March 2013

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Christian Warfare in Prison…

In churches, inside and outside of prison, Satan uses different tools to bring down believers. One such tool is gossip whereby a person’s reputation is slandered without cause.

Inside of prison, and in countries where Christians are persecuted, the servants of Satan, either knowingly or unknowingly, can be used to come at believers in a more direct manner.

Last month a Christian inmate who is strong in his faith and the knowledge of God’s word, was washing clothes at a sink on the second floor of a prison cell block. He was approached by another inmate who asked, “ Do you read Jewish mysticism?” The Christian inmate stated he did not. [It was later determined that this man thought himself to be a “demon slayer”. Because the Christian had indicated he did not read such writings, it proved he was a demon.] The man decided to kill him.

He attempted to stab the Christian inmate ten times with a sharpened paint brush. When this did not work, he attempted to throw the Christian inmate over the rail to the concrete floor below. Prison staff responded and subdued the attacker. The Christian inmate was cleared of wrong doing and found to be the victim of an assault.

Touch Not My Anointed…

The wounded Christian inmate believes that the Lord blunted the weapon because God isn’t finished with him proclaiming the gospel. Afterwards, he felt nothing but love and forgiveness for his assailant. At the same time, he is aware of the consequences for touching God’s anointed. Twice in the scriptures, God warns:

Touch not mine anointed and do my servants no harm.” 1.

This warning was recorded in David’s of thanksgiving to Asaph before the Ark of God, as warning to the king of the nations to not touch Israel, His chosen people. In his song, David tells the reason, and the purpose for protecting his people:

“Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Each day proclaims the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing thing he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of the other nations are mere idols but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; Strength and joy fill his dwelling. 2

The Servants or prophets of the Lord were to not be touched, not because they were such good people; but because they carried the message of good news to the nations.

The War Continues…

The War Continues…The following day, as the wounded Christian inmate healed he was teaching a Bible study class in the Chapel, when a man in the back of the chapel cam up in front. The man hunched down facing a Christian brother in the first row seats, spoke a few words in Spanish and punched the man hard in the face. Then he punched another man several times in the head. At that time, several men embraced him to constrain him until prison staff arrived on the scene.

The men in the class were all strong in their faith in Christ. They knew how to fight the good fight of faith. One of the Scriptures proclaimed boldly that day, said;

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s amour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against spirits in the heavenly places.” 3

Like the previous day, the wounded Christian inmate knew that the assailants were driven by evil spirits. He had on the full armor of God, listed in Ephesians 6:13-18. The enemy was able to braise him, but the Lord protected him with the armor of light; his belt [truth], his shield [faith], his breastplate [righteousness], his feet shod [peace], and his helmet [salvation]. He was protected from the fiery arrows of the devil that were meant to kill, steal, and destroy his life. 4

He is committed more than ever to “… stay alert and be persistent in his prayers for all believers everywhere” (v.18), especially for those who are on the front lines.

A Wake-Up Call…

So what have we learned from examples of Christian warfare? Here’s what the Apostle Peter writes:

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.” 5

Many of us are not playing church. We are the Church, the called-out ones, or the Body of Christ in this world, who take heed to the Apostle Paul’s words, saying:

“This is all more urgent, for you to know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness or wild parties and drunkenness or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealously. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” 6

As Christians, we are given a new identity. We are children of the light. Our eyes are to be kept open as we live in the light of God’s love and faith in God’s grace.

A Confession for you…

“If God is for me, who can ever be against me? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him for me, wont he also give me everything else. Who dares accuse me whom God has chosen for his own. No one --- for God himself has given me the right standing with himself. Who then will condemn me? No one --- for Christ Jesus died for me and was raised to life for me, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for me.

Can anything ever separate me from Christ Love? Does it mean he no longer loves me if we have troubles or calamity or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scripture say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine through Christ, who loved me.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate me from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither my fears for today nor my worries about tomorrow --- Not even the powers of hell can separate me from God’s love. Nor power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate me from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus My Lord.” 7

Scripture References:

1. 1 Chr. 16:22; Psa. 105:15
2. 1 Chr. 16:23-27
3. Eph. 6:10-12
4. John 10:10
5. 1 Pet. 5:8, 9
6. Rom. 13:11-14
7. Rom. 8:31-39

Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Jennifer for transcribing this months view!

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