Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Never passive!

The devil only respects force.  Stubborn faith wipes out all of his tactics and throws him into confusion.  Faith isn't true faith if it doesn't obey God’s ways, so that rules out any kind of forcefulness that is selfish or greedy.  

We can’t make the mistake of thinking that being forceful is always a sin.  In God’s eyes, we can be violently forceful and please Him completely.  What can throw us for a loop, is that godly violence doesn't look like strength to the world, we often confuse it for weakness.  

I know that sounds backwards: God likes violent force, but it often looks like weakness.  What?  Remember when Jesus says to walk a second mile when someone forces you to walk with him for one?  That’s a weapon that the world sees as weakness.  Jesus wasn't asking us to become doormats for bullies.  If someone forces you to serve them unfairly, fighting them in anger will just give more power to the devil.  You'll become just as much of a bully as they are.  The power of this weapon is to fight the demon trying to humiliate you through the situation, and not the person.  And that is done by doing the opposite of what the demon wants.  Don't just walk a second mile sulking in defeat like an abused victim, because self-pity just makes the devil laugh.  Instead walk that second mile in defiance of the devil – in a stubborn determination to show kindness and love for an unlovable person – to forgive and to give even more.  It may look like weakness to the world, but to the forces of evil hovering around you, it’s devastatingly powerful and it sets you free from his control.

The devil’s weapons stir up fleshly anger, greed, selfishness and violence, but he also wants to stir up fleshly self-pity, a victim mentality, defeatism, fear and anxiety.  Our problem is that we see the louder more pushy qualities as bad, and the weaker, more passive qualities as natural and acceptable. But when any of them fill our hearts and motivate us to act, the devil is in control and we've lost.  

God’s weapons are based on faith in His character, and they're never passive.  They always require stubborn determination and a pure heart, no matter what they look like.  Sometimes God’s weapons are loud and confrontational, like Elijah on Mt. Carmel, or Moses facing Pharaoh.  Other times they can be peaceful sleep like Jesus in a storm-tossed boat, or joyful singing like Paul and Silas chained in a dungeon.  There was nothing passive about them.  Defiant love, defiant joy, defiant peace, are all hard-core weapons of faith, just as much as loud rebukes.  But one thing is certain, if Christians don't learn what weapons they have, and how to use them, they'll continue to lurch from one defeat to another all their lives.  When God’s Church around the world starts to fight as one against the works of the devil, using all the varied types of weapons that He provides, it will be a glorious sight to see the devil and his demons trembling.  We're commanded to take hold of His Kingdom by force, so let’s do it!

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has forcefully advanced, and the strong take it by force. (Matthew 11:12 MEV)

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