Tuesday, 13 July 2021

War on the Saints

 Scripture:  Ephesians 6 v  12 - 13: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

John 15 v 17 - 20: "These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."

In the past few days the looting, burning of malls, anarchy has been raging in parts of South Africa, so that everywhere resembles a war zone, or is, in fact, a war zone.  Our police force spokesperson says they never seen anything like it and cannot cope at all.  Now the army has been called in and the battle is on.

There is a remarkable old book by Jessie Penn-Lewis called "War on the Saints" written over 100 years ago, but the same spiritual battles we are seeing today happened on her watch too.  She was active in the Welsh Revivals and was part of the battle Satan has waged against the saints throughout the ages.

Saints are living people who are born again Christian.  People who are holy and set apart to God.  Saints are not dead Catholic people who perform miracles after their death.  They are not dead icons we pray to like St Christopher for protection, or medals of Mary or of Jesus.  Our protection comes from the Blood of Jesus and our faith in Almighty God.  He hides us in the Rock with the full Godly armour upon us.

Right now the saints are under extreme pressure facing persecution from the political left and outright Communism.  Many are imprisoned, tortured, raped, killed for their faith.  Militant Islamic groups like Boko Haram, ISIS, Al Shabaab kill, maim, and kidnap Christians without shame or fear of retaliation.

Whatever battle zone we are in right now, Jesus is with us, empowering and encouraging us.  When we are at our weakest, He is at His strongest.  He says, No weapon formed against you shall prosper.  Jesus says He will fight for us and I cannot doubt it as I have witnessed it in my own life.

People who slander Christians with lying words will regret it and find themselves on the receiving end of God's righteous anger.  Officials who misuse their authority to block Christians in their ministry, will have a Higher Authority to deal with.  Governments who ban the Bible from schools, reap rebellious adults and anarchy as seen in many countries these days.  It's affecting sportsmen who must do the political knee bend - hats off to our main wicket keeper this past weekend who stood tall.

This war is not new, it started in Heaven and continues here.  Revelation 12 v 9 - 12: "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."

These verses above put it in a nutshell.  The war that started in Heaven between Satan and God is now reduced to a tiny patch of the Universe called Earth.  Satan is already defeated but is denying and defying it to gain time, to block the unsaved from eternity in Heaven.  Pure spite and malice on his part.  Also being used against the saints in the hope they will blame God for their misfortunes and backslide into his evil clutches.

So when the attacks come make sure you have on the full armour of God as listed in Ephesians 6.  Be continually prayed up and filled with praise as God dwells in the praises of His people.  Be filled with mountain moving faith as true faith frightens Satan and causes him to flee.

Jesus removed all Satan's weapons after His death on the Cross.  He made a show of him openly. He publicly rubbed his nose in it, embarrassing him for all time.  He is a defeated foe.  Our job is to keep reminding him of it by living as Jesus lived.  Walking in the power of the Holy Spirit and healing the sick, driving out demons and occupying our spiritual space until Jesus comes.

We do not need the distraction of religious traditions, pomp and ceremony, Babylonian garb and golden altars.  None of this is useful in a war zone.  David fought Goliath without Saul's heavy armour.  All he needed was a slingshot and 1 good stone, plus faith that God was with him.  He brought down a giant that had defied the whole army of Israel.  He was a 17 year old shepherd boy who became a great King.

Let us be as David, fearless and uncompromising in the face of danger and war.  Let us have great faith in the ability of God and set the captives free and bring the lost into the kingdom of Heaven.  Let us pray for peace and calm in South Africa and other nations under siege, so that the gospel can go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, for all those on the spiritual battlefield right now, I ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit to empower them for victory.  With the blessings of Abraham upon them so when the enemy comes at them one way, he flees seven ways and never regroups.  Turn every trial into a triumph, every mess into a message and every test into a testimony.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.