Thursday, October 8, 2015

Taking back what’s stolen – Nuts and Bolts of Warfare, Part 2

Imagine a person who enjoys a comfortable lifestyle. Then neighborhood bullies come along and help themselves to his property. He whimpers and complains and then rearranges what he has left to make do. 

This thieving goes on for years, and all he does is watch his possessions dwindle, and settles for the little he has. He even forgets what life used to be like because he’s become so complacent and learned to make do. In the end, he’s out on the street, and unhappily accepts that this is the life he was meant for. It’s a pitiful picture, but it’s a picture of ourselves when we know nothing about spiritual warfare.  

So what’s been stolen from you that you’ve settled for? You may not even know what your life was meant to be like from God’s viewpoint. Too many Christians recite the mantra, “Well, I’m just grateful for what I have since so many others are worse off than I…” It sounds wonderfully spiritual, and though being grateful is a godly attitude, it’s wrong to settle for the life that the devil wants, and not God. We dishonor Him when we don’t fight to take back what’s been stolen, when we don’t believe in His supernatural power to undo the work of Satan. Gratitude and praise in difficult times can be a great weapon against the devil, but I’ll explain that in another post. Right now I want to talk about combating that passive spirit that is far too prevalent in Christian thinking.

Example: Your son is addicted to drugs. He’s angry and violent and has betrayed your trust when he stole money from you to feed his addiction. Yes, he is responsible for his own actions, and yes, you did all you could to raise him right. You want to give him tough love to face the consequences of his choices, and yet you can’t stand the thought of him on Skid Row. So you bring him home, just to be accosted by his outbursts. The sweet little boy you used to hold on your lap has been stolen from you and a monster has been put in his place. Who stole his peace of mind? Who has robbed your home? Who is plotting to steal his very life? Who has created layers of unhappiness and insecurity in him over time so that this destruction could build up to this point? Who blocked you and your spouse of the insight and faith to catch all of this before it exploded in your face? There is only one answer. The devil, who comes to steal, kill and destroy.

Spiritual warfare can be a long arduous process—when our emotions dictate our faith. I’ve seen parents whose faith swings like a pendulum from passive acceptance, to emotional outbursts that blame God for their suffering, to wildly swing right back again. They never reach the state of focused intelligent faith. It can only be considered warfare when we set our feelings aside and zero in like a laser on our true enemy, and stick to our guns. That’s when faith becomes powerful and effective. As parents, we have a special anointing by God to raise our kids in His paths and for His glory. We have an obligation to stubbornly command demons to leave our kids’ lives for however long it takes. Each of your children ultimately has to choose salvation for him or herself, but if they are in bondage to demonic forces, your fight for their freedom can help them eventually choose God in the process.  

This battle is many pronged, because it’s a battle for their freedom as well as against your own weaknesses. A parent who really cares, will attend church to fight for their kids as often as they can possibly go. They will listen to the counsel of their pastor and ACTUALLY DO IT! They will learn to undo the negative attitudes in their own hearts that may have contributed to the problem, and will be humble to admit it. They will fight in prayer every day, multiple times, rebuking the demons of addiction, and rebuking the negative thoughts that want to reign in their home. They will rebuke the spirit of violence and theft, and learn how to be more stubborn and more aggressive in their faith in God than the demons are in their attacks. They will learn how to love their child fully, and fight their true enemy tirelessly.

I could write a book about warfare on behalf of a loved one, but this will have to do for starters. You can’t afford to take a vacation from faith—if your child was battling for his life in a cancer ward, would you take off to the Bahamas for a week? Remember that with faith in God, you are always greater than Satan. As you fight in confidence against evil, and in humility towards God, you have victory guaranteed.

The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 MEV)

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