In Psalms 37:11 God’s word says that ‘The meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.’ Too many believers, however, have substituted weak for meek in their Christian behavior and their stand against Satan. Because of its tolerance to sin, the Church has become weak in its faith and it no longer exercises its belief in the power of God.
Some of the ways Satan and his demons attack us are through fear, temptation and affliction. A portion of these attacks are conducted in the physical realm through human, demon possessed or influenced, minions. In Matthew, 8: 28 we read about two demon possessed men who were so violent that no one could pass that way. People stayed away from the tombs because they were afraid they would be harmed physically. I believe the incident in Littleton, Colorado was an example of a Satanically inspired and demonically led attack on believers. I believe his mission was two-fold. His first objective was to create fear in the spiritually weak Christians who saw what happened, and to inhibit or stop their participation in overt prayer and profession of their faith. His second objective was to attack known believers, in an attempt to instill fear in the hearts of the very ones that the Christian teens were trying to reach – the unsaved. He wants to convince the lost that it’s unsafe and dangerous to be a Christian.
First Peter 5:8 says ‘Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ We know that Satan is just like any other predator. And just like any other predator, the ones that he attacks are not the strong ones in the herd, they are the weakest. Second Corinthians 10:4 says ‘The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.’ In James 4:7, the word tells us to ‘Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’ So how do we resist? The next verse tells us. ‘Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners and purify your hearts you double-minded.’ Double-minded pretty much describes the Church today.
When we believe God’s word, as born-again believers, we have the potential ability to ward off the direct spiritual attacks of Satan and his demons as well as his demon controlled and possessed minions. I say potential because too few of us have on the full armor of God as described in Ephesians chapter 6. Believers are running around spiritually naked with dozens of flaming arrows stuck in them, wearing nothing but the helmet of salvation – and that’s a sad picture of the empowered Church, folks.
Luke 10:19 is a powerful verse: ‘I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy nothing will harm you.’
There have been a few notable and outstanding exceptions. I believe the turn of events in Littleton occurred immediately after the news bulletin was broadcast and many warriors dropped to their knees in prayer. TV Pastor John Hagee turned the tables on a would-be assassin in his church by quoting Isaiah 54:17. The very day ‘This Is Your Wake Up Call’ hit the internet, a woman here in Atlanta told a carjacker ‘In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, you have no authority here.’ She said a tremendous peace immediately came over her and, using her cell phone in her purse was able to verbally lead the Atlanta police right to her vehicle which was then stopped. She and her children were unharmed. The national media, however, excluded any discussion of how she spoke with authority over the situation. Another woman who was attacked by a rapist said ‘In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, let me go.’ She was immediately released by her attacker and fled to safety. These are powerful, but sadly too few, examples of the power of God. Yes, there are times when the Lord has other plans for us. Yes, people will be martyred. But it is our responsibility to exert the power and authority we have been given in Luke 10:19 and other scripture.
Just as a poorly alloyed metal is weakened by voids and impurities, the church has been weakened as a result of voids and impurities. Believers watch ‘R’ rated movies with impunity. They take time off from the Lord for pleasurable experiences, The Church gossips, it lies, it doesn’t tithe. We have become an unbelieving and perverse generation and God the Father considers unbelief as sin.
So what are you going to do about it? sanctification isn’t a group project, it’s a very private and personal process that each believer must commit to alone. God is finished with His work. He’s resting. The work that remains is yours and yours alone. But too many believers still living in the world. They erroneously believe that they have everything they need and they’re comfortable. Church for them has become just a gathering place where they meet with other people to go to lunch.
The things that make us happy are fat bank accounts and our stocks doing well. Our children have been taught to leave us alone so we can be free to indulge ourselves in the pleasurable things of life. We don’t have the time to be stewards of what the Lord has given us and that includes our wives, our children and our finances and our ministries. We may be born again and we may have the helmet of salvation on our heads but we’re pretty nearly naked and defenseless against Satan and his army. I’ll ask again – do you care? After my last article, a few people wrote me saying I was wrong about them. They cared, but they cared for their fellow men. They missed the point entirely. You need to care about the fact that you’re not maturing spiritually and doing the Lord’s work. Too many don’t care that they’re naked – that’s the problem. Too many haven’t got their uniform on, they have misplaced their weapons and they aren’t ready for the war that is already in progress.
The Church has to get rid of the spirit of slumber. It has been intoxicated with the pleasures and temporal security of the world but it’s time to wake up and have a strong cup of coffee. The Church may have been delivered from sin long ago but the members of the body didn’t follow up with the discipline necessary to stay out of sin.
In fact, the churches today resemble the Israelites after they were brought out of captivity. We too have been brought out of captivity through our salvation in Jesus Christ. In the same way the Israelites had Moses, the churches have their pastor who tells them what God wants them to do. And, just like the Israelites, they themselves flee from God in fear because they have sin hidden in their hearts. Sins like unforgiveness and complaining. The unbelief of the Israelites caused them to wander in the desert while God’s intent was for them to immediately go in and possess the promised land. They witnessed spectacular miracles and lived on God’s provision but, because of their constant unbelief and complaining, they lost what God had already prepared for them for another 40 years. The root of the problem was, and still is, unbelief and sin.
The Church has to start speaking God’s word with faith. We must consecrate all that is ours. Pastors who preach and teach that sin is OK haven’t read 1 Peter 1:14-16. The Lord may still love us but sin is keeping the majority of the Church from fulfilling its mission. Sin is keeping us from wearing the whole armor of God. It’s destroying our faith. This is a critical time in history when we should be drawing ever closer to our Lord. But, because we’re in sin and we know it, we’re hiding from Him just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. We shouldn’t be like the Israelites. We should fear Him but we shouldn’t be afraid of Him. If we’re afraid of Him then something’s wrong with us. Get your armor on, and get into the ranks where you’re supposed to be!