Spiritual Warfare at Its Finest

Tags: Spiritual Warfare
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Spiritual Warfare at Its Finest
Spiritual Warfare at Its Finest details how it is possible for demons to masquerade as God, presenting themselves to believers as God himself. A must read!

Spiritual Warfare at Its Finest

Let’s say 10 years ago, you sinned. But today, I sinned. I am wounded and scarred because of the experience. I desperately need a friend. I am spiritually bleeding. In fact, the wounds are so great, they absolutely cannot be hidden. It is obvious to everyone that I am wrestling. I am so open about it, that I even do obvious things to make my pain known to others. Wherever I go, I broadcast this message of hurt.

Really, it’s a desperate cry for help. But is anyone listening? Actually, they are. But another side of me is very testy. I’m happy to confess my pain openly like this, and to let it all gush out, because I am angry at those who hurt me, whom I also sinned against, but this also means my posture is not right, and consequently, I’m super-sensitive towards criticism. Pride is keeping me back from the healing I need. I am simply not willing to let the Son of God come in and heal me, because of my defensiveness.

In all of this, we could say that my spiritual posture is not right. Or, you could say, I am not postured to receive from God. How can I receive from God, when I am so defensive? I rebuke people who come close to me, feeling like they are my enemy. Actually, they are not my enemy at all.

Concerning “letting it all gush out,” it would be OK if I was healed, and wanted to share some experiences I went through as an object or teaching lesson with my friends. But this is different. I’m still terribly wounded, and it would be much better if I could share these things with a few trusted friends rather than everyone.

You happen to be one of those trusted friends (or at least you think you are, and you definitely were considered to be one of those close trusted friends in the very recent past), and so, in faith, you call me up, and say, “Friend, I am concerned for you. I see you are hurting. Can we talk?”

But inwardly, I want none of it. I consider any such discussion “judging” (even though I myself am more than willing to judge others, and see nothing wrong with that). Simply put, I have put up a wall of defense in my heart. And it is almost impossible for anyone to get through to me. My heart has become “hard”, in the language of the Bible.

This scenario is actually a very real one, but it can get worse than that. Because of this posture, I have closed the door to God’s voice, and opened it to the enemy’s. I may consider myself to be a Christian, but all of a sudden, I am “tuned in” to the wrong frequency. I am no longer on the Holy Spirit’s frequency of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23). My signals are now getting mixed up. My response to you may be rather shocking. I say:

“I knew you were going to say this! This morning, God spoke to me and reminded me about what you did 10 years ago. He warned me not to trust you. He prepared me for your phone call. From this, I know that you are the one who needs to repent. I rebuke you in Jesus name!” I become agitated. I hang up on you, even.

Pretty shocking response, isn’t it? I would say so! How could a response like this happen? Did God really speak to me, and warn me about you? Were you not simply trying to help? Why then this entirely shocking response?

Let us go through this carefully and biblically in order to properly discern what exactly is at work. First, did I not claim God spoke to me just this morning about you, to warn me about you? But did he really?

1. First, there is no doubt that you sinned 10 years ago. But you recovered, in accordance with the Scriptures: “for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again” (Proverbs 24:16a)

2. You indeed confessed your sin and were cleaned, in accordance with the Scriptures: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

3. Your transgressions were far removed, even as far as the east is from the west, in accordance with the Scriptures: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)

All of this is true, yet, all of a sudden, apparently God has spoken to me to warn me about you, and God’s “defense” or “proof” that you are untrustworthy is your sin of 10 years also. I myself, of course, fell into sin less than 3 months ago, but that does not matter to me! What matters is that you sinned 10 years ago, and are completely untrustworthy. So, as it stands, my case against you was formed prior to your calling me.

How could this be?

The Reality of Spiritual Warfare

This is where we really need to understand spiritual warfare, because in this world, there are many spirits, and they are constantly watching us. Furthermore, spirits that are watching us can move extremely quickly (seconds, not minutes) to reach other spirits that are watching others, many miles away (even thousands of miles away). These spirits (or demons) work in a united fashion to carry out deceptive plans. These plans are devious and are designed to divide God’s people and to subvert God’s intentions. Paul, however, was not unaware of these types of things, and writes, concerning Satan,

“that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

Satan’s schemes are devious.

Paul also writes,

“for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

This is the point that I want to get at. It was completely against God’s character to actually remind me about your sin from 10 years ago! I’ve already provided the reasons in points (1), (2), and (3) above. But if my understanding of God’s character is flawed, and I am overly sensitive, being on the edgy side because I am hurt and wounded and I think that everyone is against me, then it will be very easy for me to “buy into the lie” that you are untrustworthy because of your sin of 10 years ago.

So what happened, anyway?

What happened was, Satan knows all about God’s redeeming grace, and is trying to subvert its access to people. Through demons that are watching us, he knows that God is moving upon you to call me up, but wants to subvert that in my eyes. So in the spiritual realm, he can speak to me (in my mind and in my heart), if my heart is already hard, due to pain and conflict. The issue is, when pain and conflict already exist in a person’s heart, then it becomes easy to hear a voice that is not God’s, and think that it is God’s.

This is a classic scenario where a demon, wanting to subvert your good intention, would speak to me first, before you even called, and remind me of your sin of 10 years ago, using that as a pretext to get me not to trust you. However, this demon does not come in its own name, but instead comes in deceptively as the “voice of God.” How come I cannot discern it as being the voice of a demon? Am I not a Christians with years of experience? I am! But it is because of the pain that is in my heart! Pain acts as a negative filter, subverts the voice of God, and opens us up to deception.

One such pain might be the pain of rejection. People can feel the pain of rejection for many years, in fact, and not receive the love that God has to offer them. That means they are carrying around this pain, right inside of them. They are carrying around a lie (that they are rejected, when in fact, God receives them if they will only believe it).

The issue is spiritual conflict. When spiritual conflict is rife within my own heart, then the voice of the enemy becomes confused with the voice of God. This is a classic scenario where the voice of the enemy appears as God. The person has opened themselves up due to unresolved conflict. Sadly, this then becomes a point of division between brothers or sisters in Christ. How sad it is!

Looking at It Another Way

Let us now re-explain this to help you understand this even better for this topic is exceedingly important.

Here you are, redeemed and forgiven of all your sins (there is nothing you have not confessed). You simply want to be used of God to help me. But I have a problem. I’m very defensive. The wounds in my heart have created an opening. That opening is both emotional and spiritual. Satan, or one of his demons, observing your kind intention to reach out to me, is not at all pleased with the possibility that I might, in fact, find God’s grace to heal me. So he devises a plot (it has worked many times) to deceive me into thinking that you are untrustworthy. How could he even achieve this? He knows there are areas in my heart that are not healed. He knows there are openings and judgments that I have already made (and hold dear to me) that would allow him access. He is all too willing to take advantage of this, and will!

The plan is set in motion, so that even before you contact me, I have bought into the lie that you are untrustworthy. I have also ignored the fact that if this “truth” applies to you (that you are not trustworthy), it must surely also apply to me, as well (since I have even more recently sinned). Simply put, I’m not broken enough to be reached at this point in time. My mind, and Satan himself (or one or more of his demons), are playing tricks on me, pretending to be God, when in fact, God has not spoken to me at all. It was indeed the schemer the accuser of the brethren (that would be Satan, or one of his demons) who spoke to me.

How could I have avoided this?

By understanding God’s character.

How could this have helped me in my own sin? This is a huge point! If I did understand God’s character, I would be quick to forgive, rather than quick to judge and critical of a sin that you committed 10 years ago. This would help me, because I would then apply that same rule to myself. For would not my actions set the standard by which God would then judge me? They would. But as it is, I am now storing up judgment for myself, because the Bible says,

Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2)

If I do not apply that same rule to myself, I’m being hypocritical. And if I act hypocritically, God’s hand will be against me.

Diagnostic Question

Am I demonstrating full integrity by holding your 10-year old sin against you, in my unwillingness to trust you? No, certainly not! Did I not sin recently myself? I did! So by holding your 10-year old sin against you, in my unwillingness to trust you, what am I really saying? What I am saying is, “I would like to be treated in the same way.” For this is God’s law.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (John 6:14-15)

And in another passage, it says that even “more” (on the negative side) will be added to you.

“Be careful therefore how you hear. For whoever has {mercy and grace on others}, to him {mercy and grace} will be given; and whoever does not have {mercy and grace on others}, from him {mercy and grace} will be taken away even that which he thinks he has. (Luke 8:18)

Now notice that in this passage (Luke 8:18), Jesus starts off by saying, “Be careful therefore how you hear.” This is the only place in the entire Bible where he uses this expression. This should tell us something: this passage is extremely important!

What does it mean,

“Be careful therefore how you hear”?

The word “hear” is used in the sense of “understanding”, even as it is used in Matthew 11:15:

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:15)

Meaning,

“He who has ears to hear, let him understand.”

We are therefore to be very careful about what Jesus has said in Luke 8:18. He wants us to understand it. It has huge implications for our lives!

In fact, if you read the Scriptures, you will find this same statement (or similar renditions of it) repeated many times1. God does that for a reason: it is exceptionally important!

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that hardness of heart opens the door to hearing the wrong voices. We should be quick to forgive all sins and transgressions against us, so that this door can be closed and so that God himself forgives us of all of our transgressions.

But if we refuse to forgive our brothers or sisters for their transgressions, what will that mean for us?

Based on the following passages, I will have locked myself into a very deep prison, if I cannot forgive such as one as this.

Consider the following2:

Matthew 7:2: This passage tells us that we will be judged in the same way we judge others.

John 6:14-15: This passage tells us that God will not forgive us if we fail to forgive others.

Matthew 5:23-26: This passage tells us that if we fail to have an attitude of reconciliation towards our brother in Christ, that we will get locked in a spiritual prison from which we will hardly be able to escape.

Matthew 18:21-35: This passage tells us that God will hand us over to torturers (demons) if we fail to forgive our brother for his transgressions against us.

Let us therefore be of a humble disposition indeed, and love one another, so that we might receive the blessings that God wants us to receive.

 

1. Matthew 13:12, Luke 8:18, Luke 12:48, Matthew 25:29, Mark 4:25, Luke 6:38, Matthew 7:2

2. You are encouraged to read these passages on your own, as well. However, some have already been covered above.

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