I'm in need of getting a grip- Literally. Sometime last year I spoke at a Ladies Meeting and today I needed to go back and read my notes and be reminded of Who is in control and that I needed to control my thoughts. I struggle with letting others disappoint me and letting that hurt interfere with my faith. Below are some of my notes and current thoughts:
The apostle Paul is very clear in Ephesians 6 that Christians are in a struggle with spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Many Christians who choose to let God fight the battle rather than get involved. It is clear that they (we) feel ill equipped to deal with such a battle and they are not eager to find out. But all through scripture we are commanded to resist our enemy.
Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Throughout the body of Christ there is a fear of aggressively resisting the enemy who seeks to rob us and hinder us from attaining what God has called us to be. Part of fulfilling the Great Commission is setting the captives free. In order to do that, we must often confront the enemy in the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I don’t like confrontation even when it is obviously necessary. Often times the spiritual enemy is a friend or family member.
Spiritual Warfare is about having a biblical world view which includes the reality of an ongoing battle with the forces of evil for the souls of mankind. To join this battle one must have faith in the sovereign power of our God, assurance of our identity in Christ and faith in the promises of God. God uses the struggle to strengthen His people in their faith and teaches them to not depend on their own strength or understanding. We learn to be led by the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
Passivity affects people mentally, emotionally and their wills.
Mentally, we need to challenge the thoughts that come to us that are inconsistent to the Word of God. Many of our thoughts have their source in the enemy. We are told to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5
Emotionally, we tend to let our feelings have undue influence in our lives, even at times having more weight than the Word of God. The enemy is very effective in stirring up our emotions with his intimidating suggestions. The will is powerless to take any action or stand firm against what is being experienced. The enemy likes to suggest the hopelessness of our situation and that God will not be there when we need Him. As a result, we get into a fatalistic acceptance of the inevitable. These are some of the dangerous outcomes when passivity is allowed to become a way of life for the Christian. God has called each of His children to an active relationship with Himself and with others. The enemy wants to isolate us into passivity, but we must resist this. Our faith is about an intimate relationship with our Savior and a daily resisting of the temptations of the world and our enemy.
Passivity can provide an opportunity for the enemy. First, we are living in disobedience and lacking in faith. Second, we are not prepared to stand against temptations and persevere during trials. We are not trusting in the omnipotent power of God to enable us and to protect us. We have allowed the enemy to become as big as God in our lives by blaming everything that happens in our lives on demonic activity. That is exactly what Satan wants you to believe. We allow ourselves to become easy prey to fear and stop trusting in the promises of God, the victorious finished work of our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross and His triumphant victory over the enemy through the resurrection.
"Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you - unless, indeed, you fail the test!" 2 Corinthians 13:5
I hope none of you have been trying to live your lives on the basis of an emotional religious experience you once had, but have never really experienced the fruits of inner transformation by the Spirit of God in your lives. Head knowledge of religious truth is never an adequate substitute for heart knowledge that brings about inner joy and faith in God despite the circumstances you experience. Such an experience brings freedom from fear and the desire to glorify God through your lives.
God knows my heart and my hurt. Praying that I will allow Him total control.
Love you guys.
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