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Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual Warfare’

Thought for Today

Obstacles

“As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
the children of Judah could not drive them out:
but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah
at Jerusalem unto this day”
Joshua 15:13

Though the Land of Promise had been given, it was the responsibility of His people to take the land and possess it. Within every promise given to us by God there remains a warfare and a battle of faith to make it our own.

“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child,
in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you,
that by them you may wage the good warfare
1 Timothy 1:18

It is in the receiving of God’s promises and embracing His call upon our lives that we contend in faith to see them come to pass. There is no victory without the battle, no crown without the fight and no overcoming without the exercising of our faith.

It has taken me years to appreciate that every obstacle in my life is for my own good and learning. It is in these things we discover the true value of Grace and Mercy. If the victory in these things were easy and within the realm of our own strength, then we would be a poor example of what HE has intended for us. If we do not engage in the warfare, our walk will never be able to show forth His victory in our lives and we will live a life of compromise with our enemies…

“By little and little I will drive them out from before thee,
until thou be increased, and inherit the land”
Exodus 23:30

God has a purpose in the obstacles which stand between us and His promises… it is to the “increase’ of our faith and our strength. He has purposed us to become strong, He has intended us to be persistent and determined in the apprehending of the promises given to us. It is in these things we grow strong in our God for we have learned that our God is strong!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

 

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Taking the Land

“And you shall take possession of the land* (see note)
and settle in it, for I have given the land
to you to possess it”
Numbers 33:53

Our apprehension of God’s Word is by degrees; its sphere of influence grows as we yield to its dominion. Our ability to impact the lives of others will be to the degree to which our own heart has been impacted. The work of truth starts within our own hearts. Its power must be felt within our own lives before we can effectively move in ministration into the lives around us. God’s purpose is that by His Spirit, His Truth and the Life of the Son we begin to take possession of our own hearts.

“In your patience possess ye your souls”
Luke 21:19

There is a warfare, a battle of extreme proportions within our own being. The enemies are real and they are more powerful than we. It is in the crucible of our own victories whereby we minister grace and power into the lives of others. The land within must be taken; the enemies of self-will, self-determination and self-seeking must be conquered by the operation of His Spirit within. The lessons learned from these battles equip us to understand the struggles of those around us. We discover patience, mercy and wisdom from our own frailties.

King David fought his own battles hidden far and away from the sight of others. These were his preparation for Israel’s Goliath. Had David not had victory over the lion and the bear he would not have had the faith and fortitude to face Goliath. His personal battles prepared him for Israel’s foes. It is no different today. The land of our hearts must be conquered if we would be vessels of honor unto Him. The battle must be fought with spiritual weapons not carnal ones. It is something we learn.

“Blessed be the Lord my strength,
which teaches my hands to war,
and my fingers to fight”
Psalm 144:1

The first step is knowing that the “Lord is our strength”. Just like Peter, it will not take long to discover the unreliability of our own resolve. Let us take courage even in our defeats for, as Peter, we have a “High Priest” who is ever interceding on our behalf.

“For if ye live after the flesh,
ye shall die:
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify
the deeds of the body,
ye shall live
Romans 8:13

The Life of Christ is found and experienced on the battlegrounds of our own heart! His Life must be individually apprehended by the personal pursuit of every believer. The Apostle beckons us to

“work out your OWN salvation with fear and trembling”
Philippians 2:12

No one else can work this out for you. Just as Jesus must be our personal Saviour so also is our ongoing relationship with Him. The Prize is attained individually as is the reward.

“To the one who is victorious, I will give the hidden manna.
I will also give him (individually)
a white stone inscribed with a new name,

known only to the one who receives it”
Revelation 2:17

It is in these things that we become partakers of His Victory. We are to overcome even as He overcame.

“To him that overcomes
will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father in his throne”
Revelation 3:21

The validity of His Life working in us is expressed in victory over the enemies of our hearts.

“Who is he that overcomes the world,
but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:5

There can be no victory without the struggle; there can be no Crown without the Victory.

It takes fortitude, grace, hope, holy determination and the Lord as our strength. Let us not grow weary or faint-hearted for greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world!

*Note: Within the New Testament understanding the Promised Land represented a life that can be entered into here in this life. It is not a representation of Heaven but a life which is to be “entered into” in the here and now.

“Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Do not be stubborn like those who rebelled. Who were they who heard God and rebelled? All who came out of Egypt with Moses rebelled. With whom was he disgusted for forty years? He was disgusted and angry with those who sinned and died in the desert. Who did God swear would never enter his rest? He was talking about those who did not obey him. We see that they could not enter in on account of a lack of faith (unbelief) (disobedience). While the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear that one of you might come up short and not enter. Indeed, we have had good news presented to us. They also had it. But the word that was heard did not benefit them because they were not united in faith by what was heard (Hebrews 3:15 – 4:2)

The above declaration by the Holy Spirit defines a people who by faith came out of Egypt (salvation from the world) but failed to enter into the land of promise because of unbelief (disobedience); the good news of their day was not apprehended. So too, in the New Testament understanding, we are to enter in on the basis of a living faith (obedience). The exhortation to those who know of His salvation is to GO ON into the fullness of His life within. It is by faith we drive out the enemies of deceit, lying, lust, envy, jealously and all the other works of the flesh; for they who do these things shall not enter the kingdom of God.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21)

The exhortation to God’s people (who have already tasted of God’s gracious deliverance from the world) is one of going on into His fullness. Anything else is falling short of His purposes in Christ.

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,
lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief”
Hebrews 4:11

God has given us this land, past tense, even as the land had been given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, there came a time when His people had to possess it by entering in and driving out the enemies who inhabited it.

“for I have given the land to you to possess it”
Numbers 33:53

The promises of God in Christ have been given to those who by faith have overcome the enemies within and the world without. To them alone are his promises fulfilled.

“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the paradise of God”
Revelation 2:7

“He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death”
Revelation 2:11

The “gospel” of today preaches the promises without the overcoming. It tells His people they have already entered into the Kingdom of God while living and abiding in the “works of the flesh”. It is a solemn day and we must avail ourselves of His power to live above and beyond our own resources. The faith of God has caused us to find in HIM all the enablement to overcome and possess our possessions in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Wrestling

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood*,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:12

Wrestling is the reality of a life in Christ. The life of a healthy Christian is one of standing and contending for the faith. We must continually and intentionally withstand the world, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life and the subtlety of compromise and collusion. Warfare is the natural response of those who are alive in Christ. Many who call themselves by His name have no sense of the nature and intensity of this warfare. Paul is speaking from his own experience. To be alive unto Christ is to be an antagonism to the world, principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. To claim to be alive and yet not engaged in this battle makes us dead to the reality of a life in the spirit.

“I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead”
Revelation 3:1

This is the Word of the Lord to His Church located in Sardis. How few realize the enormity of this Word. This is a church where His name is used freely and there is much activity with people who are eager to build up “their” church organization or fellowship. Wherever the motive is to be popular and relevant in the eyes of the world the preaching of righteousness is forsaken. This is the environment of a dead and impotent church; it has a reputation of being alive and “current” but it has ceased to contend for the faith. The “knowledge of the holy” is so lacking that people see no reason to wrestle with the unholy alliances of flesh, spiritual powers, spiritual wickedness and the resulting compromise. They have become insensitive to the contagion of the world and are unaware of what the “normal Christian Life” is. It is a situation that brings the very judgements of God! Consider the judgement pronounced on the Church at Sardis (unless they repented) and the greatness of His promise to those who overcome the apostasy and lethargy of their condition (Revelation 3:3-5).

A modern day “gospel” which declares that God loves His church and would never bring judgement upon His people is the LIE of the Devil himself. “You shall not die” were his words to Eve to deceive her into disobedience and judgment. Those who are ignorant of the warfare are unaware of the reality of walking in the Spirit. Deception is anything that keeps us from walking in the truth.

“The reason why men do not look to the Church today
is that she has destroyed her own influence
by compromise”
G. Campbell Morgan

Ω

“No one serving as a soldier
entangles himself in the affairs of this life,
that he might please the One having enlisted him”
2 Timothy 2:4

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

 

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Thought for Today

The Expectancy of the Faithful

“Let your loins be girded about,
and your lights burning;
And ye yourselves like unto men
that wait for their lord”
Luke 12:35-36

This is the posture of those in whom the fire of God is burning. They are not inactive and their faith is not passive; the anticipation of His coming has caused them to walk circumspectly. Their light is burning with the intensity of those who live with the expectancy of His return for this is the faith of the Bride who is making herself ready for Him. The slumber of a faithless church has not invaded their hearts. They are watchful and wide awake even in the twilight hours of a world that is passing its time in willing ignorance.

“For this they willingly are ignorant of…”
2 Peter 3:5

It is not an ignorance in which they are born. This is an ignorance that is the product of a stubborn refusal to acknowledge God. Men choose to darken their understanding by a determination to ignore the conscience within their own hearts.

The attitude of those who have their loins girded with truth speaks of a self-discipline to remove themselves from the passions and lusts of this world. There is an active living faith which is pursuing the victory over self and the world. There is a constant discovery of the sufficiency of His grace to rise above the fallen Adamic nature in the reality of life. It is through faith we can enter into this grace (Romans 5:2) which will give an ability to escape the desires of this world in order to be prepared for the One to come.

“Whereby are given unto us
exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust”
2 Peter 1:4

“Be ye therefore ready also:
for the Son of man cometh
at an hour when ye think not”
Luke 12:40

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“Give me this mountain”

“…yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me:
as my strength was then, even so is my strength now,
for war, both to go out, and to come in.
Now therefore give me this mountain…”
JOSHUA 14: 11 – 12

Faith is not only a substance and the real evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) it is also a spiritual reality and a precious fruit (Galatians 5:22 – 23). Faith is not determined by age or the weaknesses that are common to man. We see here the testimony of Joshua who, at the age of eighty-five, is undaunted by the promises of God. The mountain he asked for was inhabited by the giant Arba and the Anakims which were the giants of the land of whom Goliath was a descendent. His eyes were fixed upon the promises of God, not himself.

Because that living faith burned within his heart it had NOT diminished with the passing of time; he was able to declare…

“Now therefore give me this mountain…”

The eternal purposes of God do not rest upon our physical strength or abilities; they are carried along by the operation of His faith within the recesses of our hearts. Joshua still had to invade that land and fight the giants but his strength was the product of a living faith and not the other way around. So must we in our day continue to “contend for the faith”. Faith that is living and true, that is present tense and at this moment “strengthened for war…to go out and to come in”. Wherever there is true faith there is a continual war in the spirit both to hold onto what is ours in Christ and to see total victory over the strongholds within.

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,
but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing
that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled”
II CORINTHIANS 10:4

And again…

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy,
according to the prophecies which went before on thee,
that thou by them mightest war a good warfare”
I TIMOTHY 1:18

Many of Joshua’s fellow Israelites did not live to enter the Promised Land because of the issue of faith; so it is in our day (I Corinthians 10:6 – 12 and Hebrews 4:6). May the Lord stir our hearts to hold faith, walk in faith and live a life that pleases HIM. May we be found strong to finish the race for HIS Glory.

“Finally, my brethren,
be strong in the Lord,
and in the power of his might”
EPHESIANS 6:10

Brian Troxel

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