Know thy enemy:
If we were born in another generation, and were a man, it would be normal for us to go to war. Well, as I showed in the Warrior side of Father God, God is a warrior, and if you are to be like Him, so are you. https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/the-warrior-heart-of-god/
Remember, you are training for reigning, and God has not called you to be some buck private on the front lines, but are being groomed for officer status.
Now a private simply obeys orders, and does what he is told. An officer however, gets involved in strategic planning, and does everything in his power to do the best for the men in his command. Some of the things he must consider in any combat situation are:
1) His supply lines: They say that for every soldier that actually fights on the front lines of battle, there are six people working behind the scenes to keep him in action. Food, medicine, transport, administration, medics, and those who work in the factories producing the ammunition he needs to fight. If you run out of food, you will not fight very long.
2) Communication: There is power in agreement. If you can disrupt the enemy’s ability to communicate with each other, you can divide and conquer his goods.
(Mat 12:25 NIV) Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
(Mat 12:26 NIV) If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?
Just like we can disrupt Satan’s communication lines, so he seeks to destroy ours. Firstly, he seeks to get us so busy that our prayer time becomes simply religious one-way petitions to God, instead of beautiful communion, where we both speak and listen.
3) Fuel: I remember hearing of a battle when Nazi Germany attacked Russia. The wise Russians, simply fled, taking what they could carry, and destroying what might have helped provide for the advancing German army. The Germans ran out of gas in their tanks, and food for their men, and had to quit the assault.
Our food and fuel is the Word of God. (Mat 4:4 NIV) Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” If we are to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, we quickly recognize that our word level = our victory level. If we are daily feeding upon the word of God in our own personal lives, and keeping our prayer life up, Satan sees us, and finds someone else to attack that day.
4) Ammunition – I asked a tank commander one time about combat missions, and priorities. He said that communication outposts are their first targets, then fuel and ammunition dumps. Your weapons of war are found in scripture in (Eph 6:10 NIV) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
(Eph 6:11 NIV) Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Eph 6:12 NIV) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
(Eph 6:13 NIV) Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Eph 6:14 NIV) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
(Eph 6:15 NIV) and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
(Eph 6:16 NIV) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
(Eph 6:17 NIV) Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Eph 6:18 NIV) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
(Eph 6:19 NIV) Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
Notice that in all these weapons, most are defensive while two are offensive. The sword of the spirit, (word of God) and the lance of intercession (prayer).
A gun doesn’t do you any good without any bullets. Next lesson I’m going to give you twenty-one weapons from the Word you can use to enforce Jesus victory in your life.
Today, you warriors, I want to teach you about battle strategy. Just as Satan has a personal plan to destroy you, God has a victory plan for you in every arena of life. Satan can not be everywhere at once, nor does he have the power to stop you when you obey God. God is Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent. That means He is everywhere at once, He is all knowing, and He is all powerful. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Now before you warriors step into the fray and blast satan out of the water with the almighty artillery God has entrusted me to give to you, you need to survey the battlefield.
As a child of God, you have quickly discovered this world is not the way Jesus intended it to be; the impersonalness of the world, the temptations we face in our flesh, the challenges we face as we are commanded to love people who would hurt us, and who do things contrary to what the Bible says they should, and then the constant onslaught of the enemy could leave us confused broken and bruised. If, that is, it were not for our Almighty God.
Jesus said the (John 10:10 NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
He wants us to experience that life he purchased for us, but certain things we need to get aggressive with in order to experience that life. We are more than conquerors in Him. (Rom 8:37 NIV)
Yet, a conqueror has to conquer something to receive the title. Which means there has to be a battle somewhere.
There was. Jesus, our victorious champion, came, defeated the devil at every turn, and died to pay the price for our sins, then rose victorious from death hell and the grave.
(John 12:31 NIV) Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
He was going to do it, and then he did it.
The Bible says that Jesus spoiled principalities and made a show of them openly.
Col 1:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
In fact, had the devil and his crowd known about what Jesus was really doing on the cross, he would have never have allowed him to die.
(1 Cor 2:6 NIV) We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
(1 Cor 2:7 NIV) No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
(1 Cor 2:8 NIV) None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Now, authority and the sword of the Lord have been handed to you, and you must conquer, and as Jesus did, fight your own fight of faith.
There are three battlegrounds each of us must fight upon: the world, the flesh and the devil.
Let’s take a quick look at these three fields of battle in the Word, and see how and understanding of these can help us get free, and stay free from every trap and snare of the enemy.
(Mat 4:8 NIV) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
(James 4:4 NIV) You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
(1 John 2:15 NIV) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
(1 John 2:16 NIV) For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.
(1 John 2:17 NIV) The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
What does all this mean? Well this word world used here simply means “orderly arrangement”. I saw a T-shirt I liked that said ‘Rage against the Machine’. Although God is on the throne, He is not a cruel dictator. Rules without relationship equals rebellion. The sense of what John and James are describing to us is this: God wants a vital living relationship with us, his prime creation. Ever been involved in system that has become impersonal? A dead lifeless set of rules that crush the spirits of all those who are under them? This is the worldly system. In and of itself it is dead, lifeless. God wants us to live ordered lives, not religious ones. Although there is order in the kingdom of God, order is not God; Jesus is Lord. People, to prevent corruption and to help bring order to society created rules and laws in society. We are to submit to the laws of the lands to the degree that these laws agree with the Word of God. Godly government is designed to bring light and life and liberty to all that submit to it. Yet there is an ordered system that is directly opposed to Jesus Lordship. Territories that need to be possessed in prayer, and taken for the kingdom of God.
(Mat 4:8 NIV) Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
Notice there are kingdoms here that rightfully belong to God by right of creation and redemption, yet are being ruled by the devil and his demons. In a later course, I’ll teach those of you who continue with us how this works, but for now, all you need to know is that they exist, and that they are evil.
This worldly system is a dead thing, and only produces death. Yet, our Jesus brings life from the dead.
(John 6:33 NIV) For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
(John 6:51 NIV) I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
How? As we pray for governments and situations, God makes a supply of his Spirit available, and begins to flow into these dead places with His River. Like water on dry ground, the soil softens, seed germinate, and the land begins to produce something. Prayer Produces Life! We die to our desire, and plan for a time, that families, cities, and nations might experience the life and grace of God.
(1 John 4:4 NIV) You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
If you want further reading on “the world”, I recommend a little book by an author named Watchman Nee entitled, “Love not the World”.
So, we see, the world is an enemy of God, and of us.
(Gal 5:19 NIV) The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
(Gal 5:20 NIV) idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
(Gal 5:21 NIV) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Now the NIV calls ‘the flesh’, the sinful nature here in this passage. I want to make a point here.
Ever heard someone say, “the devil made me do it?”
Let’s take a look here at the types of behaviours exhibited here and see.
Sexual immorality, notice here that God calls this a work of the flesh, not a demon. In order to end up in bed with someone outside of marriage, it doesn’t just happen. You need to make a decision to let your flesh rule you. The devil may put the thought in your mind, but you are the one that sins against God and goes for it.
The way we deal with flesh is different than demons. We don’t cast out flesh. No, individually we must crucify it. We must kill it. God won’t do it for us. Now, if you continue in any of these behaviors long enough, you attract demons. Like vultures they are drawn to the smell of rotting flesh and dead things. Yet, even if you have opened yourself to a demon in one of these areas, you need to repent, and go to the cross, and stop doing your sin. Remember the difference between Remorse and Repentance.
Well, let’s look at these.
Impurity and debauchery – pornography, masturbation, and homosexuality.
(Gal 5:20 NIV) Idolatry
Giving some other person or thing more affection than you give God. This can even be your family, your children, your job, and any thing that you allow to take more of your affection than you do God. Reality check. How do you spend your time? How much time do you give God in prayer and in the word, and in His agenda? Is He your Lord, or just your savior?
Witchcraft – This is not some freaky looking dude with a cape and wand necessarily. Sure, witches and warlocks exist, but this word has a deeper meaning that that. Whenever you manipulate, dominate or control another person to get your own way, its witchcraft. Even Christians, that pray prayers from their soul instead of their spirit, attempting to exert their will over another, instead of praying the will and Word of God for another, enter into witchcraft.
Hatred – A strong negative reaction, a feeling toward someone considered an enemy as well as loving someone less than another. I see this in families all the time. They survive together by the grace of God, but mom or dad has their favorites. Sibling rivalry. Despising one in your heart. God is not that way, and neither should we be. Even if we don’t like what someone is doing, we should love them, and treat them with as much respect and fairness as we can.
Discord – Strife. Arguing, bickering. That tit-for tat mentality. It’s flesh.
Jealousy – is used in three senses in Scripture; (1) as intolerance of rivalry or unfaithfulness; (2) as a disposition suspicious of rivalry or unfaithfulness; and (3) as hostility towards a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage. Sense 3 approximates envy. God is jealous for His people Israel in sense 1, that is, God is intolerant of rival gods (Ex. 20:5; 34:14; Deut. 4:24; 5:9) One expression of God’s jealousy for Israel is God’s protection of His people from enemies. Thus God’s jealousy includes avenging Israel (Ezek. 36:6; 39:25; Nah. 1:2; Zech. 1:14; 8:2). Phineas is described as jealous with God’s jealousy (Num. 25:11,13, sometimes translated zealous for God). Elijah is similarly characterized as jealous (or zealous) for God (1 Kings 19:10,14). In the New Testament Paul speaks of his divine jealousy for the Christians at Corinth (2 Cor. 11:2).
Numbers 5:11-30 concerns the process by which a husband suspicious of his wife’s unfaithfulness might test her. Most often human jealousy involves hostility towards a rival. Joseph’s brothers were jealous (Gen. 37:11) and thus sold their brother into slavery (Acts 7:9). In Acts 17:5 a jealous group among the Jews incited the crowd against Paul. Jealousy, like envy, is common in vice lists (Rom. 13:13; 2 Cor. 12:20; Gal. 5:20-21). Jealousy is regarded as worse than wrath or anger (Prov. 27:4). James regarded jealousy (or bitter envy) as characteristic of earthy, demonic wisdom (3:14) and as the source of all disorder and wickedness (3:16).
Fits of rage – These little childish temper tantrums are nothing more than this: flesh. When a grown man, uses the physical strength God gave him to break things or people, well, he has made a decision as to how he needs to be responded to. He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. Its really simple, either you rule your temper, and submit it to the Lordship of Jesus (we call that self-control, a fruit of the spirit), or anger rules us, and Jesus is not Lord in that area of our life. It is a life or death issue, we must kill our rage, or it will kill us.
Selfish ambition – flesh. Whereas in (1 Tim 3:1 NIV) we read: Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. So, we see that Godly ambition is a good thing. God wants you to be the best you can possible be for him. Yet, what if we build a house, a dream, get that degree, build a business, that was not the will of God for us? Wood, hay, and stubble: worthless in the day of judgment, of no eternal value. What a waste of our life, in light of what Jesus offers!
Dissensions, factions – bickering, cliques. God hates it, it’s flesh.
Envy – Who are you to get that thing! Why should they be blessed when I worked just as hard. No, rather. Glory! God blessed you? Let’s praise Him together, because I’m nest in line.
Drunkenness orgies – Self explanatory.
Again, notice that these are works of the flesh, and the cure for these is a crucified life, not a devil cast out. Most of the problems we face in this life come from this arena. Dealing with our own stuff, and the flesh of others.
The cure for flesh is spiritual growth and crucifixion. People need to feed on the word of God to grow out of this kind of behavior. (1 Cor 3:1 NIV) and kill fleshly desires that arise.
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ.
(1 Cor 3:2 NIV) I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
(1 Cor 3:3 NIV) You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?
See here. These Christians were still acting like babies spiritually, so Paul could not teach them all that he had for them.
Until you master yourself, you are not ready to go into serious battle against demons.
And having in a readiness to revenge alldisobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Ro 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Col 3:5 Mortify (kill, deaden, deprive of pleasure) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Bottom line, kill your flesh by feeding upon the Word and walking in the Sprit, or it will kill you.
We looked at where he came from and some of his tactics. Two good books on this area of Scripture are: Spiritual Warfare by Dean Sherman, and The Bondage Breaker by Dr. Neil Anderson. I
(2 Cor 10:3 NIV) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
(2 Cor 10:4 NIV) The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
(2 Cor 10:5 NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
(2 Cor 10:6 NIV) And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
When we go to war in the spirit, we begin and end with victory. Jesus won our victory 2000 years ago when he purchased victory for you and I. He has granted His authority to you, so that position-ally each of us have authority in each of these arena’s to enforce that blood-bought victory in our generation.
When Satan rears his ugly head in your life, you need to pick up the correct weapon, and blow him away. When the worldly system seeks to reproduce after its own kind, and a government seeks to implement legislation or has in place legislation that is not of God, we need to pick up the appropriate weapon of war, and change it. Authority does not rest solely in the hands of carnal man, but in the blood-bought church of the living God. When you are tempted to sin rather than fight, your own selfish fleshly way needs to remember that there was one beaten beyond human recognition for you. Blood was shed for you, and a holy God who loves you, but will never agree with sin. In the moment of trial, Remember
(1 Cor 10:13 NIV) No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
And when someone else is in the flesh, decide to stir up the love of God shed abroad in you heart by the Holy Ghost, and determine to forgive them, and bless them like Jesus taught us. Just because they are being an idiot, doesn’t mean you have to join them in it.
Next lesson, I’m going to give you some bullets for your gun, and teach you 21 weapons of spiritual warfare.
“Father, thank you for helping me to understand, the battles I face in the world, my flesh, and with the devil. I choose to walk in faith, in the victory that overcomes the world. By your grace, I will crucify my flesh, and Satan, I command you to leave my life, in the name and authority of my Lord Jesus Christ! AMEN!”
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Give in faith!
1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?
1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.
Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.
I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…
As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.
Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.
I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….
I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.
Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:
Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies
It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!
Before my friend Tom Leding died, he laid hands upon me at one of his meetings and prayed: ‘Father, may the anointing of financial increase that you have placed upon my life, be imparted to Chris, right now!’ As you know Tom has served on the board of Rhema for many years, and has walked in financial prosperity for many decades.
It’s working! I have heard wonderful testimonies of financial miracles, as we have prayed for people, everywhere we go!
Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!