Digging in Deeper: James 4:7

“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

This morning we started looking at James’ thoughts on spiritual warfare. We talked about the fact that we often turn to the occult to give ourselves what feels like an edge against the spiritual forces in the world we are aware of but don’t understand. We settled on the fact that the occult won’t actually help us in this quest at all, and on the question of what we can do instead. James tells us right here. I’ve been meditating on this verse for a few days recently. I’ve read it many times before. I’ve preached it at least once. I have it memorized. But for whatever reason, this time really caught my mind and hasn’t let go. I knew I had to write something on it this time and I think this was it. 

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Morning Musing: James 4:7

“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

Have you ever felt like you were up against something you weren’t prepared to fight? Something you didn’t have the power to overcome? There are times we all feel like that. When it comes to spiritual warfare this is generally even more true. What power do we have to stand against the spiritual forces of darkness in this world? James offers us one here that is both simpler and more powerful than anything else the world has produced. Check it out with me. 

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Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 6:11

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

This Friday, we are going to take a look at James’ contribution to the topic of spiritual warfare. He says that we should submit to God and resist the devil. The result will be that the devil will flee from us. Here, we encounter Paul’s even more famous thoughts on spiritual warfare. How does what he says fit with James’ words? Let’s take a look at this together and set a context for what is to come. 

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Kings 6:17

“Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’  So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

There are two ways to understand what’s going on here (assuming on the credibility of the text).  The first is that Elisha was delusional and somehow brought this poor servant into his delusions.  That would not only be a pretty disappointing interpretation, it doesn’t fit the context of the story itself or the broader context of Elisha’s life and ministry very well.  The second understanding is that every word here is true and happened just exactly like the text says. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Ephesians 6:14-17

“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

There has been much attention given to the armor of God Paul describes here.  I don’t need to try and re-say any of that.  What I do want to point out, though, is an observation I have only ever heard once (although it has no doubt been made many more times).  As you look at the various pieces of armor, there is not anything to protect our backsides.  Our role in the kingdom is to push constantly forward for its advancement.  There are not opportunities to turn back and move the other way.  If we try, we are guaranteed to take a shot in the back.  These will hurt a great deal more than anything we might face in front of us.

When it comes to our relationship with Jesus, things only move in one direction: Forward.  What’s more, Jesus is always on the move.  If we stand still, He will leave us behind.  There are times for rest and He will provide that, but our way is always forward.  This armor will do us no good if we don’t use it.