Sunday, July 21, 2013

Impossible! I'm of the body of Christ.

If Satan cannot touch the body of Christ, then why did Paul instruct us to put on the armor of God, to resist the devil, to stand firm, and to be alert? If we are not susceptible to being wounded or trapped by Satan, why does Paul describe our relationship to the powers of darkness as a wrestling match?

Those who deny the enemy’s potential for destruction are the most vulnerable to it. Even though our eternal destiny is secure and the armor of God is readily available, we are still vulnerable to Satan’s accusations and temptations. If we give into these, we can be influenced by Satan, and if we remain under his influence long enough, we can lose control, if we fail to stand against him.

Ownership is never at stake, Satan cannot touch our new identity, but as long as we are living in this fleshly body, we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable targets to all Satan’s fiery darts. How do you think Satan carries on his worldwide ministry of evil and deception?

He is a created being; he is not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. He cannot be everywhere in the world tempting and deceiving millions of people at the same moment. He does so through an army of emissaries “fallen angels called evil spirits” who propagate his plan of rebellion around the world.

The Bible does not attempt to prove the existence of evil spirits any more than it attempts to prove the existence of God, it simply reports on their activities. If these evil spirits can get us to listen to the thoughts, they plant in our mind, they can influence us, and if we allow them to influence us long enough through temptation and accusation, they can control our ability to carry out our ministry of reconciliation.

Bad habits and sinful thought patterns were established when we learned to live our life independently of God before we were born anew. Our environment taught us to think about and respond to life, and those patterns and responses were ingrained in our mind as strongholds.

These evil spirits perpetual aim is to infiltrate our thoughts with their thoughts; they know if they can control our thoughts, they can control our behavior. They can introduce their thoughts, tempting us to act independently of our ministry of reconciliation, as if they were our own thoughts or even God’s thoughts.

These evil spirits can put thoughts in our mind even as Satan did with David (1 Chronicles 21:1). If we do not conquer their tempting thoughts right at the threshold of our mind, we will begin to mull their thought over, consider them an option, and eventually choose to act them out.

Repeated acts form a habit, and if we exercise a sinful habit long enough, a stronghold will be established in our mind. Once a stronghold is established, we can lose the ability to control our behavior in that area. Next to temptation, perhaps the most frequent and insistent attack from these evil spirits to which we are vulnerable is accusation.

Accusation is a deep-seated sense of self-deprecation; I am not important, I am not qualified, I am no good. We become paralyzed in our witness and productivity in our ministry of reconciliation by thoughts and feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.

These evil spirits often use temptation and accusation as a brutal one-two punch. They come along and say, “Why don’t you try it? Everybody does it.” Then as soon as we fall for their temping line, they change their tune to accusation: “What kind of believer are you to do such a thing? You are a pitiful excuse for a child of God.”

Many believers are perpetually discouraged and defeated because they believe their persistent lies about them. When we leave a door open for these evil spirits by not resisting temptation and accusation, they will enter it. If we continue to allow them access to that area, they will eventually control it.

Many believers today who cannot control their lives in some area wallow in self-blame instead of acting responsibly to solve the problem. They berate themselves and punish themselves for not having the willpower to break a bad habit. 

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