The world seems ablaze almost daily with news about terrorism, wars and recently renewed nuclear threats. The current president has been chided for his philosophy that global warming is the biggest threat to our nation.
I do not wish to weigh in on either side of that particular issue. I mention it merely to point out that there is a much bigger threat to our nation. This particular threat far outweighs the dangers of global warming, terrorism, war, violence or any other disastrous events we can imagine, whether natural or man-made!
I am referring to spiritual warfare!
Paul made reference to this in his second letter to the church in Corinth:
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (English Standard Version)
We are all have a list in our minds, if not on paper, of the many things we are concerned about in our daily lives. Some of these things may bring us fear or apprehension. But if the spiritual war going on around us is not at the top of our list of our concerns, we are walking in blindness. We will eventually find that we are walking straight into an assault of cataclysmic proportions!
WALKING IN SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS!
Many live in this state of oblivion. They verbally, sometimes physically, fight for that which seems of greatest importance - issues that, in their own minds, simply "must" be changed. All the while, they do not realize that spiritual battles are taking place around them, and spiritual strategies being devised by the enemy of our souls that will make an all out nuclear war seem like a tiny firecracker!
What is that makes this spiritual attack so incredibly devastating? Why does it seem so unreal and distant to us?
The main reason is that the spirit realm is hidden from our spiritual eyes. It seems that when man fell, his spirit died, while he remained alive physically and mentally. The dead spirits of men are made alive again in Christ. When that happens are eyes are opened.The eyes of born-again Christians are opened at the lowest level, which the Bible describes as spiritual infancy.
When a child in naturally born, his or her eyes are opened to this world. The child has become alive, in a sense, to this world. Yet, he or she is not instantly full of wisdom or knowledge, prepared to become a productive adult in the natural world, but has merely crossed over from the womb to the world outside the womb.
The outside world was hidden from the child as long as he or she remained in the womb. Recent medical breakthroughs have demonstrated that a child in the womb can react very early on to stimuli from the outside world.Yet the child could not even begin to truly grasp what it was really like!
ELISHA AND HIS TWO PRAYERS!
2 Kings 6:8-23 tells us of an encounter between Elisha and his servant, and the Syrian army.
God had been revealing to Elisha the plans that the King of Syria made in private. So Elisha was able to warn the King of Israel and stay one step ahead. When the King of Syria found out, he sent "horses, chariots and a great army" to attack Elisha.
When Elisha's servant told Elisha of the coming disaster, Elisha said to his servant, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see."
(2 Kings 6:16-17)
When the servant's eyes were opened, he saw the mountains full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. Just as Elisha said, there were more with them than those against them!
Those horses and chariots of fire were always there. Elisha saw them because he was a prophet and God had already opened his eyes. But the servant could not see them. They were hidden from his eyes until Elijah prayed.
IF OUR EYES WERE OPENED!
Likewise, this spiritual world is all around us. It will seem unreal to us if our eyes are not opened through the new birth! (See John 3:3) The Bible teaches clearly that the natural man (one who has never been born again) cannot see or know the things of God. In fact, the things of God seem like foolishness to him! (See 1 Corinthians 2:14).
Even Christians cannot fully comprehend the things of God unless we grow spiritually!
Paul criticized the Corinthians because they were not able to receive the solid food of the Word of God. Paul had no choice but to feed them with spiritual "milk" - because they had remained babies much longer than they should have.
A newborn or shallow Christian cannot grasp the deeper things of God. He or she cannot see the spiritual realities and spiritual warfare going on all around them. Like Elisha's servant, our eyes need to be further opened!
Without a doubt, the eyes of every truly born-again Christian have been opened. Their hearts have been changed and they see that Jesus Christ is the only way, life and truth. But, in the beginning, we only have the capacity to see and understand God as babes in Christ - just as a naturally born child sees and understands the natural world.
When we grow in personal, intimate knowledge of God, when His Word and His ways are ingrafted into our hearts and burning in our spirits, our spiritual eyes are further opened!
It is only then, that we will begin to see and understand the deeper things of God!
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