Monthly Archives: February 2013

How the Hosts of Hell Defeat, Had Suffering Saints no Mercy Seat

“And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat…” Exodus 32:22

Hello friends:

If you are a Christian, prayer is one of your greatest privileges.  So why don’t we spend more time at the Mercy Seat?  Prayer is one of our greatest weapons against the attacks of  the evil one, so why do we spend so little time on our knees?  I say because prayer is WORK!  

As we come to the end of this week, I just wanted to share a quote by E.M. Bounds, regarding this essential discipline.

“To say prayers in a decent, delicate way is not heavy work.  But to pray till the iron gates of difficulty are opened, till the mountains of obstacles are removed, till the mists are exhaled and the clouds are lifted, and the sunshine of a cloudless day brightens—this is hard work, but it is God’s work and man’s best labor.”

And from another of my favorite hymns:

“Ah! whither could we flee for aid, When tempted, desolate, dismayed;
Or how the hosts of hell defeat, Had suffering saints no mercy seat?”
Through Every Stormy Wind that Blows, William Cooper

So what are you waiting for?  Enter now into the throne room of heaven.  Access is ours through the blood of Jesus.  Hallelujah, What a Savior! 

 

Devils

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils.  One is to disbelieve in their existence.  The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” C.S. Lewis

In viewing our culture as a whole, I agree with Lewis’s assessment.  However, among Bible- believing Christians it is difficult to deny the  existence of Satan and his demons, as the Scriptures are full of references pertaining to the reality of them.  (Examples at end of post, from: Religious Tolerance .Org)

My personal experience in evangelical circles is having ones give them too much power, or having ones give them too little.  As Lewis says, “they themselves (the demons) are equally pleased by both errors.”  I have also met ones as Lewis describes as having an “unhealthy and excessive” interest in them.  If we are obsessed with Satan, we can not have our minds “stayed on Christ”.  This leads to immobilizing fear.  Though we are to be aware of the battle raging around us so that we are equipped to fight, Christ wants our hearts and minds on things above.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3

I see ones giving them too much power when they seem to have the attitude that “the devil made them do it,” instead of taking responsibility for their own sin. Satan does not have the power to force us to sin. Some believe Satan is omnipresent, which is false!  Although he has hosts of demons at his disposal, only The Living and True God is omnipresent.  And the Living and True God has legions of angles encamped around us!

As for my own part, I have fallen into both camps.  Nevertheless, the majority of my life I fell off the side of giving them too little regard.  In fact, when people would mention that some of the bizarre health problems I was experiencing could have elements of spiritual warfare, the wall went up.  I was a Reformed Presbyterian! I was offended that they would insinuate that Satan had that kind of power over my body.  I belong to Christ! True, the devil has no power except for what God allows, yet Scripture shows he is  given permission to buffet us at times, for our good and for God’s glory.  

“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me– to keep me from exalting myself!” (Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:7)

I plan to teach more on this subject in the coming weeks.  How about you? Do you tend to give Satan too much regard, or too little?  Let’s pray for biblical balance, as Satan doesn’t care which side we fall off….as long as we fall!

(Scripture references to Satan below.) 

 

bullet the serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:4 & Genesis 3:14)

bullet Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1)

bullet the adversary playing the role of prosecuting attorney in a heavenly court with God and the angels (Job 1:6 & Zechariah 3:1-2 & 1 Peter 5:8)

bullet as the devil (from the Greek “diabolos” which means “slanderer“), the tempter of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-3, Luke 4:2)

bullet the prince of the demons, Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24, Mark 3:22, Luke 11:15)

bullet unclean spirit (Matthew 12:43)

bullet the evil one (Matthew 13:19 & 1 John 2:13)

bullet the author of all evil (Luke 10:19)

bullet a murderer and the father of lies (John 8:44)

bullet the prince of this world (John 12:31 & 14:30 & 16:11)

bullet a demon able to enter into a human body (John 13:27)

bullet god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)

bullet Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15)

bullet prince of the powers of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2)

bullet power of darkness (Colossians 1:13)

bullet an adversary, like a roaring lion who walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8)

bullet the angel of the abyss, named Abaddon in Hebrew, Apollyon in Greek (Revelation 9:11)

bullet a great red dragon (Revelation 12:3 & 12:9 & 20:2)

bullet the accuser of our brethren who accuses Christians before God day and night (Revelation 12:10)

bullet the dragon, the old serpent (Revelation 20:2)

 

Nevertheless!

“Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done.” (Jesus, Luke 22:42)

As I lay prostrate on the bed in my motel room, all at once I felt the weight of my message.  My “cup” was not the heavy load of the sins of the world, or the knowledge that the Father would temporarily turn His back on me.  My Jesus has already drunk that cup.  My “cup” was the ministry I am embarking on….and the ensuing attacks I knew it would bring.

I had been feverishly writing and practicing for my 3 minute “video speech” at the She Speaks Intensive Conference, when suddenly I knew it was time to stop studying and start praying.

I had planned to begin my prayer asking for God’s blessing on my “speech”, however I was caught off guard when a heaviness began to permeate my spirit.  I was feeling the burden of my topic, The Unseen Battle.

I realized I am perfectly happy being a pastor’s wife and shepherding my four offspring, I love teaching Sunday school and ladies Bible study. Why step out of my comfort zone and begin a speaking and writing ministry on spiritual warfare?  Or if I am going to speak and write, why not pick a “safe” topic?

My soul was in turmoil as I cried out to God, “Father, if you are willing…take this endeavor from me….NEVERTHELESS! Not MY will but THINE be done.”  The Spirit then impressed upon my heart, “Arise, Child, He who called you is faithful.”  “He will never leave you or forsake you.”  Remember precious one, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

In the Garden of Gethsemane, my Savior’s soul was not just in turmoil, but rather anguish!  Anguish such as no mere mortal has ever felt.  Submitting to the Father’s will meant enduring the cursed death of the cross – paying the penalty for sinners in their place.  Jesus saw it clearly and sweat great drops of blood.  But love for His Father and unconditional submission to His will lead Him to drink that cup.  And He accomplished the salvation of sinners in doing so!

The only way I am able to follow the Father’s leading is because of what my Savior accomplished for me in Gethsemane and on the Cross.  I can drink the cup of persecution which I know this ministry will bring, because my Savior has already drunk the cup of my salvation.

As the Spirit spoke to my heart I never heard the word “easy”.  I did not hear that my family and me would be without opposition.  I did not hear that He would lead us AROUND the battle, rather that He would hold our hands and walk us THROUGH it.

I arose from that bed with joy unspeakable!  Yes, LORD, I will drink this cup because you drank THE Cup.

I am being called and He is equipping me.  NEVERTHELESS, I am going to need some faithful prayer warriors to cover my family, church, and myself.  Please ask the Lord if He is asking you to be one of them. I will send out a weekly private message of prayer requests to those who are being called to come along side me.  You will be my “prayer peeps”.  Please let me know by leaving a comment on this post.  Thank you and God bless!

“When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.” How Firm A Foundation, John Keene

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you are being called as one of my prayer peeps!