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Wearing Out the Saints

  • For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13 WEB

    Paul wrote that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. He said that our real enemies are in the spirit realm, behind the scenes, and not the people we are dealing with. You cannot see the spirits, but like the wind, you experience their presence. Paul was talking about spiritual warfare. Many of us have wrestled our entire life with unseen enemies, while others do not wrestle at all, or even know there is a spiritual war. The warfare is going on in the heavenly realms and being played out on Earth among human beings like us daily.

    Who is the enemy, what are they, and what do they want? As I understand it, there are three heavens with inhabitants in each one. In 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul wrote of a man caught up to the third heaven where God's throne sits. If there is a third heaven, then there has to be a first and a second. The first heaven is the sky and air above us, which we can see. The second heaven is beyond that, and the third beyond that one. Whether two and three can actually be seen with the natural eye, I don't know. As far as I know, there is no Seventh Heaven, nor a Cloud Nine mentioned in scripture.

    The angel of light, satan, lucifer, is a created being. An archangel that once lived in the third heaven. According to Isaiah 14:12, he tried to lead a rebellion in heaven to overthrow God. He had one-third of the angels on his side. Still, he got his butt kicked, and he was tossed out. Now he lives between the third heaven and the Earth where we live. In Ephesians 2:2, satan is called: "the ruler of the kingdom of the air." This is probably referring to the second heaven. However, he occasionally visits the Earth because he appeared to Jesus in the wilderness.

    In Daniel 10:12, Daniel had fasted and prayed for 21 days when a man appeared to him. This was quite possibly the Lord Jesus Christ because the Man has almost the same description that John wrote about in Revelation 1:13. Both Daniel and the apostle John were slain in the spirit and then helped their feet by a man who wore a golden sash. His feet were like brass or bronze. His eyes were like fire (Daniel 10:6, Revelation 1:14).

    This "Man" told Daniel that from the first day of his fast that his words were heard, but the prince of Persia, an evil angel, had withstood Him 21 days. Then Michael, an Archangel, came to help Him break through the enemy lines. The message from God was delayed until a breakthrough happened in the heavenly realm.

    How is this possible, that the kingdom of darkness can stand in the way of the Kingdom of God? We don't know; how did Jacob wrestle with God all night and prevail? Apparently, because God allowed him to. There's a spiritual battle going on around us that has raged on for thousands of years. This age-old conflict can have significant effects on us.

    Daniel 7:25 (Speaking about the 4th Beast): "He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law;"

    The Aramaic word for "wear out" or "persecute" here literally means to "wear out the mind." The attacks wear you down mentally until you want to curl up in a ball and quit. Our enemy does not focus as much on our hearts, emotions, personal holiness, or the fruit of the spirit. Instead, he attacks our minds. Our battle is often won or lost in our thought life. Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I am not talking about being physically tired but spiritually and mentally exhausted. That is how the enemy attacks us.

    We battle by renewing our minds through the Holy Spirit, as Paul wrote in Romans 12:2 (WEB): "Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind'" In Philippians 4:8 (WEB), Paul wrote: "Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report: if there is any virtue and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

    Paul is telling us to "think on good things, and the peace of God will be with you." What we feed in our thought life will grow, and what we starve will die. Every sin begins with a thought. When you are dealing with or witnessing to people who are "living under the influence" like this, here are some helpful notes:

    1. Don't get sidetracked: Keep the main thing, the main thing. The evil spirit influencing them would love to weaken you by consuming your time and energy on meaningless disagreements that have no end.

    2. Engage in warfare: Pray about it, for we do wrestle. Keep in mind that the battle is spiritual because, behind the scenes, evil spirits are trying to disrupt God's plans. Paul wrote: "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God" and "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4'5). We use our spiritual authority through the blood of Christ to bind the spirit, which is trying to influence others with wrong thoughts.

    3. Be nice: Show your opponents honor and respect. Keep in mind that the people who come against you are not your enemies. Your real enemy is the spirit influencing them, and they are merely using willing individuals to accomplish their desires. God works through His people, so does the enemy.

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please speak to me in a way that I understand. Guide me, for I am nothing without You. Strengthen me and refresh my spirit. Help me learn spiritual survival skills, in the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

    Note: For those participating in the Creation Photography weekly themes, here is this week's challenge from group leader, Dianna Wyles: Hebrews 6:10 ~ "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." ~ Our next fun theme will be 'Labors in Love' or 'Motivational Moments' and is open wide for creative interpretation. What motivates you? How do you show love to others? How do others show love to you? Sky's the limit on how to get creative! We also encourage you to post anything else that inspires you as well. My photos this week reflect a few things that motivate me to 'labor in love' my family, my love for that divine connection, my passion for nature photography, and birding. Have a magnificent week and don't forget to show some love to those around you ~ God bless! Here is the link: Creation Photographers


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21 comments
  • 2
Richard Mondello
Richard Mondello

In Jesus name I ask Amen. 

Sep 8
  • 2
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen Father please give me strength. I can't do this without You

Sep 8
  • 2
Brenda F
Brenda F

Amen!!

Sep 8
  • 2
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen. My strength comes from you. In all ways I Trust you Lord. Amen

Sep 8
  • 2
Kevin J. Eck
Kevin J. Eck

Amen,

Sep 8
  • 2
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Amen!

Sep 8
  • 2
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

 

Sep 8
  • 2
Judith B
Judith B

AMEN

Sep 8
  • 2
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Amen  walk with me  in jesus name amen 

Sep 8
  • 2
Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield

Another great message! Sometimes it seems that the harder I pursue Jesus,  the more fervently satan pursues me

Sep 8
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Amen thank you Father for giving us the answers to our problems in your word the Holy Bible! Help me to live my life by your words.

Sep 8
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

God Bless you and your family.

Sep 9
  • 1
Debbie Zaleski
Debbie Zaleski

"Don't get sidetracked" ! That is key for me. I am constantly bringing myself back from "the drift"

Sep 8
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Amen,praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Sep 8
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father many false spirits are battling with our thoughts, give us the strength to fight with Your Holy Spirit on our side. Speak to us in a way we can understand and follow Your designs, we trust in You to lead us on the right path. In Jesus Christ name we pray, Amen. Thank You Lord. 

Excellent devotional Pastor, God bless you and Sylvia. 

Sep 8
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Please Heavenly Father speak to me in a way that I know it's you Amen

Sep 8
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Amen!!! Yes Lord strengthen me and refresh my spirit.  

Sep 8
  • 1
Jim Jarrell
Jim Jarrell

Amen! Thank You Lord!

Sep 8
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

Amen God protect us. Praise God in the name of Jesus Hallelujah 

Sep 8
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

In the name of Jesus, Amen and Amen !!!

Sep 9
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

Sep 9