Wednesday, August 07, 2019

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, [worldly] but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Very few people go through life ready to put up a fight for their God-given rights. Other believers think they can use their intelligence and the wealth of their experience to overcome the obstacles strewn on their path by the devil. What most people do not know is that the battles we face and the stumbling blocks put on our way, are far from being merely accidental. Whist on the surface it may look ordinary, the underlying truth is that the source is spiritual. There is a force at play that seeks to upset the cart. Sometimes, we have to fight back. Whilst it is true that we cannot fight spiritual battles with worldly weapons, we must not give up. God has prepared a way out by equipping us to confront the devil and his demons upfront. When we seek to do it on our own, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We are not a match for the devil, but we can engage him, sure and certain of God’s assurance that He will never leave us defenceless.

Satan is bent on foiling God’s plans for our lives. He is on a mission to thwart God’s purposes for our lives as ‘the prince of this world’ (John 12:31) But God would not let him. God has declared war on the devil on our behalf. He says: “For the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15b) For this reason God’s promises “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5; Joshua 1:5) God is assuring us of His presence.

In the course of their journey through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land, God accompanied the Children of Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” (Exodus 13:21-22) God’s protection is freely given out of love for His creation. It is a sure shield and buckler and a rampart that no enemy’s sword, arrow, bulldozer or missile could penetrate.

Because we are dealing with ruthless evil spirits and treacherous demons that are merciless, we must avoid inviting them into our camp. For when we sleep with the enemy, we are doing just that. We have no business courting them through lusting, addiction to pornography, illicit sex, alcohol, drugs, theft and corruption and other forms of immortality. Instead, we must be aware of Satan’s weapons with which he lures God’s children into his camp. A child of God must live a life of purity and self-sacrifice in a bid to draw nearer to his Creator.

The devil is highly crafty and can lead us to our downfall before we know it. Adam and Eve were the first casualties. Therefore we must be on the alert. God has provided us with all the weaponry needed to resist, fight and chase the devil out of our lives. Have we availed ourselves of them? We must stop making excuses for doing business as usual with the devil and flirting with his cohorts and not expect to get hurt. We run the risk of falling prey to his multiple snares and traps.

God is on our side

God is aware of the challenges we face here on earth and for this reason He has empowered us to put up a fight. At the brink of the Red Sea’s bank, soon after they left Egypt, the Children of Israel in their panicky state, cried onto God and He calmed their fears with these words. He said to Moses to tell them: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today .... The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

God is mindful of our need for Him. When we panic, He will show us His power and might. In the face of adversity, God will not abandon us. It may depend on our state of awareness or the level of our relationship with the Father. The prophet Elisha was threatened by the king of Aram because he volunteered sensitive information to his enemy’s army -- each time foiling his plans. So king Aram decided he would put a stop to it. He dispatched his army to surround the city of Dothan where the prophet Elisha lived. One morning the prophet’s disciple woke up and observed that the Aramean army of horses and chariots had surrounded the city.  He dashed to his master in utter despair; “Oh, my Lord, what shall we do? (2 Kings 6:15)

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet assured him. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:16-17) Our desire should be that God would open our blind eyes to see the magnitude of the ‘operators’ He has put at our disposal. God promised to fight for us and indeed He would and has on several occasions.

God speaking through the prophet Isaiah assures His people that “No weapon forged [fashioned] against you will prosper!” (Isaiah 54:17) Any demon who tries to mess with you “... will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.” (Deuteronomy 28:7) Our Lord Jesus exhorted His disciples to “Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation ... these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not harm them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:15-17)

 Ill-equipped, we may not be able to face the enemy with confidence; but God’s Son before He left this earth to return to heaven from whence He came, openly declared that we have nothing to be afraid of because; “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go.... And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Therefore “Fight the good fight of faith” in full regalia, consecrated “to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build