Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Weapons and Warfare

"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have the divine power to destroy strongholds."

What's a stronghold?
It is those things that hold us back, that keep us from being who we were created to be. A stronghold is a lie that we believe - a lie with some supernatural support. Picture this...

A young girl from a broken family eagerly awaits her next birthday. It is one of the few times she sees her father, one of the only times she sees her parents in the same room anymore, one of the only moments she feels normal. Leading up to the big day she gets a call from her dad and he asks what she would like for her birthday. She tells him she would love a new pair of jeans. She tells him her size and says it doesn't matter what brand or shade, just that they were from him. She tells him how excited she is, how much she misses him and how she can't wait to be a year older.

Finally the day arrives, the party is a success, everyone is there. There is cake and ice cream and balloons and dresses and toys and laughter. There are no jeans. When the party is over and the crowd has passed, she looks back on the day. She smiles at the fun and friends, she remembers the balloons and the cake. She realizes there were no jeans.

Soon, the other memories fade and all she can think about are the missing jeans. Why? Why didn't he buy me the jeans? Doesn't he love me enough? The days go by and the questions persist. What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? How can I be so worthless that my own father won't even get me a pair of jeans for my birthday? Over time, the questions grow and become stronger. If he can't love me, how could anyone love me? I must not deserve to be loved. How could anyone love me? I must not be lovable.

When Jesus was on the scene, demons were apparent. His very presence brought them to light and flushed them out. We don't see that today. In fact, we've got scientific explanations for some of those demons. Epilepsy. Disease. Schizophrenia. Even if we can't explain their expulsion, we can reason away the causes of the demons we see in the Bible. Can we do the same with how a small slight becomes a life-changing belief?

Satan is the father of lies, that is his native language. When he works in the world today, he works with these lies. He uses the fallen world we live in, the broken homes, the broken relationships, the diseases and disasters we face. He uses our flesh, the clothing we need, the stuff we desire and the people we admire. And he uses lies. He speaks into them and makes them grow. He puts them in front of us, knowing we'll fixate on them, knowing we'll feed into his plan by feeding the lie. He helps us jump to the next conclusion, the next assumption and he makes our landing there seem safe and secure.

If you want to see demons today, look at the lies you believe. That's where you'll find them.

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."

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