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The Start of Spiritual Warfare

For the past few posts I’ve been talking about the first spiritual battle between Adam and the devil.  We saw that Adam was given all the authority he needed to defeat the enemy.  Instead, he allowed the devil to use words in order to deceive him into disobeying God’s Word.

In that defeat, there were some important changes that happened.  First and foremost, Satan became the legal owner of planet earth and everything in it.  Mankind became slaves.

There was another event that most people don’t realize.  If you remember, Adam was given a bow and arrows as his spiritual weaponry (Revelation 6:1-2).  When he was defeated by the enemy, he was stripped of these weapons.  It’s clear from Scripture that they are now in the enemy’s hands.

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ephesians 6:16

This verse is especially important knowing that these arrows originally belonged to Adam.

That tells me that in the garden, when Adam fell, mankind was stripped of all spiritual armor and weapons.  Humanity was defenseless against the spiritual forces of evil.

A third result of Adam’s defeat was the entrance of sin into the world system.  When Adam knowingly chose to disobey God, he picked that which was imperfect.  At that moment he stepped out of God’s perfect will for his life.

In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible the word, sin, literally means to miss the mark.  Perfection, what we were created for, is the bullseye.  No matter how hard we try, we miss the target.  That’s the word picture of what sin is.  It’s missing the mark of God’s will.

That brings me to the start of the ongoing spiritual war that we find ourselves in.  Our number one battle is not against the enemy, even though that’s a part of it.  The toughest battle we face is within our own being.

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Hebrews 12:4

The writer of Hebrews tells us that we’re at war against sin.  It’s that part of human nature that wants to do something other than God’s will.  Our flesh always seems to want to choose the imperfect.

This explains a lot about the Old Testament.  People often ask why there were so many sins that had the death penalty attached.  The answer is simple.  With no spiritual weapons, the only way to fight sin was in the natural.

How do you stop the spirit of adultery from spreading?  Under the Old Testament we would have no way to combat it in the spiritual realm.  The only way to stop the spirit of adultery was to put to death the adulterer.

That also explains why whole nations had to be totally destroyed.  The nation of Amalek, for example, had sold itself out to the enemy.  In that case, their sin had to be eradicated by a physical war.

This is why we have to be careful in how we apply Old Testament Scriptures.  Things have changed since then.  That’s why I feel that God is leading me to talk about the history of spiritual warfare.

We need to understand where we are today.  There are some principles that we can learn from the Old Testament, but our battle is on a different level.

Over the next few posts I hope to explain not only where we’ve come from, but how we can walk in the victory Christ has won for us.

Question: What is your biggest difficulty in your battle against sin?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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The Great Cover-Up

Are you involved in a cover-up? I’m not talking about spies, or corporate espionage. I’m referring to a spiritual cover-up.

Our society has made it so easy for us. We have access to more entertainment, sporting events, and educational opportunities than any other generation before us. These are all good things, unless…

Many people, Christians included, know that their lives aren’t what they should be. But instead of dealing with the problem, they hide in a sea of amusement. The word, amuse, a-muse, literally means to not think.

We will fill our lives with so much that we don’t have to think about and deal with the problems. James talks about this condition.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:8-10

Many people read this passage out of context and dismiss it as purely condemnation. They refuse to accept it as a word of warning to them.

The word sinner has become a bad word to us. It simply means someone who’s missing the mark – they’re not experiencing all that God has for them.

That’s what happens when you’re double-minded; you haven’t fully committed to trust God’s plan over yours. You miss out on God’s best when you only trust Him part of the time.

The key word in all of this is, grieve. It doesn’t sound good, but it’s actually sound advice. It literally means to realize one’s own misery. There’s a point when you have to shut off the continual stream of entertainment and take stock of your life.

That’s why this verse has to be read in the context of the whole section it’s in. James is speaking to people who find themselves in the conditions he described in chapters 3 and 4. If you find that your life has disorder and evil that you can’t overcome. Or maybe you’ve been praying for things with no results. It could be that you’ve tried to resist the enemy and he doesn’t leave you alone.

These are the things that James is trying to get you to think about. Are you living up to God’s best plan for your life? At some point we all have to stop and think about it.

Please realize that the goal of all of this is NOT to ruin your fun. God is not intent on being the universal party-pooper. He wants you to enjoy the greatest fulfillment and potential that you could ever hope to achieve.

This is made clear by his last statement. If you’re willing to bring your life back into God’s order, then He will lift you up. The verse says that He wants to elevate you above the circumstances.

The choice is yours. You can continue to climb your own ladder of success. But if you do, you may get to the top only to find that you placed it against the wrong wall.

The other choice is to turn around and step into God’s elevator. Follow His plan for your life and let Him have complete responsibility for getting you to your destiny.

So rather than this verse being about judgment and condemnation, we need to see it as a call to stop the cover-up. If that’s for you, the answer is simple. It’s time to repent and start off in a new direction in Christ.

Question: How has God’s plan proven to be better than yours so far?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2017 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Society, Revival, and Forgiveness

JailI’ve been posting about the link between forgiveness and revival.  I think that it’s clear from Scripture that the spiritual battle is not only fought on the ground.  There’s a higher aspect to it.

In my last post, I talked about Daniel’s prayer while in Babylon.  As he was praying and interceding on earth, the angels were warring in the sky.  If we want a breakthrough in our nation, then there must be a spiritual battle.

As in any war, it requires strategy.  It’s not just about politics.  It’s not even about me sharing the Gospel with someone.  We’re in a spiritual war.

Another lesson that we need to learn is that it’s not just up to individuals.  In an army, soldiers don’t just wake up and say, “I’m going to go out and fight today.”

“I’m going to do warfare today.”

That doesn’t work in the natural, so why do we think that it has a lasting effect in the spiritual?

Understanding forgiveness will give us a view of the whole war.  We are so intent on our individual fight.  When that happens, we get self-absorbed and that’s the exact opposite of being humble.

In warfare it’s imperative that I know what the enemy’s objective is in attacking us.  What’s our objective in the spiritual war, as the body of Christ?

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:21

Jesus said this to His disciples after the resurrection.  “In the same way that the Father sent me…”  Jesus’ objective was to destroy the works of the evil one.  How can we do that?  There’s only one way – the same as He did.

And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
John 20:22-23

The victory comes through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Then, there needs to be forgiveness – the picking up and removal of sin.  Sin is that which misses the mark.  We are to heal society by forgiveness principles.  The principles of sin removal.

In actuality, the word, forgive, is not in second half of the above verse.  The word used is seize, take hold, dominate, or arrest.

When we deal with society, sin and people in sin, there are two objectives.  The first is to remove sin.  This means getting someone saved and/or healed.  It might even be getting a godly law passed.

The other objective, if people refuse the Good News, is to arrest sin.  We can take dominion over it in the Name of Christ.

“This far and no further.”

Then, we can push it back in the spirit.  In my next post I’ll wrap up this subject showing what I believe is God’s way to overcome evil and bring about revival in our nation.

Question: What are the evils that need to be arrested and pushed back in our nation?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2013 in Power of God, Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Warfare

 

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