Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spiritual Warfare

I was a small child when my mother had one of the neighborhood children walk my older brother and myself to Sunday School. I really liked getting dressed up and looked forward to going to church, but when the one walking us there was this teenaged girl, I began dreading to see her especially when my mother asked for her babysit. She would always have some horrific story to tell that seemed to challenge our physical ability. My older brother took the challenge on, but all I could think of was the story she told and that I wouldn't make it. Case in point was the "step on a crack break your mother's back myth only what she would do is use the rain from the day before. The soil was just beginning to dry and it left cracks. She would say, if we step on those cracks we would fall through the earth. The cracks on the side walk were the same. All I could see were cracks everywhere. When she leaped she stepped on them, but nothing happened. When my brother jumped, he landed on a clear path. I froze. I just couldn't do it. Because of her stories, we were late for Sunday school and had no excuse for it.

Would that spiritual warfare be the same as old wives tales? Where did the term come from and where in the Word did this ever take place? Was it a means to keep the people captive from knowing the truth and actually be set free to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus came to give? Who would try to keep believers in such a state? That babysitter kept me in a state of torment. As long as she had my hand and I listened to her I never stepped on a crack and wasn't afraid of falling. I wonder if these were her tactics for all of her customers to keep the children in obedience? But she never got to know how my brother and I were. We knew that if we caused any problems we had two parents that weren't afraid of being strict in the least. All she had to do was ask. Were telling lies so much easier?

I work in a gated community where the fromer worker and Christian said to me before leaving that she has had to deal with such spiritual warfare while on the job. She had to fast and stay up all night in prayer for the residents in the community. She explained the lifestyle of some and the sicknesses of others. She didn't complain of what she claimed was her duty as a Christian; however, she didn't smile much either. For the most part, her expression was a scowl and I was sort of taken a back from ever asking her anything. She just didn't look too inviting. When she left, I thought I would have to take over her duties. I prayed and didn't sense any calling to be up all hours of the day and night praying and fasting for a community of people that have the ability to make their own decisions just as I had to. I prayed for those that God led me to pray for. I prayed for the community as a whole. I do my job and live my life. What warfare was she going through?

I tried to look up something resembling the warfare I have heard in my many hours of listening to other ministers. I recall what Daniel went through when he prayed and the angel said that God heard his prayers from the beginning but the angel was held up by the Prince of Persia (Daniel 10:12-14 AMP). I recall Job believing that he could outwit the laws of sin and death by making atonement for unconfessed sins and as the result that which he feared came upon him (Job 3:25 KJV). And finally under the new covenant, I recall the Word telling me that the battle is not mine but is the Lord's. What warfare, when Jesus said, "it is done."

Its almost as if being manipulated, controlled, and oppressed so not to get what was promised (Ephesians 2:10 AMP). Was it done on purpose? And if it wasn't, how then could a pastor, minister, prophet, evangelist, or teacher be fooled? Aren't we all still growing? Aren't we all still learning? Isn't it written that we must prove all things, test all things? Aren't we supposed to rightly divide the Word? As we grow to be sons of God don't we become more responsible for what we know and what we tell others. If we deliberately lead someone astray, aren't there consequences to contend with?

Sickness and disease, torment and oppression are direct manifestations of disobedience. Medication and counseling can be a temporary fix but it will still need the truth to be truely set free (John 8:32 AMP). Remember the curse does not alight causeless (Proverbs 26:2 AMP).

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