“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” John 3:20 NIV
Light and dark, honesty and deception, good and evil… do we live in those realms or within their shadows?
Shadows blur the lines between the categories of right and wrong. We mix white with black and create various shades of gray, shades we are comfortable with, shades that help us justify whatever it is we need to excuse in order to not feel guilty.
And it is within these shades that Satan fools many Christians into being comfortable and less effective for the Cross of Christ. We are not even aware of all the shades we have created until we look closely at Gods word and apply it to our lives; but that harsh reality is not something any of us are comfortable doing.
We like our pleasures; we work hard to defend them. I know I do, there are TV shows I like to watch that I know are not pleasing to God. There are material items I covet, things I work hard to obtain while there are people literally starving to death, and I’m not even talking in third world countries but right down the road! People are dying because of my selfishness and greed.
Satan has us all fooled, he is smart, he lives within these shadows. If we were to know the end result of our materialism/sin, the faces of those who died because we wanted (insert want) more than we wanted to give in the offering plate (or do whatever it is God is directing), we would probably be less likely to fulfill our fleshly desires. But Satan doesn’t do that; instead he helps us to justify our actions. He twists the scriptures until we can rationalize anything we want that is contrary to the word of God.
I am reading an astonishing book right now written by a Christian man who once worshiped Satan, who prayed to him the way we pray to our God, who fasted for the same reasons we do, just to a different god. Reading his testimony is eerie, it’s frightening and it’s convicting because it is true!
He prayed against believers the way believers pray for the lost! (Stop and think about that, right now Satan could be having someone pray against you, are you prepared? If not, that is frightening.)
Michael Leehans words have awakened within me an increased awareness of the Spiritual Warfare we Christians are daily facing but seem so oblivious to.
Have you ever thought there was someone out there praying against you? I know I hadn’t ever thought anything along those lines. Almost daily I put on my Armor of God, but little thought goes into how effective it actual is. It has become a habit, something I say but don’t really think about. Do you put on your Armor? God has given us the armor for protection (if it wasn’t important He wouldn’t have ensured it was in the Bible).
Hearing the words of Leehan have changed how I view my armor, it’s a necessity that is to be taken seriously. Leehan says that sometimes he would feel a hedge of protection around certain Christians and he knew he couldn’t penetrate them, but more often than not, he encountered Christians who were too weak in their faith to even realize something evil was coming against them.
In fact, he would go to Churches and purposely trick the congregation, purposely distort the word of God to help deceive Christians who didn’t know the scriptures well enough to know the shadows of truth he was quoting.
One example he gives is how Satan lead him to distort James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” He would quote only, “resist the devil and he will flee.” He purposely left out the key part to the verse, submitting to God. He let those unknowing Christians walk around thinking if they just resisted hard enough Satan would flee from them. We all know (0r should know) that is not possible. On our own we cannot escape the wiles of the devil, which “walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8b. Not nibble on, but devour. He wants our destruction and he uses everything he can to come against us. And he knows that Christians are comfortable within the shadows.
Have you ever heard the saying, “wolf in sheep’s clothing?” That is Satan. He is a devious wolf, playing within the sheep’s pin, deceiving us into thinking whatever it is we are doing, or not doing, is permissible.
Spiritual Warfare is more real than we comprehend. I pray we all learn the Bible so that others cannot deceive us, so that we can identify the lies hidden within the shadows of truth. I pray you put on your Armor of God and that you yourself pray!
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."Matt 26:41 NIV
Have you ever given serious thought to Spiritual Warfare? Do you put on your Armor or are you going to start? Please share any insights into Spiritual Warfare you have, any shadows you have been justifying in your own life or anything else God places on your heart.
For information on putting on the Armor of God go to my post titled Armor of God. http://tcavey.blogspot.com/2011/08/armor-of-god.html
“Ascent from Darkness: How Satan’s Soldier Became God’s Warrior” by Michael Leehan (complimentary read through Booksneeze, review to come)