Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bittersweet Refinements: Chapter XV

The following is a rewritten chapter from Bittersweet Refinements.  If you would like to read the entire book, from start to finish and in the proper order, please go [here].

Chapter XV
Spiritual Warfare
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  {We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. [2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NAS]
Simply put, every thought that crosses our mind comes from either ourself, our Heavenly Father or the devil.  For even if a thought is actually of His only begotten Son [John 1:18], who truly is the Lord Jesus Christ [Matthew 3:16-17], His Holy Spirit [John 14:15-20] or one of His holy angels [Matthew 1:18-25], it is still of our Heavenly Father [John 6:45].  For He and His only begotten Son and His Holy Spirit are One [Deuteronomy 6:4] and the same [Genesis 1:26], and His holy angels are His servants, who do nothing on their own [Hebrews 1:14].
Furthermore, the same applies to Satan, who is the devil, and his horde of rogue angels, who are also called devils and demons [Revelation 12:9].  For they cannot do anything without being allowed and enabled to by our Heavenly Father [Luke 22:31].
It is the work of the devil and his demons to convince us that none of that is true—along with many other things, of course.  For they are our only true enemies [Ephesians 6:10-12].
Needless to say, they have been very successful.  For even among those who are willing to believe that they do indeed exist and are active in this world, so very, very few are willing to even entertain the possibility that they are actually servants of our Heavenly Father and working to accomplish His purposes [1 Timothy 1:18-20].
Yes, it is written: Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. [James 1:13-15 NAS]
It is not our Heavenly Father who is doing the tempting, however.  For that is the role of the devil and his demons [1 Peter 5:8-11], and our Heavenly Father provides a means of escape so that only those who do not want to be saved will perish [1 Corinthians 10:1-14].
No, this is not to say that our Heavenly Father is in league with Satan.  MAY IT NEVER BE [Job 34:12-15]!  For that would suggest a partnership when the absolute truth of the matter truly is that the devil has no choice but to do His bidding [Ezekiel 28:18], and the same also applies to all of his demons [Job 12:16].
Neither is to say that darkness really does dwell in our Heavenly Father [James 1:16-17].  For the reason why we exist in this world as we naturally do is in order to give Him opportunities to receive a very special kind of love, and the devil and his demons are unwitting participants in His plan [Genesis 50:20].
Come on now, how could this not make sense?  For is it not true that hardships tend to encourage those who want to believe in a Heavenly Father, who is full of love and forgiveness, to want to get closer and closer unto Him [Psalms 5:1-3]?  Therefore, if Satan and his horde of rogue angels really are at liberty to do as they please at this time, doing anything to cause us to want to get closer to God would be the last thing that they would want to do—would it not?
No, there is not a war raging between the forces of good and evil for our souls in the way that it has been so widely taught [2 Peter 2:1-3], but this is not to say that we have nothing to fear [Mark 14:38].  For it would not accomplish our Heavenly Father’s purposes to force anyone to spend all of eternity with Him in His Kingdom of Heaven as heirs to all that is His in glory against their will [John 3:16-21], and what breaks His heart is that so very, very, very many would rather believe in what Satan has to say and stay in the darkness of Spiritual ignorance [John 3:19-21] than truly walk in the Light [John 8:12] of His absolute Truth [1 John 1:5-2:12].
Alas, it is all just a continuation of what was started in the Garden of Eden.  For the temptation was to be like God [Genesis 3:1-5] and be in control of their own lives [James 4:13-17].
Therefore, let all who want to think that they are standing firm take heed before they fall [1 Corinthians 10:12].  For pride leads to destruction [Proverbs 16:18].

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