Thursday, January 22, 2004

Waking the Dead 2
** It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell; it is this at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons. -William Gurnall
** "Satan is called in Scripture the Father of Lies (John 8:44). His very first attack against the human race was to lie to Eve and Adam about God, and where life is to be found, and what the consequences of certain actions would and would not be. He is a master at this. He suggests to us – as he suggested to Adam and Eve- some sort of idea or inclination or impression, and what he is seeking is a sort of ‘agreement’ on our part. He’s hoping we will buy into whatever he is saying, offering, insinuating. Our first parents bought into it, and look what disaster came of it. But that story is not over. The Evil One is still lying to us, seeking our agreement every single day."
** "The whole plan is based on agreements. When we make those agreements with the demonic forces suggesting things to us, we come under their influence. It becomes a kind of permissions we give the Enemy, sort of like a contract. The bronze gates start clanging shut around us. I’m serious – maybe half the stuff people are trying to ‘work through’ in counseling offices, or pray about in their quiet times, is simply agreements they’ve made with the Enemy. Some foul spirit whispers, “I’m such a stupid idiot” and they agree with it; then they spend months and years trying to sort through feelings of insignificance. They’d end their agony if they’d treat it for the warfare it is, break the agreement they’ve made, send the Enemy packing."
** "During an assault like this, you must remember: make no agreements. The Enemy will suggest all sorts of things. “God doesn’t care. You’re not worth fighting for. Your heart doesn’t matter. You can’t trust him.” He is trying to kill your heart, destroy the glory of your life. It will feel hard – really hard, almost impossible – but whatever you do, make no agreements. You have to start there."
** "Finally, the Religious Spirit makes it next to impossible for a person to break free by spreadling the lie that “there is no war.” Be honest. How many Christians do you know who practice spiritual warfare as a normal, necessary, daily part of the Christian life? We don’t sing the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers because it isn’t true. We have acquiesced. We have surrendered without a fight.
We’ve exchanged that great hymn for a subtle but telling substitute, a song that is currently being taught to thousands of children in Sunday school each week (I’m in the Lord’s Army)
There is no battle and there is no war and there is no Enemy and your life is not at stake and you are not desperately needed this very hour, but you’re in the Lord’s army. Yes sir. Doing what?, may I ask."

Wow, that is some heavy stuff. It's very similar to the whole "excluded middle" that Perspectives teaches on, the idea that there is no spiritual element to life and we don't need to worry about it. In contrast to nonWestern cultures that totally believe and act on the fact that there is indeed a middle layer - where the physical and spiritual meet, and sometimes are in conflict with one another. We totally have acquiesced.
Reminds me of the time, and I always tell this story, when I took a group of guys to do conversational evangelism in OC, MD for a few days in the summer. T and E were talking to this older gentleman about Jesus and life and all that, and he seemed pretty into it. His wife came out of a store and immediately got confrontational. Bad vibe starts there. They go on for a bit, she is still very antagonistic. She then looks at T and asks, "Your birthday is in May isn't it?" And of course, it was. Never saw her before in his life. That night, and ever since then, I have taken the middle layer to be a lot less excluded. I think all of us in ministry, all of us that call ourselves Christ-followers really ought to.

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