Are we in a war?
Jesus knows what we are thinking. There is no hiding. Jesus will shine the light on our indifference. We must make a choice.
Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Any country in civil war for very long is wasted. A constantly squabbling family falls to pieces. If Satan cancels Satan, is there any Satan left? You accuse me of ganging up with the Devil, the prince of demons, to cast out demons, but if you’re slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil who kicks out devils, doesn’t the same mud stick to your own exorcists? But if it’s God’s finger I’m pointing that sends the demons on their way, then God’s kingdom is here for sure.
“When a strong man, armed to the teeth, stands guard in his front yard, his property is safe and sound. But what if a stronger man comes along with superior weapons? Then he’s beaten at his own game, the arsenal that gave him such confidence hauled off, and his precious possessions plundered. This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse. | Luke 11:17-23 (The Message Bible)
Recently we visited in a home where there were two small children who, between them, had a roomful of toys of all descriptions. But amazingly, both of them wanted to play the same toy at the same time. That’s an honest childish way of demonstrating the same thing in a more subtle way among “adults”. Failing to confront this type of relation between brothers at an early age, allowing each one of them to “please himself”, sets a pattern for life that will repeat itself over and over again. In all the relations that this “adult” enter, whether family, social, or business, there will be that high “stone wall” that will bring separation and produce very unsatisfactory relationships. That’s the “warfare of the world”. And it’s coming upon the people of God from every direction. Brother vs. brother relations in the world today are open warfare!
You see, the world’s attitude is “bring pleasure to your SELF. Satisfy the flesh”. The Bible calls that “OUR SINFUL NATURE”. Paul tells the Christians in Rome, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their MINDS SET on what that nature desires. But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their MINDS SET on what the Spirit desires” (emphasis mine). That is visible in the sexual relation between a husband and wife, but we need to see it in simpler ways BEFORE we commit ourselves to one another in marriage. Our lifestyle is established in our more youthful years: “I get out of bed when I want! I eat what I like! I keep me in a condition that pleases ME”. Or you may watch TV as much as the average America. If so, you may have developed a low regard for FATHERHOOD, since this form of “entertainment” is constantly demeaning the male parent and the husband. And this false value continues to color your attitude, even though you are now a Christian, trying to live a life that’s pleasing to the Lord.
War in El Salvador! War in Afghanistan? War in Lebanon! War in Poland! Terrorism in Belfast! War in Iran! Battles in Zimbabwe! Is there any doubt that the WORLD is in a STATE of WAR? And the tactics of the present warfare are as different as, well. . . , darkness from light! Listen to James swing his “big stick” [in chapter 4:1]: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battles within you?” (emphasis mine). The church is not only facing up to the world’s warfare, but she is having to face up to the battles within. James goes on to say in the verses that follow, . . . “You want something but don’t get it. you kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. . . .” Peter says TO CHRISTIANS, “Dear friends, be STRANGERS in the WORLD. Abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul” (emphasis mine).