Browsing articles tagged with " spiritual warfare"
Oct
10

Enforcing his Lordship among the Nations

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The Invisible War (6) – Enforcing his Lordship among the Nations. “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:3-4

The ultimate goal of all spiritual warfare is the enforcing of God’s rule. It is true that we are to resist the devil in our individual lives, but we are called to go beyond fighting for our interests into expanding the kingdom of God in our world.

The entire conflict is not over men’s possessions but rather over men’s souls. The chief purpose for which God is teaching us to fight is so that we may be enlisted into the battle for souls. All around us untold millions are bound and unable to respond to the gospel or to change. Look around at your unsaved relatives; remember your rebellious children, and your confused neighbours. Now lift up your eyes and look at the thousands of ethnic groups in the world still unreached because of demonic strongholds that hold them bound. Consider that there are now over one billion Muslims blind to the love of Christ. How are they going to be freed?

It would not do to preach the gospel to them if we do not first of all bind the strong man that holds them captive. Just think, why do very intelligent people find it hard to understand the simple message of the gospel? The bible says the god of this world has veiled their mind. And it is only through our resisting the devil that they will be free to see and choose Christ.

After two years of fruitless missionary work among the Lisu people in Asia, J.O. Fraser realised that only prayer could free these people. So he got his mother (in England) to gather around godly men and women who committed themselves to do spiritual warfare for the souls of the Lisu, and this is what turned the tide. After some years a mighty move of God came among these people that saw thousands of souls swept into the kingdom of God. When we bind the devil he is forced to liberate souls.

Some years ago I was with a church-planting team in one of the dark places of the earth, in the north of Nigeria. It was a place where two years of faithful preaching and praying had borne no fruit. God led us to fast and pray for days against the spiritual strongholds of Satan in that land. We also sent out a call to the people of God to stand with us to push back the darkness, and then things did happen; within less than a year the people’s attitude began changing and a church was able to be planted.

You ask, “why are untold millions still unreached?” The answer is simple – we do not have enough people in our ranks standing in the gap and pulling down strongholds.

Personally, I believe that there is an unprecedented harvest of souls among the millions of Muslims coming  soon, if enough of us will fight for their souls. Even here in our work among the unreached peoples in Africa we feel a great need for those who will join us in this battle for the precious souls of men. Will you be enlisted?

A friend of mine wrote some while ago that every soul that is won to Jesus is the vengeance of God against the enemy. Soul winning is spiritual warfare.

Let us pray: O Lord, teach us how to pray! Open our eyes to the true nature of this warfare. Give us your passion for the lost. Give us a vision for the nations. Teach us to go beyond focusing on ourselves and so vindicate the weak and fatherless. Help us to give ourselves to rescuing the weak and needy, to deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. O Lord, teach us how to pray in Jesus’ Name!

FOR FURTHER MEDITATION: 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 10:4-6; Eph. 6: 10-18; 1 Thess. 2:18

Sep
10

The Essentials of Spiritual Warfare

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The Invisible War (2) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NIV)

I do not know of any other verse in scripture that so beautifully summarises all that is involved in effective spiritual warfare like the above scripture does.

The first and most important step in winning the invisible war is not in addressing the devil but in submitting to God. I have seen many people who claim to be involved in spiritual warfare but whose lives are not submitted to God. They know how to fast and they say they pray but they are still gossips, unforgiving and rebellious. Such “intercessors” may walk around with an air of spirituality but their prayers are not doing anything to push back the darkness or establish God’s kingdom.

You see the whole essence of spiritual warfare is that we are enforcing the authority of Jesus by taking ground from the enemy and thereby establishing God’s kingdom. But it is only those in whose lives the rule of God has been established – those who have submitted their lives to him and are living in obedience to him, that can enforce and establish his rule elsewhere.

Spiritual warfare is not so much in how we shout or jump or know the right words to say, as much as it has to do with our walk with the Lord. A right walk with the Lord is the first step to effective warfare. Remember those seven sons of Sceva? (Acts 19:14-16). They tried casting out devils using the right words but it carried no weight with the spirits because their lives were not submitted to God.

Before we rush off to bind and loose, let us submit all our sins, and fears (it is counter-productive to try resisting the enemy out of fear), and cares, and let us receive God’s holiness and grace. Let us submit to God in repentance, and in praise and adoration. And then from that point we can resist the devil.

It is when we submit our lives to God that we will be effective as we resist the devil. There is nothing that the devil fears like the prayer of a holy man or woman. It’s like coals of fire being poured out on him, so he flees.

Let us pray: Father it’s useless attempting to subdue the enemy if I am not submitted to you. Lord, I come to yield my life to you. Lord is there any part of my life that is not yet submitted to you? Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to you. Reign in me Lord so that I may be able to enforce your reign in Jesus’ Name!

FOR FURTHER MEDITATION: Matthew 5: 23-26; 6:16-18; 2 Corinthians 10: 3-6 (consider the implication of verse 6, ‘once your obedience is complete’); Joshua 7: 10-12; Acts 19:14-16; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5: 6-9

Jul
5

The Invisible War (Part 1)

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“In my name they will drive out demons” Mark 16: 17 (NIV)

Beloved,

Six years ago, I posted a series of 6 articles on the subject of spiritual warfare. The past four weeks have been some of the most spiritually intense for me. Beginning this week we will be revisiting this important issue. These articles with come with scriptural references for further personal study. Please join me as I study these truths again and please pray that these articles will be used of God once again to equip all of us to walk victoriously in this invisible war. And I’d love your feedbacks too ~ Chim

It is difficult to talk about spiritual warfare without stepping on someone’s toes. This is one of those controversial issues that has left the body of Christ divided into all sorts of camps with all kinds of labels. But no matter to which camp we belong, the truth still remains that we are at war! And our enemy the devil is not moved by our labels. The only thing that he dreads is those who know enough of their authority in Christ to deal with him.

There are those who would have us believe the devil is to be ignored. They say we should only talk of our Lord and all will be well. But Satan will not ignore us just because we ignore him. The truth is that he is working a lot of havoc in many lives and homes today just because he is being ignored. Some of us are overwhelmed right now wondering why God has not acted on our behalf, whereas we should be taking our stand and resisting the enemy. God will not do for us what he has given us authority to do.

Jesus did not ignore the devil. The gospel is filled with his frequent encounters with demons and evil spirits. Jesus cast out devils and so must we who seek to be like him. Do we know how to bind and loose? Do we know about casting down strongholds and every imagination that exalts itself above the knowledge of God? Jesus said, “In my name, they (we) shall cast out demons”.

Paul said, “We are not unaware of his (Satan’s) schemes”, and the devil will outwit us if we remain ignorant. Yet being aware of our enemy is not the same as over-emphasising him. There are those who are more conscious of the devil than they are of Christ; more alert to fallen angels than they are of the mighty host of God’s angels that encamps around all those who fear him. These are people who see demons in everything. I really get upset about this extremism because it takes the eyes of God’s people off the Lord. They get so impressed about all the demon stuff that their chief pursuit is no longer to know Jesus.

Our focus must be on the Lord, but we must not be ignorant of the devil’s devices. Effective spiritual warfare flows out of a right relationship with the Lord. It is as we walk closely with him that he will help us to discern when the enemy is at work so that we can deal with him in Jesus’ name.

Let us pray: O Lord of hosts, I know we have an adversary who hates and opposes your rule, but I also know that the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. Thank you Lord, because through Christ’s victory at Calvary, I have overcome him, and now greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. But Lord, you call me to enforce this victory here and now so please teach my hands to war and my fingers to fight. Teach me to walk in increasing intimacy with you so that I might exercise discernment. Lord, right now I come against the devil in every point where he is at work in my life, my family, or my surroundings (be specific) and I resist him in Jesus’ name!

FOR FURTHER MEDITATION: Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Peter 5: 8-9; Luke 10: 17-20

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