devotional thought of the day;
We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to really hearing (obeying) Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (adapted from the NLT)
3 Long ago the LORD said to His People “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3 (adapted from the NLT)
764 Now, when the Cross has become a serious and weighty matter, Jesus will see to it that we are filled with peace. He will become our Simon of Cyrene, to lighten the load for us. Then say to him, trustingly: “Lord, what kind of a Cross is this? A Cross which is no cross. Now I know the trick. It is to abandon myself in you; and from now on, with your help, all my crosses will always be like this.” (1)
I see a lot of talk on line, and indeed, I’ve probably got 50 -75 books on Spiritual Warfare.
Some dismissing it, some exhaustive guides on what to do when you face this, face that. Books on praying for those who are spiritually oppressed, even a couple of odd guides on exorcism. ( Having read them, and knowing about the sons of Sceva… I wonder why those without experience dare write such!)
Ultimately, spiritual warfare is a fight to trust in God. To abandon ourselves, our hearts, our minds, our souls, in Christ. To realize the cross we bear… the anxieties, pains (yes physical/emotional/spiritual) we endure, are endured differently, because we are united to Jesus. That they can’t separate us from Him, that He has promised these things will be a blessing.
When I replaced the word “obeying” with “really hearing” Jesus in the quote above, I do so because that is what the Greek means. Hyper – which translates as…well “hyper”; and the work akou, which simply means to hear. We need to hear Him, we need to hear of His love, of His mercy. We need to understand that He became man, suffered under pilate, was crucified, died and was buried – not for His own personal gain, but to gain us… His people.
That is where spiritual warfare begins, at the baptismal font where we are claimed by Jesus, and joined to His cross. Where we are made His people – as He desires, as He and the Father planned from before the foundation of the world. Where the promises are sealed to us, guaranteed by the gift of the Holy Spirit. (see Titus 3:1-8)
Yeah – there are spiritual battles, there are demons, and Satan, but they cannot steal someone from God. Knowing that our burdens, our battles, the things that cause our anxieties, worries, fears… they were defeated at Jesus death.
All spiritual warfare is, including exorcism (and yes, in some cases that is a necessity) , is a battle to make that known…. that we may find refuge, sanctuary, peace.
We must know our cry, “Lord, have mercy” is heard……
And we must hear, as Jesus heard at baptism, “You are my child, and in you I find great joy”
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2751-2754). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.