Thursday, November 3, 2011

In The Heat Of The Battle--Part 2

Forgiveness is a powerful weapon to use against the enemy. I know that seems like a strange statement, but it is true! Read what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2. Paul is urging the church to operate in  forgiveness, restoration, and love toward someone. Paul tells them in verse 9 that these things are a test of their obedience. Then he goes on to say in verses 10-11, "To whom you forgive any thing, I forgive also...Lest satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

His devices are his purposes, his schemes, and his plans. We need to be aware of the point of his attack against us. It's easy to figure out; what is that thing or that thought that is bringing you anxiety and unrest? What is tormenting you? What are you afraid of? Fear involves torment. Therefore, if we are tormented about something, we are in fear. (1 John 4:18) ...There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear... Only the love of God is perfect and can obliterate our fear(s).

Opposition will often come through people. They are not the enemy but they can be used as instruments of warfare by the spiritual forces of evil. When your hostility is directed toward another person, it takes your focus off the deeper spiritual dimensions of your conflict. I have found that when we focus on a person as the enemy that satan is using you against one another. He is killing two birds with one stone, as he lines us up in his sights. If we are focused on  fighting each other, his evil plan is going undetected.

All the while, as you are in opposition with someone, the person you are battling may be in need of salvation or spiritual deliverance and you don't even realize it. However, if you are feeling hostility toward someone, God may be using them to point out your weakness or some deep issue and He is wanting to deal with it.

When we seem to be in conflict with someone else, the best thing to do is to immediately and sincerely pray for that person and the situation. Allow the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to what is real and true. Ask God to reveal what part you are playing in the situation. Don't be deceived, but be alert to the spiritual warfare going on around you and/or within you. It is real and has the capability and power to become a destructive force in your life and the lives of those you love. The enemy deceives people into siding with him in his attack against another person. Maybe even you.

Unforgiveness and bitterness is poison to the heart, and the soul. We have to allow the Holy Spirit to uproot these from our lives. One way to determine if you have bitterness and unforgiveness is to listen to what is coming out of your mouth. Jesus remarks, "Oh generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt. 12:34).  It's no wonder satan is called a serpent (or viper) for poison is pumped out through his mouth. He has been named the accuser of the brethren, a murderer, and the father of lies. James 3 has so much to say about the tongue and Proverbs 18:21 tells us that "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." What do your words tell you about what is in your heart?

Don't be discouraged if you feel you are losing the battle, we have the promise that, "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4) Jesus has already defeated our enemy. "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." (Rev.1:18) AND, He has given us power... over ALL the power of the enemy.(Luke 10:19)

This is what I have been living. The battle has been intense. I told my Mom that I feel like I have been buffeted by waves of the sea. As soon as one passed over me, the next one hit before I could even regain my footing. I felt as if I were drowning in my own thoughts and emotions. It made my head spin to the point I felt I was no longer effective.  I continued in prayer and reading the Word of God, but I was forgetting the powerful force of the spoken Word. I wasn't speaking or acting like a triumphant child of God. I sure wasn't walking in victory. I'm not going to tell you everything is perfect right now. I can only tell you, I am taking the next step in my walk. And, no matter how hard things become, I believe in the love of God and that He never lets go!!

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