Warfare God’s Way

Our spirit man, if you are saved, battles our flesh, battles our mind, battles our heart and battles attacks from the enemy. I believe true Christians really love God and want to please God. But as James 1:14,15 says, Every man (lost or saved) is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. When lust has conceived it brings forth sin. Where is sin “conceived”? Lust is strong desires. It is like being really driven to do something.  1 John 2:16 tells us man is drawn away from God by the lust of his eyes, lust of his flesh and the pride of life.

Remember our previous posts explaining how thoughts work? How a thought is placed in our mind, our soul, and we determine if it is a good thought or bad thought? Then we act on the thought? Once we determine we are going to act on the thought that thought gets into our heart. It is conceived .

Paul mentions this in Ephesians 2:3 KJV Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. This is key to understanding our spiritual warfare.

With experience we get pretty good at things we do. Some people become experts in areas. Well, we may have about 100 years on this planet to be experts.

See, we are spirit beings living in a body. Just as God’s angels are spirit beings living in a spiritual world – so is Satan. And Satan has been working in his field of lies and deception, tricks and deceit, practicing and perfecting his tactics for 1000’s of years. We too are spirit beings who live in the physical world for maybe 100 years and then we go into the spiritual world. We either go to God in heaven or without God into hell. And God judges us on what we do in this physical world.

It might look like we are at a disadvantage because we are fighting against Satan and evil and he has had 1000s of years to practice and perfect his tactics. Satan knows how to push your buttons. He hates everything you love and care about as a child of God.

But God has given us weapons, his word. God shows us how to fight back in Matthew 4:1-11 and no matter what we see with our eyes, there is a lot we do not see like 2 Kings 6:16-18 KJV
“And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
[17] And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord , I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
[18] And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord , and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.”

Friends, the battle between good and evil is the Lord’s! We pick a side, a team we want to join. Yes, Satan has been able to get our team fighting amongst themselves (friendly fire) and we have taken some casualties. But Paul tells us there are those who are weak in the faith in Romans 14 and there are those strong in the faith in Romans 15.

We need to recognize the enemy, not destroy our team. Key to this is Ephesians 2:3 – the desires of the flesh and mind. Satan attacks our team with desires of the flesh and mind. Remember, the mind is the soul. Jesus warned of this in  Matthew 10:28 KJV
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

When Satan attacks with desires of the flesh and desires of the mind, we understand some will sell out to the devil. Some trade 100 years of pleasure for their eternity. Jesus said,

Matthew 16:26-27 KJV
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
[27] For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

You see, when Satan attacks he attacks the flesh and the mind. With Peter he attacked with a thought Matthew 16:13-20. God revealed to Peter who Jesus was. Right after that “spiritual high”, Satan attacked Peter’s mind with a thought.

For Judas, Satan attacked by entering his body. Jesus knew from the beginning Judas was a devil, see John 6:70. Did he want his disciples to see how Satan works? Don’t know. But Satan entered Judas as Luke 22:3 records. So we learn Satan and evil spirits can enter the unbelievers. Satan can not enter believers because the Holy Spirit lives inside believers but Satan can attack your mind with thoughts, influence you and your decisions.

Jesus told Peter that Satan desired Peter to “sift him as wheat”. How did Jesus handle that? Jesus said he prayed for Peter, Matthew 16:13-20. The two clear examples Jesus gives us is prayer and speaking God’s word out loud, confessing with our mouth. These examples are explained in Matthew 16:13’30 and Matthew 4:1-11.

The attack on Peter was with a thought. In Judas, he was not a believer and Satan entered him. With Ananias and Sapphira a spirit of greed, lust of the flesh, came upon them, not in them see Acts 5:1-11.  Next time we will examine the mental wars, the flesh warfare and the spirit warfare. Be strong and of good courage. Until next time.

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