Friday, December 21, 2007

JMD Devotional 265 Ephesians 6:11,12 Unholy Staff

Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

There is always more at work than meets the eye. Though it seems like we need little provocation, agents exist that distort our perceptions, amplify perceived offenses, breed conflicts and seduce us to self-centeredness and rebellion. Yes, our own flawed psychology can also account for all of these things. Neil Anderson, in “The Bondage Breaker”, asserts that we humans, made in the image of a triune God, are a mini-trinity of spirit, soul and body. There is never a time that all three parts do not play a role in who and what we are. Our perceptions can be distorted by physical illness, emotional baggage and by exterior spiritual influences in any combination. Effective treatment needs to consider our physical, emotional and spiritual needs in order to treat the whole person. The Bible warns of an unholy staff of sinister agents out to destroy your witness and influence in the world; the more we step out from under God’s rules for living the more exposed we are, as if we stepped out from under His umbrella: our rebellion gives the enemy license to oppress us. Obedience to God keeps us under divine protection.

Dear God,
I thank You for medical doctors and psychologists and counselors who help treat the human condition. I also acknowledge that science has its limits; so I come to You in my ignorance of spiritual things; I depend on Your help and protection and guidance where I am so blind. Help me to tune out evil advice and seduction, to quickly say no to temptation, to remain loyal to Your kingdom. Forgive me for the rebel I have been, for consorting with the enemy of my soul, for being so gullible and faithless. May I not consider anything that the Devil may put on the table to entice me; help me to love You supremely.

All (but*) quotes are from The Amplified Bible, published by
the Lockman Foundation. (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
*New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
**Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. (Eugene Peterson's easy-to-read, contemporary Scripture translation)

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