Posts Tagged ‘devil’

obedience and humility - LOON WATCHMAN BLOG

There is a lot of talk about spiritual warfare these days (ie – warfare against demons and the kingdom of darkness).  And a lot of suggestions about how to wage spiritual war and what weapons to use.  I had a dream awhile back in which I am given a rifle that had two bullets in it — and in the dream, I am told that with these bullets I can hold off a lot of enemies.  The two bullets were humility and obedience.

Yes, things like targeted intercession and fasting can be very helpful in fighting against forces of darkness and extending the Kingdom of God — but we must never lose sight of how important and effective such “simple” (and profound) things as Godly character and obedience are.

Jesus, when He was referring to the devil, said “the ruler of the world is coming, and He has nothing in Me.” (John 14:30)  What He was saying is that there was no area of compromise in His heart or life that the enemy could use against Him.  And when we walk in humility and obedience to the Holy Spirit, our hearts are like strong towers that the enemy cannot penetrate.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:6-9)

heart is a strong tower - LOON WATCHMAN BLOG

“Well, ya got trouble, my friends!
Right here, I say, trouble right here in River City!”
(From The Music Man — an old “boomer” reference — you may not get it — heh heh)

Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?”  (1 Kings 18:16-17)

Well, OK — it’s clear that there are different ways of being troubled. The devil is a con artist, and he and his bad boys can definitely trouble us. But according to the Scriptures, God is sometimes in the “troubling business” as well.

So…here we are in the groovy season of Lent — a perfect time to be troubled by God.  Yahweh’s brand of Trouble is meant to move us to repentance. And Jesus definitely didn’t avoid saying troubling things like:

  • Forgive others or you won’t be forgiven! (Matthew 6:15)
  • Calling Him Lord (talking the talk) is not enough — we actually have to do what He says (walking the walk), or we will miss out on Heaven! (Matthew 7:21)
  • You must deny your own self-interests and seek to build God’s Kingdom first if you want to be His disciple. (Luke 9:23, Matthew 6:33)

Being troubled is never pleasant — but better to be troubled now and respond rightly (via repentance and obedience) than to be tragically troubled later…

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what are you feeding - LOON WATCHMAN BLOG

Whatever you feed lives.  And whatever you refuse to feed dies.

I don’t know if you got the memo, but there is a war going on inside you between your spirit man and your flesh.  And as the old saying goes:  “An army marches on its stomach.”  In other words, with out sustenance, a soldier quickly loses his ability to effectively resist or defeat his enemy.

So…when you choose to regularly spend hours watching worldly entertainment on TV and online, etc., you are choosing to strengthen and inflame your flesh — by feeding it what it wants.  Maybe that is why your spiritual life has sucked so much lately.  Doh!

But if instead you have been choosing to deny your fleshly appetites and to feed your spirit man (by spending time with the Lover of your soul in worship, prayer, and in the Word, as well as being encouraged by some great teaching and fellowship), then that is probably why you have seen real peace and lasting joy and true spiritual vision increasing in your life.

The choice is up to you.  In the end, where you end up in eternity won’t be rocket science — it will be very simple and apparent to all — you either chose, as an act of love (and outrageously obvious wisdom), to feed your spirit man and, daily, to become more and more like Jesus — or you chose to cooperate with your adversary by feeding and encouraging that which despises your soul and wants to kill it.

“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)

“Put to death , therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:5-6)

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

think on these things - LOON WATCHMAN BLOG

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Wow. Sometimes you just gotta fight and scratch and claw your way through the oppression and confusion and not take no for an answer until God shows up! Yes, we succeed and are empowered by Grace — but our relationship to His Grace is not a passive one:

“The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” (Matthew 11:12)

“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36)

“Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12)

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

So fight and keep fighting!  Never give up!  If you never quit, you never lose!

And if you’ve quit already, now is a great time to repent and ask Him for forgiveness, so that you can be restored and moving forward again!  Today is the day for restoration and breakthrough! 

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Where are you?  What are you thinking about?  What’s going on inside your head?  What are you allowing to define who you are?

We are not civilians.  Whether we like it or not, we are in a war.  And there is no place where this war is as alive and real as in our minds and our thought life.

As you go about your day, are you aware of what you’re actually thinking?  Are you aware of how many hours you spend thinking random or reactive or foolish or self-serving or angry or impatient thoughts?  Are you doing as the Apostle Paul taught us by taking your thoughts captive and examining them and comparing them to the revealed Truth of the Word of God?  Or are you being a passive visitor in your head, floating lazily through…half-conscious of the truly awesome, eternity-defining things that are happening all around you in that amazing little cave we call the brain?

TV, films, media, commercials, social media, magazines, friends, family, demons, wounds of the past, and many other things have the ability to negatively impact our thought life — and in doing so, impact who we are.  Why do you think billions of dollars are invested in commercials every year?  It’s because it has been proven clinically that these messages actually change how we think and what we do.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

I know — life is tough.  We’re tired.  We want to just relax and go with the flow.  But our demonic enemies do not sleep!  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8)  Good old Peter…he, more than most, understood this truth — and he learned it the hard way.

I am not saying that we cannot rest in our heads.  I am not saying that we cannot take time to chill and be still.  But before our minds can be safer places, we need to, as good soldiers, do a little mine (mind!) sweeping, so that the area is more secure and protected.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)

Nothing can take the place of diligence in this area.  It takes TIME and EFFORT to purify and redirect a river.  And it begins with us allowing the Holy Spirit more access to our thought “flow”, via Scripture reading and meditation, prayer, worship, teaching and true Christian fellowship (and maybe even a little deliverance — doh!).  I know for a fact that this biblical principle works. My own thoughts are much less cluttered and troubling and unproductive now.

Of course, we do not have the power to change who we are, but we do have the ability and responsibility to open ourselves more to the One who can!  But as the old saying goes…”Money talks and BS walks.”  We prove what we believe by what we do, not what we “religiously” and merely pay lip service to.

As a matter of fact, this is my basic definition of someone who has a “religious spirit”.  It is not someone who seems at times to veer into legalism or seems too “over-the-top” spiritually, but rather it is someone who has spiritual talk but not much spiritual walk.  In this sense, we actually have to “get out of our heads” (so to speak!) and act on what we know to be true.

And when we do, we find His grace waiting for us — we find the wind of the Spirit waiting to blow behind us and fill the sails of our meager efforts and eventually take us far beyond where we could ever go by ourselves.  So…ACTION, JACKSON!!!

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“In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, He may speak in their ears…” (Job 33:15-16)

“This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had.” (Daniel 4:18)

“Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.” (Matthew 2:22-23)

Church fathers who believed that God still speaks through dreams:  Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Augustine and Jerome (among others).

Dreams can be amazing experiences.  They can seem more real than reality.  Many people have dreams that they dreamt years ago, but which still inspire or fascinate or trouble them.  It is clear from the Bible that dreams played an important part in God’s interactions with people.  In my experience, God has used a few strategic dreams to powerfully direct my life.

The problem that most people will acknowledge is that there are certain concerns about the source of a dream.  Where did it come from?  How can I know if the dream is from God?  And these are important and necessary questions to ask ourselves, since there are a variety of sources from which dreams can come:

  • God
  • our souls (our mind and emotions)
  • culture (including movies, TV, books)
  • biochemistry (illness, diet, drugs, alcohol, etc.)
  • the enemy

That’s why it is so important to have an intimate, ongoing relationship with God through His Word, in prayer, and in our lives (including being in trustworthy, regular Christian community).  “Spiritual” experiences can seem very compelling at times — that is why it is so necessary to have true discernment, so that we can discern between a legitimate spiritual interaction with God and a counterfeit experience.  And discernment comes from knowing the real thing so well that it is difficult to be fooled by counterfeits.

If I have time, in the days to come, I may elaborate a bit on the importance of dreams, and how to navigate successfully in this amazing realm of experience.

“…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2 Corinthians 2:11)

There is an old magicians’ trick called misdirection.  With it, a magician distracts his audience and gets them to focus on something unimportant (perhaps with his left hand), while he is setting up the real trick with his right hand.  And then — du-du-duuuuhh!!! — the bunny appears, seemingly from nowhere. (OMG, DID YOU FREAKING SEE THAT??!!)  Wikipedia defines this as a form of deception.

Dude, in the same way, the “old magician” is still up to his old tricks.  And distraction is one of his fave things to do.  Sometimes I call it “the tyranny of the immediate.”  Let’s say that I have decided to spend more time with Jesus.  And then all hell seems to break loose and many things “just have to be dealt with.”  Or maybe I get pulled once again into the vortex of Facebook for an hour or more.  And before I know it, a week has gone by and I have spent little or no time with the Lover of my soul — the One who created me from nothing and redeemed me with His own blood.  And what is my excuse?  Uh…well…stuff happens.

“…the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32)

What an amazing time to be alive!  What an incredible adventure is unfolding in our cities and across the planet!  Aslan is on the move!  As the Light and darkness intensify, and as we prepare for the Son of Man to return, God is desiring to pour out unparalleled anointing and blessings to those who are paying the price to really know Him.  What a tragic thing it would be to look back on this time and realize that, like Esau, we traded away our amazing inheritance for a bowlful of unsatisfying sludge and distraction.

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!