Satan Has Only So Many Pitches (6.18.12)
Ephesians 6,12: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
"I've seen that pitch before." Relax and repeat.
Satan has only so many pitches. So as soon as we figure out one of them, he has to throw another. And when we figure that one out, he has to throw a third, or perhaps go back to the first.
But we have seen that one before. So it goes in spiritual warfare.
There's the temptation to fear the fastball aimed at our head. There's chasing the slider down and away. There's lashing out too soon at the curve. There's the outright deceptions of the change up and the sinker.
In faith we usually swing too late, or too soon, because we think the pitch is something that it isn't. But when we swing with the timing of God's grace great things are going to happen! (and we'll leave satan's bad newsers licking the dust)
So many aspects of our faith improve the moment we are ready to stand at the plate, on our own two feet, ready with God's grace for anything thrown our way.
What's more there's only so many subject areas that satan can use to get to us:
Marriage and Finances
Wives respect your husbands (like don't boss them. No Mandonarlo). Husbands love your wives (compliments, gifts, 'thank yous' and other seemingly irrelevant stuff like that). Or, put your attornies on speed dial.
Pray together, and out loud. Say what you have to say with a smile. Don't criticize unless you like destroying your own flesh.
Kids and facebook come second.
Save some money and get on the same page with what comes in and what goes out. The grass isn't always greener- it's also dark and slippery. Don't take anything about each other for granted, and say what needs to be said.
Be as gentle as a dove and as wise as a serpent. Street folks talk about any ungodly thing, with all manner of profanity, but more and more we can't say a word about Jesus. This is the great hypocrisy of our age, but then again you might need the job (yeah- in some settings- we can still talk about Jesus).
Serve well, but don't bow. Be like Joseph in Pharoah's court- valuable- but realizing that his work environment wasn't his "home." Or, spread the gospel, knowing it may cost you your job.
The Hebrew ("OT") Scriptures firmly show the strength of sibling bonds, but now in Christ it's sometimes two against three and three against two. Don't take the bait. Live your own life in faith. As far as reconciliation- God brought Jacob back to Esau, and Joseph's brothers back to him as well.
Live your own calling and pray for your unsaved loved ones. God will do the rest.
Church and Society
Never gossip, accuse, hate or envy anyone- Jesus died on a cross because of these. Never allow your church even the attempt to mediate your salvation (!) or prevent you from growing up and making faith decisions for yourself. Any church that doesn't praise God and spread the gospel- above all else- is not the place to be.
Some diet discipline and exercise goes a long way. And fast a day if the Lord leads. Respect medical doctors, but remember Jesus took our diseases to Calvary as well. Learn to see with a pure heart because 'if you're eye is good your whole personality- your body too- is good.'
Decide to forgive everyone today (for everything) and then do the same tommorrow. Thank him, for the life and the health you already have, and thank him again.
An idol is anything we put before God or draws us away from Jesus. Idols literally mean weaknesses and they cause spiritual dealth. They used to be actual physical carvings of wood or stone, right out in the open and enshrined.
Nowadays they are mostly invisible and hidden.
Perhaps the worst triple headed idol of our day is Mr. "busyness" mashed up with Mr. "self-importance" mashed up with Mr. "lack of focus-ungodly curiosity."
This beastly conglomerated idol (we'll call "it" "Mr.-Ms.Too Busy-Self Important-Distracted To be Human-let alone Christian") of our day takes us off the path of salvation. So turn off all your media once in awhile, rest in Jesus, rank your blessings, and then practice loving your neighbor as yourself.
Spiritual warfare is a fact. There's no escape. And to whom more Spiritual gifts are given more warfare is likely. But all Glory to Jesus God is greater!
Find a mentor (two by two they were sent), study the word. Know the pitches. Know the subjects.
And then, and always, rebuke the devil- he's a liar, and he will flee from you.
Addendum (10.25.12): Remedies and Strategies in Spiritual Warfare:
1. Listen to gospel-Christian Music;
2. Call your most discerning and closest faith friend;
3. Ask to be baptized in the Spirit, if you are not already;
4. Bless those who curse you;
5. Repent of all unrepented sins;
6. Do something kind for somebody;
7. Remember the many times Jesus has already saved you, and apply your faith for him to do so again.
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...