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So powerful are the world's evil characteristics that Israelite history reveals that they were drawn into the most perverse and despicable heathen practices. The biblical record proves how easy it is for an individual to return to the old ways and how difficult it is to overcome them.


Psalm What does "great peace " mean? Under temptation, a battle always rages, even if we are winning. In such a case, no peace exists, much less "great peace. The spiritual war we fight is caused by temptation from Satan , our human nature, and the world. Remove temptation, and war stops. What remains is great peace.

Part 1 - The Warfare Worldview - Greg Boyd

How do we achieve not just peace, but "great peace"? The last half of Psalm tells us: " nothing causes them to stumble. This means that we have to be sheltered from it. The American Standard Version renders this phrase, "they have no occasion of stumbling," Young's Literal Translation puts it as "they have no stumbling-block," and the Rotherham's Emphasized Bible reads, "nothing to make them stumble. Other scriptures mention protection from stumbling:. Psalm NLT : He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.

I John : He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

Jude 24 : Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. God through the gift of His Holy Spirit is the only power in the universe that can accomplish such a feat. If God does not place that shield around us, we have no hope of success. Alone, we are powerless in the face of temptation. We overcome it not by our strength, but by God's power, the shield of faith I John given to us as His gift Ephesians It is our only sure defense. To acknowledge God and to pray always are to be in alignment with one of Christ's most basic principles, a principle found in Matthew —to "seek first the kingdom of God " in all things.

Praying always is stepping out in faith, believing that if we seek God first , He will add all the things we need Philippians , including the strength to overcome, to finish this journey, and to enter His Kingdom. When faced with the myriad decisions we have to make during each day, if we are not acknowledging God's presence, we have placed ourselves in the position of fighting our battles on our own.

Israel made the same mistake, choosing the hard road in their fight, one littered with bodies. We probably all know of some bodies that now litter the spiritual road we have walked. We veterans carry scars from the battles we have lost. Our battles to overcome are more like skirmishes than battles. In fact, we experience our most severe temptations and trials in everyday events like eating, conducting business affairs, or relating to others in the family or community. Luke acknowledges this: "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

What better way to win those little skirmishes than to have an invincible Champion, God, in the van of the battle? Because these skirmishes are in the myriad of details we deal with every day, only striving to pray always during the day gives us that unyielding first line of defense. Our deceitful human nature has in its arsenal countless ways, reasons, and excuses to avoid confronting the real issue of life—overcoming and allowing God to form and shape us into His image.

The Truth About Spiritual Warfare and Why It's Important to Pray

Just bringing God into the picture unleashes forces that will not only help us to overcome, but will also protect us from the pitfalls that litter our path Psalm It is this striving to pray always that a Laodicean naturally avoids because he feels no need. Matthew The Kingdom of God will be the recipient of slings and arrows and wars and temptations, and its own people will need to be violent in return.

He means "forceful. Jesus warns us it will not be easy. We are going to have to work vigorously and "violently" at times, to force ourselves to do what is right, because the Kingdom of God is now under siege in so many ways. Therefore, we have to fight as warriors in battle and violently engage the enemy. From John , we know that the Kingdom functions in the world , and Jesus is not going to take us out of it.

Spiritual warfare - Wikipedia

We must constantly deal with the world, human nature, and the Evil One himself, as well as his demons. Ritenbaugh Parables of Matthew 13 Part 2 : Leaven. Matthew The heart symbolizes our innermost being, the source of our words and actions. Today we call it the mind. When God awakens us to some of His great truths, when we at last begin to realize the vital importance of righteousness, there is a blush of first love, and we begin to hunger to apply them in our lives.

But what is already in the heart fights almost desperately not to be displaced by the new nature in hope of wearing down our enthusiasm for the truth. Paul illustrates this resistance in Galatians For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Why do we not do the things we wish? The answer lies in the extraordinary power of ingrained habits. They are most difficult to break because they have had free sway for so long one unconsciously does what they incite. Paul speaks of this using a different metaphor in Romans "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. The almost constant persistence of these habits can be depressing. If we seem to be making no progress, life can become downright discouraging. But we must not give in to discouragement.

We have everything to gain and nothing to lose except that which is of no value for the Kingdom of God anyway. Discouragement that feeds frustration only makes Satan's work that much easier for him. There are things we can do to enhance the initial hunger God gives to us. If we were physically hungry or thirsty, we would give every last ounce of strength we had to find food and water or die in the effort.

Part II: The Worldly Battle

We must be willing to do whatever it takes to make progress in our quest for God's righteousness. As adolescents, we were unaware that growth was taking place until someone who had not seen us for a while brought it to our attention. Even though we were not aware we were growing, we still made efforts to grow by eating and drinking the things that promote growth.

In the same way, spiritual growth may also seem so slow that we think it is not happening. But we should not let that stop us! We must keep on making the spiritual efforts even as we did the physical, and growth will occur. Keep on praying for others, thanking God for His goodness and mercy, asking for wisdom, love, and faith.

Keep studying God's Word, filling the mind with.

31 Spiritual Warfare Scriptures: Help for Facing Life's Battles

Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, 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 praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians Luke In our day, "watch" has lost much of its original power. Is there anything more passive than watching television? We live in a spectator nation. We watch movies, news, the markets, and sporting events. Watching has become an activity that puts us on the sidelines and not on the field of battle, an idea foreign to the original meaning of the word.

At the time of the King James translators, "watch" emphasized the carefulness, attention, and vigilance in the way a soldier kept alert for any sign of enemy movement. A concept that has more meaning to us today can be found in the word "overcome. If we watch ourselves spiritually, we are not just watching our human nature, but doing battle with it. We are not just watching the world and its influences as they bombard us, but fighting against them.

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We are not just watching Satan's devices as they toy with us, but defending ourselves against them. In other words, "watch" as originally intended covers the entire process of overcoming that is our calling. We are to be identifying the problems, engaging them, and putting them to flight Revelation ; ; I Corinthians ; I Thessalonians Therefore, "overcome," more clearly than "watch," communicates to someone living today what Luke says we should be doing as we near the end of the age. The premier end-time book, Revelation, repeatedly emphasizes that overcoming is "job one" for us Revelation , 11, 17, 26; , 12, 21; ; Luke suggests that those who alertly overcome and pray always are those that may be counted worthy to escape and stand before Christ in God's Kingdom.

In verse 36, Christ ties together all He has said throughout the chapter. If we do not neglect the spiritual verses , and instead watch and pray always, we can "escape all these things" verses and enter God's Kingdom. Luke 21 is a chapter about the end time, and in verse 36, we have spiritual instruction directly from Jesus to anyone living during that time.

He is telling us how to escape the final effects of the turmoil that is ahead and to enter God's Kingdom. This, therefore, becomes an extremely powerful verse in helping us to understand exactly what we should be concentrating on at this time.

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It is a roadmap to safety and salvation.