BTC Phase 3: Lesson 5
Is “Spiritual Warfare” a description of what “comes against us” as followers of Christ, or is it how we resist the invitation to return to the “old-man ways” in the heat of the moment while applying the Mercy and Love of God? Read more about the “Armour of God” and how our relationship with the Written & Living Word can bring us knowledge, wisdom, and discernment by which we can learn to respond to difficult people and events. Learn how God can take the most difficult situation and turn things around for the good; even our mistakes become the catalyst for new growth.
Spiritual warfare & dealing with the temptation to return to the old-man ways…
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:10-17 (KJV)
What is Spiritual Warfare? One of the common terms you find circulating around in the Body of Christ is “Spiritual Warfare,” along with many theories as to what this actually is. Most of the denominations in the Body define spiritual warfare as a kind of good versus evil conflict, with battles being fought between God and Satan or one could say it represents “the struggle between those operating in the world system ruled by our spiritual enemy” vs. “those trying to hold to a God-centered path.”
So, Spiritual Warfare can include everything from the negative way we can be treated as Christians to what we struggle with inside our own hearts in the transition from being self-oriented to spiritually-motivated.
By the way, this Lesson is not to generate a sense of fearful anticipation about what we might have to endure, but rather it is written to educate ourselves on the nature of this kind of conflict so we can be prepared, (since we do share the planet with people of all levels of consciousness).
Therefore, the goal of this article is to affirm the strength we gain from our association with the Written and Living Word, as well as build confidence in how Grace can lead us through, whether the challenge (or attack) arises from within us or visits us from without.
So what are some of the forms of persecution? As far as extreme persecution is concerned, we have heard in the news how in some nations, Christianity is banned, Bibles are also banned, and if you are caught promoting knowledge of either of those, you may find yourself tortured and killed. But, if you are among the lucky, you might be able to run for your life and seek asylum in some other country.
For that matter, in the USA we are seeing “freedom of religion” being gradually replaced by “freedom from religion,” as more and more mentions of the word “God” or symbols of Christianity such as crosses or nativity scenes are being stripped from our public squares, buildings, and even graveyards. In today’s world, any of us can be fired from our jobs, sued in a court of law, or harassed, shunned, marginalized, hazed, ridiculed or shot by a total stranger for trying to uphold the tenants of our faith or by simple things such as saying a prayer in public or wearing a cross around our neck. We can even find ourselves on the outs for reading our Bible in the lunch room because someone watching might have gotten offended and “reported us.”
So, while prayer rooms are being set up in some institutions and businesses for everything from yoga and meditation to mindfulness breaks, try wearing an “I love Jesus” T-Shirt around that same institution and see how long it is before you are asked to change your clothes or leave. Don’t get me wrong; there are benefits to deep breathing and relaxation skills, but what if some folks just prefer to read their Bible in that “retreat room,” because that is what works for them?
So it seems that in today’s climate we are seeing “anything goes, but Jesus.” So what is it about Jesus that offends people so much? Hmmm. We may get the answer to that question, but we may feel the effects of the controversy.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV)
What about mental and emotional forms of persecution? Where the “old-man nature” is concerned, there are infinite ways that humans can devise to torment one another simply because they disagree. Sometimes others do not like to see their loved-ones or friends change as a result of having embarked on a spiritual journey and so they begin to express their resentment in a number of ways.
“In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV)
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:20 (KJV)
Fiery Darts: So, whether at home, school, or work, or out in the community or sadly, even within churches, there are situations which can arise where believers can be aggressed upon out of envy, intolerance, hatred or any number of other motives. When these events happen, the Bible calls these “fiery darts” as mentioned in our opening verses from Ephesians. Sometimes that “spirit of darkness” can be seen coming, but often, as in the case of a “fiery dart,” there could be a sudden jab felt out of nowhere having originated from someone right next to us, when we least expect it.
Stumbling Blocks: Sometimes folks in the Body describe what seems to be “disruption” arriving on the scene in the middle of trying to accomplish something good such as starting a ministry, trying to get to a special event, or trying to help someone; and so this often demands a pause for prayer in order to take authority over any spirit of interference.
How should we respond? So whether we are talking about physical, mental, or emotional attacks, sudden or expected, the question becomes, what will be our response? If the intent of the “spirit of darkness” is to hook us into an equally negative reaction, will we take the bait? Our society today will give us lots of support in “reacting like the devil to the devil,” but would this represent to where the New Man is wanting to guide our souls?
We are not expected to be a doormat and sometimes we have to take measures to protect ourselves or our loved ones; we may even have to depart from a situation or make other changes to establish safety or peace. But, whether we leave or stay in a difficult environment, do we know the difference between “self-defense” and “being defensive?” Will we lose our peace and become consumed by bitterness and unforgiveness ourselves? Do we know who we are in Christ so that the negative opinion of those who do not like us does not throw us into depression or trigger self-loathing, having forgotten our new identity in Christ?
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” Hebrews 12:15 (KJV)
Re-Defining “Spiritual Warfare”: So, beyond these “interpretations of perpetrations” against those who pursue a life led by the Spirit of Christ, what if “Warfare” would not be defined as much by painful actions aimed at us, but rather by how we learn to apply Mercy and Godly Wisdom in heat of battle? What if, we of the Spirit, are called to dispel darkness and temptation with the Light of God? In response to these questions, BTC will refer to “spiritual warfare” as “how we choose to respond to life’s challenges (or attacks)” when they come (and they will come). So, let’s look at what our spiritual resources are when dealing with the “fiery darts.”
Our weapons of warfare: Since our warfare involves applying elements of a spiritual nature, what are these? Ephesians 6 (seen at the start of this Lesson) does not sugarcoat what we might face and offers many suggestions as to how we can, “withstand in the evil day.” Though the language is poetic, painting images such as the “breastplate of righteousness” or “sword of the Spirit,” it is pretty clear that our instructions are to apply Mercy and hold to Grace in the heat of battle. It is also interesting to note that this paragraph of scriptures about the “Amour of God” implies that we should prepare each day by putting on all of the elements of our warfare in preparation for whatever the day may bring, so we can, “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Can you see how even a few minutes of time focusing on the Written and Living Word each day could help tremendously in keeping us prepared to respond to any event with the Knowledge, Wisdom, and Power of God?
Let’s look at a few passages from Matthew, Chapter 5:
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:5-11 (KJV)
Meek is not Weak: In reviewing these verses from the Sermon on the Mount, we see warnings of what to expect along with advice and the promise of our reward. As for the character trait of “meekness,” mentioned in the above verses of Matthew; by walking with the New Man, we learn that “meekness” is not “weakness,” in that it takes great spiritual wisdom to discern what a situation truly needs, thereby seeking a way that will express love rather than continue the hatred. It takes great spiritual strength to apply Mercy. The best example of this is Jesus on the Cross, who was more concerned about the two on his right and left than Himself; and in his unbearable anguish he spoke with great power and authority over the hatred when He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 (KJV)
Denying the Self Nature: Most of us are pretty intimidated at the thought of having to love in the face of hatred (or forgive when it is really hard) especially when it involves pain in any form; but learning to do this is part of how we express our love for God, reaching by faith to do what He tells us we can do, even if it is hard to imagine:
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (KJV)
Regarding, “Deny himself,” many think that giving up beer or chocolate for a season is the meaning of self-denial; however, what if the harder thing to sacrifice would be the impulse to let the old-man take over in the heat of the moment and defer instead to the leading of the Spirit?
Regarding, “Take up his cross daily,”…most of us will not have to suffer death on a cross, but we do face the “fiery darts” on a regular basis and again, when that happens, how will we respond? Do we render evil for evil or do we look for a leading from the New Man?
Regarding “Follow me,”…do we have the faith to keep following God even if it means we have to really learn to love…..and yes, forgive?
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 (KJV)
Forgiving others helps to keep our souls safe. As far as the commandment to forgive is concerned, isn’t this an amazing and ingenious formula for keeping us in the spiritual zone? It is actually very difficult to operate from two totally different motives at once; or in other words, it is hard to hate anyone while we are in the act of sincerely praying for them. These instructions to “pray for those who persecute us” represent another example of the wisdom and marvelous leading of our Good Shepherd.
Commandments of Jesus: Most of us have been exposed to the Ten Commandments from the Law of Moses, but do we know what some of the Commandments of Jesus are? Part of “Putting on our Armour of God each day” can be learning what Jesus wants from us as we couple our faith with the “Faith of Jesus,” (Proven Resurrection Power) believing that we can learn to do what He asks. Thus we see the words of Jesus in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV), “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Here are some of the Commandments which our Shepherd left us which are pertinent to how we respond to attacks or persecution. All of these will give us hope when tempted by the enemy to fall back into the ways/wiles of the spirit of the world:
- When you stand praying, forgive: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.“ Mark 11:25-26 (KJV)
- You must be born again: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:7 (KJV)
- Remain in Me and I will remain in you: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” John 15:4 (KJV)
- Let your light shine before men: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:14-16 (KJV).
- Eliminate or avoid whatever causes you to sin: “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matt 5:29-30 (KJV)
- Do Not Resist an Evil Person: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matt 5:38-39 (KJV).
- Love Your Enemies: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matt 5:43-48 (KJV).
- Put God First: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt 6:33 (KJV).
- Do not Judge: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV).
- Enter through the Narrow Gate: “ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matt 7:13-14 (KJV).
- Love One Another: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12 (KJV).
- Be Merciful: “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (KJV).
Now let’s look at a few other ways we can live prepared to love in good times and hard times.
Adjusting our expectations: As mentioned in previous Lessons, even after we gain the Spirit, it still will take a while to work all of those kinds of worldly, knee-jerk “ways/wiles” of the “old-nature” out of ourselves which include pride, ego, the need for validation, fight or flight reactions, lust for control or power, etc. So by understanding how the old-man tends to work and how long it can take to grow beyond those natural limitations, we can adjust our expectations about others (who may not have the Spirit) accordingly and operate with kindness and humility. With God’s help, our focus can then shift from constantly reacting with disappointment to being led by the heart; we can learn to be the example of what we would like to see in others. The reality is that we have many more reason to focus on “minding our own spiritual business,” then over-examining the condition of others.
Good News concerning Spiritual Warfare: We have already looked at some of the ways in which the Written and Living Word can help us to keep our eyes on the Lighthouse more than the storm when confronted with hatred in any form. But, it is also encouraging to know that God can work most anything into His Plan for our ultimate good, even our mistakes; and whatever this so-called “enemy” means for our destruction, God can use for our good. As long as we stay in the game of walking in Mercy and holding to Grace, and as long as we keep choosing to be “The Called,” we can count on our heavenly Father to help us through:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:29 (KJV)
So what does it mean that “all things work together for good?” There are actually infinite ways in which God sends Mercy and can turn things around for us, but let’s look at one example in order to understand the concept.
Let’s say that someone at work makes a sudden sarcastic remark designed to aggravate us and we are caught off-guard, and subsequently, we feel the rise of some unsavory remarks to our lips. On the one hand, we could easily justify lashing back because “after all, so and so had that coming.” The old-man can come up with many reasons why getting entangled in a “tit for tat” exchange is the perfect response to the situation. However, when the soul starts to become spiritual in nature, it considers other alternatives such as how we might minister to someone who is showing signs of stress. If we can get past our own personal needs to see what is behind the actions of another, we can learn to pause before reacting and instead, lean into the Spirit for a “word of wisdom,” looking for a way to apply Mercy in a given situation, a move which could instantly turn an experience around from one of combat to one of hope and healing.
So in that scenario, how did God “work it for the good?” Well, there are many ways, starting with the exposure of our own heart. Our heavenly Dad will allow us to go through some things at times, to show us what comes up when we are backed against a wall; and if we succeed in remaining close to the Spirit with our response, we give the thanks to Him. If we fall short of what the New Man would have us do, we repent; we seek Him and simply continue growing. Also, if we did respond in love in the situation and the other person in the equation got a blessing of Mercy through us, that soul could be one step closer to wanting to know more about God, if their heart was touched in a way they did not expect. (Sometimes the best “witnessing” is an act of kindness and patience.) The possibilities of goodness arising out of the fires of hatred are many when we develop the “Rhema heart” to receive what God is showing us.
Of course, the example given here is a simple situation which is not life-threatening; but whether persecution is minor or extreme, we nonetheless have to prepare since we live in “the world,” of which realm according to Scripture, is run by “the prince of the power of the air” and whatever we do, we ardently pray that it will reflect the Glory of God.
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” Ephesians 2:2 (KJV)
“Did the Devil make me do it?” OK, now we can talk a little bit about the dynamics of “enticement” (temptation) and how we might choose a better way, or as the Good Book tells us, “resist the enemy and he will flee” or in KJV, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (KJV)
As for the so-called “devil”…..here’s a question many of us have asked ourselves, “Is Satan an actual “negative being” who tempts us to do wrong?” Well, not too many of us believe that the devil is a wicked “dood” with a pitchfork constantly plotting against us. But in terms of “energy,” we all know what it feels like to be around “bad energy” and any “consciousness” or “energetic influence” which attempts to lead us away from love, can’t be good. The Bible also tells us that certain demons are like fallen angels of sorts; and therefore there are beings of some kind, capable of influencing humans, but only if we give them place. Therefore Paul tells us not to give the enemy place, “Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27 (KJV)
So, based on that assessment, there clearly are writings in the Bible about the existence of “Satan,” or “The Devil,” as being some sort of negative, deceptive, and conscious force, out to distract us from our spiritual goals….yet, in James 1:12-16 we learn that “every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
Here is the whole section of Scripture:
“Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.” James 1:12-16
So, what does this mean? Well….when difficulties come or when “temptations” are experienced… the so-called devil apparently doesn’t “do” much “to us”; but instead, this enticing “spirit” (a spirit which is against the Spirit which is God) can only “suggest” behaviors or “invite us” to respond in a certain way, attempting to appeal to those parts of us that still might operate or react from the “old nature.”
“But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39 (KJV)
How can we avoid “taking the bait?” So, though invitations to take the wrong path may appear, the choice of what to do remains with us to entertain those ideas or reject them in favor of holding close to the Ways of God.
It takes two: One vivid example of temptation and how it works is found in the story of Jesus in the wilderness when he was confronted by the devil. For this interaction to have succeeded (in Satan’s mind), it would have required Jesus to have some lust in Him that the enemy could have appealed to. But since Jesus had no such lust or base quality within Him, there was nothing to entice Jesus with.
And so it is with any of us; as we take on more and more characteristics of the Spirit, due to our association with the Spirit, the enemy has less and less to use against us, when trying to hook us with some remaining “tare”(old-man tendency) in us.
By the way, having a “lust” could refer to any one of the eighteen characteristics of the old nature described in Galatians 5: 19-21 (KJV); and those are just for starters. There may be other lusts generated by the “old man” as well. For instance, some of us could suffer from having a lust for superiority, which could lead us into gossip. Perhaps some of us may have experienced having had a lust for power and control over others at one time, due to a lingering “root of insecurity” still within us. Maybe, we’ve experienced a lust for excessive amounts of attention from others, having caused us to be self-centered in conversations and interactions. We also see in Scripture that envy, another fear-based state of consciousness, is behind many nefarious deeds. Thus we see, “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” James 4:5 (KJV)
So, as our minds and hearts are “stayed on God,” (focused on God,) we have a greater ability to “discern,” by the Spirit when negative bait is being dangled before us; and therefore, our chances of exercising our New Nature in Christ, rather than being led around by the “old nature, “ is also increased.
In verses Galatians 5:16-17 (KJV), we see…”Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary, the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
Bowling….strike ten! Let’s do drama!: Come to think of it, this plan of the so-called “enemy” to “invite, suggest, or entice,” has the potential of operating pretty efficiently in its ability to drag in lots of others folks into drama. The way the game of “bowling” is played, is that a heavy ball is hurled down an alley to knock down a lot of pins at once. So when it comes to us, if a “negative spirit” succeeds in getting us “to react like the devil to the devil,” well, within minutes, lots of people can potentially get caught up in a debacle of emotions and drama…all at the same time.
Ooooops! Back it Up! But, by the same token, the reverse can happen. If we can succeed in showing love and mercy under duress, imagine what marvelous effect we might have on many around us….all at the same time. It is for this wonderful goal that we are willing to “resist the enemy, that he would flee,” as we die to the ways of the “old nature” and embraces the habits of the “New Nature in Christ.”
Recognizing and overcoming “The Four Ds”: As I mentioned above, the “spirit which is against the Spirit of God” evidently loves to employ many strategies designed to lead us off of the “narrow path” onto the “wide path,” which includes the use of what I like to call the “Four Ds.” There are many convincing ways in which these “Four Ds” can become operational if we are caught off-guard, but here are just a few examples:
- To Distract: Do we give in to the feeling of being “too busy” or “too upset” (or “too anything”) to stay focused on God or to spend time in His presence as well as on our studies? Then, if so… are we staying stuck in old patterns of behavior, of thought or emotion, and then wondering why we are not feeling very well? Are we choosing distractions over determination?
- To Discredit: Do we get enticed by discussions and intrigue about whether or not the Bible holds any real value…that is, before we have even studied Scripture? Do we see the mistakes of others, including those of some well-publicized religious leaders “through the glass darkly,” before gaining enough wisdom and experience to know how to understand or support the people of God? Do we still get caught up in gossip and judgment by over-emphasizing the unfortunate mistakes of a few in the Body who may need our mercy, our forgiveness, and helpful prayers instead? Are we minding our own spiritual business? Are we forgetting to apply the mercy to others that has been given to us?
- To Discourage: Do we become frustrated and overwhelmed with either the extent of our own learning experiences, with mistakes we keep making or with the amount of what there is to learn as we begin the process of transformation? Do we give in to depression, dwelling on the negatives rather than fill our minds with new input which could lead to different results? Is our perception of life being more influenced by the “old-man/nature” or by the Spirit of God? Have we given God the time and effort needed to form a new way of experiencing life…or do we expect a “drive through breakthrough?”
- To Deceive: Do we spend enough time with God through His Spirit (and by studying the Scriptures) to be able to “discern” whether or not a given “doctrine” or “propaganda” bears “Fruit of the Spirit?” There are good points to most all preaching out there, but what doctrine will support us as “die to the old” and learn to “walk by the New. Only the credible Spirit of God can help us discern that.
Recap: So now we know, that as we continue in the Body, there will be attempts to steal our peace, some from within and some without. A few of us may even face serious persecution; yet, our warfare is to resist falling back into the old-man nature and instead, use the weapons we have been assigned which include elements of Mercy along with the Power of Grace.
We know that whether we find ourselves in a set of circumstances where we are feeling enticed to depart from God’s Will in some way or if we are being forcefully attacked from the outside by those influenced by the “spirit of darkness,” we can refer to the Spirit within for guidance and wisdom. We can stand prepared each day by holding close to the Written and Living Word, believing that God will lead us through to the end of our time here on earth in such a way that we can one day hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21 (KJV)
Support for the ongoing process of Spiritual growth: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9: 24 (KJV)
So, hang in there through it all and draw lots of support around you. Keep seeking the Spirit in your private time with the Lord, and keep enjoying your Bible, especially the words in Red that are the words of Jesus.
The Holy Ghost (leading, guiding, and empowering element of God) knows what you need at all times and will be sending you inspiration and blessings in due season, throughout your process of growth. You will soon come to recognize God’s signature on those special moments which happen just for you, to lift you and guide you. These experiences will also serve to increase your faith, that whatever God has begun within you can be finished and finished beautifully.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12 (KJV)
And even if we do get confused or “off-target” from time to time, while we are “working out our salvation in fear and trembling,” the mercy of God is new every day and the Spirit is with us 24/7, by which we can renew our strength and begin again. The main thing is to “never give up” reaching for God’s “Way.”
“And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Galatians 6: 9 (KJV)
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls”- 1 Peter 1:9 (KJV)
“Spiritual Warfare” by Ann M. Wolf © 2016, All rights reserved.