Monday, August 11, 2014

Excitement in the boat, part 21: the battle

Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me." (Luke 8:28 NASB)

As we have seen previously, the demon threw the man to the ground and cried out to Jesus, "What business do we have with each other?" Indeed. What possible business could a vile demon have with the Son of God? The only business could be a breaking of the hold the demon had on the poor man in the tombs, and that was exactly what Jesus planned to do. When the demon saw that Jesus had arrived, he knew his time of domination was short and that his power would soon be gone, and it was. 

For the believer, the demons of hell may not possess us, but the enemy of our soul can certainly gain a stronghold of sin and lies that allows him power in our lives. The question we must answer is why. Why would we cede territory in our lives to the evil one? Why would we allow ourselves to be overcome with evil and controlled by our thirst for sin when Jesus has all the power that is required to break its hold on us?
In times of temptation, we have only to ask Our Lord for help, and He, who stands ready to come to our aid, will help us overcome temptation. When we have believed a lie so long that it has become a stronghold, allowing the enemy control of our lives in that area, we have only to call out to God and He will replace the lies with truth and fill that void with His Spirit. 

If we can be set free from sin's hold on us, if we can be freed from the enemy's attack, why aren't we? Why don't we have victory every time? Ephesians 6 tells us that we are to put on every piece of spiritual armor in order to overcome the evil one. 

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. (Ephesians 6:13 NLT)

The armor of God is a topic for another time, but there are two pieces of armor that are vital, yet often neglected. The shield that protects us from the fiery darts of the enemy is the shield of faith. When we hold our shield in place, those fiery darts bounce right off, yet many of us allow our faith to wobble to such a degree that we are constantly exposed and at risk. We must hold firm to our faith without wavering if we hope to be protected in times of trouble.   

The only offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit. We can make tremendous headway and gain victory with this sword, but many of us are ill-equipped to use it. Our sword is the Word of God. When we know Scripture from time spent studying it and living it, we will have it ready and available when it is needed to combat the lies of the enemy.

The best part is that knowing the Word of God in such a way that we can use it as a sword against the evil one also allows us to better use it as a bolster for our shield. It expands the shield and becomes a protection for us. Attacks may come, but the Word of God will be not only our sword but also our shield, for it is the foundation of our faith. 

Pray today that God will fill our hearts and that of our loved ones with His Word and His truth to such a degree that our faith will be expanded and our arms will be strengthened and equipped to do battle with the evil one. 
Link to last night's post is here:
The terrorist prayer focus for this week is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his organization, ISIS.  Only a few thousand soldiers, they aim to spread their radical extremism throughout the world.