Tuesday, August 1, 2023

 True Worship

Jack Davis

“The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the 

Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” – John 4:23-24.

John here speaks of reality, worship that is genuine. This is not a form nor just going through the motions, nor putting on an act; but rather it is meaningful adoration of our God and Father. This is more then praise and thanks giving, which are included. This involves the out going of the heart also, in deeds done according to God’s will and Word. All true spiritual worship  is the expression of acknowledgment directly to God of His excellence – in ways, nature, attributes, and claims.

“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” – Philippians 3:3. The circumcision are those who are crucified with Christ and separated from the world, by faith in Him – Galatians 2:20 & 6:14.


Oh, what marvelous provisions have been made available to faith’s appropriation at the Cross, for those of us who truly sense that a real separation has been made by God’s powerful operation – Colossians 2:10-13.

Abraham: being circumcised, he acknowledged that he had no strength to be useful or fruitful; but that God had to intervene for him in a supernatural way. And God did! Isaac’s birth pictures for us the New Creation which is wholly supernatural and spiritual.

We worship God: This is the believer’s highest or chief occupation, now and forever more. Our lives are meant to be that of worship. Therefore, a Christian trying to live after the flesh and in fellowship with the world has much difficulty in his life. For he is out of place, out of harmony with God, like a fish out of water. His life cannot be a peaceful, happy, harmonious existence, for his life is not one of worship. God is the supreme Object of our worship. We gladly give Him all the glory for the things He has done.

In I Corinthians 1:26-31 we can see this is the way He has planned it. Whatever we do to the glory of the flesh is not true worship, and will receive no reward. Worship centered upon God and His glory will be rewarded here and in the hereafter.

In the spirit: The Holy Spirit prompts true spiritual worship. He is indeed a Holy Fire that excites, initiates, and indices real worship, for He makes our little hearts so glad and thankful. In John 16:14-15 Jesus said: “He shall glorify Me.”

In Ephesians 5:18-20 Paul tells us: “Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In I Thessalonians 5:18-19 we read: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.” Often more enthusiasm needs to be shown in our worship, but it need never be worked up by the efforts of the flesh.

We rejoice in Christ: The word “rejoice” expresses the thought to boast, glory, exalt, or take pride in. What or who else can make us so happy? Jesus is the One who has made it possible that we worship God. It is otherwise impossible. He is the Truth. All true worship ascends up to God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We “Have no confidence in the flesh” – Philippians 3:3. Our confidence is in the One who has “begun a good work” in us. “We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” – II Corinthians 1:9.

In Psalm 146:3-5 we read – “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” 

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Isaiah 2:22 – “Cease ye from men, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?”

Jeremiah 17:5 – “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.”

We do not glory in ourselves, our righteous walk, nor our achievements. We have lost all confidence in the wisdom and power of the natural man. We cease to trust in natural gifts, attainments, or qualifications. All manmade programs, plans, formulas, or steps deciphered from the Scriptures, concocted by religious reason, fail to produce true spiritual worship or the Spirit-filled life from which true worship will flow. These things can never make one mighty in spirit.

 Spiritual Blessings

Gordon Crook, Pastor
Grace Assembly, Wichita, Kansas

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” Ephesians 1:3

There are five main points in this passage that I want to touch on.

Hath – already done - provisional

All God’s blessings are available

Blessings are spiritual

Blessings are heavenly

Blessings are in Christ

“Hath blessed” Past tense. Paul reminds us that God has already blessed us. Verse 4 clues us in on this point: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.” Before we ever existed, God had already chosen to provide salvation for us. While it is true that there are many blessings that God gives, His gift of salvation is the most important as it brings us into His family.

We sometimes seem to be waiting for the blessing that we think is coming if we just have enough faith or just do the right thing, or just live “right.” However, God has already blessed us. He had this provision prepared before the foundation of the world, in His Son Jesus.

In Galatians 3:8, we read; “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” This was God’s plan from the beginning.

All of God’s blessings are available to His children. This is the most amazing thing. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32. 

So often, we are made to believe that God is doling out blessings very sparingly, and only to some that act a certain way, or know some secret code. For all of those that are God’s children, ALL spiritual blessings are available. We must lay hold of them, and we must be willing to allow God to show us His blessings. God always works in abundance.

The blessings are spiritual. That is, the blessing that really matter. Again, we tend to be concentrated on the natural blessings, money, jobs, fame, etc, but all of those things are passing. God always has our best interest at heart, and He knows that what we really need are the spiritual blessings.

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18. It behooves us to pay attention, and appreciate the spiritual blessings and reduce our concentration on the natural blessings. I am thankful for both, but most amazed at the spiritual blessings that God chooses to bestow on us.

The most interesting part is that this blessing that is already ours, has eternal endurance. Everything that we might get from this world, will not last long, so if you are waiting for worldly blessings, maybe consider the value of the spiritual blessings you already have. 

The blessings are heavenly. This is especially important to understand. You see, heaven is our eternal abode. It is there that we will spend eternity with our Lord. It might be hard to comprehend, but eternity is significantly longer than our earthly time. Remember those natural blessings? They are earthly and will pass away with this earth. We leave all of those behind when we go.

“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 2:6. We have been provisionally set in heavenly places. We, as God’s children, need to understand and lay hold of this truth. Our interests need to be heavenly.

What we will have on the other side (heaven) is the spiritual blessings in heavenly places. We will be glad there that we laid hold here of the heavenly blessings.

All of these blessings are in Christ Jesus. We never have and never will merit or deserve any of God’s blessings. They have been provided because of Jesus. “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Ephesians 1:10. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” 1 Corinthians 1:30. “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” 2 Corinthians 1:20.

I encourage you to understand and lay hold of God’s blessings today. Get into your Bible and learn what God has for you, and be prepared to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit who will make these spiritual blessings real in your life. Eternity may be closer than you think. There is no time to waste.


Anita Clark – Pastor
Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas

The coming of Christ Jesus is imminent.  Jesus, our Lord warned in Matthew 24:37-39, 42-44 -”But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away so shall also the coming of the Son of man be ...  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come? He would have watched and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

The word “watch” in this text, in the Greek language means, “be alert, give strict attention.” The Amplified Version states, “...be cautious, and active in faith.” Verse 43, referring to “the thief” coincides with Paul’s writing in I Thessalonians 5:2, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night,” and in verses 3-4, it states, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then suddenly destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Verse 4 says, “But ye, brethren, are not in the darkness, that day should overtake you as a thief.” When it is night time, and someone is asleep that is usually when a thief will come into the house to rob someone. A thief comes only to steal precious jewels.


II Peter 3:10-12 says, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night...Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of person ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” Verse 14 says, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless.”

As we look around the world today, more and more we feel the nearness of Christ’s return. We ask, “What are we to be doing until He comes?” These are some of things God desires to see in our lives: Yielding completely to Him and His will. Let Him work in us, - be faithful, be walking by faith. God wants a yielded, tender heart, willing to be in God’s perfect will. This PREPARATION is the Lord’s work in us.

Psalm 10:17 says, “LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble; thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” The word “desire” means “longing, a delight, pleasant desire.” Note the word “humble,” in the phrase “Thou wilt prepare their heart,” the word “prepare” means “to make ready, to direct.” Then it is said, “Thou (the LORD) wilt cause the ear to hear.” Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” The word “perform” means in the Gk., “perfect and complete, to fulfill completely.” The day of Jesus Christ is when He reigns on His throne. Philippians 2:13 says, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Note: God is doing the work. He is strengthening us. He is looking down on us delighting that we are yielding and following Him.

What are we to be doing until He comes?  Let Him work in us! More and more we feel the nearness of Christ’s return. Everyday we should walk with God, believing, and  trusting Him to do His work in us, giving up trying to be good in our self, surrendering to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our desire should be to be prepared for Christ as His bride. “He causes our ear to hear.” Isn’t  it wonderful that our God is doing His glorious work to draw us to His prefect will.  This divine work goes on until the Lord calls us home to be with Him.  

Apostle Paul was at that point as he wrote II Timothy 4:6-8 while in the Roman prison. He was not defeated at all, but resting in the Lord. He says, “For I am now ready to offered.” He is not just saying, “It’s about my time to die.” He was ready to go.  He was looking forward to being delivered from this life and be present with Christ. Will we be able to say what Paul did when it’s time for us to depart this life. Will we be prepared to meet our Beloved Lord Jesus? History says Paul was beheaded. In Acts 20:23-24 Paul states, “...the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city; saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.  But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy; and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

Verse 7 Paul says, “For I have fought a good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” What an outstanding testimony of God’s work through him, a yielded vessel. These great achievements are illustrations of an overcoming life of walking in the truth and yielding to God. I Timothy 6:12 says, “Fight the good fight of faith” which speaks of victory in our lives over all trails and problems. “I have finished my course”- performing everything that God has spoken to us to accomplish, walking in victory no matter what comes our way. “I have kept the faith.”- The word used here “the faith” speaks of “a persuasion or conviction of truth, or belief, with fidelity (which speaks of faithfulness to a belief demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.) This is very important and speaks of a guardian against error.


“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord will give to me at that day and not to me only but to all them who love His appearing.” Vs. 8.  This speaks of the preparation for the Bridal company of believers spoken of in Revelation 19: 7-8. Let us yield to the Lord as Apostle Paul did and be prepared to rule and reign with Jesus Christ in heaven.


Gary Giddings, Broken Arrow, OK

What does it mean to be a partaker of our Lord Jesus Christ? At a basic level, to partake means “to take part” or “to participate.” We have been called “to take part” of God’s wonderful salvation. We were sinners on our way to destruction, to an existence forever separated from God. But God gave us ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ the Son. We are invited “to take part” in God’s plan of salvation. This is not forced upon us but God, in His love, reached out to us that we may “participate” with Him. 

2 Peter 1:1-4, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

What promises have been given to us that are “exceeding great and precious?” Here is just a sample:

Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

John 11:25-26, “Jesus said … I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die …”

Think of it: we can have a RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with God our Creator. When we come to Jesus, we are given REST and ETERNAL LIFE! Because of Jesus, we are now “partakers of the divine nature.” Instead of having to PART ways with our Creator, we have this wonderful opportunity to PARTAKE of Him. What God offers to us is not a fantasy by which we try to feel better about ourselves. No, we interact with Him in a continual relationship. This is the basis of our love, joy, and peace.

From the Strong’s Concordance, “partaker” comes from the Greek word koinonos (#2844), and it means “a sharer, i.e. associate.” This Greek word is also translated elsewhere as “companion,” “partner” and “fellowship.” When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are NEVER ALONE, no matter what our feelings tell us. He is our companion and our partner. Jesus rescued us and delivered us from our old, dark ways so that we may walk in the Light. Jesus is real and we learn to walk with Him. We don’t have to follow the corruption of the world because God has “called us to glory and virtue.” As we fellowship with Jesus, we become more like Him. 

The Apostle Paul tells us that “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we became a New Creation. This is so amazing that we can associate with Jesus in this way. This is our identity now and forever! Colossians 1:12-14, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

The Greek word for “partaker” in this verse is meris (#3310) and it has the thought of “portion” or “participation.” We have been delivered from the power of darkness and we have been given a generous “portion” of God’s blessings. We “participate” in our inheritance by letting Christ live in us now. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to know and enjoy God’s blessings. We have been redeemed and forgiven; we have been set FREE to serve and to worship Jesus our Savior and Lord.

We grieve for those who reject God’s invitation to be partakers of His divine nature. Without partaking of Him and His holiness, all people everywhere are under the power of darkness. But when anyone turns to Jesus, they become “partakers of the divine nature.” What a blessing!

Luke 10:38-42, “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part [meris, 3310], which shall not be taken away from her.”

Martha was hard at work to show hospitality while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to His words. Sometimes we wonder if we’re doing the right thing. Jesus tells us what part (“portion” or “participation”) is right. We need the WORD OF GOD on a continual basis. As Job said, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). Also, from the Psalms, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

An old Christian song says, “The world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away.” It is the Life of Christ that makes life worth living. Another Christian song says, “I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.” We have a hope far beyond this world: our hope is based on our Savior Jesus Christ who is at the right hand of God. May we always be in the Word of God, daily partaking of the divine nature. And in prayer, we cast our cares upon Him for He cares for us!

“Sitting at the Feet of Jesus” (G&G song, verse 1)

Sitting at the feet of Jesus, O what words I hear Him say!

Happy place, so near, so precious! May it find me there each day; Sitting at the feet of Jesus, I would look upon the past; For His love has been so gracious, It has won my heart at last.


Debra Isenbletter, Pastor
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri

Jonah 4:8—”And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.” 

This verse can be divided into two parts: The Morning and The Afternoon. During this time we see the fourth thing that God prepared for Jonah, the east wind.  It is another test, it is another trial for Jonah. It is used to teach him a lesson. We see the sun in the morning and the effect on Jonah and his reaction in the afternoon.

The Morning: “and it came to pass, when the sun did rise that God prepared a vehement east wind.”  It “came to pass” after a night of rest and after a night of reflection.  When “the sun did rise”, speaks of a new day, and it was a much different day than the previous day.  This was a day when God would test Jonah again through adversity.  He tested him by revealing His grace, He tested him again by withdrawing His grace.  God “prepared,” He “created,” He “ordained” a east wind. It was not an ordinary east wind, it was “a vehement east wind.”  

The word for “vehement” is used only here and it does not speak of violence. It means “quiet, sultry, hot, harsh” wind.  It is not like the “great wind” that caused the great storm (Jonah 1:4).  That wind was visible, this “east wind” is silent and invisible. The “great wind” was used to reach and teach Gentiles. The “east wind” is used to reach and teach Jonah. The “great wind” came while Jonah was asleep and the “east wind” came while Jonah was awake. This is a silent, scorching wind that begins in the morning and continues through the afternoon. Jonah cannot escape it and it will wear Jonah down. Sometimes trials are like that we do well early on but as they go on we are worn down and worn out. 

This “east wind”— was not a wind to cool Jonah down, it was a wind to magnify the heat of the sun as the day progressed.  Matthew Henry: “This wind was not a fan to abate the heat but a bellows to make it more intense.”  The “east wind” is associated with judgment, especially Israel.  Ezekiel describes the east wind as a wind that dries up the fruit of Israel and breaks and withers the strong rods (rulers and kings), so that what is left is ready for the fire. (Ezek.19:12). Hosea describes this east wind as the nation of Assyria that the Lord choose, everything that wind touches will be dried up and destroyed. (Hos.13:15).

The Afternoon: “and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted” — This is “the sun” in late afternoon. The early morning sun was easier to bear, the afternoon sun was harder to bear. By late afternoon the sun was impossible to bear. The longer the trial goes on, the harder it is to bear.  

The sun “beat upon the head of Jonah.”  To “beat” means “to strike lightly (wound) or severely (kill).”  The trial was measured carefully by the Lord. This was chastisement more than judgment.  God measured it, limited it and allowed it.  He did not allow it to kill Jonah but did allow it to show Jonah his weakness. It beat “upon the head of Jonah,” he may have had his head uncovered, he may have had no protection. We do not read that the people in the city suffered, they were not out in the open, and they may have been prepared. This wind was meant for Jonah and was felt by Jonah. The fact that his head was not protected can also speak of the fact that his mind was not protected, it was not fixed on the Lord or filled with the Word.  If it had been, his response would have been much different than giving up and wanting to die. He would have called out to the Lord.  

Finally “he fainted” because of the unrelenting sun, heat and east wind. As the day went on the sun kept beating down and the wind kept magnifying the heat so that it felt like a furnace, an oven.  The result was that Jonah “fainted,” he lost consciousness, he passed out, he collapsed. This would be caused by dehydration and the body being unable to cool itself. The final result would be seen in heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Both are dangerous.  The word “fainted” is used to express both a physical and emotional condition.  It is used to express “utter despair” (Isa.51:19-20). It is used to show the consequence of  “lack of food and water” (Amos 8:13).  It is used to show “sunstroke” (Jonah 4:8).   Actually, all these things could describe what Jonah experienced: despair, thirst, sunstroke. He fainted and if it was a form of heat exhaustion, the Lord kept Jonah alive and he did not need medical attention. He needed the Lord’s attention.  His despair is certainly seen in what he wished for.

Jonah’s Despair: and wished himself to die.”— This wish of Jonah shows that he was depressed and discouraged. Along with the physical symptoms there were mental symptoms. He looked at the moment and the circumstance. He looked at himself. He did not look at the Lord.  He looked at the experience but did not realize there was a lesson. Jonah gave up because he was not willing to get up. As long as Jonah resists God’s will and Word he will be depressed, he needed to surrender to the Lord.

Jonah’s Defeat: “and said: It is better for me to die than to live.”— Jonah is utterly defeated. Actually, he is right back where he started at the beginning of this chapter.  He said the very same thing after he saw that Nineveh was spared. Jonah has not really learned how to really live for the Lord.  To live for the Lord means to surrender your life and to die for the Lord means to surrender your life to Him. Jonah was not really surrendering his life, he was just giving up on life. Jonah was not offering up his life, he was running away from his life.  

Warren Wiersbe: “The Ninevites, the vine, the worm and the wind have all obeyed God but Jonah still refuses to obey, and he has the most to gain.”  

Jonah’s life, his attitude, his experience are all an example for our own lives. We see the consequences of disobedience and the reward of obedience. We can identify with the emotions and feelings and the fleshly behavior. We have all come to places where we stubbornly sit in the sun and refuse to move or fail to appreciate the Lord’s grace and suffer as a result. But through it all we see how the Lord remains gracious and patient in how He deals with Jonah. The disobedient prophet is still God’s prophet and though we do not know if Jonah changes, we do know that the Lord never changes!

 God’s Timing and Purposes – Ecc. 3:1-8

Part 19

Pastor Vicky Moots
Kingman, Kansas

Ecc. 3:8c: “…a time of war…”  No one likes the idea of war, but if you are under attack, you must be prepared to fight back.  We are spiritually under attack, as declared by Peter in I Pet. 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant [alert and watchful]; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith…” So how do we resist him? We must be watchful and aware of his tactics and be skillful in the use of our weapon of defense.

In the natural, soldiers are put through rigorous Basic Training (boot camp) in order to prepare them for all elements of service, both physical and mental.  They must learn discipline and are taught to obey orders without hesitation or question. They are also strengthened physically through hardships and given weapons training, as well as being taught how to recognize the enemy and his tactics.

Spiritually we also need similar training and preparation for battle.  Our trials help to strengthen us for warfare, as Paul tells Timothy in II Tim. 2:3-4: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

Satan, our enemy, tries to cause us to take our eyes off of the Lord and to become entangled (trapped) with earthly affairs and the problems of this world.  This is not pleasing to the Lord, for we have not been called to fight this world’s battles, or to try to solve its problems.  This is spiritual warfare; we are not fighting people.

If the enemy you are fighting has a pulse, you are fighting the wrong enemy.  Paul declares to us in Eph. 6:12 who the real enemy is: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high [heavenly] places.”

Paul is referring to Satan and all his evil forces, demonic powers and principalities, not to world leaders, for this is not an earthly battle, as Paul makes clear to us in II Cor. 10:3: “For though we walk in the flesh [the natural body], we do not war after the flesh.”  We do not fight flesh and blood.

Therefore, Paul further instructs us in verses 4-5 that for spiritual warfare we must submit ourselves to the authority of our spiritual Commander-In-Chief and use spiritual, not natural weapons: “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [fleshly], but mighty through God to the pulling down [total demolition] of strong holds;) Casting down [smashing down] imaginations [reasonings], and every high [prideful] thing that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

We must take our own thoughts and reasonings captive, as prisoners of war, to be under the control of Christ.  Too often we try to fight Satan with our own words, but they are ineffective weapons and have no power against him. We must fight this war with an approved weapon that has already been put to the test.

The only weapon that has been issued to us for spiritual warfare is “the sword of Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Eph. 6:17).  Jesus Himself was able to overcome Satan with that same weapon when He was tempted by him in the wilderness.  We read of this in Matt. 4:1-11.  Satan attacked Jesus when He was in a weakened state from fasting, and tempted Him in three separate areas.  Each time, Jesus responded, “It is written,” and quoted a scripture in counter attack, thus using the sword of the Spirit. Verse 11 then reveals to us the victor of this battle: “Then the devil leaveth him…”

Our tactic for victory is the same: “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). After first submitting ourselves to God’s authority, we are then commanded to resist the devil.  We can only do that by wielding the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, just as Jesus did. Heb. 4:12 declares that there is no greater weapon, no sharper sword, than that: “For the word of God is quick [living], and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword…”

In addition to our weapon, we have been issued our protective gear called the armor of God, complete with helmet and combat boots. This is described in detail by Paul in Eph. 6:13-17, and we are expected to suit up with it every day upon arising: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).

We are currently on active combat duty for it is “a time of war.” Are you ready for action? Be sure to clean and polish your weapon every day and become familiar with its use, and “…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” (Eph. 6:13).

 The Encouraging Word

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7 (NLT)

“I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” Psalm 16:7 (NIV)

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” II Corinthians 9:7

“And Jesus said unto them…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:20

“The LORD lives; blessed be my rock, and exalted be God, the rock of my Salvation.” II Samuel 22:47

“(Most) blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in and relies on the LORD, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.” Jeremiah 17:7 (Amp.)

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8

Martha Wainright