If the word of God is a sword, a sharp two edge sword...
Then what does that make those who wield it?
Are we soldiers? Are we defenders? Are we murderers?
Do we take up the word in hand and charge the darkness in a pride filled slander of the enemy?
elevating ourselves equal to a entity created by God for a purpose?
When we charge in all our zeal saying "I WILL, in the name of God Defeat the enemy!!! That vile wretched thing that sows destruction and wreaks havoc!!! I WILL slay that beast and kill that dragon!!!"
Honestly I think there are two main things that are being broken out of His people.
Pride and fear. I see God preparing his people for war. He is readying his peoples heart for it.
I see a boot camp of the heart taking hold in the lives of many believers.
Because we cannot fight a war with the tactics of the enemy. We cannot fight a war, when we do not submit to command. We cannot fight a war, when we underestimate our enemy, and are over confident within ourselves.
Years ago I was sitting in youth group at church listening to the first sermon from a new pastor. I respected his roll in that he was passionate about rallying the youth to care about those around them. Calling them out to be looking at what goes on around them. The part that didn't sit well with me was when this godly gentleman began to talk about "giving satan two black eyes" and how "we have the authority and we have dominion and we stomp you underfoot"
At the time I wasn't reading my bible every day, or even ever week, but the night before hand I did happen to read the entire book of Jude. So what this good and godly man happened to be proclaiming that day didn't quite line up with what I had read that said things like
Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “ The Lord rebuke you!”
From what i know of Angels, When people see them they are so afraid that they fall down as if dead in terror and awe. I am a scary man of large stature, but never once in my entire life have I ever intimidated anything to that scale. Growing up I got in my share of fights and got beaten up... a lot.... so when I hear that Michal, the Archangel... a entity far far far far far greater than I.. refuses to speak those kinds of words against the adversary, then what right to any of us?
I find it really fascinating Michael ( which means created in the image of God) seems to portray a respect for his enemy.
What about us? What if every time we sought to war against anything we first remembered that what we fight was created for a purpose from God? That should change us right? That should modify our perspectives a little bit shouldn't it? That should make us make sure that what we are fighting for and who we are fighting are really the enemy. Are we mad about the sin? Are we angry about the lie that a person believes?
"The Lord rebuke you" That statement packs a huge punch because it take the authority off of us and puts it back into the hands that knows the heart of every issue. There is a sense of humility that I see in that. My favorite apostle Peter backs me up again on this one where he says
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.
- 2 Pete 2
That was a hard lesson for Pete because we know he failed to respect the authority places out for a purpose in Matthew.
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” - matt 16
Set your mind on God's interests. Set your mind on God. Kinda like... Seek First the Kingdom of God. We get hung up on both pride and fear. Maybe Peter, Jesus' right hand man has these fears about the death of Jesus. Maybe he was too proud to think that any enemy could get past him. I don't know... Maybe he was looking at the one who has so much victory over sickness and disease and has resurrected the dead, caused the deaf to hear and the mute to speak... and he thought that if this man dies... he just may stay dead. Maybe if he dies, Peter goes back to being a nothing fisherman. If this man dies, then all of the hope and dreams that Peter has built, dies with him. Maybe he was looking for Messiah Ben David, the conquering King and he was afraid that should Jesus die, then he may have been following the wrong man.
Fear. Fear and Pride.
Lets just back to Paul a minute here...
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. - Romans 16:19 says ( uh- huh)
More talk of authority.... stay away from dissension... submit to God... and what does that say.... does it say that by your hand you will blow up the devil with a holy hand grenade and bring bits of what is left to him to God and then God pats you on the head because he is please with your initiative?
....It would be really awesome if it did say that... but what it does say is even better.. THAT THE GOD OF PEACE WILL CRUSH SATAN... not only with the God of peace take action, but take it on your behalf, and HE will crush the enemy and put them under YOUR FEET!!!
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” - Luke 22
Take note that the enemy has sought permission. Think about that. Even in the war of the spirit there are rules of engagement. Stay in line and when hardship comes, Your trust in God will be complete, that no matter how much pain you face or how crazy things get... you will have peace in Him because He is good and He is sovereign.
Leave your dreams and your fears at the foot of the one who has called you to battle. Leave your life in the hands of the one who decides life and death. A call to war in the army of God is a call of sacrifice.
It is a call to die to yourself.
That is what I am seeing the body these days. I think the next post I do will be on courage.