These chapters I thought were some of the best in the book so don't skip them. We had an awesome time Monday during our studies. Deb S. made up some extra handouts for us on Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior by Graham Cooke, Mother Teresa...NO Greater Love and a copy of Proverbs 31. You can pick them up at the information desk if you want a copy.
Deb S. in her introduction talked about a profile on women in China. It is a bleak out look if you are born a girl there because of the one child law they mostly all just want a son. Baby girls are abandoned in great rates and the care is so poor that not many survive. But women are being treated poorly in many countries as well, assaulted and seen as disposable. Where does this hatred for women, seen all over the world come from? Why is it so evil?
For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those might powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. Eph. 6:12
Satan has a special hatred for women because a one time he was the object of great beauty, Son of the Morning. It infers a glory, a brightness or radiance unique to him. Satan fell because of his beauty. Pride in wanting adoration for himself. Now his heart for revenge is to assault beauty. Beauty in everything God created but especially women, they are God's final touch on creation and they are the life givers.
Satan was a murderer from the beginning, John 8:44 says" You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him." He brings death and his kingdom of death, ritual sacrifices, genocide, the Holocaust, abortion those are his ideas. That is why Eve is his greatest human threat, for she brings life. She is a lifesaver and a life giver. When you see her beauty and life giving together you can see that Satan's bitter heart assaults her with a special hatred. Don't you see this reflected all through out history?
Does it now make sense that he has a systemic, often brutal, nearly universal assault on femininity? Satan causes the hatred for women because if God's beauty is truly revealed in women's beauty, he feels he must debase it and cause it to be an object of shame. Satan wishes to destroy the object of God's affection, the pinnacle of His creation because destroying it will make it harder for all people to see and experience His beauty.
This revelation is so important for us to understand. In order to live the life that Jesus wants us to live, we must be aware that we have an enemy who is busy trying to steal, kill and destroy our lives. We must believe this or we end up blaming God for things the devil is doing and our view of the good, faithful, loving heart of God is badly skewed.
We must put on the armor of God every day and stand firm in the truth. We must resist the devil and command him and his minions to depart-out loud--in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ.
I John 1 4:4 You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him, we cry Abba, Father.
Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on your full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
Now I hope you really got the first part in dark print--the out loud part. I know if you have never done it before your thinking can't I just ask God to take care of it? Yes, you could but it's like asking why Christians should share the gospel with another person rather than praying and asking God to reveal the gospel to that person directly. Or why should be speak words of encouragement to someone who is discouraged rather than just praying and asking God to encourage that person? The answer just might be that God direct involvement makes us stronger. We don't always want to settle all our children's disputes , we send them back out to learn how to settle things on their own. We want them to grow stronger in these skills. We gain the eternal significance of this ministry when we pray out loud, the joy of seeing someone set free. And sometimes we have to set ourselves free when we need to.
Pastor Tom gave a sermon on praying to cast out evil spirits and gave his own story how the first time someone did that over Him he was like ok but thinking I don't know about this. Well, he was healed of an injury and encouraged us it doesn't hurt to try. Not everything that goes wrong in our lives has an evil spirit at work but you won't know until you try.
Right after church I remember I was so anxious to get in my car and try it. I spoke aloud saying if there is any spirit coming against my hearing I command you to leave in Jesus name and by His blood and power. It doesn't have to be that exactly to get results. Well since there was no noise in the car I didn't know until I went to work with the kids and lo and behold I could hear them! What use to be a constant thought for me about what did they just say....has vanished! Now I want to say the loss of hearing seemed natural in that I had a lot of ear infections when I was younger and this had been getting worse over the years. I just thought that just the way it is. NO! Don't ever accept that.
Satan wants to destroy what we have and drown us in doubt, guilt, fear, confusion, sickness, envy, and anger. He is an accuser and an adversary. He wants to keep us in bondage and is very deceptive in getting us to believe lies about our selves. Not every thought that comes into your mind is your own. He is an accuser...your not...fill in the blank or you'll never.........tell yourself the truth and think on that not the lie. Command him to leave! Just in case you don't know, no where in the Bible does it state that Satan can read our minds, only God can do that. Demons and Satan are limited by God's control and have limited power. They can only do what God permits and no more. The good news is these things can be resisted by Christians through the authority that Christ gives them! But just one note, not all sin and evil are from Satan and demons. Our fleshly desires produce sin, so in that we don't need to cast it our we just need to repent of it.
On Monday the group I was in stayed until 10:00 praying over each other and taking back what was ours. I was on a spiritual high after that, it was that awesome. I can't wait to see all the wonderful things God is going to be doing for each one of you!