Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spiritual Warfare and the Kingdom System

The kingdom system begins with kingdom power (to defeat Satan): Jesus not only taught about binding the strong man, He did it. Satan was not ultimately defeated through face to face combat, but by Jesus' total surrender to the will of God. The same is true in our lives. It does little good to seek deliverance if we are going to continue in sin. God's power is not limited just to supernatural displays-it is the power to live lives that are pleasing to God no matter what our circumstances. The next aspect of the kingdom system is kingdom authority exercised and delegated: Jesus exercised authority, and also delegated it to His disciples. Paul notes to the Ephesians that we are seated with Christ at the right hand of God, far above all authorities or powers or any name that can be named (Eph. 1:15-26). Thus, we too are privileged to exercise Christ's authority. Jesus has given us, as believers, authority over the demonic forces in Satan's kingdom. The third aspect of the kingdom system is kingdom ethics (fighting evil with good) as taught in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Epistles: One of the dangers in spiritual conflict is that of becoming like the enemy. We are constantly tempted to use Satan's weapons and tactics (lying, exaggerating, bitterness, angry attacks, violence, etc.) against him. Jesus calls us not only to the winning side, but to use tactics worthy of our calling as children of the King of Kings. God has a plan and Satan has an anti-plan: Satan is not as much creative as he is discreative. He takes the good things God has given and twists them towards his rebellious ends. God's plan. Enable people to show that they are made in the image of God by living according to His design for the creation. Satan's anti-plan. Cause people to live out of harmony of the image of God by perverting themselves through rebellion. God's plan. We acknowledge that we are owned by God and seek to live controlled by the Holy Spirit. Satan's anti-plan. We are demonized (controlled) by evil spirits (either in great fear or in ignorance). God's plan. Live in line with God's kingdom ethics: harmony, love, forgiveness, salt and light, etc. Satan's anti-plan. Live out of harmony with God's kingdom ethics, whether by bending them or outright denial of them, resulting in strife, enmity, and bitterness. God's plan. Trust God for all our needs and live above our circumstances. Satan's anti-plan. Trust anyone (or anything) but God to meet our needs and/or surrender to our circumstances. God's plan. Recognize that we are children of God and live in a way that shows the truth. Satan's anti-plan. Be ignorant of our heritage, consider ourselves spiritual orphans (or as Satan's children). God's plan. Freely choose to live so as to please God. Satan's anti-plan. Live in bondage to Satan and his hosts and think of it as "freedom." How has Satan sought to work his "anti-plan" in your thought process and life? What do you plan to do about it?

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