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Sunday
Sep302018

What We Fight Against

The scripture teaches us that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but forces that are set up to resist God and His Kingdom. The Apostle Paul writes this in his letter to the church at Ephesus. 

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

12 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.

The forces that are defined as rulers and authorities could be governments, corporate entities, educators, judicial bodies, political parties, or anything that has  control and influence over an area of society. We can see this in the confirmation hearings of Judge Kavanaugh, where the forces of bearing false witness are in full bloom. 

As spiritual people we know about the dark world of Satan and the forces he uses to influence this world in destruction and debauchery. 

Many of these forces of course are silent entities that work often in the background to get to people’s minds, much like the sin of idolatry. America is a land of idolatry, and most of Americans are completely ignorant of the ramifications of it. 

For example, if you were to look at the Ten Commandments, (Exodus 20) you would see how idolatry captures the first three commandments. Anything sin that has 1/3 of the list of ten is a big deal to God. Generally we spend more time talking about Commandments 6-10, which have to do with murder, adultery, stealing, lying, and greed, but the biggest issue God is trying to convey to us is about idolatry. 

The Apostle Paul picks up on idolatry in Colossians 3:5:

Colossians 3:5 (NIV)

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

Notice that our earthly nature is prone to idolatry. The human heart is wicked when left to itself, and it is beyond repair without God. 

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Idolatry is the result of our wicked hearts. We will replace God at a moment’s notice with sensuality, greed, and lying. Idolatry feeds upon these three because they are the easiest paths to entice people to worship themselves. I think of the idolatry we see every day, and I am sure it pains God’s heart to see how His creation has turned their back to Him in exchange for a lifestyle that feeds them a material or emotional benefit. 

I have been trying to process how easily success is worshipped because it is a claim to living a healthy life. Successful people are held in high esteem in our culture, but is that the end game for us to be successful? Here is where the fine line comes into place. Success can be a carrot that draws us closer to its influence making it an idol and keeping us under it’s spell and away from God. It is very difficult to convince a successful person of any shortcomings in their lives, because of their success. Success is their ‘get out of jail’ card and they will never depart from it. I don’t think the Bible is against success, but God defines success in perhaps a different manner than what we are used to in our understanding. God term for success is faithful. When Jesus told the parable of the talents, He didn’t commend them for their success, He commended them for their faithfulness that lead to their success. 

Matthew 25:22-23 

“Then the servant who had received two talents also came and said, ‘Master, you entrusted me with two talents. See, I have gained two more.’ His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into thejoy of your master!

God’s view is about how faithful we have been to what He has given us, whether it is much or little. He is looking for faithful people who keep Him first and who will not allow the idols of this world to replace the foundation of Christ in their lives. It is my belief God equals all things out in His kingdom that is to come. He will look to the faithful to rule the cities, and oversee His kingdom because their hearts are right, and they have kept Him first while living on earth. 

We do fight against the unseen forces of influence and power, but we can defeat them by our faithfulness to God. 

Keeping it honest and truthful…K 

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