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As leaders we must set an example that others can follow. This especially includes leading people in and through times of testing. We must know how to be equipped and how to help others be equipped to stand in times of opposition. Times of opposition are not times for the success of the devil or any foe. Times of testing are times to manifest as sons and daughters of God. We are not just natural people; we are people who are empowered by and led by God’s Spirit in all things. This is the testimony of sons of God, inheritors of the testimony of Christ. This is perhaps our greatest role as leaders. We are leading formerly natural people into the path of being spiritual people in all things. We are not leading them to be religious people. We are leading them to be healthy in their spirits, souls, and physical lives as sons and daughters of God. We are leading them to be thoroughly equipped in all things to do good works in all things and bring the life of God into their worlds.
It is through our connection with God that we can be equipped to stand in days of testing. Days of testing are days of battles, but they are also days of victories. If we are unprepared for battle in our daily walk we will soon fail to live freely as God’s sons and daughters of light. Our heavenly Father is light and when we fail to live our lives as sons and daughters of God we fail to shine as the light of life in our world. We need to know that there are real issues that we must face. The enemy, the devil, is going about seeking whom he may devour. His tactics are those of deception, conflict, and destruction unto death of our souls. We must stand strong in the midst of his assignments and assaults. Satan will resist us in battle and in fact has a strategy to make us ineffective as “spiritual” (spirit-natural) men and women. It is his intent and purpose to distract us from, and even sidetrack us from, God’s purpose of the sanctification of our whole man.
When dealing with Satan and the power of darkness we must not only be faithful soldiers of Christ, we must be soldiers who are properly equipped to do warfare against our enemy. As we live life, the Spirit of Christ within us is motivating us to move forward to take possession of every aspect of the territory of our lives. In this process we can expect to face the resistance and schemes of the devil as spiritual powers of darkness defend themselves against the advancement of our lives in Christ.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
The word “wiles” in the Greek literally means that the devil comes and travels alongside of us with an intent to trick us. In other words, he doesn’t just pop up in our face and say, “Hi, I’m the devil! Shoot me!” He gets along side of us and says, “I’m the voice of the Lord. I’m here to give you instruction.” We must be properly fit with the armor of God in order to stand against the devil when he comes to deceive us. It is very important that we find our strength and our power in the Spirit of God.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Our weapons of warfare are mighty in Christ Jesus. They are mighty in Him for the pulling down of strongholds. It’s not that we reach into Him, get a mighty weapon, and then tear down the strongholds. It’s only when we are in God, through Christ, that we have mighty weapons. We must find our strength and our working power of action through a personal relationship of intimacy with God our Father and Jesus Christ His Son. This happens by our interaction with Holy Spirit in all things. God grace empowers our obedience to God’s voice when we an active relationship with God through Jesus Christ by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. By this we know that we are seated with Christ today in heavenly places. It is place of authority and confidence of life. What are the strongholds that resist our knowing of God in life? They are the strong beliefs of our hearts that seek to be exalted above our intimacy in knowing God. They are the established beliefs of our hearts that tempt us to believe that our own will is more important than the will of God. Our response to God’s voice above all things is what destroys the strongholds that resist the testimony of Christ in us.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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