Verses on Spiritual Warfare (Part One: Recognizing the Battle)

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As I was going through the most severe moments of spiritual warfare–this was as I was in the process of fully giving my life to Christ, which was not easily accepted by the devil–I began collecting verses to help me with the battle.

This first section is rather incomplete because the spiritual battle was quite easy for me to recognize; the spirits of darkness were in fact all over our apartment in obvious ways.

What did help me quite a bit was to recognize that there is an absolute line of truth and not-truth (good and evil) in the spiritual realm.  Coming from a mindset of New Age philosophy, I had not even considered this ‘black and whiteness‘ as a possibility, but as I started to read the scriptures, that’s exactly what I started to see.  And as I continued to spiritually clean our living space, the spiritual battle began to diminish a little at a time.

Verses on Recognizing the Spiritual Battle:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6).

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).

“For men will be lovers of self…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.  For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:2-7).

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

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Review of The House Church Book by Wolfgang Simson

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Recommended: A prophetically relevant book and great resource–but read with care.

I really enjoyed this book, but in researching the author, started running into sketchy material–not with him per se, but in those who connect themselves with him.  That said, don’t read this for it’s theological views (it’s not a theological book anyway), but for his knowledge and gracefully written comparisons of the modern church to its New Testament counterpart.

Simson engages in controversial ground as he reveals how far the church has drifted from its Biblical model.  He then gives general advice and encouragement on how to go back to an emphasis on New Testament values without further control of the church.  In other words, he is very clear that it doesn’t work to “make exact copies of a New Testament church.  Rather [we should] take these New Testament principles and values seriously, as God-given essentials” (33).

Although Simson speaks specifically with the creation of house churches in mind, many of his findings will be of interest to those church leaders who simply want to strengthen their circles of the body in a more ‘organic’ or family-like atmosphere with God at the center.  I especially appreciated his discussions of the roles of the five-fold ministry.  This is a cutting edge resource for any Christian in active leadership.

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Personal Update

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The last two weeks I spent working full-time as a parking enforcement officer.  Each day brought so many memorable conversations with co-workers, as well as intermittent moments of dealing with angry and confused people–a great chance to strengthen my faith.

I also recently discovered the bud of a new spiritual gift for interpretation as the Lord allowed me to understand a young woman speaking in Russian (not as a word-for-word translation, but as an interpretation of each of her main points).  Having understood the main ideas of the conversation she was having with another, I then asked if I could pray for her, and was able to pray (in English) regarding her concerns.  Of course, I don’t actually know Russian beyond a few simple greetings; this was definitely a gift given for the moment, and I was very excited by it!

This week, I’m adjusting back into my “regular” schedule–if that’s possible, I think the Lord’s been teaching me to live spontaneously and nomadically, which is against my natural tendencies.  My husband and I are also spontaneously rearranging our living/dining area, which has become an adventure in itself. :)

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Review of Fearless by Max Lucado

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Not RecommendedFearless is full of personal stories, but beyond the empathetic acknowledgment that humans are in a battle against fear, Lucado offers only a superficial view of Christianity.

Lucado identifies that we need to trust in God, cast our worries on Him, and so on, but he doesn’t go deep enough into HOW anyone would begin doing this.  He also gives no mention of fear being a supernatural enemy of a spiritual war.  How can we truly fight and overcome fear if we don’t recognize the root of the battle?

There are also theological problems; e.g., Lucado tells us that Jesus was fearful before He went to the cross, which contradicts the nature of God (perfect love driving out fear).  Jesus was certainly grieved about what was to come, but to say He was “feeling fear full bore” crosses a line; it suggests He prayed from a spirit of fear rather than the Spirit of God, and that He fell into the temptation of the flesh (undermining His sacrifice on the cross).

Fearless won’t help its readers strengthen their identities in the Lord or equip them for the spiritual battle at hand.  It may be inspirational to some, but only as ‘feel good’ encouragement.

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