Monday, June 8, 2015

Our eyes as a weapon of warfare

In our church, we have the habit of saying, “that’s tied up” or, “I don’t accept that” when we hear of something that the devil is doing. But it can easily become routine—a saying as common as “God bless you,” when somebody sneezes. One thing I loved the most about our church, and continue to love, is the attitude of fearless confrontation of the devil just as Jesus taught His disciples, and commands us to do. But when Christians allow this fighting faith to become routine, it turns into a religious faith on the same level as any other.  

The devil is a great strategist. He can see how a blessing or a desired goal is almost in our grasp, and he knows how to blindside us into doubting God and falling into some fleshly behavior to mess up our chances of being blessed. Of course the devil would love nothing more than for us to lose our salvation outright, but if he can't do that, he'll do his best to at least make our existence on earth as miserable and defeated as possible and then become the worst possible example of a child of God to everyone else. I've counseled plenty of Christians who are barely hanging onto faith by the skin of their teeth. They never knew how to fight, and neither had I, not too long ago. Some have humbled themselves to learn and change, and are now powerhouses of faith.

There are so many ways to fight the devil. Any real Christian knows that fleeing from sin is foundational. Others know about strong prayers of rebuke, but just shouting at the devil in a deliverance service won't do any good, if your day-to-day living isn’t in communion with God. You can’t have communion with God if you don't even know what is from Him and what isn’t. You end up tolerating demonic attacks as if they were God’s will, and then resist God’s leading, thinking that it can't be from Him. His word gives us a vision of who He is and what He wants to do through us, as well as the spiritual vision to resist the devil’s attacks. It’s in this vision where battles are either won or lost.   

Jesus says that our eyes illumine our entire body. The eyes are our perspective, our view, our mindset. A person who eats and drinks the Word of God with the Spirit of God alive inside of him, knows how to assert that the promises of God will come true no matter how dark a situation is. His flesh sees the darkness, but he chooses to see the light of God, even when it takes a very long time before an answer comes. Rejected from the school he hoped to get into? No problem, he’s certain that God has something better and wastes no time moping. A loved one is given a scary diagnosis? No fear, she gets busy in prayer and sees God as a healer and a savior and that He will be glorified through this. A long awaited blessing still seems distant and unreachable? Our eyes have to be filled with the light of expectation that God is faithful. Instead of pitying ourselves, we resist and rebuke the demonic attacks to doubt God’s faithfulness, and then we celebrate the unseen answer that is yet to come, which keeps us full of life and faith. We see joy when no one else does. It’s pretty hardcore, but it works. And of course, God does come through in a big way.

1 Timothy 6 says that God dwells in unapproachable light. When our bodies are filled with light because of what we choose to “see” we also become unapproachable to the devil. We blind him and frustrate his plans. Our choice of what we dwell on, what we determine is true and what we act on protects us like a shield, while filling us with life at the same time.  But if we don't, our bodies and minds are filled with a deep darkness, where there is no protection and no strength.            

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness — how deep is that darkness.  (Matthew 6:22-23 HCSB)

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