Wednesday, January 7, 2009

HOW TO STAND UP AND FIGHT!

With all the talk going on in the church about spiritual warfare, Christians still have not learned how to stand up to the enemy. We are pushovers for the devil!

I don’t believe every misfortune that befalls a Christian comes from the devil. We wrongly blame him for a lot of our own carelessness, disobedience and laziness.

It’s easy to blame the devil for our foolishness. That way, we don’t have to deal with it. But there is a real devil present in the world today—and he is busy at work!

Let me tell you something of Satan’s strategy. If he cannot pull the Almighty out of his throne, he will try to tear God’s image out of you! He wants to turn worshippers into murmurers and blasphemers.

Satan cannot attack you at will. God has put a wall of fire around each of his children, and Satan cannot go beyond that wall without God’s permission.

Satan cannot read a Christian’s mind. Some people are afraid to pray because they think the devil eavesdrops on them! Others think the devil can read their every thought. Not so! Only God is omnipresent and omniscient.

Scripture commands us to stand up, be strong and do battle against the flesh and the devil: “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). “Brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).

You have to become fed up with being held down by the devil—living low, depressed, joyless, empty, harassed!

The book of Judges tells us, “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel” (Judges 6:1–2).

The Israelites were at their lowest point ever. They were driven to living in dark caves and damp dens, starving, scared and helpless. Then something happened. It started with Gideon, and it spread throughout the whole camp: Israel got sick and tired of hiding in those dark caves!

Gideon said to himself, “How long should we put up with this? They go through our land with no opposition. Nobody stands up and does anything about it! We’re told we have a God who moved for our fathers. But look at us now—we are stripped, helpless. We live in constant fear!”

Something rose up within Gideon. And he said just what God was waiting to hear: “This has gone far enough! We serve a mighty, victorious God. Why do we go on, day after day, taking this abuse?”

God will not do anything until you are thoroughly disgusted—until you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

You have to do as Gideon did—cry out to the Lord! We serve the same God that Israel did. If he heard Israel’s cry in their idolatry, he will hear you—in your sincerity.