Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 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.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
People are spirits, but unfortunately most people view everything from the perspective of their flesh. When you fight your daily battles in the flesh, you are at a huge disadvantage because you do not recognize who and what you really are. Both Jesus and the Apostles spoke about the disadvantages of living in the flesh.
Mat 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
In the 15th chapter of Matthew, Jesus had just offended the Pharisees because He had told them that their traditions were not only worthless, but that their traditions were actually in opposition to the commandments of God. When we first become acquainted with the law of God, our natural tendency is to attempt to keep the law. However, we quickly find out how impossible it is to be righteous by keeping the law…we fail time after time.
Next, we cast about for somebody older and wiser to explain what exactly we are doing wrong. Why can’t I experience victory? If we are very, very fortunate, we will be directed ONLY to Jesus Christ. However, more often than not, we are directed to some human being. It may be some human being that is alive and kicking or it may be a human being that has died centuries before we were ever born.
I admire a great many saints, both living and dead; however, I have one major difficulty with human leadership. Most people, even the saintliest of people, have more than enough on their hands just minding their own personal business. The people in the Bible that God chose to be “leaders” usually had one thing in common… they did not want to be a leader!
If you have ever been in a leadership position, and actually care about people, you have found out fairly quickly that being a leader is a thankless job. Added to this mostly thankless task is an abundance of headaches that no person in their right mind would ever want.
Num 11:11 And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
People who are actually eager to be in a leadership position either are so inexperienced that they are incapable of leading anyone, including themselves, or they are people who expect to take advantage of their position of leadership in order to gain some kind of benefit from, or advantage over the people they are “leading”. These two types of leaders are a perfect description of most of the current world’s Babylonian leadership. This explains why this world is in such a terrible mess.
This brings me to my main point. We all NEED leadership and guidance, but we need it from the Holy Spirit, NOT from another flawed and weak human being. A Godly person will ALWAYS encourage you to seek the mind of God for yourself. A person, no matter how saintly, can always make mistakes, or they are busy fighting their own battles, or they may even be called home to be with the LORD…then what? I guess you can hope they leave some really detailed cliff notes that will address your current and future problems. However, following the “traditions” of men, no matter how good they might seem to be, is not what God wants for us. The Lord wants every single person to seek, know, and trust God’s own “personal” direction!
You may think I am getting off topic but trust me, getting personal direction from God is the “key” to achieving victory in spiritual warfare. You may not know it but you have been in the middle of spiritual warfare since BEFORE you were born and you will continue in spiritual warfare even AFTER you die. So you might as well get as skilled as possible at fighting and winning spiritual battles against seen and unseen spiritual enemies.
We were actually all born into bondage to our spiritual enemies, as were our parents, and their parents before them back to Adam and Eve…unless of course one of your ancestors was a spirit filled, tongues talking, word of faith, Holy Roller. However, even a lot of Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians are still under bondage to legalism, false doctrine, and tradition. I guess if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be called “warfare”.
Currently, it is estimated there are close to 600 million people who identify as Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians. There had been small pockets of charismatic activity since the first Pentecost in 30 A.D.; however, they were all systematically and ruthlessly stamped out by the Babylonian system until the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the revival at Azusa Street, Los Angeles, from the years 1906 through 1909.
Within a few years after the Azusa Street Revival, Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christianity rapidly spread throughout the United States and eventually the whole world. As usual, doctrinal and theological differences quickly began to divide the new movement. The Charismatic and Pentecostal movement would eventually divide into dozens of different Churches based on doctrinal and theological differences. It is really sad considering that the original charismatic movement was based on “UNITY”!
Here is the original Confession of Faith Statement of the Apostolic Faith Mission:
The Apostolic Faith Movement
Stands for the restoration of the faith once delivered unto the saints - the old time religion camp meetings, revivals, missions, street and prison work and Christian Unity everywhere.
The thing that most stands out about the Azusa Street Revival was its remarkable DIVERSITY and its amazing UNITY.
By mid-May 1906, anywhere from 300 to 1,500 people would attempt to fit into the building. Since horses had very recently been the residents of the building, flies constantly bothered the attendees. People from a diversity of backgrounds came together to worship: men, women, children, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, rich, poor, illiterate, and educated. People of all ages flocked to Los Angeles with both skepticism and a desire to participate. The intermingling of races and the group's encouragement of women in leadership was remarkable, as 1906 was the height of the "Jim Crow" era of racial segregation, and fourteen years prior to women receiving suffrage in the United States.
Our flesh, above all things, wants to be comfortable. In order to be comfortable, we like to be surrounded by familiar places and familiar people. We all have a basic desire to be around people who look like us, act like us, and BELIEVE like us. There is one serious problem with this basic desire. Nobody in the entire world looks, acts, or believes exactly like us. God in His infinite wisdom has made us all completely unique.
Jesus Christ is the ONLY pathway to the Father.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
The funny thing about a pathway is that hundreds of people can walk down the same pathway and have completely different and unique experiences. Just because somebody has different experiences than you does not mean they are on the wrong path. Also, do not discount what somebody might tell you about the path just because it does not “fit” your experience.
If you have ever hiked in the mountains, often times you will meet people camping along the path who have decided they do not want to travel further. Perhaps the spot where they have chosen to stop is especially beautiful to them. Maybe we have heard there is a peaceful valley or stunning lake farther ahead and we want to keep moving. I don’t blame anybody for stopping and camping along the path because this path we have chosen to follow is so beautiful.
I must admit that I have camped out for long periods of time at different spots along this pathway during my life. However, usually after a while, I meet a saint or I hear from a saint, who informs me that there is more waiting just up ahead and I have to see it for myself.
We have an unseen enemy, and his greatest desire is to trick us into leaving the pathway. Satan’s greatest weapon is the lie because he is the father of lies. He will use the same old lies and the same old tricks because they have worked for him in the past. He will sow tares in the wheat and cause dissention and bitterness but we must always remember that we are children of our Father.
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Our greatest weapon and our greatest defense in this spiritual warfare is LOVE. As long as we follow love, we can be sure that we are always on the right path. We can also be sure that we will always win the war. When we have love for the brethren, we will also have UNITY.
Isa 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!