Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sword Fighting

“...Jesus answered...‘It is also written...’”
Matthew 4:7 [NIV] 
After the blessing comes the battle! And Jesus was no exception. Following His baptism, “...the Spirit sent Him out into the desert” (Mark 1:12 NIV). After fasting forty days He was hungry. That’s when satan showed up and said...

If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread
Matthew 4:3 [NIV] 
You can count on the enemy to show up at your most vulnerable moments. And when he does, you’d better know what the Word of God actually says - not just selected snippets and quotes you’ve heard second- or third-hand. 

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching righteousness
2nd Timothy 3:16 [NIV] 
We pick the parts of Scripture that fit our lifestyle and bolster our theology, but when the enemy manipulates God’s Word and uses it against you, you need to be able to say, “It is also written.” You need to know what else God has to say. The Bible says satan “will speak against the Most High...oppress his saints and try to change...times and ...laws...” (Daniel 7:25 NIV).
We understand that satan knows that the Word of God is “...a double-edged sword...” (Hebrews 4:12 NCV).  However, he will still try to engage you in a sword fight!
But “Jesus answered... ‘It is also written: Do not put...God to the test.’” Jesus knew what His Father had actually said, and refused to allow satan to dictate His responses, including what He should eat. Whose menu are you eating from today? Are you like the prodigal, settling for pig-swill while your Father has a feast prepared for you? Tell satan, “...Get thee behind me...” (Matthew 16:23), and stop letting him bamboozle you with lies and half-truths!
Get into God’s Word and get God’s Word into you!
“...Take up the whole armor of God...”
Ephesians 6:13 [NKJV]
In spite of a great Christian Spiritual awakening in Samaria, Simon the Sorcerer was still in business.
The people “...heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time” (Acts 8:9-11 NKJV). So, how do the apostles handle this situation? Sidestep it? Coexist peacefully with evil? No! They confronted him with the claims of Christ, saying: “Repent...[that] your heart may be forgiven..." (Acts 8:22 NKJV). And Simon did.
A good doctor identifies the problem then treats it. The forces of evil around us are real, and we must know how to deal with them. Remember the tortured man living in the tombs of Gadara whom Christ healed? The spirits within him did two things worthy of note. First, they introduced themselves as “...Legion...for we are many” (Mark 5:9 NIV). A legion was a well trained, fully equipped division of the Roman army that took orders from Caesar. Second, they “...begged Jesus...not to send them out of the area” (Mark 5:10 NIV).
That’s because they had established a stronghold there. Can you see a Spiritual parallel here? You can’t fight Spiritual battles with carnal weapons and hope to win. Blaming Satan for all your problems is a cop-out, but failing to see him at work in your situation is foolishness. To fight and win you must know what you are up against. You must be able to look beyond the obvious and see the actual! You are dealing with “...principalities...powers...the rulers of the darkness...spiritual hosts of wickedness... Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day...” (Ephesians 6:12-13 NKJV).

Expect the unexpected,
God is going to do amazing things!

-- Pastor Ng Francis

You can get more teaching on this subject with the free Powerhouse Ministry CD The Art of Fighting Without Fighting and other Spiritual Warfare Teaching Resources at Link 2 Power!

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