Friday, August 28, 2009

Devotional - Not By The Weapons or Methods Of This World

Good morning my friends. A bit on the cool side this morning but it is refreshing. We are moving on to 2 Corinthians 10.

The Apostle Paul was having some difficulty with a few people at Corinth. He was being personally attacked, accused of being bold in his letters and timid when present. They were also accusing him of living by the standards of the world, so obviously portraying themselves as being spiritually superior to Paul. So what do you do with people like this? Paul pointed out something that would be good for us to remember:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. v. 3

This means we have different ways of doing things. There are many different fronts to the war we are engaged in with the enemy but we must always keep in mind that our war is not against the people of this world but against the enemy. This is spiritual warfare and it is not so much about kicking the butts of demons as much as it is about saving those they oppress and possess (this often involves the kicking of the butts of demons). So Paul writes:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. v. 4

So we do not use the same methods and we do not use the same weapons. In fact, there are no weapons in this world that are effective in our fight. Only the spiritual weapons we have been given by the Spirit have any effect in this warfare. What are they? Paul wrote of some of these to the Ephesians:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Spirit (the Word of God), prayer. These are our weapons. In this case with the Corinthians Paul is referring to truth and most likely the Spirit. He would deal with these people, or rather the enemy that was bringing them confusion, causing division but it would be with truth and the Spirit:

On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. vs. 4-5

Do you realize that when we know, understanding and use the full armor of God no enemy can prevail over us, not one. Every obstacle that is put in the path of us completing our mission is destroyed or removed. Even though the enemy would try to pile trouble and heartache on us we have been made strong so that we may stand for Jesus. We are stronger when we stand shoulder to shoulder but even alone the enemy cannot prevail when we are using the weapons that have been provided for us.

Unfortunately we often panic and we do what comes too natural to us, we use the methods and weapons of this world and are destroyed. We allow fear to cripple us. As we scramble to find our own solutions we allow worry to destroy our faith. We ask other people for help instead of turning to our greatest weapon, prayer. We try to use fine sounding arguments instead of standing by God's truth and his power. But we do not need to stay in this position of weakness. You can turn to that armor right now. You can put it on right now. It may feel clumsy at first but as you use it it will begin to feel more comfortable.

So as we stand our ground, defending what has been given to us to defend against these dark forces let us not forget who we are and what we are doing here. We have recently seen many traps and obstacles of the enemy destroyed by means of prayer. The sleeping giant is starting to wake up. The Church in North America is finally starting to wake up as the Holy Spirit is reviving the power of God in us. Are you engaged in this warefare? Are you using the right weapons? Are you taking directions from the Holy Spirit?

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

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