Saturday, November 29, 2014

Spiritual Warfare: How To Overcome Temptation

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Hello friends, I have decided to share an article with you, as it was very helpful to me in the past. 
Before i share the article, we will take a look at the strategies the devil used against our Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember that being tempted is not a sin
yielding to temptation is sin
Our Lord Jesus Christ Was tempted in the desert, even though He Never Committed Sin.
This lets us know that every human being will be tempted on earth.
 
Matthew 4:1-11

4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
 
BIBLE 7 TREASURE

 In The above Bible Passage we could see the devil tempting our Lord Jesus Christ.
The devil tried different tactics, let's examine the tactics he used, one by one just to learn a little bit about his strategies of deception.
I believe these tactics were not the only tactics he used against our Lord Jesus Christ. However, there is much to learn from the ones recorded.
 
First Tactic: Doubt and Exploitation of Weakness (In this case, hunger)
 If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
 
Here we see the devil's dangerous nature and extreme cunning.
the devil's first attempt is to plant seeds of doubt into Jesus Christ's Mind, with the hopes that Jesus Christ would act either out of pride, or weakness (Hunger)
This first attempt is an extremely vicious attack.
The devil knew who Jesus Christ Was. The intention was to incite a negative reaction.
If our Lord Jesus Christ would've made the stones into bread, He would've either been acting proudly, imitating the devil's behavior as a result, or He would've succumbed to His momentary weakness (Hunger) 
If either one of these mistakes would've happened, we wouldn't have a way of escaping the devil's temptations.
  Instead Jesus Christ Victoriously Disarms the devil, by being obedient To God And His Word, Which Was In His Heart.
Jesus Christ did not have The Scriptures With Him in the desert, instead, The Holy Scriptures Were Hidden In His Heart (Read Psalm 119)
 
First Disarm
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
 
 Notice that Jesus Christ Did Not attempt to prove Who He Is to the devil, instead He Quoted The Holy Bible, Giving Glory To God.
Jesus Christ must've been extremely hungry at this point. 
This lets us know that the devil will attack us when we're weak (Hungry, sad, thirsty, upset, tired, sleepy, discouraged, etc)
Even though our Lord Jesus Christ Was very weak (Extremely Hungry) The Word Of God Gave Him Victory. 
We can have victory even if we're weak; as long as we keep God's Word :)
 
Jesus Christ's Tremendous Strength, Humility and Faith can be seen in this amazing display of Self Control and Love For God.
 
Most men would fail in this situation. Imagine not eating or drinking water for a week, and suddenly having the possibility to eat and drink.
Jesus Christ Fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (Think about this)
We could only overcome temptation by being Faithful To God And His Word, just like Jesus Christ Was.
 
Second Tactic: Doubt mixed with a twisted manipulation of God's Word
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 
The devil now attempts to use Jesus Christ's Defense against him, "It Is Written" 
the devil is still using doubt and exploitation of weakness (Jesus Christ Is Still Hungry) as his primary weapons of offense, only this time he's mixing things up by misquoting The Holy Bible (Psalm 91) making it sound like one could just jump off a building and nothing would happen. This isn't what Psalm 91 says.
 
This tactic lets us know that the devil will attempt to misinterpret The Holy Bible (Or get you to misinterpret it) so that you make the wrong choice. 
Remember friends, Jesus Christ Is The Truth and The Only Way To The Father :D
 
Psalm 91

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. 
 
Second Disarm:
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 
  
Here we can see that Jesus Christ Is Not Moving, He's Still Using God's Word to disarm the devil.
The devil changes attacks constantly but Jesus Christ's Defense Is The Same; God's Word.
Psalm 91 talks about Trusting In The Lord and How Wonderful It Is To Trust In Him.
Trusting in The Lord does not mean one can act recklessly as a result, this would be tempting The Lord. 
God Has Given us all a Free Will, we may choose what we wish.  However, we cannot manipulate God.
God Wants us to do Good, not evil. However, we are the ones who choose.
 
Third Tactic: Negotiation, Exchange
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
 
Here we see the devil offering our Lord Jesus Christ the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship. 
The devil wants to be God, and it is because of this desire that he fell from Heaven.
It would appear that after running out of tactics, the devil offers all he has; the vain riches of this world.
 Many people in this world have fallen for this tactic. (Click here, Revelations)
Remember friends, This world and its desires will pass, but whosoever does The Will Of God, shall live forever.
 
Third Disarm:
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 
 
Here we see clearly why Jesus Christ Is Called, "The Rock"
He Is Unmovable; Completely Rooted In God's Word and His Third and Final Defense Is The Same as the last two Disarms, "It Is Written"
This is why whoever listens to Jesus Christ's Word and Does What He Commands, is compared to a wise man who built his house upon The Rock, and no storm could tear it down.
As long as we persevere in God's Word, we will have victory as well, remember friends, It Is Written :)
 
Peace At Last! 
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
 
 As long as we persevere in God's Word, in The Same Way Jesus Christ Did, we will have Peace! :D
 
***WARNING***
 
The devil doesn't like a human being in search of The Truth, so he always confronts them with his version of The Truth
A version that can sound more pleasing, but deadly, and/or pseudo-rational
The devil usually attempts to make himself look like the good guy and can attempt to make God look like the bad guy by misinterpreting The Bible.

The devil gets people to believe God is cruel by misinterpretations of Old Testament Events. 
Some examples:
 
The Great Flood
 
The devil says that God destroyed the world, because He's cruel. 
The Truth is that the inhabitants of the world were more wicked than we can even imagine. However, anybody had the chance to live if they wanted, instead they chose to keep doing evil. They also ignored and mocked Noah for being just. 
The Doors of Salvation Were Wide Opened for anyone to come in, only 8 people chose to live.
 
The Killings of the first born children in Egypt
 
The devil says that God is cruel for killing the first born children in Egypt. 
The Truth is that the Egyptians had killed probably thousands of Jewish babies in very cruel manners, including throwing them in snake pits, beating them, cutting them up, etc.
God Sent An Angel to take the first born children in Egypt painlessly at night. 
Can anyone say the Egyptians did not deserve this sort of Divine Justice? 
I'm also sure that these first born children were in reality rescued from following in the footsteps of their parents, in other words, i believe these first born children will be in God's Kingdom. 
The blood of a lamb allowed the first born children to live back then. Today, The Blood Of The Lamb (Jesus Christ) Allows us to live after death :)
 
The Conquering of Canaan
 
The devil says God killed many Canaanites because He's cruel
The Truth is that the people who were killed by the Israelites were killed because of their own cruelty. In other words, God Delivered Divine Justice Through the Israelites. 
The Inhabitants of Canaan would kill innocent people constantly, even people who were just passing near their land.
It is written, he who kills by the sword, shall die by the sword. 
A more recent example would be Hitler. Would you say it would be cruel if he was killed? or would this be Divine Justice?
With that said, even Hitler would be saved if he repented and accepted Jesus Christ As his personal Savior :)
 
These are some examples of how the devil twists The Holy Bible in order to get people to walk away from The Truth. 
Once this happens, the devil promptly proceeds to enslave with all sorts of sin, to make sure the ones who walked away never escape the condemnation that belongs to him. 
 
One of The Reasons our Lord Jesus Christ Came to earth, Was To Show us The True Character Of God. To do away with the devil's misinterpretations and blatant lies. To Show us His Insuperable Love.
 
John 12:44-46

44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.
45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
 
 God Is 100% Love. A Love so highly concentrated we cannot even fathom The Magnitude Of His Love.
Even the love we can have for our own children cannot compare to The Amazing Love Of God. 

A Love So Amazing That He Gave us His Only Begotten Son, To Be Sacrificed So That we May Live. 
Jesus Christ Has Given us His Life In Order To Cleanse us from our sins, to give us Eternal Life.
The Price for our Spiritual Salvation Has Been Paid for in Full with The Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
All we must do is Accept This Precious Gift, and Follow Him! :D
 
Now i will share the article that helped me a while back :)
 
Satan and Evil Spirits: 
You Can Beat Them
 
The Forgotten Weapon in Spiritual Warfare
And Key to Successful Deliverance Ministry
    The Truth Summarized

The Secret to Casting Out Demons,
Defeating the Devil, and Overcoming Temptation


Even though the Bible claims we have great power over evil, the way most of us actually live is humiliatingly different.
Christians are invincible in the face of evil only when they are in total submission to God and would rather suffer torture or loss or death than let evil win.

For those who are in union with Christ, evil spiritual powers are nothing but caged beasts, unable to touch us. Satan’s entire forces can only resort to idle threats or bribes to entice us into entering their cage where they can rip us apart. Nevertheless, Satan is such a supernaturally powerful evil genius that he can end up luring into his cage every living Christian. The only sure thing to protect us is what the Bible calls death. No one, no matter how terrifyingly cunning, can threaten or entice a dead person.

The key is not physical death but something that can at first seem as scary and as extreme. The Bible calls it death to self, or being crucified with Christ. Like Jesus’ death and resurrection, however, what seems like a ghastly end is actually the beginning of a brand new life. As Jesus revealed, losing one’s life for Jesus’ sake is the key to finding real life (Matthew 16:25; John 10:10). Becoming a true Christian is like recklessly throwing all your money away on “worthless” desert land. People mistakenly think you are a fool, because only you know there is an oil field underground.
As soon as you die with Christ, you rise with him and begin reigning with him, with your every spiritual enemy under your feet.

The Truth Expounded

Although vigorously denied by the average person, everyone not a genuine Christian is a slave of evil.
    John 8:33-34 They answered him, “We . . . have never been slaves of anyone. . . .” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. . . .” 
A person might have no idea he has lost his freedom until he tries to act as if he were free. If you enter a room and the door locks behind you, you might not realize you are imprisoned until you try to leave. Likewise, many people are blissfully unaware that they are enslaved by an addiction until they try to quit. Then they usually do their utmost to live in denial. “I could quit any time I want,” they tell themselves.
Being enslaved by evil applies to much more than what is commonly regarded as addictions.
    Proverbs 5:22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. 
    Acts 8:23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin  
    Romans 7:14  . . . unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  
    Titus 3:3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
Despite slavery to sin being broad, however, commonly accepted addictions provide a window on how slavery to sin operates.
As it begins to dawn that we are enslaved, our minds are likely to do surprising things to avoid the truth. For example, slaves to sin typically do their best to fool themselves into thinking they are enjoying their bondage. 

Years ago, when the dangers of smoking were less publicized, psychologists brought together a group of smokers. They asked the smokers to describe how much they liked smoking, then subjected them to a strong presentation on the dangers of smoking. A follow-up study revealed that those who kept on smoking despite increased awareness of the danger, claimed to enjoy smoking more than ever. What tricks our minds can play, rather than face the disturbing truth of bondage!
Peter highlighted the extent of people’s delusion:
    2 Peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

The only way to remain free from slavery to sin – to not be mastered by evil – is to keep making God our master.
    Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. . .  You cannot serve both God and Money.  
    Romans 6:16-22 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? . . . But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. . . . Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
The only alternative to being a slave of evil is to become God’s slave. That sounds like bad news until we begin to realize the implications of having a master who is so mind-bogglingly good that he has no equal:
    Mark 10:18  . . . No one is good – except God alone.
Being God’s slave is not remotely like being tricked and ensnared like sin’s slaves. Instead of forcibly submitting to a master who will destroy us, being God’s slave is voluntarily submitting to a master who, as Jesus proved, would rather be tortured to death than see us harmed. God’s slaves are love slaves. At any instant we could rebel, but we choose instead to revel in God’s loving wisdom, and obey like a starving man saying yes to food.
To be a love slave of God is not to lose one’s identity but to become more gloriously alive than we could ever otherwise hope to be. 


Obeying God is like a seal plunging into the ocean. Suddenly a clumsy, lumbering landlubber is transformed into a graceful, acrobatic sea creature, able to dart and somersault in astounding fashion. Nothing could be more liberating.
Whether God or evil is our master, is determined not by a one-off decision – deciding to become a Christian – but by whether we live in continual obedience to God. This is why Scripture has to warn Christians not to let sin become their master: 

Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 
Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 

 
Remaining free from slavery to sin is a daily decision:
    Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. . . .” (emphasis mine)
So unless we keep making God our master, sin and Satan and his hordes are able to enslave us. This is why “Submit yourselves, then, to God” comes immediately before, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Only when we are in complete submission to God can we expect to successfully resist the devil and his deceptive schemes.
We sometimes act as if “Lord” were a mere courtesy title. It means master, and this is why the word appears so often in the Bible. Fully obeying God, however, is nothing like the scary thing that it seems. It is warmer, safer and more satisfying that even obeying one’s own whims. What makes obeying God so satisfying is that no matter how much you want to look after your best interests, God wants it even more. 

The God of infinite love is more devoted to you and loves you more than you care for yourself. No matter how smart you are, the all-knowing Creator of the universe is wiser still. His guidance is the expression of his yearning to pour infinite intelligence and divine foreknowledge into your every decision. To obey God is to say goodbye to foolish decisions and hello to mastery over self. Yielding even to God’s scariest commands is not only the smartest decision you could ever make, it is like yielding to a lover’s caress.
Most of us are tempted to think, “I’ll obey God almost all the time. I’d only disobey if asked to do something that is quite inconvenient.” That’s not letting God be our God. Making our own decisions as to which of God’s directions we will obey is making ourselves god – the one who decides what we do. To push God out of part of our lives is to reject wisdom and security and love. It not only breaks God’s heart, we deeply wound ourselves. 


Making oneself god is what Eve thought she was doing when she disobeyed God. Tragically, the devil fooled Eve into thinking that obeying God was not in her best interest. She thought that exercising the option of disobedience would make her as smart as God. Instead, she foolishly trashed her relationship with the true God, the Source of life. By refusing to let the loving Lord be her master, she became subject to the only alternative: death, sin and Satan became her master.
We find it so hard to take from theoretical doctrine to practical reality the thrilling truth that God is good, infinitely wise, and passionately and selflessly devoted to our eternal welfare.

Little children are sure they know how to have the most fun – eating nothing but ice-cream and candy, chasing balls on to busy streets, sticking forks into electrical outlets, playing with scorpions, and so on. They remain safe, healthy and grow up to be outstanding adults, however, only by obeying parental directions that at the time they don’t like. No matter what our age, we find it hard to believe that there is anyone in the universe who knows better than us what is best for us. Nevertheless, the truth remains that, relative to the infinite intelligence of Almighty God, we are as little children and as likely as them to be dangerously mistaken as to what will end up giving us the greatest satisfaction and happiness. To submit to God is to let him give us his best. Like running for cover and warmth during a blizzard, we desperately need to snuggle into the God of infinite wisdom. To enter into total submission to God is to enjoy the ultimate safety.

If total obedience still seems scary, I understand. There’s a link at the end of this webpage just for you, about how God’s will for you is more wonderful than you could imagine. If, however, you are unsure as to whether you have a genuine personal relationship with God, it is vital to get this sorted immediately. Please bookmark this page and read You Can Find Love before proceeding.

 The Implications for Deliverance Ministry
 
The practical importance for deliverance ministry of being in submission to God is seen in the dismal failure of the sons of Sceva to cast out a demon (Acts 19:13-16). Being not just Jews, but priests – sons of the chief priest, in fact – these men would have known Scripture exceptionally well and were most likely highly moral. They were probably also very caring and loving, since they were trying to relieve someone afflicted by demons. This all counted as nothing, however, because they were not in submissive union with Jesus. Their attempted exorcism was so disastrous that they themselves ended up attacked.

We are like five year olds in a tough neighborhood. Jesus is our devoted, much older brother. Our father has warned us to always stay close to big brother traveling to school and in the schoolyard, and for as long as we do we are safe. We must be careful not to feel untouchable, however; forgetting that only because big brother is with us that would-be child molesters avoid us and we can mock school thugs and see them retreat. Instead of going where our brother wants, we could decide it would be more fun elsewhere and run off alone, having no idea how vulnerable that simple act has made us. That’s what happens when we disobey God. We move out of the Almighty’s protection and have no conception of the terrifying danger that action exposes us to.
We can be like Samson compromising with Delilah and getting away with it for a while until suddenly we go too far and don’t realize it until the Philistines overcome us, take us captive and make us their plaything (Judges 16:4-25).
The centurion with the sick servant was highly commended by Jesus because he understood that power hinges on submission to authority (Matthew 8:9-10). Those under his command obeyed him as fully as we would like demons to obey us, but he recognized that he was obeyed only because he obeyed those above him. As a Roman soldier, he knew that submission does not allow him to choose which orders he will obey. He could not obey easy orders and reserve the right to disobey battle orders that could cost him his life.
Just as becoming a soldier means giving up the right to make one’s own decisions on critical matters, so does becoming a genuine Christian. Living in submission to God, however, is true freedom. 
 
Like an electrical appliance submitting to electricity, submitting to God empowers us and releases us into our full and glorious potential. It is what we were made for. 
Disobedience disconnects us from our life sources and renders us pathetically less than we were intended to be, like a disconnected electrical appliance that can only be turned by hand.
God, in his grace, can respond to anyone’s prayers. For instance, I’ve heard of Muslims converting to Christianity after discovering the effectiveness of using the name of Jesus in exorcism. Here’s scriptural confirmation that demons can sometimes be cast out in the name of Jesus without the exorcist being fully submitted to God:
    Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
No wonder, when the seventy-two returned rejoicing and saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name,” Jesus replied, “ . . . do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:17,20).
Despite the occasional exception, however, no one has any guarantee of dominance over demons without total submission to Jesus. And even if the Lord were to graciously kick start our freedom removing a demon without us fully submitting to Jesus, we cannot hope to keep the demon permanently at bay without full submission.
    John 15:4,5  . . . No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. . . . apart from me you can do nothing.
To not want full submission to God is as foolish and destructive as a branch no longer wanting the life of the vine flowing through it. Our power over evil teeters on the extent to which we are in perfect, submissive union with our Lord.

 When Slavery is Good
    Hebrews 9:15  . . . Christ . . . died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
If we are truly saved/redeemed – rescued from the power and eternal consequences of sin – we are not free to make our own decisions. Jesus is our master.
    1 Corinthians 7:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
Being bought by Jesus is contrasted with being a slave to a human master because biblical references to being bought/ransomed/redeemed are usually a reference to the purchasing of one’s liberty from slavery or imprisonment and often the thought of being bought at a slave market seems to be in mind.
The wondrous result of being “bought at a price” – having your freedom purchased by the blood of Jesus (Revelation 5:9) – is that you are God’s slave.
    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 You are not your own; you were bought at a price.

To be God’s slave means that at last you belong to purity, royalty and divine authority. Yes, you obey as fully as a slave but with God as our master, we do so with the joy and devotion of a lover and with the dignity of a prince/princess of God.
When hoping to cast out demons, some people act as if there is something almost magical about using the words “blood of Jesus”. The sobering truth is that such words are powerless – and demons know this – unless they cease to be mere words but we are actually redeemed by the blood of Jesus. And if you are truly redeemed, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If, however, you are “your own,” how can you be redeemed/saved from the bondage and eternal damnation of sin?
We were not freed so that we would again become enslaved and shamed by our fickle passions, but so that we would follow Christ. Pursuing our own whims would bring us back into slavery to sin again.

    Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
If we disregard this warning we could actually fall into an even worse quagmire than before.
    2 Peter 2:20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.
Those who follow this route could end up as Jesus described:
    Luke 11:24-26 When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.
 What Makes a Christian Invincible

The Bible insists that the devil and all his henchmen should cower, shivering in fear, before those who cling to Jesus. A baby Christian facing Satan and all his evil hordes should be as one-sided in favor of the Christian as a champion athlete facing a cunning but feeble ninety-year-old man. That word “cunning,” however, is not to be glossed over. Musclemen have handed over their valuables to weaklings armed with fake guns. Strong, intelligent men have been conned out of their money by the enticing but empty promise of get rich quick schemes. Still others have been duped into supposing they were having an Internet romance with a sexy young woman, when they were actually writing to an old man with a cruel sense of humor.
Like weaklings who can only use bluff, and con artists who in reality have nothing good to offer, defeated spiritual foes try to dominate us with terrifying, though hollow, threats or entice us by skillfully baiting their trap. The dilemma we face, however, is that most of us arrogantly suppose we are smart enough to see through his tricks, brave enough to ignore his threats and strong enough to resist the powerfully alluring bait concealing his deadly trap. Us thinking we can outwit this caged, evil genius is like a little child tinkering with a bomb, feeling sure he can dismantle it. Our enemy is supernatural. We are no more resistant to Satan than Simon Peter was able to resist denying Jesus, despite Peter being certain he could do it (Luke 22:33-34). Nothing but the most drastic action can save us – so drastic that the Bible rightly calls it death. Thankfully, dying with Christ to our old life, leads immediately to rising with Christ to a new life. It is like trading dirt for gold. Nevertheless, it seems almost suicide to those who have never experienced the unique joys and fulfillment that Christ offers.

 
2 Timothy 2:11-12 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. . . .  
John 12:25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

 Breakthrough

Christine once had eight demons. A while after being delivered, one of the most highly seductive of those demons appeared to her when she was feeling very low. Rather than yielding, she was furious at him for cruelly choosing her lowest time to try to seduce her, and immediately sent that demon packing by commanding him to leave. She then contacted me, declaring that she would choose Christ no matter what torment she had to endure. I immediately knew why Christine is a winner.


Christine had the attitude of Job: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,” (Job 13:15, KJV) and of the three Hebrews about to be thrown into the furnace, who declared, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it . . . But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods . . .” (Daniel 3:17-18 – emphasis mine). It is this attitude – being willing to endure anything for Christ – and only this attitude, that makes a Christian invincible.
Let me remind you of this:
    Matthew 5:29-30 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Of course Jesus did not mean we should injure our bodies. He was describing what it takes for a Christian not to be dominated by evil – a ruthless resolve to spare no pain or loss.
Jesus kept saying such things as:
    Luke 9:23  . . . If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

And he followed this up by sweating, as it were, drops of blood as he agonized over choosing to be tortured to death on the cross in submission to God. 
To be like Christ in the face of demons and temptation we must be like him in being willing to suffer “hell on earth” for heaven’s sake. When we have that determination to fight, no matter what the cost, demons sense it and flee. Ironically, that very determination to fight lessens the fight.
Let’s remind ourselves of how basic to Christianity it is to be resolved to suffer for Christ.
    Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 2 Thessalonians 1:5 . . . will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. (Emphasis mine.)
The book of Revelation ends with:
    Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly . . . – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
Earlier it said:
    Revelation 13:10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
This is not the easy road that many of us mistakenly think is the Christian’s right. This promise of persecution and even death applies to the “saints” (see also Revelation 13:7). The “saints,” says Revelation 14:12, are those who “remain faithful to Jesus” – that is, true Christians.

So the Bible does not promise an easy time for Christians. To be Christians we must be willing to endure for the One who endured everything for us. “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude . . .” says 1 Peter 4:1. It then continues with a remarkable statement: “ . . . because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.” It is the person who is resolved to suffer whatever it takes to be faithful to Christ, who will be victorious over sin and evil. We must not cut this verse short:
    Revelation 12:11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Emphasis mine.) 
 You Can Do It!

We begin to imagine all sorts of horrors are poised to savage us should we step into the security of God’s will. Such fears are largely satanic bluff, doomed never to materialize.
Nonetheless, heaven’s assignments aren’t always a piece of angel cake. There are moments when it seems the only thing more frightening than doing the will of God is not doing his will. We have as Leader and Supreme Example, One who suffered immensely.

Those who shrink from hardship or danger shrivel up inside; dead, long before their hearts stop. Don’t throw your life away, enslaved by the allure of opulence; lazing while suffering humanity floods past your door. The easy path leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).
When people came to Jesus desiring to serve him, you’d think he would have smothered them with praise. But he knew the human heart. His blunt response shocked would-be followers into a painful realization of the great cost involved (Luke 14:25-33; Matthew 10:21-22) . “Sell all you have and give it to the poor” (Luke 18:22) . “Wild animals will have better shelter than you if you follow me” (Luke 9:57-8, loose paraphrase).

“To serve me,” he declared, “you must take up a cross” (Luke 9:23). Two thousand years later, it is easy to romanticize that brutal statement. Carrying one’s cross involves nothing less than anguish and devastating humiliation. It is suffering inflicted as a direct result of serving God; torment you could avoid by compromise. Jesus wasn’t looking for adherents; he was looking for martyrs. He wanted not admirers but imitators – volunteers who could shoulder a gibbet of pain (Matthew 20:22-3). The person more concerned about his neck than the exaltation of God, is unworthy of him (Luke 9:23-6).

The cost is exceeded only by the glory. So immense is the glory, in fact, that the cost fades, totally eclipsed by the reward (2 Corinthians 4:17; Revelation 7:16,17).


The cost frees us to express the depth of our devotion. Moreover, it’s the cost that produces the exhilaration, the fulfillment, the honor. Look at any field of endeavor: we admire heroic achievements; people who overcome the odds, who endure hardship and succeed where others would have slunk away. 


That’s the glory of Christ-likeness. There’s no honor in being swept along by a godless throng; no satisfaction in fleeing at the sight of a challenge; no glory in being dominated by fear or frozen by doubt. We either walk through the curtain of fear or end up a broken shell of the person we could have been. To choose the soft life is to turn our back on our bleeding Savior and lose ourselves in Satanic deception. It’s those who sow in tears who reap in joy; (Psalm 126:6) those who endure who win the crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; James 1:12; Revelation 2:10; 3:11). Insipid, half-hearted ‘Christianity’ isn't Genuine Love.

That’s not for you. You belong in heaven’s hall of fame. You were born with the desire for it; born-again with the power for it. You were made for daring persistence, stunning triumphs, awe-inspiring excellence. While others wallow in the mud of mediocrity, sentenced to eternal obscurity by their half-heartedness, you’re breaking free, bringing honor to the One who redeemed you.
Fired by the love of God, live life to the full.
In a heart-stopping display of skill, Blondin pushed a wheel-barrow along a tight-rope over Niagara Falls. “Who believes I could carry someone across the falls?” he asked. The crowd went wild. Of course he could. So he asked for a volunteer.
Shocked silence.
Life is like that. Anyone can slip into Christ’s embrace and be carried to startling conquests, but when the call comes, knees begin to quake. The weakest saint who dares follow Christ will excel; the strongest who stays behind will be crushed.

The last time I flirted with danger was when I decided against a double knot to tie my shoelace. I have a heart of gold – yellow to the core. Yet Christ died that I might rule. Yield to my old nature and I cower; yield to my Christ-bought nature and I conquer.
Fear will come. I can’t avoid it, but through Christ I need not bow to it. Victor or victim: it’s my decision.
The tragedy is that we are often enslaved by forces that are meant to be our slaves. Rather than being tyrannized by fear, we should rise up and let it serve us. Fear’s duty is to impel us to prayer. Deprived of this faithful servant we might foolishly expose ourselves to danger without activating God’s wall of safety.

Ensure your plans are in the will of God. Then list every fearful possibility. Pray through each point for as long as it takes to muster the faith that God has taken control. Now you have divine protection, the highest conceivable security. Fear has done its work. Bid it farewell. Like a naughty puppy, fear may still tag along, but ignore it. Reciting the fear-crushing promises of Scripture, fix your eyes on the goal and stride toward it.
Waiting for fear to fade before advancing is like Peter waiting for the lake to evaporate before stepping out of the boat. Faith is the defeat of fear – not usually by fear’s removal, but by moving us to proceed despite fear’s yelps.
If the torment is intense, the support of experienced counselors can be valuable. Be prayerful about your choice of help, however. Unwise counselors can wound.

Heaven’s heroes are natural weaklings who are willing to let Christ make them supernaturally strong.
All of heaven is on red alert when you follow Father’s orders. Help is a prayer away. Heaven’s resources – infinitely more than you will ever require – are available the instant you need them (Matthew 21:12-19; Luke 10:19; 21:12-19). As you march forward in obedience success is certain.

 Freed!

Perhaps by not realizing that there are situations where a verbal contract is binding, or by some other means, many people have been tricked into contracts in which payment is taken from their bank account each month without them realizing it. Once they discover the implications they are horrified, but no matter how vehemently they protest and want it to end, payment will still be extracted month after month after month unless they formally terminate the contract.

This is almost identical to what happens when we think we are doing something innocuous but are actually getting involved in the occult without even realizing it. (For example, by having our fortune told we are submitting to anti-God supernatural forces; giving them permission to influence our futures.) There are countless ways in which we can be tricked into entering a spiritual contract that will continue despite us finally discovering the implications and wanting the nightmare to end. 

Only a formal termination of the contract will free you. By “formal,” I mean specifically repenting of your former involvement, breaking all ties (such as destroying objects, books, and so on associated with it. Make sure the objects are destroyed before throwing them away to prevent someone else from finding and being harmed by the objects) and declaring to the spirit world (preferably by speaking out loud) that through your union with the devil-defeating, crucified and now-risen Lord, you refuse all the “benefits” and curses associated with involvement with this practice.
The challenge is in identifying everything that could cause bondage. For help with this, please see relevant links at the end of this webpage.

 Don’t Expect Instant Deliverance

When the all-powerful Son of God was gloriously victorious over a temptation in the wilderness, Satan did not slink away in defeat. Undeterred, the Evil One moved straight on to trying to seduce the Holy One with a completely different temptation. And when Jesus again delivered a crushing defeat on the enemy, he pounded the Son of God with yet another insidious temptation. Finally, after being beaten yet again, Satan left – but only, as the King James Version puts it, “for a season” or in the words of the NIV, “until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13).
Demons leave only with great reluctance. Like naughty children, they will test us to the limit to see if we really believe we have authority over them or whether they can bluff their way into staying by pretending to be stronger than us. Don’t be surprised or think it indicates you are weak when demons put up a fight.
When we read, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7), let’s not get so carried away with the final result (him fleeing) that we forget that the key word is “resist”. If we have to resist, it must be because he and his minions will put up a fight.
You can expect quite a battle of wills. But even when they finally leave, that is not the end of the story. Jesus spoke of a demon who left a man and then returned. The man happened to have his defenses down and so the demon not only re-entered the man but invited seven other demons to join him (Matthew 12:43-45). The point I must emphasize is that it is typical of demons to keep coming back, checking one’s defenses to see if they can re-enter.
As I so often find myself reminding Christians: Satan and his evil hordes are sore losers. Once they find something that shakes you up they will keep trying it over and over relentlessly until they are absolutely convinced that their tactics will never again work with you. When, finally, they seem to leave, it is only to bide their time for a surprise attack. Their persistence is so very unpleasant for you. The positive side, however, is that this will make you stronger and stronger as you keep resisting his lies.
The enemy of our souls is the master deceiver because that is all he can do. The devil cannot change reality. He cannot change the fact that God loves you with all of his unlimited love and that Christ died for the sins of the entire world, which has to include every sin you have ever committed. So all he can do is mess with your feelings, hoping that you will start to believe them rather than believe in the power of Christ and the love of God.

 Conclusion

Through sin, we had sold ourselves into slavery to evil. By dying in our place, Christ paid the price required to transfer our ownership from Satan to God. By so doing he utterly stripped our spiritual enemies of power over us. While we remain love slaves to Christ, evil spiritual powers cannot touch us. They have nothing left but their evil cunning with which to try to lure us away from Christ into their fangs. And Christ has provided the way whereby even their attempts to con us cannot touch us.
If we learnt to fly a plane the way most of us approach our relationship with God, we would focus on what we suppose to be the fun parts, give little attention to how to land, and ignore safety requirements. Then we would wonder why there are so many fatalities.
If we look at the full revelation of God we see that victorious Christians are the one who are in total submission to God. They are those who, to use some of the Bible’s many different expressions, have denied themselves, died to self, died with Christ, or crucified the flesh, and are slaves of Christ. The demon-crushing, temptation-beating power of Christ flows through the veins of those who, like Christ, submit to God no matter what the cost. Their eyes are so fixed on the eternal, that pleasure or the avoidance of pain and suffering mean nothing to them relative to the matchless joy of obeying God. This is the resolve that makes them invincible. They can’t be bought and they can’t be tricked by appeals to the ego. They can’t be threatened and can’t be bribed or seduced. Against these Christians, evil spiritual powers are left weaponless.

By Grantley Morris

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