Saturday, June 10, 2006

Subtle Warfare

Galatians 5:
5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?
8 This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.
9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
10 I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.
11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.
12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.

13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only one another.
14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."
15 But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

It always seem to be that the same thing keeps happening to me. I used to think that it was me, that there was something wrong with me. I no longer believe that.

Instead I need to remember that my battle is not against flesh and blood.

Ephesians 6:
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

I keep expecting this war to be obvious. I am learning that it is not, it is very subtle and that the devil and his cohorts know our weaknesses. In other words, the attacks don't seem as if they are anything other than people being people, but this is not always so.

Now I know this looks as if I am putting all of the blame for my actions and the actions of others on Satan. IN a way that would be right, but in another way it is not correct. We all make our own choices to follow temptations or not.

"quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."

What are these darts?? Well it depends on the person involved. With me, this is how it always seemed to go:

1. I get right with God
2. I am hurt by other Christians
3. I curse those people and lash out to hurt them as they have hurt me.
4. I give up and do my own thing.
5. I get convicted but I have to start at the beginning. But I trust less.

Satan wins!!

I never in the past got past that point. Not this time!!

Just like I am tempted and I have my weak spots, so do others. I need to remember that just like I have my whisperings in my ear, (they are all the same, why even try anymore, God doesn't love me, why is it always me, REVENGE!!) they have theirs. (she is trying to start a fight with that post, she is not really working at doing the right thing.... and so on)

They failed and I failed. Our biggest problem is our own heads and allowing the wicked one to influence our behaviors and perceptions.

This does not excuse either their actions nor mine. We have free will to make our own choices.

Neither can I blame my actions on the fact that I was hurt by those I cared about or those who claimed that they cared about me. Understanding is all I can ask for. But that is a two way street. If I ask for and expect understanding and forgiveness, then I also must give it as well.

This is the latest lesson that I have had to learn the hard way. Sometimes I wish that these lessons didn't have to hurt so. This was the answer I was given when I asked God "why does this keep happening?" IT really is quite simple, because it had always worked. Why would satan change that which works.

I was told a long time ago that if someone knows which buttons to push to get you angry, then change the button. In other words, if this is how he keeps getting me to fail, then it is something that I need to change. Knowing is half the battle. Next time (and I have no doubt that there will be a next time) I am armed and ready. I know where it comes from and how to defeat it.

Praise God for His loving Grace and Mercy!