Where do envy, strife, and contentions come from? Our lack of understanding of spiritual warfare will cause us to look at a situation between us and another person as a natural conflict. The truth is there is a spiritual warfare going on and you have a choice. You can either being a Pawn or become the King and Priest that God has made you into by putting on the whole armor of God.
Ephesians 6:12, 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Where do envy, strife and contentions come from? Why is it that the very sin we want to stay away from is so right in our face? Where is the righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, that Paul speaks of in Galatians 5? Why are we so sin conscious, and Satan fearful to the point we unknowingly attribute more authority and power over our lives to him than we do God? Why are there so many denominations of Christianity today even to the point of finger pointing between churches within a denomination? It is because we do not truly know who we are in Christ, and who God is. We have no real understanding of what He has done for us. We have not understood Ephesians 6:11 and the whole armor of God for starters, and we do not understand the spiritual realm spoken of in Ephesians 6:12. We Christians, just like Peter when he stepped out of the boat and began to walk on water and then sank, are all too quick to look at the natural circumstances and forget all about the spiritual authority that has been given to us. In fact many Christians today do not understand the spiritual authority that we can walk in. If we did, America would not be in the political and financial distress it has reached. It’s June 19, 2008 and America is not in a monetary recession today as the news media and politicians are speaking of, we are in a “spiritual” recession that started many years ago. We are simply reaping the bad fruit of the crops that were sown in the past and are still being watered today. Well did I make you mad or sad? Hopefully I have opened up a door in the hearts of some to begin to look at Ephesians 6:12 with a renewed desire to learn how to overcome the lies in our lives.
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities. Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 3:3 that Christians who look at the actions of other Christians are still in carnal thinking. The person that just made you mad is not the one to be mad at, but rather it is either Satan and his deception or yourself and your lack of understanding. I tend to look at our lack of understanding first. Isaiah 5:13 says “Therefore my people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge”, Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, and Job 36:12, “But if they do not obey, they shall perish by the sword, And they shall die without knowledge.” I am not saying someone is going to kill you if you do not have knowledge, but in 1 Peter 5:8 we are told that the Devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Most conflict between people is due largely in part to lack of knowledge, and especially between believers. Who we need to take the battle to is Satan, and “against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. Satan is a defeated foe and we have been given the keys to bind and loose. (Matthew 16:19 & 18:18)
I have heard it preached falsely that we, Christians, are not to bring reviling accusations against the enemy using one verse from Jude 1:9, “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!". This verse is often coupled wrongly with 1 Chronicles 16:22, & Psalms 105:15 which states “touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm”. We must look at verses in their entirety and line them up with the New Testament. In Jude, he is speaking of non-Christians, ungodly people. Jesus Himself often confronted the religious leaders in His day, to the point of calling them whitewashed tombs. At another point He turned to Peter after Peter made a statement that did not line up with the word of God and said “get behind me Satan”. God’s true anointed will, for the most part, speak truth that lines up with the entire Spirit of the New Testament and not stumble on a specific verse into legalism. When legalism and condemnation seem to be the focal point of a person’s speech, the chances are high that they are not moving in God’s anointing at that time. Beside every Christian, a true follower of Christ, is the Anointed one. Jesus’ blood is our anointing. The non-believer here on earth is similar to Michael the Arch Angel; they do not have the authority here on earth like God’s children do to speak God’s word with power. When we put on the whole armor of God, Satan sees Him not us, and as we grow in God, Satan recognizes our authority in Christ Jesus. Look at Acts 19:15 when an evil spirit refused to be cast out by non-Christians, “And the evil spirit answered and said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?". Acts 19:13-16 is worth reading as it depicts the total lack of authority a non-Christian has in the spirit world. In these verses is a clear example of spiritual warfare without the warrior wearing the “whole armor of God”. Just knowing the words or worse yet repeating words you have heard from the pulpit without studying to make them your own, is like wearing your helmet of salvation, and no other armor. You will lose! Yes we are to take the battle to the enemy, providing we have the whole armor of God.
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