For the past while I have had a clear vision of the spiritual battlefield. I have seen the armies of Satan arrayed against my soul, and I have seen those armies marching against two good friends of mine. I do not mean this allegorically, I mean that I have had a clear picture, I see these three battlefields – and each is slightly different. We are in a real war, it is hidden from our natural sight and yet it is more real than anything we can naturally see, touch, hear, taste or smell. I see Satan’s demons, I see the legions of the world allied with him, and here, within the castle walls are the skulking traitors of the flesh. I will not describe in greater detail what I see and have seen here – I mention these visions only to emphasis the reality of this war – I have seen it in very real and very visual clarity.
The other day I was walking in a moderately crowded store, and I was struck by the knowledge that God loves these people around me, Christ died for them, and the blow nearly brought me to my knees. The Spirit not only showed me God’s love for these souls, He showed me Satan’s desperate desire for them also. But there is a great difference between the motivations of the two. God’s desire is for a relationship of love; His motivation is love and His certain knowledge, based in love, of what is the very best for each of us. Satan’s desire is hatred and death and destruction. Satan has no desire for a relationship, no concern for our welfare, no care for our souls, no ability to nurture – he is the embodiment of sin and death.
I want to make this very clear; in my clarity of vision in these instances, Satan is intent on desvastation. He has no desire to win our souls or occupy our hearts. His purpose is destruction and death, his motivation is hatred, his power is darkness and lies. In these visions I observe the terrible forces of Satan, I see how vulnerable we are to his assault – but I also felt the power of God and knew I was safe in His protection.
Once, when I was a young boy, I was with my brothers and my mom a short ways from the house. One of my brothers rode a bicycle there and I wanted to ride it back to the house. I made my case that it was fair that I should ride it back, since he got to ride it over. Mom agreed with me, and I rode it back. A few weeks later we were in similar circumstance, but I rode the bike over. This time I argued that I had the foresight to ride the bicycle over and therefor it was mine to ride back! I made this argument in full awareness of the counter argument I had made weeks earlier. It was a wicked argument – and a very successful tactic of Satan. First, Satan tempts us with the lie that it won’t matter, we can sin and live, that no one will ever know, that it won’t affect our testimony or our walk, that just this once it will be OK. THEN, as soon as we fall, he is right there in our ear, telling us how degenerate we are, how God doesn’t want anything to do with us, that we are unworthy and unclean and that we have no hope, our testimony is destroyed and our lives are without value. All are lies. It DOES matter, it WILL affect our testimony and our walk, it is NOT OK – but on the other hand, when we fall, God desperately wants us back, Christ died to cover that very sin, our testimony can be renewed and our souls are precious in His sight.
So much is flooding my thoughts at the moment, I don’t know how to put it in words – but the profound truth is that Satan has no care for us, he hates us with an extreme malevolence, because Satan is hate as surely as God is love. Temptation is NOT, emphatically not, intended for us to experience pleasure; temptation’s purpose is for us to experience death.
This is not exactly where I intended to go today. I know I have painted a dark picture in the preceding paragraphs, but upon this backdrop I intend to display a bit of the love and greatness and power and glory of Almighty God.
Romans 6 We are slaves. In our natural, unjustified state we are slaves to sin and death. When we come under the blood of Christ and are redeemed, justified and restored, we become slave to Him, slaves to righteousness and light and love and life. We are either a slave to one or to the other vs 12-18
Jesus tells us in John 8:31-32 that the truth will set us free. If the truth sets us free, from what or whom does it set us free? Truth sets us free from lies. The prince of lies is Satan and he commands the forces of darkness, of the world and the flesh. It is becoming more and more clear that truth, light, love, righteousness, life – all are the same thing, they are all God. Just as lies, darkness, hatred, sin and death are all Satan. Back to Romans 6, the truth sets us free from lies and death (Satan) to become slaves of truth and life (Christ). John 14:6
One of the lies of the world is that we are capable of directing our lives, but from my study yesterday, Jeremiah says that we don’t have that ability. Jer 10:23 While we were slaves to sin and lies and darkness, God bought us, with the blood of Christ, to be slaves of light and love and truth. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
In Deuteronomy 15:16-17 there is provision made for the slave, able to go free, who chooses to stay and serve his master for the rest of his life. The act of piercing the ear with an awl publicly declared the choice – “I am a willing slave”.
I am a slave. By whose awl is my ear pierced?
Joshua 24:15 (KJV) Choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.