Integrity preaching of the Bible; God's Word as it was written. People acting as Christians, not just saying they are Christians. Twisting or refuting God's Word is Blasphemy.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Recognizing the Enemy
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11
The key to experiencing victory in your life may lie in your ability to recognize your enemy. Can you recognize the work of the enemy in your life? Most people would say, "Yes!" However, I am convinced that a vast majority of Believers cannot? When I think of the battle that we, as Believers, must wage in life against evil, my thoughts gravitate towards the war in Iraq. Militarily, the U.S is far more powerful and sophisticated in training and weaponry, but yet and still, we are experiencing an ever-increasing number of casualties. There is a reason for this. The reason is our enemy is hard to recognize. The enemy in this battle does not always wear a uniform by which he can be easily identified. In many instances, it is not a he but a she. Women, children and unassuming old men are sacrificing themselves in order to inflict as much damage on the U.S. Armed forces as possible. Armed Service men and women face daily, the possibility that the person who just walked by or is eating at a diner across the street, is actually there to steal, kill and destroy any future or hope they have.
On a daily basis you and I wage war against an enemy that we cannot see and who does not want to be recognized. When most people think of evil, or picture the enemy, they visualize a man in a red suit with horns and a pitchfork. Many look for what Hollywood has depicted as evil - some wild and out of control person. Evil is much too clever to be so obvious. Satan experiences the most success in secret, carrying out covert operation in the lives of Believers. Strategically, killing, stealing and destroying people's hopes, dreams and lives while going undetected. This is his primary mode of operation.
This is why Paul instructs the Corinthian church (and us) not to be ignorant of, the devices of the enemy. Many people wonder, "How did I get in the condition that I'm in?" "How could I have done what I did?" "Why do I feel this way?" "How can I think about or meditate on such things?" If you've thought or said any of the above, you've been attacked - and didn't know it.
You must understand that evil will very seldom come at you as full-blown evil. It will present itself as something harmless, inconsequential, small and even cloaked as something good. It does this because it knows that "good people" will not readily embrace something that is obviously evil, so it must appear to be something other than what it really is. This is why so many "good people" become victims to bad habits, bad relationships and find themselves in bad situations. They've allowed something that appeared good into their lives, which turned out to be something other than good.
This takes spiritual discernment. Jesus understood this and was able to discern between what appeared to be genuine concern for His well-being and demonic activity. When Jesus told His disciples of His pending suffering, Peter pulled Him aside and proclaimed that he would never let Jesus suffer. Jesus looked Peter straight in the eye and said: "Get behind Me, Satan!"(Matthew 16:23). What appeared to be genuine concern by a friend was actually a device of the devil. As a matter of fact, the first place we find a demon mentioned in the New Testament is in a place that we would least expect it. It was not in a graveyard, nor some dark enchanted forest - but in church! Mark 1: 23 records, "there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit". In every instance the enemy presents himself in a place and manner that would not cause those who are his target alarm. He uses "good people" and "good places" to camouflage his true identity and objective. He depends on us not being able to detect his presence and activity until it is too late. He employs gradual compromise to bring us to a point of vulnerability and weakness.
Some of you may be wondering, "Why is it necessary to recognize the enemy?" The answer is your life depends on it. Your ability to detect the enemies' point of entry in our lives will not only affect the quality our lives, but its quantity as well. You may not recognize the one thing that you've given place to in your life that is an agent of the enemy to keep you defeated, frustrated and broken. As long as it is allowed to stay, nothing will change.
Here are 10 ways to help you rightly appraise and discern the things that are presently part of your life, as well as those things you are considering allowing into to your life.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Does it draw you closer too and strengthen your relationship with God or does it draw attention to yourself? 2. Will it cause others to see Christ more clearly? 3. Is Jesus and the Kingdom of God glorified in your doing it? 4. Can it be supported biblically? 5. Is the benefit an enduring one or does it only satisfy an immediate need? 6. Is your life being enriched or depleted by it? 7. When speaking to others about it can you be nakedly honest regarding every detail and your involvement in or with it? 8. Do you have to rationalize its legitimacy in your life? 9. Do you have genuine God given peace in your spirit concerning your involvement or decision(s)? 10. Must you comprise God's Word or morality for it?
By shining the light of God's Word and truth upon our lives we are now able to detect the enemies presence and position ourselves to wage a more victorious warfare!
By Dr. J.C. Matthews, Senior Pastor of Dunamis Life Ministries and Chancellor of The International Kingdom Institute;and a dear friend, in Christ!
I am a 53 yr old businessman and I came across a subject for which I took up an interest a few years ago. That developed into other things and changed my whole direction in life. My biggest hurdle in accomplishing my book has been incorrect or missing data for which I developed a new passion. Christian is, as Christian does.