Today is our spiritual warPublished 6:00pm Friday, November 18, 2011
By REV. CARL G. RALSTON
Church of the Lord Jesus Christ
To those of us who follow Jesus Christ, we find it is not an easy road. The apostle Paul said, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:3-5).
As we live and study in Gods Holy word, the King James Bible, we clearly see there is no fence-sitting as the spiritual battle rages. We must always remember that Jesus said “he who is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30).
In our study of his word, we see that the war is not about God defeating his adversary. It is the battle over the winning of the hearts of mankind. “My son give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways” (Proverbs 23:26).
As we search and study God’s word, we find this is the real theme that runs through the entire Bible — to remember the first Commandment. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:36-38).
There are some who believe and teach that we have no free will, that God has predestined everything. We know that God knows everything as he is the creator of the heavens and earth. But if he has predestined everything, then how are we to give him our hearts and minds? We cannot give what God has programmed to do. There would be no point for us to have the Bible to live by and the commandments in it. We are told to “fight the good fight of faith” and to “put on the whole armor of God” and we are told to be “good soldiers.” It all boils down to a war between God and Satan and the prize is humanity.
We see now the Bible is full of war and battles of all kinds. The apostle Peter said it very wisely, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8). We can see that it is obvious that predestination is false.
Before we looked on the choice to live for God, we considered the life we wanted to live, and we listened to preaching the different strategies we would have to use to be successful in living for God. There is much critical information to consider and obey, and also many objectives that we would have to conquer. This is the approach that everyone has to consider that comes to God. It is a “War briefing.” It does begin with an overview of God’s ultimate game plan, to beat “Satan at his own game.”
Its God’s goal in the Scriptures to win the hearts of men and woman with whom he desires to be with him for eternity. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life…” (John 3:36). These are just a few of many other verses that declare God’s objective for those who will give their heart and mind to him.
One of the means God uses in achieving his goal is to communicate to us through his Word. Without God’s revelation to us, concerning his love for us, we could not know it. But we see he has communicated to us through his word all that he has done for us and what he requires from us in order to be reconciled to him and to receive the gift of eternal life. “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that salvation is not of yourselves it is the gift to God…” (Ephesians 2:8).
We can see now that God’s communication is a key to his goal of winning the hearts of mankind, and it is not surprising that his word would be the major target for his enemies. Shutting down the line of communication would be most effective for defeating an enemy. This brings us to God’s main adversary, Satan and his strategies. “Lest Satan should get and advantage of us for we are not ignorant of his devices” (II Corinthians 2:11). The apostle Paul here is letting us know that we should not dwell on the deceptions of the devil, but we always must be aware of them.
The word of God tells us to put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand (Ephesians 6:11-13). This does sound very much like a war briefing to us. Satan’s strategy is the same that he has used from the very beginning on humanity.
But for those who believe the Bible, it’s certainly consistent for one who is called “The god of this world.” “That old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (II Corinthians 4:4 and Revelations 12:9).