Monday, November 17, 2014

Onward Christian Soldier

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,...” II Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV

What war is Paul talking about in these verses?  

There is an ongoing war that is occurring right now and will continue until God calls us home. It is a war between the flesh and the spirit. In Ephesians 6:10-12, Paul reveals who are the players in this war. He writes about warring, “against the wiles of the devil” which consists of, “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Just reading this list can make one feel overwhelmed, or even anxious. But Paul assures (comforts) us by reminding us that we have been given weapons mighty in God to do battle with. The important thing to realize is that we should not do, or ever think we can, war with carnal, fleshly, weapons. So, where do we get these mighty weapons of God and how do we use them? 

The mighty weapons of God Paul is talking about are not physical in nature but spiritual. He admonishes us to, “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13). The armor of God consists of girding our waist with truth, putting on the breastplate of righteousness, to shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, picking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one, putting on the helmet of salvation, and wielding the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, and most importantly, praying always with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit," (Eph 6:14-18). Sounds like a plan…but where can we get our hands on this armor?  

The armor is only to be found in one book…the Bible. This is the mighty weapon of God, and without it, it will be impossible to war with the enemy. He is a tactical master, and his one aim is to take us out. So, it would be wise to know it, use it, and be in it? 

Proverbs 4:5 puts it simply, “Get wisdom! Get understanding!...” The only place you can get wisdom and understanding to do war against the wiles of the devil are in the Bible. Paul further emphasizes this truth in Ephesians 1:17-23. Only God through the work of the Holy Spirit can give you the “wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, [that] the eyes of our understanding [may be] enlightened; that [we] may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” 

Brethren, there is an inheritance on the line, and the Word is the only weapon that can pull down strongholds, cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every lie that the enemy whispers in our ears into the captivity to the obedience of Christ.  Let’s identify these weapons formed against us:

A stronghold is like an iron grip. They are those things that keep us in bondage, addicted, weak, and no threat to the enemy. An immobile soldier in the eyes in the enemy is a good soldier in his eyes because it keeps them and the gospel from moving forward and advancing. A stronghold is meant to paralyze us, steal our energy, and our motivation to change and allow God to transform us into a new creation. But there is deliverance in the Word of God. In my own church congregation, we have members that have been freed from drug and alcohol abuse, internet pornography, and sexual immorality because they have made a commitment to walk in the Spirit and put on the armor of God daily keeping them from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-21).

These arguments are laden with lies from the enemy. They are lies we believe about ourselves as received by those closest to us; people we trust; people that act like mirrors but only reflect lies. These arguments are very destructive in nature and very powerful in making us feel inept, small, depressed, despised, damaged, abandoned, and rejected. These arguments can go around and around in our heads and are meant to never stop repeating. The can also creep back into our lives when we least expect it. The mighty weapons of God can crush these lies once and for all and keep them from taking root again in our souls and our minds.

Every High Thing That Exalts Itself
There is only one true God. There is no other. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). False teachers and doctrines are everywhere. Paul preached against such thieves and heresies to the churches warning them of these deceivers, and they are still around today. Don’t be deceived, know the Word. You need to know the Word in order to know if what you are being taught is truly of Him. If the message you are hearing contradicts the Word, then it is not of Him. The only way to know a counterfeit is to know the real thing. Jesus is the real thing.

Brethren, it is God’s good pleasure to have adopted us as sons and daughters and to have revealed the mystery of His will (Ephesians 1:5, 9). Paul says of himself, and about each of us, that it pleased God to separate and call us though His grace (Galatians 1:15). Everything God has done has been to show His infinite love towards us. So, why would He ever leave us, or forsake us, in the face of war. He doesn’t want us defeated but victorious.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (I John 5:4).

So, onward Christian soldiers as we march into war!