2 Corinthians 10: 4

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

Why is Paul talking to us about weapons of warfare after the death and resurrection of Jesus? Jesus has already won, hasn’t he? He marched in to Hades and took the keys of death and hell away from the devil. So why is Paul talking about warfare? Isn’t it done?

Well, I guess we have only to look around us to see that the war is not over. Yes, Jesus has won. He defeated the powers of hell for all time but that is almost useless if we don’t enforce it. Think of it this way. Perhaps there is a law on the books in your community. How effective is that law if it is not enforced? It is as though it doesn’t exist. You see, God gave the earth to us, therefore, we have authority in this realm. Jesus won the victory over sin, death, hell and the grave in his own flesh. He has given us this victory to employ in the earthly realm as well as in our own lives.

You have ultimate authority in your life, God does not. You can choose to go to hell if you want. Many are making that choice. God won’t stop you because He has given that right of choice, that authority to you. He has delegated His power in that area. Therefore, if Jesus’ victory is to be experienced, we must enforce it in our own lives. Failure to do so allows the devil run around free messing in people’s lives.

The Amplified version of today’s verse says that the weapons of our warfare are not physical. What are they then? They must be spiritual, wouldn’t you say? Also, I noted that he wrote about the weapons – plural. There must be more than one then. We all know about prayer and obviously that is a weapon straight from God’s arsenal. There really are many more though. Paul wanted us to be mindful of their existence, what they are and how to use them.

Don’t sit around on the couch expecting your salvation prayer to solve all of your problems. This is a process and that was only the beginning. Paul also told us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2: 12). We have a role to play. God gives us the tools and the weapons but it is up to us to utilize them for our lives. As for me, I am choosing a spiritual bazooka. What spiritual weapon do you want?

For more about spiritual warfare and the weapons of our warfare, visit our webpage and go to the Daily Devotional page ( Search “spiritual warfare”.

Who’s Your Daddy

 John 8: 44

You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.

Putting aside for the moment all of Jesus’ vitriolic comments about lying, let’s look at an interesting little phrase in this passage. Jesus calls the devil a murderer and says that he has been a murderer since the beginning. Okay, so Jesus, who did the devil murder? Can you think of one instance, especially early on where the devil murdered anyone? I wish to suggest that Jesus was referring to the Garden of Eden.

In Genesis 2:16 – 17 God said, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” Enter in the devil. I am sure he was able to hear what God said and plotted a way to get to God’s people. Fast forward to Genesis 3: 4; “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” Now, how much of what the devil said was a lie? Look back at today’s verse. What did Jesus say about Satan? He said he is a liar. We have taken some of Satan’s words to be true. Eating from the tree would not make then like God, nor would it give them the complete knowledge of good and evil. How do I know? Look around you. Do you think humanity has always known right from wrong, good from evil? The real point of the story, though, is that God said that eating from the tree would cause death. Then the devil came along and twisted it and lied. He said, “You surely won’t die.” Wait a moment! God just said they would die. The devil lied to Eve and she believed him.

Jesus, thousands of years after this event, doesn’t just call Satan a liar for what he did to Eve and Adam. He also calls him a murderer because of the deception he created. Whatsmore, he says of the Jews who were attacking him that they are just like their father, the devil, and effectively calls them liars and murderers too.

Recall that this is a passage on lying. It is intriguing that in a discussion about truth, Jesus goes all the way back to the first lie. He doesn’t stop there though. He holds the devil responsible for the murder of Adam and Eve, and in fact, of all humanity. Then he convicts the Jews that were plotting against him, pronouncing them as liars and murderers. Further, their lying ways makes them, in Jesus’ eyes, sons of Satan. That is pretty steep. Jesus had tolerance for all sorts of people but he showed none for liars.

The Prowling Lion

1 Peter 5: 8

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

You have an adversary and he is named here. Do not be uninformed. There is an enemy out there and he comes only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10: 10). He will devour as many as will let him. Someone told me once that she did not believe there was any such thing as “evil” in the world. Well, she is susceptible to all of the snares of the wily one because she does not even acknowledge that there is an adversary. He can run around her life unchallenged. He can sneak around and plot all he wants because there is no lookout. I would rather trust the Apostle Peter’s knowledge and have my defenses built against foes. Be on your guard, be alert. Know that there is an enemy; prepare yourself by spending time in the word and with your heavenly father so that your defenses will be too much for the enemy. He will pass you by for easier targets because you are built up in your most holy faith (Jude 1: 20).

Who is it?

Job 9: 24

If it is not he, then who is it?

You know the story of Job and of how great his suffering was. Job was a godly man so when calamity struck his house he was bewildered. The book of Job records conversations he had with his “friends”. In today’s passage Job is answering Bildad. He makes the assertion that so many Christians make which is essentially that God is the source of our trouble and misfortune.  

I was guilty of this myself. In my early years I, like everyone, suffered some hardships. My religious training had not taught me that there was a source of evil in the world. I remember saying to someone who was a Christian, “It must be God who is causing these bad things to happen to me.” It was a horrible thing to say to a believer but do you know what? He didn’t correct me. He didn’t explain to me how wrong I was and about the goodness and love of our God. Surely he believed in John 3: 16, who doesn’t? How, then, do we reconcile this God of love who gave everything to save us with the ideology of a God who inflicts pain and suffering? We cannot because the two are irreconcilable.

The devil has done quite a number on the church. He has reduced his image to that of a cute Halloween costume. He has shifted our understanding of him to fantasy and make believe. However, we have the means to learn and know the truth. James 1: 5 is the pronouncement of a major theme of the Bible, that being that the Lord, our God, gives us wisdom. The wisdom of God reveals all truth, so, the devil cannot hide in his lies when wisdom has come upon the scene. He is always exposed for the liar that he is.

When bad things happen, we need to understand that the devil is our enemy (1 Peter 5: 8). However, we can take comfort in knowing that our Lord has already defeated the enemy which means that we are no longer subject to the devil. We can overcome all of his machinations through the victory of Jesus. The first step, however, is in not being deceived that there is no devil or that our benevolent Father is the source of the bad things that happen in life. Believe me, when I thought that God was the source of trouble in my life I could not receive relief. It is only in our Father that we can triumph. 1 Corinthians 13: 8 says that love never fails. Well, here is an example of that non-failing force. Love always wins so we take the love of God, which is God’s very substance, and we apply it to the problem and love wins every time.

Your Father loves you more than you can imagine and He would never inflict harm on you. He only wants good for you and since He is love and goodness that is all that He has to give you. Give the devil his proper due and put him back under your feet where he belongs.