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Devotionals

Staying Delivered -- A Guide To Successful Spiritual Warfare

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828ministries.com H3'ed 6/18/12
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"When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, "I will return to the person I came from.' So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation." -- Matthew 12: 43-45 (NLT)

 

We all know that the Bible explains that we are in a spiritual war. It is a war waged in the heavenlies and we are often woefully ignorant or unprepared for the battle. That is due largely because of our own disinterest combined with poor teaching on the matter from the pulpit. This is one of the sad side effects of the "bless me" theology infecting our churches -- it avoids teaching the more difficult but vital portions of theology. The portions we desperately need in order to win the war we are in -- like it or not.

 

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. -- Ephesians 6: 12 (NLT)

 

These are the enemies we face every day. Evil rulers and authorities of a world we cannot see, mighty powers within the dark world we live in, and evil spirits in the heavenly places. Scripture bears out that there is an enemy to our souls who commands this legion of enemies and his name is Satan. Whether you refer to his minions as spirits, demons, or fallen angels, it matters not. The Ephesians verse makes it clear that this is who we wage war with every single day. Not understanding it, ignoring it, or dismissing it does not change anything except to make the job that much easier for the enemy. Once we have established that there is a war, it is time to see where the battlefield lies:

 

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. -- 2Corinthians 10: 3-5 (NIV)

 

Once again the Bible outlines the nature of this war as not being of this world -- not being what we are used to. The battle is fought within our minds and our thought life according to these verses. The weapons we have are divine, meaning they are from God, and have the power to demolish strongholds. A stronghold is a line of thinking that is set up in our minds that is contrary to the Word of God. It doesn't start that way. It usually will start with the enemy trying to get us to consider something. It is usually an argument that disagrees with something God has said -- it is a pretension however. It is a lie. Remember who our adversary is beloved:

 

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. -- John 8: 44 (NIV)

 

Satan is the father of lies. Lying is his native language and he not bilingual! But he is crafty and subtle. He seeks a foothold in our thinking and once he has that he seeks to expand it into a stronghold. His tactics have not changed since the Garden of Eden because we are so predictable in this flesh:

 

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, "Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?" -- Genesis 3: 1 (NLT)

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