Monday, January 6, 2014

Christian Warfare

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Greetings and Love

While it is the tradition around the world to extend New Year greetings, we would like to extend "Grace, love and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 1:2). While worldly people "wish" us a happy New Year which is not based on faith, the Christian gives love with a spirit of faith and a prayer of care.

Our prayer to you therefore is this: May the fear of The Lord and His inexhaustible caring love immerse you in His truth. May the strength of His salvation carry you, and may His peace be your security. May The Lord grant you a deeper discernment and conviction by His Holy Spirit, allowing you to walk wisely and truthfully with Him. Be renewed in your commitment to Him, holding on faithfully to your new life and not be shaken or moved in your faith. May the Lord humble you in the attitude of your heart so that you may bear testimony of His love in you as a light to the world in Jesus name. AMEN!

Warfare is Waged in Obedience to The Holy Spirit

This morning, the Lord said we should write an article about warfare as a reminder that this is an activity that we must engage in daily. This is not an ideology as the world perceives it, but an ultimate reality based on faith and the evidence provided by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). When warfare is by faith it is unseen, for faith is the evidence of our confidence in the testimony of the Scriptures (Hebrews 11:1; 2 Corinthians 5:7).

Therefore, warfare is a spiritual activity waged by faith; as it is, we employ the evidence and promises of the Scriptures to strengthen us in obedience to God against spiritual forces. We wage warfare to subdue the appetites of the flesh in obedience to the conviction coming from the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17). Like we mentioned in the Deliverance Through Jesus Christ - Part 1 and Deliverance Through Jesus Christ - Part II articles, demon spirits work the appetites of sinful and rebellious behaviour against God. So then as Peter put it, Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11 AMP).

In the Bible, we are taught that our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of darkness: 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). If warfare is against evil forces in the unseen world, then one of our weapons must be faith, because faith operates on the principle of believing and trusting in God’s faithfulness, rather than trusting in what we see or have (2 Corinthians 5:7). Remember, the evidence of our faith is proven through God’s faithfulness to deliver on His promises. Also, the unseen work of the Holy Spirit in a believer is produced by faith, resulting in a conviction that brings about a God-pleasing behaviour, which is obedience.

King Saul, son of Kish, was given an evil spirit to torment him, due to his disobedience to God (1 Samuel 16:14).  Saul tried to overcome his evil spirit by listening to David's worship (1 Samuel 16:23). The evil spirit would leave but the Bible mentions twice that as David was playing the lyre, the evil spirit came on Saul and he disobeyed and displayed bad fruit by acting violently towards David (1 Samuel 18:10-11; 1 Samuel 19:9-10). King Saul submitted to the will of the enemy instead of the will of God.

Furthermore, in his warfare against Satan, the apostle Paul mentioned that he had a thorn in his flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7).  This was a spiritual war against the spirit of pride and self-worth; his thorn was not some physical ailment as we are taught.  Paul did not attempt to fight the demon or messenger of Satan himself; he used his faith and dependence in Christ through prayer to seek deliverance (2 Corinthians 12:8)Therefore, the messenger sent from Satan to attack Paul served to Paul's submission to God by inflicting a spiritual ailment so that he could walk humbly and in obedience to God; His dependence on God was evident through his human weakness  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

As it is, this experience allowed the Apostle Paul to submit himself to the grace and forgiving power of Christ. Likewise, as a family and ministry, we have been given a unique experience with God, and His rebukes expose our weaknesses so that we do not look down on others boastfully, but that we make Him our dependence.

Weapons of Our Warfare

Many ‘formulas’ on warfare have been suggested, both Scriptural and unscriptural. Let me add this point, it does not matter how well you apply any teaching on warfare; the evidence is seen through the fruits of our faith which is obedience (Galatians 5:22-23). Therefore, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives is evidence of our obedience to Christ. This would mean that we have subdued the flesh, submitted ourselves completely to His control and gained victory against the flesh through the fruit of the spirit (Ephesians 5:8-14). When reading Galatians 5 and Ephesians 6, we can clearly see that the weapons point to the type of lifestyle we should strive to live. The key is obedience against the works of the flesh. 

Warfare is waged through prayer for the deliverance of someone through intense intercessory prayers (Colossians 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:1-4)Rebuking evil spirits is exercising our authority, which we were given by the Lord over the enemy (Luke 10:19).  The faithful believers have authority, while unfaithful and disobedient Christians are recognized by demons and lack authority.  The seven sons of Sceva serve as an example to the disobedient Christians: they were overpowered by an evil spirit (demon) and thoroughly beaten because of their lack of faith and authority, which can only be obtained by submisison and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 19:11-20).
 
Brethren, no revelation no matter how powerful, is more potent than obedience and humility that comes through the cross (Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 7:24-27). This portion of Scripture gives us the evidence of a life yielded to God’s control.

In many instances we are given well-defined and practiced formula on warfare to follow, like I said elsewhere, but did this formula produce the evidence of obedience seen through the fruit of holiness? (Galatians 5:22-23; John 15:5-6). The scars inflicted upon us as a result of our warfare is obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 4:8-12). Therefore, it does not matter how well-defined our teaching is on warfare; give us the evidence of the cross which is obedience, submission and fruit of the Holy Spirit. In addition, the Spirit of God gives us victory against the cravings of the flesh, resulting in obedience to God (Matthew 4:1-11).

Finally, the weapons of our warfare are well presented in Ephesians 6:10-18. These weapons are fruits of obedience and a surrendered life to Christ Jesus. This results in the destruction of our own thoughts and opinions. Knowing that the devil entices us to act disobediently against God (Genesis 3:4-7), we are acting in obedience to God by employing these weapons . An outside bodily experience of warfare is unscriptural, demonic and not based on faith. If God so ordained it then we would all have to engage spiritual warfare outside the body, without the shield of faith for this must be employed ‘in every situation’ (Ephesians 6: 16).

In closing, we build ourselves up through prayer in the Holy Spirit, fuelled by His conviction, resulting in faith being released through works of obedience in Christ Jesus (James 2:14-26; Jude 1:20; John 16:8). If we have conviction from the Holy Spirit, we move towards obedience in God resulting in the conflict or warfare we have against the cravings of the flesh (Galatians 5:17).  Warfare is therefore a spiritual war against the cravings of the flesh and the temptations of the devil (Genesis 3:4-7); this is exercised by faith.

Do you desire victory in Christian warfare?  Have you been disodient, lacking faith and not bearing good fruit?  Here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started in victory through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Be blessed in Christ Jesus’ truth!
Brother Glenn.