Monthly Archives: August 2014

God Be With You

It recently came to my attention that a church member who I’ve known and respected for many years has been stricken with a terrible affliction called Paget’s Disease – a bone disease that causes the bone cells to rapidly deteriorate. The bones become very brittle and thus are easily subject to breaking or shattering, and in most cases the disease develops into cancer.

When I receive news of this sort, or when I see some of the prayer requests for brethren caught up in impossible situations, a natural feeling of helplessness comes over me. In situations like these, we feel powerless to effectively help or comfort our afflicted brethren. So I pray for them, and send a note or card that begins with “Thinking of You…”, and usually, at the end of the message, just before I sign my name, I use the phrase, “GOD Be With You.”

“God be with you” is an often used phrase among professing Christians. In the church I typically attend we even have a hymn in our hymnal entitled, “God Be With You.” But do we realize just what we are actually saying in that phrase “God Be With You” when we are communicating with a brother or sister in the church who may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death?

God With Us

When the Great God of the universe Himself looked down upon humanity and saw that we all were afflicted with a fatal disease, even He expressed and then acted upon the sentiment, “God be with you.” The difference between He and us, though, is He has the power to make it actually happen, so He sent Jesus Christ.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23)

Christ as the Emmanuel shows us the kind of power that is available to those who really want to know God as He truly is, and act in faith upon what they see in His Holy Word. When we use this phrase that is one of His names in prayer, we can rest assured that we are in full compliance with the will of the Great God, who actually sent Emmanuel to BE “God with us.”

In John chapter 16, we see a special promise made to all of us by the One God sent to be with us.

Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. (John 16:22-27)

So we believe in the Father’s love for us, we express that in the love that we feel for the Emmanuel, whom He sent to be, “God With Us,” and we know that we are loved and that our prayers are heard. What this means for us was demonstrated during Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, as He showed us just what kind of power and love His presence brings into our lives when He is WITH US.

Achieving Power

In Luke chapter 8, we can read about a small cluster of events that demonstrate the available power of the One Sent as He interacted with those who were graced with His presence in their lives. In verses 26 to 39, Jesus cast a legion of demons out of an individual. As He returned from performing this miracle, “a man named Jairus … fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying” (Luke 8:41-42).

But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.”

Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:42-48)

This woman, who had spent all her money on ineffective physicians, was healed simply by touching the edge of Jesus’s clothing. When this healing occurred, Jesus said “I perceived power going out from Me.” The word translated “power” is from the Greek dunamis (G1411) All of the Greek words derived from the stem duna- have the meaning of being able, capable, and may even mean “to will”. But this particular word, dunamis, means achieving, miracle-working, essential power emanating from God’s true nature. In other words, this being, “God with us,” IS power! And apparently, His cup runneth over with it. It’s like He can barely restrain it from pouring out to do good when people reach out to Him in faith, as this woman did.

Now, let’s notice what really happened here. He had people literally crowding about Him, thronging, pressing, making noise, asking questions – and yet, this woman had a faith-based thought in her mind, and she acted on it in silence. She evidently didn’t (physically) say a word before He had discovered what she had done, and she was scared to death when He found her out. But look how pleased He was with her … then He went on to heal yet another by raising Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8:49-56).

We can see another example of Christ’s dunamis at work just a few chapters back in Luke 6. Here power is just radiating out from the One Sent.

And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. (Luke 6:17-19)

Now based on all of this, I can’t think of anyone that I would like to be in closer proximity to  than this Being, and He gives us a wonderful, and re-assuring promise at the end of Matt 28:20, “lo, I am WITH YOU always, even to the end of the age.”

And with all of this in mind, brethren, I can think of no better way to end this blog post than to say, “GOD BE WITH YOU!”

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Be Still And Know

I have a confession to make today. That confession is this: There are times when I pay way too much attention to the news. I just HAVE to know what’s going on out there in the “real world,” out there in the wild and wacky beyond, where good is called evil, and evil good … where light is called darkness and darkness light, and where an incredibly small minority of certifiably insane people totally dominate the news today.

Albert Einstein defined insanity this way: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Einstein also gives us another quote that is pertinent to today’s blog. He said, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

Sigh and Cry

The list of bad news today is seemingly endless. Terrorists shoot down an airliner in the Ukraine, and kill hundreds of innocent people. Hamas bombs Israel, and Israel responds by bombing Hamas. The media blames Israel for both.   Christians are being brutally murdered by the hundreds every day in the Middle East and Northern Africa by Muslim extremists. We all know it’s only a matter of time till we hear news of another school shooting spree by some self-deceived monster, but of course it’s out of the question to put the 10 Commandments on a wall in a public school and allow young people to learn the simplest of Godly principles in life. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” … “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” … “Thou shall not kill!”

Now, I’m not saying it’s a sin to watch the news. We are counseled to “watch and pray always” (Mark 13:33; Luke 21:36), and in Ezekiel 9, God shows that He will protect those who “sigh and cry for the abominations” committed in their midst … and one has to know about the abominations in our midst in order to “sigh and cry about them.

But today, if you’re aware of even a little bit of what’s going on out there, you just can’t help being a little bit disturbed by what you see and hear, and feeling anxiety over how it may effect your community, your friends and your family. For me it just becomes a turbulent emotional mixture of anger, frustration, angst, worry, fear … and it can be hard to get a grip on sometimes.

Be Still and Know

There is a phrase in Psalm 46:10 that is tailor made for times such as these. It reads, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The word translated “be still” is from the Hebrew raphah, which means to forsake, to leave, or to let alone.

It is inevitable that we should see the many calamities that come upon this world as a result of the reckless abandon with which humanity governs and conducts itself today. We can see it, we can pray about it, we can sigh and cry over it … but after we have done that, we are counseled to LET IT GO.

And there is something else here that God tells us to do. We aren’t just to be still and let it go. We are to also do something very positive for ourselves that brings a lifetime benefit to us. We are to “be still and KNOW that I am God.” The word “know” is the Hebrew yada, which conveys “knowing” another individual on a very intimate and personal basis. We are supposed to “know God” in ways, and to a degree that surpasses even our most intimate human relationships, so we invest a great deal of time in study, prayer, meditation … all to gain experiential knowledge, and interact with God.

Having that kind of relationship with someone with the absolute holiness and character of God and Christ brings with it a kind of trust that can carry us through any crisis that presents itself.

be stillLet’s look at Matthew 6:24-34. So many of the problems we see in the world around us have to do with an expected economic collapse that could be brought on in a number of different ways. For example, if the electrical grid goes down for a few weeks, our means of preserving food goes with it.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Mat. 6:24-34)

Anxious for Nothing

Philippians 4 holds another key to coping with the troubles that plague all of us on a daily basis in this world in which we live today. This verse tells to not be anxious about anything – it’s another way of saying “be still” and “let it go.”

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

As things get worse in the world around us, we should be asking God to keep showing us all the things we’ve got to be thankful for, and we should be asking for His deliverance as we thank Him for the rich blessings of life. And if we do that, verse 7 tells us that God will literally FILL us with His own special peace …that will help us through even the worst of times.

I’d like to end by quoting all of Psalm 46. This is the power of the God we serve, so as we pray, and give thanks, His peace fills us. Let’s all be still, and know that He is God.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.

 

Under The Influence, Part 4

Last week we asked the question, “How did Christ deal with the spiritual forces of darkness and wickedness that He couldn’t see with His human eyes?” Well, the first thing He did was to accept the fact that they were real enemies, out to get Him, that they were a part of daily life, and that His Father in heaven had power over them.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” …
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” (Matt. 4:1-3, 5-6)

Look at what this anti-Christ begins with in his persecution of Jesus Christ. “IF you are the Son of God” … always casting a shadow of doubt about the King, His purpose, and His mission.

Throughout His life, Christ wrestled with spiritual evils everyday. He knew they were all around Him, influencing His enemies and even His disciples. He overcame them all by His total dependence upon the Father and the Word. On many occasions He said, “I can do nothing of myself” (John 5:19 is just one example).

In Christ’s John 17 prayer to the Father, He said, “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). Christ sending us follows the same pattern as the Father sending Christ, and He expects us to view Him just the way He viewed the Father.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

Sifting Disciples

In John 6:70 Jesus says to His disciples, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” He’s talking about Judas, but Judas wasn’t the only disciple that was under the influence.

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt. 16:21-25)

Here, Christ calls Peter by the name Satan. He saw through the human tool being used by a clever, cunning, adversarial spirit for the trap it was. Look at the Greek word for “offense.” It’s skandalon (G4625), and it refers to the trigger in the trap on which the bait is placed, and that springs the trap when an unsuspecting animal touches it.

Comparing Luke 22 and Matthew 26, we see that when Christ was eating the Passover with His disciples and said, “behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table” (Luke 22:21), each one of them responded by asking “Lord, is it I?” (Matt. 26:22). It seems that someone was whispering thoughts of betrayal into all, or many of their ears, perhaps even on a daily basis before this night.

Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing. Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. (Lluke 22:23-24)

Is this insanity, or what? In verse 23 they’re all asking themselves if they were the betrayer, and then in the very next verse they were arguing about who was going to “run the church organization” (to put into modern Church of God terminology) after Christ was gone. Notice what Christ has to say to them, and the to Peter next, and to us by extension.

And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.” …
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:25-27, 31-32)

Christ basically said, “You’re under the influence, Simon Peter. I’ve prayed for you.” Satan … the very spirit of anti-Christ, wants to sift us as wheat every bit as much as he wanted to sift Peter. He wants to influence, pervert, and distort our relationship with the coming King, and our understanding of the truths of God.

Christ’s Power

Let’s remember again Ephesians 6:10: “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” Just what kind of strength, and power, and might are we talking about here? How much power does the King of kings, who is coming to give us the kingdom of God have? And how does He make it available to us?

Christ came here to set us an example. He lived his life as a prototype of the New Testament Christian. God the Father was His “Lord,” and He was “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” He lived this, brethren, and believed with every last fiber of His being that it would work for Him. And it did.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matt 28:18)
“…and you are complete IN Him, who is the head of all principality and power. … Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Col. 2:10, 15)

Now that Christ has overcome and been given all power, He uses it to help us. Even “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword” cannot separate us from His love (Rom. 8:35).

the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Eph 1:18-21)

Jesus Christ’s power over “principalities, and powers” includes power over the rulers of the darkness of this world mentioned in Ephesians 6. A verse in John 17:2 that might at first seem unrelated tells us the Father has “given Him authority over all flesh.” This includes power over your flesh and my flesh, and over our fleshly desires, pulls, emotions, and feelings which can make us vulnerable the the spiritual enemies. He will not leave us alone to face these wicked spirits. He will dwell with us and in us, not in weakness, but in all His power so that we have the right kind of Spirit influences to draw upon.

Power to Overcome

Not all the spirit influences in our lives are negative. We just looked at the fact that Jesus Christ dwells in us with power over our weaknesses and over wicked spirits. That’s one example of a supremely positive spiritual influence. Hebrews 1:14 describes the angels as “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” We could go to many scriptures to reinforce the positive effects they have upon our lives … protecting our children, for one thing (as in Matt. 18:10).

But there are wicked versions of these angels as well. In 2 Corinthians 12:7, Paul says “a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.” The word “messenger” is translated from aggelos (G32). It is translated “angel” 179 times and “messenger” 7 times. It’s speaking of one of Satan’s “angels,” one of his followers, harassing and influencing Paul. A “thorn in the flesh” may indicate a spirit of infirmity, but it could have been a spirit of depression, or perversion, or some temptation that Paul had trouble resisting, and whenever he thought he had it licked, there was a whisper in his ear.

In Romans 7:14, Paul writes, “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.” I’ve heard it said that Paul had been 25 years in Christ when he came to this point. Reading on into the next chapter, he says,

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Rom. 8:2-4)

Why should we want this power? So we can overcome. So we can make it to the kingdom of God where we will have the right, and skills to serve, and to rule … but not for any kind of self-gratification now, in this life. The reward – our time to reign and rule – is not yet, except in the small microcosm of our own little family, and to a small degree to influence others around us by example!

till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ (Eph 4:13-15)

These verses in Ephesians describe a maturing process through which we can come out of deception … out from under the influence, and under the powers and protection of the great king. Let us all pray that we’ll be enabled to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, and we’ll find ourselves one fine day seated with Christ on His throne with all those who have overcome being “under the influence.”

Under The Influence, Part 3

EDIT: Oops, this one was supposed to be posted last week. Apologies for the mix-up in scheduling. Part 4 will now be posted next Monday instead of today.

I asked earlier (click to read previous post) how well we knew the true King of the coming kingdom, and now I’ll ask another question. How well do we know the imposters who are working to undermine the King and His kingdom? Such imposters are out there, and we must be able to recognize them.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. (2 Cor 11:13)

If we read the first verses of this chapter, we see Paul is talking about false ministers who are preaching “another Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4). Keep in mind that Paul is writing to the church of God at Corinth in the first century … while the apostles and other eyewitnesses of Christ’s life were still alive. Even at that point in time, deceptions about Christ were already being preached.

They Despise Christ as King

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. … the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries. (2 Pet. 2:1-3, 9-10)

Notice in verse one these people are described as “denying the Lord” and in verse 10 it says they “despise authority.” This word translated “authority” is kuriotes (G2963), which is derived from kurios (G2962), which is the word used to refer to Jesus as Lord. In this context, “authority” denotes the kingly glory of Christ.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1)

In the churches today, we see such an emotional commitment over pet doctrines and cloudy issues. When is the barley ripe in Israel? Whose calendar should we follow?   Should we ever eat in a restaurant on the Sabbath?   How exactly should the ‘sacred names’ of God be pronounced?

Spiritual Distractions

Many of these petty “doctrinal issues,” I’m convinced, are no more than spirit-inspired distractions intended to muddy the waters … to make it harder for us to know and relate to God and Christ. Most are inspired by intellectual pride and vanity, and fueled by anger, greed, and a lust for power in the churches. In John 17:3 Christ defined eternal life in this way, to know Him and the Father, not that you know ripe barley, or are adept at spotting the first crescent of the moon. Oh, that’s too simple isn’t it? We better look into the Hebrew or Greek and find a way to complicate this.

Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head (knowing Him), from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. (Col 2:18-19)

“Not holding fast to the Head” … remember in Eph 1:22, it says that the Father glorified Christ and “gave Him to be head over all things to the church.” Could we allow ourselves to be influenced to hold on to something or someone else?

We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6)

With God’s help, we can discern between a spirit of error and the spirit of truth. We can avoid time wasting distractions that can take us away from John 17:3, and eternal life. Some of these distractions might even masquerade as Bible study, like “foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless,” which Titus 3:9 warns us to avoid. I know individuals who spend all of their Bible study hours, and much of their fellowship time with this, and it’s useless.

Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. … But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. (2 Tim 2:14-16, 23)

Battling Darkness

For whom have we learned what we know about the Godhead? Was it to gain approval in God’s eyes, or to show-off to our fellow human beings? Are we sharing our faith the way Jesus would have us teach, or are we arguing pet doctrines and causing strife in the churches?

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. (1 Tim. 6:3-5)

Romans 11:8 talks about “a spirit of stupor” that fell upon Israel. Could the same thing happen to us? All of the turmoil and confusion among the churches of God has a tendency to wear on us and we can become spiritually depressed.

Brethren, how can we do battle against the spiritual forces of the darkness of this world? Against the spirit of anti-Christ, the spirit of slumber, the spirits of perversion and adultery, the spirit of error, deception, seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons? How can you do battle with an enemy you can’t see, who is much more powerful than you are, who exerts influences on the minds of everyone around you, and even on your own mind?

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. (Eph 6:10)

Notice the power comes only from one source. We can’t humanly work it up, control it, package it or sell it, and it can’t be institutionalized by a corporation. It is asked for and granted on an individual basis. We have to believe that the King of the coming kingdom can and will do battle for the subjects of His kingdom, His called out ones in the churches of God.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Jesus said in Matthew 11:28. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,” He continues. If we come to Him and follow His example in meekness and gentleness of heart, He says, “you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29). And so we ask the question, how did He deal with the spiritual forces of darkness and wickedness that He couldn’t see with His human eyes? That’s the question we’ll answer in next week’s post.