and strength, is given in the same chapter of Ephesians and includes both defensive and offensive weapons. Many scriptures elsewhere also detail impressive spiritual weaponry which is available to the consecrated believer.

That we are at war therefore and in need to be well versed with the weapons of this conflict, is a fact well known and well accepted by every spiritually minded believer. Like the weapons, the battle is not fought in the ability of our flesh, though we live in this body. The fight is rather a spiritual one, a conflict between us as believers in Jesus and the powers of the spiritual world of darkness, sourced by our enemy - Satan.

These powers are arrayed against us and would want our destruction at any opportunity possible. God's answer to this is to equip us with an arsenal which is not 'carnal', that is - of the earthly or human kind, but is rather described as ‘mighty through God’.  Herein is a clue to the nature and the use of these weapons. They are powerful against our enemy, when triggered, launched, lifted, driven or in any sense handled by us ‘through’ God. Success in these armed spiritual encounters has little to do with our own physical strength, human ability or skill, and everything to do with the way and degree to which we are able to lean on Jesus through His Holy Spirit, in the use of these provided munitions!

 The weapons of the Spirit which God imparts to all true believers include: prayer and fasting, the name and blood of Jesus, God's Word, discernment, wisdom, faith and the fellowship of the saints. All of these and much more are the mighty, powerful and formidable armoury which God has provided and imparted to us and which can and will defeat our spiritual enemies, when used ‘through God’. We are blessed to be so well equipped for the fight and able in Jesus to vanquish our foes!

Our task then is to ‘wear’ at all times the armour God has provided; to be prepared ‘in the Spirit’ by practicing with each of the ‘weapons’ and being competent with them; but most of all to be totally and humbly reliant on the power, direction and wisdom of the Spirit of God, when faced with an enemy in a battle. It is only through Jesus that we are caused to triumph over the adversary, by tearing down the strongholds and destroying the grip and work of the enemy in our lives and the lives of others!

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