“I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be wary as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16)
“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.” (Ephesians 6:12)
“Don’t be teamed with those who do not love the Lord, for what do the people of God have in common with the people of sin? How can light live with darkness? And what harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a Christian be a partner with one who doesn’t believe?” (2 Co. 6:14-15)
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:14)
Entering into and abiding in the Kingdom of God is not so easy, because there are extremely powerful and deceptive forces at work which can hamper and even completely derail a Christian’s efforts, unless the Christian becomes educated about how such forces operate, and takes measure to defeat them, through the protective blood of Jesus.
For one thing, while as Christians we need to treat everyone lovingly, we also need to use great
care in terms of who we make good friends with, confide in, team up with, trust, and etc. I’m convinced that a lot of experience is needed in this area, as persons who are basically manipulative and exploitive (and therefore not operating in Jesus’ love), can present themselves as being absolute angels! We need to learn how to carefully “test the waters,” to avoid a lot of personal hurt, and negative influence to us. (On the other hand, we aren’t perfect, so we can’t expect others to be perfect). Another roadblock can be the norms of our culture, which does NOT support communicating or demonstrating much affection between persons, except for between the sexes and between immediate family members, pets, etc. If someone loves anyone outside of those categories very deeply, those feelings must be kept inside for the most part. This really makes kingdom living and the free flow of spirit extremely hard, if not impossible.
For another thing, we need to study the nature of Satan and his legions, and how to reject evil which is threatening us and others in our lives. In my opinion, an excellent, comprehensive book which exhaustively covers the topic is War On The Saints, by Jesse Penn-Lewis (Whitaker House, New Kensington, Pa, 1996). According to Penn-Lewis, the more mature a Christian becomes, the more subtly deceptive Satan’s wiles become.
Through learning how to be, what and who to avoid, and how to defeat Satan’s tactics, we can become more and more a true child of the Father and imitator of Christ. Don’t forget – the Heavenly Dove promises to be with us every step and will not leave or forsake us. This Heavenly Dove has incredibly more power than evil, and loves us incredibly!
God Bless You All!!!
Dr. Joyce firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2007
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