This Means War

         “The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name.” [Exodus 15:3]

          The LORD will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies. [Isaiah 42:13]

          “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” [Zephaniah 3:17]

          In the above passages, the word LORD is used instead of the actual word — YHWH. The Hebrew scribes considered it sacrilegious to write down the name of God so they substituted the Hebrew word Adonai, which is translated into English as “LORD.”

          YHWH is truly a great Warrior. He is the greatest of all warriors. When He became a Man, He never stopped fighting, but actually upped the ante several million times and began to fight all the more. When the Lord Jesus arrived on this planet, He effectively declared war like He had never declared war before.

         He declared open warfare against the devil. He declared open warfare against the world constructed by unrepentant sinful mankind in league with the devil. And He declared war on sin, sinful human nature, and the binding power of sin upon humanity.

         He determined to set the captives free.

         As a result of His declaration of war, He suffered libel and slander. They said He was the fruit of a sinful liaison, that He was illegitimate, and that His blessed and pure mother had done the unthinkable.

          They said He was crazy, that He had a screw loose, and that He was missing a section of His mind.

          They said He was a common drunk because He drank wine.

          They said He was a glutton, despite His very thin frame and a forty-day fast.

          And they said He was demon-possessed, that He was filled with and controlled by filthy demonic entities who gave Him His power and spiritual standing.

          Have you suffered any of these things because of your Christian stand? When you became a real Christian, did people (mainly other “Christians”), say the same kind of things about you?

          If so, you can relate to God. You understand what spiritual war is all about. And you understand why war is necessary.

          Spiritual warfare is not to be avoided but embraced.

          The Lord began His warfare by becoming as one of us, born into the world the way all humans are. He lived a quiet life of preparation until the age of thirty. He then made a public show of Himself, coming out into the open, answering His calling, and positioning Himself for the warfare He would embrace. Though He needed no repentance, He came to John and was immersed in water as everyone else was commanded to do. He then received the infilling of the Spirit of God, as all those believers on the Day of Pentecost would later receive.

          Then He left “Egypt.” He left the world of man. He went into the wild lands alone to fight the devil. But before He fought the devil He had to defeat His flesh, not that He was sinful or would ever be sinful, but to show forth the correct example of what spiritual warfare required. One cannot fight the devil while also indulging his or her own passions. He defeated His flesh in this sense by fasting for a full forty days.

          Only two other men are listed in Scripture as having undergone a forty-day fast. This does not necessarily mean others did not do it, but only two men, Moses and Elijah, are listed. Moses did it twice. These three men were later present on the Mount of Transfiguration, representing the Law (Moses), the Prophets (Elijah), and Grace (the Lord Jesus). The other two men also had powerful anointings and were able to work miracles. But the other two men were not God.

          Defeating “the World” by leaving it and refusing to partake of its lusts is something most “Christians” never do.

          Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. [1 John 2:15-17]

          Outside observers see little difference between Christians and non-Christians because there IS little difference.

          Once the Lord left “the World,” He began a back-breaking fast that would put Him in the stratosphere of spiritual power. He would fight His flesh by denying it. He was already holy and pure and always had been. But as our example, and to solidify and concentrate His spiritual power and authority, he fasted away His outer humanity.

          But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 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. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

          But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [Galatians 5:16-25]

          After defeating the world and the flesh, it was time for the Lord to go toe-to-toe with the devil himself. Through speaking forth the Word of God, he defeated Satan, answering each temptation with powerful spiritual resistance and truth. When He returned to begin His ministry, He had defeated all three enemies and had established the means through which to keep them defeated. Everywhere He went from that time on He had power OVER the world, the flesh, and the devil. And used this power to openly attack His enemies, hitting them head-on with ballistic missile after ballistic missile, giving no quarter, and destroying them at every turn.

          In the end, He even destroyed death.

          He showed us how it’s done.

          Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. [Ephesians 6:10-13]

          The fact that we are at war with very powerful spiritual forces explains everything.

          Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep, like a warrior overcome by wine. He drove His adversaries backward; He put on them an everlasting reproach. [Psalm 78:65-66] [1]

          © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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  1. Here is a great quote from A.W. Tozer:

    “Spiritual Christians look upon the world not as a playground, but as a battleground.”

    “The World is the Battleground”
    https://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/the-world-is-the-battleground/

    Like

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