Spiritual Warfare by Pastor Don
Well, I sure hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for. I am glad I finally have a few moments to sit and type out the Bible study. Pastor Don is still teaching on Spiritual Warfare. This week I think God has given me homework on this front because there has been such a spirit of depression hanging around me, and a lot of other little irritations. Some days I was better at standing on God’s Word, other days I did not succeed as well. God is also having me revisit some issues from my past for a deeper healing on certain levels, so I have been walking around rather numb. It is good training for standing on His Word, speaking truth into a situation, and telling satan to take a hike. While I do not like the pruning process, I also know God wouldn’t allow it if it wasn’t for my best interest.
One little irritation during Bible study, my pen ran out of ink. Fortunately a friend had one I could borrow.
1 Samuel 16:21-23 So David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him greatly, and he became his armorbearer. Then Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight. And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.
(Heather’s note, remember from a previous Bible study, Pastor Don pointed out that the Jewish language did not have permissive verbs, so the spirit from God was not that God put it on Saul, but that God did not put a covering of protection over Saul, so Saul, because of his disobedience, was open for what spirit would rest on him and God did not prevent it.)
Saul opened the doors for the spirit because of his behavior, and rebellion to God. So the spirit could come and reside with Saul, but it was not with Saul all the time. It would come and go. Something in Saul’s nature was in cooperation with the spirit.
If you have a person who is reprehensible coming into your presence, you have a choice, you can tolerate the person or ask them to leave. We have to reckon with the reality of that spirit when we open up the door because of our unrighteousness, which permits the work of that spirit.
Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.Paul did not open up the door, but had Paul acted in an unrighteous manner and not repented, that messenger of satan would have found a way into Paul to create havoc.
Satan walks around looking whom he can devour, and that is why we must be ready to do warfare. When we do not fight off the spirit, it becomes part of our personality, and our personality can change. Saul had such a change of personality that people around him noticed.
Pastor Don pointed out that the spirit that comes in might not have anything to do with the sin that opened up the door for the spirit. For example, if a person hates their brother, and comes into the brother’s house – sees money on the table and steals the money even though they know that will make times financially tough for the brother, they have committed a sin of stealing. The person may tell themselves that they are justified in taking the money because the brother has often borrowed money from them and not paid it back. Whether or not the action might be justified, it is still a sin of stealing and opens the door for spirits. In the spiritual realm the devil and his demons notice the sin and start coming through that open door. Remember satan is called the accuser of the brethren. In God’s kingdom we are given dominion. If we fail to exercise that dominion we have a reduced capacity to fulfill the mandate of God, our dominion is taken away or diminished because we have compromised right and responsibility. When we chose to disobey God, it was not a demonic thing, it was a choice we made from something that was already in our hearts. So often, we want to blame our wrong choices on the demonic, but really they started from our choice, and that opens up the door. But when that demon manifests, it may not have anything outwardly to do with the brother – it could be a spirit of gluttony, anger, disorder. That is why we must have discernment, so that we can ask the Holy Spirit the source of the demonic activity.
Remember that in Genesis, God told Cain that if he did right all would be good, but if he didn’t satan was waiting at the door. We want an excuse so we try to put satan into the situation well before he has shown up. But before satan is in the picture, we have already opened up the door of our own free will.
Romans 7:8-9 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.
Notice, Paul did not mention satan in the above passage. The law was what makes us aware of evil. By the way, when were we alive without the law, Pastor Don asked us. It is when we were little children, before the age of accountability. Once we understand the law, then we are accountable to the law.
Pastor Don asked what the speed limit was on the road outside our church – 35 mph. If there was not a traffic sign that read 35 mph and you drove down the road at 60 mph there would be no sin, for there was no law. Once the sign went up with the speed limit, then if you go 60 it is a sin. Apart from the law, there was no sin.
When Cain slew Abel there was no 10 commandments. Of course God did wire us with a sense of right and wrong, but Cain did not break the commandment of thou shalt not kill, because it wasn’t given to man yet. But Cain knew he was not doing God’s will.
Pastor Don then mentioned that we often judge people based on expectations of how we want others to treat us. The problem is the other people do not know the laws we are basing our judgment on, and they can’t read our minds.
For example, if you have a “law” in your mind that if you are within 10 feet of me, you must greet me. And I don’t greet you when I am within that distance, you judge that I am angry, distant, unfeeling, or whatever – not realizing that I didn’t know that 10 foot law. What if my criterion was that I had to greet people when I was within 5 feet of them, and so I was not aware of your requirement?
Now, under Christ, in order to get to know God’s law, we must know God, to be in relationship with Him, and then we keep the law because of that relationship.
When God issued the 10 commandments, Moses gave them to the people along with 660 rules and regulations because the people needed things spelled out more. The people were not able to figure out how a situation could be linked to one of the 10 commandments, so God let Moses spell it out. (Heather’s note, those 660 rules and regulations have expanded to included many minute’ rules).
Pastor Don then mentioned the law of corban which Jesus condemned the people for. Corban had to do with the commandment of honor your mother and father. If a person did not want to take care of their parents into old age, they could invoke corban. They would go to the priest and tell him that they will give 10% tithe to the temple, and the priest would write up a document absolving the person from taking care of their parents. The parents could end up out on the street suffering, but the person was declared righteous by the priest. Needless to say, Jesus was not pleased with the law of corban.
Today there is so much in our culture that undermines God’s perfect law and opens the door to sin. Pastor Don mentioned that a child watching Heckel and Jeckel and seeing one hit the other, then hits his brother/sister and gets in trouble, is genuinely confused. He saw it on tv, and it got a laugh on tv, but when he does it to his brother/sister it doesn’t get a laugh, it is met with punishment, and it was fun to hit. Our culture has made evil seem funny.
Romans 7:11-12 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
The law is holy. When we are children we are not subject to the law until the age of accountability. Evil resides in you prior to knowing the law, but once you learn the law then you are accountable. Satan does not have to be in you to cause you to break the law, there is a beast nature inside of you that causes you to act in ungodly ways.
For every temptation we succumb to we have to have seen the attraction, figured out that it seems good, and then we act on that information, and that allows satan access.
Romans 7:15-19 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will do, that I do not practice, but what I hate, that I do. If then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells.; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
We become aware of sin because we learned the law. And once we know the law, then there is a temptation to sin. In that 35 mph zone, we go 36 mph. Then we get to a stop sign, and we decide not to stop. The sin in you becomes alive.
Notice, that in verse 18, it isn’t the devil in Paul that caused the sin, but the flesh. To sin is to will to sin.
According to Pastor Don, there are not enough pastors telling people that they have the will power to do what they want to do. A whole lot goes awry before the devil shows up. And it is lack of will power or misdirected will power that opens the door for satan.
satan is not superior, satan is not the Holy Spirit. satan cannot be everyplace at once, he wanders around looking for weakness in us and when he finds it, then he acts. If we are strong, if we are applying our will, if we are focused on God, satan will move on to the next more available target.
Demons will look for a person who has opened a door and many will pile in. Someone commented that they must be very small, and Pastor Don agreed. God gave us the ability to preserve our flesh, mind, and spirit, he gave us victory over satan and his demons. Only if we open the door to oppression do we let them in to affect us. Pop music of today is very dangerous because it often comes across with the message, “I can’t help it.” Lyrics like, “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” “I can’t help falling in love with you,” Etc. The truth is, we can help it. We have choice. It is a lie from the pit of hell that we are helpless. It reduces us to the level of an animal state, with no willpower.
Then we got into a discussion about where demons come from. I am going to share that with you tomorrow, for it is an interesting study. It pulled Pastor Don off track for a bit, but provides a lot of background to help us understand more about Saul and David, and spiritual warfare.
I am hoping you have a blessed day.
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