Our warfare 1
2Co 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds,
Every person is engaged in warfare of one kind or the other and also at different levels. The devil is our arch enemy. He brings every battle to our door steps. When a man becomes a child of God the battle becomes more critical. His life has become a serious battle field. When our Lord Jesus was to start His ministry having fasted for forty days and nights the devil came tempting Him on all grounds of temptation. In the same way the devil always come to us subtly with the aim of winning us over back to his side. This article will be focusing on the weapons we use for fighting. The weapons we use to fight determine greatly how the battle will be fought and won. If we must win our daily battles against the world, sin and the devil there is a weapon we must put on in other to fight a good fight.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or are not fleshy-2nd Corinth 10: 4. We can conclude from this scripture that the flesh can be used for warfare. Several people have used the flesh to fight, to get what they want, to control the lives of men. In some Churches and fellowships some have used gimmicks to manipulate their followers, the flesh has been used to collect money, it has been used to distribute position and responsibilities. In our families the flesh has been the weapon to take authority between husband and wife. One of the fleshy weapons that is common to us is anger. Anger is a quick response to what someone has done and we perceived to be wrong. It is done to gain control over our opponent. It may be our husbands or wives, children or parents, our students or teachers, our church members or pastor. Another weapon of the flesh is threatening. In a more advanced manner we can quarrel or fight. Any time people are quarreling or fighting it is that they want to gain control of one another. We see all these weapons being used on a daily bases in our families, Churches and fellowships. In another category unbelievers used diabolic means to fight their battles. They used charms; people go into sorcery and occultic practices to win over their opponents. Several people in our land have gone to acquire witchcraft power in an attempt to protect themselves and fight back their enemies. All these, at whatsoever level are fleshy weapons. Whether it is used by a pastor, a brother, a bishop, and an unbeliever, it all emanate from the flesh. They are not spiritual weapons. They are not through God. They emanate from the old man, from the devil himself. They are the weapons the devil has given unto us because of our fallen nature. Anything carnal is not of God. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom. 8: 6-8. They that used these weapons cannot please God. Anytime you use these weapons to fight the battles of life you cannot please God. Anytime you use these weapons to win a person over, it is not of God. Anytime you use these weapons to overcome a challenge, it is not of God.
The Christian weapons.
As believers the best way to fight the battles of life is to be spiritual. The contrast of fleshy weapons is the spiritual weapons. That which comes by the Holy Spirit. To be spiritually minded is life and peace. First of all let us know that our battles are not against flesh and blood. They are not against human beings that we see. When you are provoked, when you meet a challenge that seems insurmountable, when there are obstacles along your way, know certainly that the devil is behind it. When you are provoked to get angry, the devil is behind it. The target of the devil is to remove you from the kingdom of Christ.
Eph 6:10 Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power.
Eph 6:11 Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks.
If you want to fight the devil evil tricks you need to build up your strength in union with Christ. Our union with Christ is what makes us victorious against the devil. If a man wants to succeed to overcome challenges without compromising his righteousness he needs to live in union with Christ. The life of Christ that a man lives is the weapon for our daily battles. Several hours of prayer without the life of Christ will only amount to a waste of energy and strength. Our prayers get quick answers if our lives resemble the life of Christ. If Christ is our life and His presence abides in us then we can pull down those strong holds that want to pull us down. The devil is always at work but we must fight back with the life of Christ that we lived.
Col 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory!
This is the weapon God has given unto us. To be dead to the world and our lives is hidden with Christ in God; anyone that will touch us will touch God first. Several of us spent time in dealing with demons, witches and yet we do not consider the daily works of the flesh that battle against our lives. The daily anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, malice, competition that confronts us. These are areas where the devil gets hold of us. The more we live in the flesh the closer we are to demons. Living the life of Christ is what ensures our victory every day. Lets pursue this life and we will be more than conquerors.
Poem 9: The word of God.
Thy word shall drop like the rain
Thy speech shall distil as the dew
As small rain upon the tender herb
As showers upon the herbs
Your men shall publish it as ready writer
Their words shall break the rocks
It shall set thick forest ablaze
The dark jungles mountain and hills
Shall melt at your word
The manna, which you gave
Shall feed generation of people
Villages, cities and hamlets
Shall flock to thy table
Where strength and praise shall be perfected
This table of the lord set in the wilderness
There every man shall quench his thirst
The land of darkness and gross darkness
The people that sat in darkness
Shall hear your voice
It shall set light like the sun
The brightness of the sun in its fullness
When the undiluted word of God shall be heard
Strong hearts will melt
So that a new spirit will be planted in them
Thy beauty and strength shall appear
From your Holy mount
From men you have prepared
Their strength shall be by your word
They shall draw your sword with their strength
They shall not fear the day of battle
When the ancient doors and bars of the enemy
Shall swindle away forever
The rivers the little hills and the mountain
Shall rejoice again
When the captain of the host shall enter the land
He will give the people His word as a weapon
The javelin, the spear they hold
Shall be drench in the blood of the enemy
All their spoils will be taken as a possession
They will be captain of thousands and hundreds
And will lead other little ones to fight the battle
The battle of the Lord, the battle of the Lord
Shall be fought with all strength
And victory will come.
Our warfare 11: How God fight our battles.
With our own ears we have heard it, O God, our ancestors have told us about it, about the great things you did in their time, in the days of long ago: how you yourself drove out the heathen and established your people in their land; how you punished the other nations and caused your own to prosper. Your people did not conquer the land with their swords; they did not win it by their own power; it was by your power and your strength, by the assurance of your presence, which showed that you loved them. You are my king and my God; you give victory to your people (Psalm 44: 1-4).
Certainly it is God that fights for us in our daily battles of life but this scripture talk of greater dimension of the involvement of God in our warfare. There are several things that contend with our souls to take us out of faith. The devil, the archenemy of our soul is doing every thing to prevent us to experience the glory that awaits us. Our lives, our families and our land and nation must be conquered for God but with what means. As we look at the issue of the ancient path which our fathers trod we will discovered that there is a way that God fight their battles. The battle is becoming more fierce and open; the enemy is saying that this Man must not reign over us. The Man will soon come back having received a kingdom from a far country. But how can we confront the enemy that challenge our very soul every day are the issues the article will discuss.
This psalm that we are looking at, tells us of a pathetic situation where a generation has lost contact with God. They only remembered the experience of their ancestors but could not experience the same themselves. It was God that fought and drove out the heathen He was the one that establish His people in their land. It was not by sword or human weapon. It was by the power of God. It was simply by the assurance of His presence. Which shows that God love them. What we need is the presence of God in our lives, homes and our nation. The first thing we must raise is the issue of our lives that attract the presence of God. David for several years that Saul was pursuing him in the wilderness only depends on the presence of God. In Several occasions Saul entered into his hand but he never saw an opportunity to destroy his life. He left him for God. Jesus Himself even at the cross never fight back any of those that resist Him. He gave the vengeance to God. What we need as Christian is to carry God. But sin will not allow any man to attract the presence of God. The life of the flesh will also not allow any man to attract God to His side. We become weak before our enemies once there is sin in our lives. If we live a carnal life we are prone to be attack by the enemy. Living a sanctified life that pleases God is what attracts the presence of God.
Assurance of Gods presence.
The assurance of Gods’ presence was the testimony of the brethren in psalm chapter 44. They new that it was what saved their ancestors from the raging of the enemy. When the battle becomes fierce all they needed to do was to seek an opportunity for them to access God. That is why often times the Ark of the Covenant of God became a paramount instrument to attend any battle. The ark was a symbol of Gods presence. But when Hophni and Phinehas the sons Eli did evil in the sight of the Lord; God remove His presence from the Ark, it became an empty box without power. That is what sin does to a man in the battles of life. The person becomes empty and void of Gods power when sin or the flesh has been introduced into a life.
The Philistines attacked, and after fierce fighting they defeated the Israelites and killed about four thousand men on the battlefield. When the survivors came back to camp, the leaders of Israel said, "Why did the LORD let the Philistines defeat us today? Let's go and bring the LORD's Covenant Box from Shiloh, so that he will go with us and save us from our enemies." So they sent messengers to Shiloh and got the Covenant Box of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned above the winged creatures. And Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, came along with the Covenant Box. When the Covenant Box arrived, the Israelites gave such a loud shout of joy that the earth shook. The Philistines heard the shouting and said, "Listen to all that shouting in the Hebrew camp! What does it mean?" When they found out that the LORD's Covenant Box had arrived in the Hebrew camp, they were afraid, and said, "A god has come into their camp! We're lost! Nothing like this has ever happened to us before! Who can save us from those powerful gods? They are the gods who slaughtered the Egyptians in the desert! ( Ist Sam. 4: 2-8)
There was a great shout but no life in the shout because no life in the box they carried. Sin has empty the box of its power. This is exactly the experience of most of the fellowship meetings. Serious shouting and sweating but no power. Our meetings and fellowships are coloured by sin especially sins like that of Hophni and Phinehas. Several men have augment the power in the box with diabolic powers to fight the battles of life, several people have used sorcery to advanced what they want but for us it is the assurance of Gods presence, that the God of Jacob is with us. The Lord of Jacob is our refuge .
How to attract His presence
God said to Jacob, "Go to Bethel at once, and live there. Build an altar there to me, the God who appeared to you when you were running away from your brother Esau." So Jacob said to his family and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods that you have; purify yourselves and put on clean clothes. We are going to leave here and go to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who helped me in the time of my trouble and who has been with me everywhere I have gone." So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that they had and also the earrings that they were wearing. He buried them beneath the oak tree near Shechem. When Jacob and his sons started to leave, great fear fell on the people of the nearby towns, and they did not pursue them. (Gen. 35: 1-5)
Here Jacob was in great treat and fear. The fear of his brother Esau who has not forgiven him for several years. The man has prepared about four hundred men to fight with him. Again other nations saw Jacob as a treat and were prepared to fight him. Jacob does not have physical army to fight several of these his enemies. He needs a greater power that can overcome all of these. He needs unseen hands that can destroy the weapons of the enemy. He needs the assurance of Gods presence. What are the strategy for winning the battle.
The first strategy is to go to Bethel: Bethel is the house of God where God dwells. We must find God first. There must be a continual fellowship with God that assures us of His presence. A devotion that keep us in touch with God every day. The second strategy is to build an alter at Bethel. A continual prayer life assures us of an unbroken relationship with Him. The alter must keep burning; the fire must never go out. This fire of the alter keep the enemy far from us. The fire will not allow the enemy to peck our lives. The third strategy is to get rid of the foreign gods or idols in our lives, sometimes these foreign gods or idols are not necessary blatant sin, they may be those legitment things that we love more than God. They always hinder us from serving God. They break our relationship with him. They make it impossible to touch God. All these will weaken us before our enemies. Sin is also a great barrier to reach God. Thereby making us to be prone to attack of the enemy. The fourth strategy is to purify our lives. The word of God is the instrument of purification. Continual exposure to the word of God keeps a man out of sin. Lastly is to keep cleaning ourselves. There must be everyday cleansing. This assures us of the presence of God. If God is with us who can be against us. If we can carry Him the devil has no strength over us. Great fear fell on all the people around where Jacob moved because they carry God along their journey.
These are definite paths several men in the scripture had trod to overcome the enemy and forces that contend with their lives. These are days when the enemy is fierce to take hold of the life of the believer. But we are more than conquerors. We must carry his presence so that we can live a victorious life.
Equipping for harvest
In Agriculture there are specific equipment for specific operations in the farm. Each of the equipment are designed to maximize the benefit derivable from every farm operation. The harvest time is always a joyous moment for the farmer and members of his house hold. In some culture it is a special celebration to enter into the harvest time. It is expected that every member of the household will eat abundantly. We have also entered into the season when the fields are white for harvest. To be able to harvest souls to the kingdom we need certain equipping to effectively harness our potentials. Every saved person is expected to lead others to the kingdom of God. What are the necessary equipping we need to harness souls for the Kingdom?
The first is genuine conversion. Soul winning can only be done by somebody that is born again. New birth is a necessary precondition for a soul winner. This new birth must be maintained in a consistent flow of life from above. Once sin breaks the relationship then the individual has no access to the flow of life necessary for harvesting souls. The reason for this is that like begets like. A person can only produce the type of person he is. As we get born again we can see clearly the righteousness and holiness about the kingdom of God that the new convert needed to live. In Acts Chapter 8 from verse 5 we saw one Simon who bewitched the people of Samaria with his sorcery. After he accepted Christ when Philip preached he wanted to buy the Holy Spirit with money. But Peter rebuked him. There was no genuine conversion in him. He wanted to work for God with his old system of life. There are several men who have not experience genuine conversion and they are carrying the gospel about. Those men are doing more damage to the expansion of the kingdom. Therefore it is necessary that all those who enter into this harvest must have been harvested and equipped for the work of the Kingdom.
The second equipping is the presence of the Holy spirit- The Holy Spirit is essentially the person that does the conversion. We are only channels to deliver God’s message. He convicts the sinner of sin. He brings the judgment of God before the sinner. A consistent work with Him is necessary if souls are to be harvested to the kingdom of God. The more we have Him the more witnessing becomes easier. The Holy Spirit also helps us to receive a prompting to approach souls. He gives direction as to the appropriate time when the sinner will be approach. He knows the heart of the sinner and He knows when the sinner is ready to receive the word or not. Therefore a cordial relationship with Him is necessary for every soul winner. He arranges situations and opportunities to the advantage of the kingdom of God. Sometimes the situation may be pleasant or not. All is arranged both of the sinner and the saint to bring the sinner to the kingdom of God.
Act 8:27-36 ---Now an Ethiopian eunuch, who was an important official in charge of the treasury of the queen of Ethiopia, was on his way home. He had been to Jerusalem to worship God and was going back home in his carriage. As he rode along, he was reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, "Go over to that carriage and stay close to it." Philip ran over and heard him reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah. He asked him, "Do you understand what you are reading?" The official replied, "How can I understand unless someone explains it to me?" And he invited Philip to climb up and sit in the carriage with him. The passage of scripture which he was reading was this: "He was like a sheep that is taken to be slaughtered, like a lamb that makes no sound when its wool is cut off. He did not say a word. He was humiliated, and justice was denied him. No one will be able to tell about his descendants, because his life on earth has come to an end." The official asked Philip, "Tell me, of whom is the prophet saying this? Of himself or of someone else?" Then Philip began to speak; starting from this passage of scripture, he told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled down the road, they came to a place where there was some water, and the official said, "Here is some water. What is to keep me from being baptized?"
We must keep looking up unto the Holy Spirit for necessary arrangement with the sinner. This we can actualize if we keep in touch with Him through prayer and a consistent devotion. We could note that it was the Holy Spirit that said to Philip. Our hearts must be free from issues that will not allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us. We saw how easy and convincing it was for Philip to reach to this man. There was no resistance from the man. Even when there is a resistance the Holy Spirit knows how to bring convictions to the heart of the sinner. He will convict the world of sin and of judgment. Joh 16:8 And when he comes, he will prove to the people of the world that they are wrong about sin and about what is right and about God's judgment.He is the one that can prove to the sinner that he is wrong about sin. Every sinner holds tight to his sin. The sinner always give reason why sin must be committed but the Holy Spirit has the capacity to prove to them about sin and convince them of the consequences of their action. The Holy Spirit enables us to know the mind of God concerning a sinner. He gives words to use to save a sinner. It may be simple words spoken in the name of the Lord. Words that come from the Holy Spirit are powerful to break the heart of every sinner. Joh 14:17 He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. The world cannot receive him, because it cannot see him or know him. But you know him, because he remains with you and is in you.
The third equipping is our righteousness –A soul winner must live a consistent
righteous and holy life that can attract the people to the kingdom of God. Phi 1:27
Now, the important thing is that your way of life should be as the gospel of
Christ requires, so that, whether or not I am able to go and see you, I will
hear that you are standing firm with one common purpose and that with
only one desire you are fighting together for the faith of the gospel.
One of the greatest hindrances to the gospel of Christ is preachers not living lives
consistent with the gospel of Christ. Our lives go a long way in speaking to the sinner’s
heart. At this harvest time God is essentially looking for lives that will show Him to the
world. The World wants to see the pattern of Christ life. Harvest can be wasted if the
preacher’s life is not consistent with the word of God. Our way of life should be as the gospel of Christ requires. This is the most powerful tool that can be used for harvesting souls to the kingdom. Several believers and even minister overlooked this at the detriment of the expansion of the kingdom of God. The greatest hindrance the move of God in our land is that there are no lives to display the characters of Christ. Lives that, on a consistent basis are living correctly and can attract men to the kingdom.
In conclusion, we must note clearly that these three equipping are all part of a soul winner’s life. None of these must be left out. Every soul winner must keep checking his conversion, the presence of the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ that he carries if he is going to make any meaningful contribution to the kingdom of God.