Battling Spiritually Clashing with the Unseen part 12 Eph. 6:10-12
We Struggle Not Against People For we wrestle not against flesh
Inspire us with intensity to grapple effectively & keep us from being thrown to the ground
Decipher for us the demonic impulsion behind the human oppositions we face
We Speculate People are pawns and blood,
Guide our view beyond the person to prayerful discovery of the root cause of each opposition & adversarial imposition
Moses, in the book of Exodus, announced to the Israelis the news of God’s goodness to deliver them from Pharaoh. They were to be released from slavery. They would be freed from Egypt. They were given the proposal of a land of promise, known as Canaan. They were to be released from slavery in Egypt. They were to be liberated from the dominating rule of Pharaoh.
1. Pharaoh is an example of Satan.
2. Slavery is an illustration of the flesh.
3. Egypt is a visual of the world.
4. Canaan is a picture of all our blessings in Christ.
The people were encouraged with these new promises, how could they not be? The greatest thing ever, liberation from there enslaving agony. When we look at all of the guarantees and freedoms we have in Christ, we too are elated, as the joy of all we have in Christ is our strength.
There is a struggle though, and it’s against the powers of evil. To make progress, there is gradual advance, a fight and every step of forward progress comes with a price.
God presented His way of grace to His people and He’s placed His promises on us. A man, a deliverer, was raised up named Moses, and incredible pressures were brought on that man to get him to the point of dependence in the Lord’s methods of spiritual warfare.
Of all the environments to be born into, of all the extreme circumstances of inconvenience, Moses and his parents faced them.
He was born into a satanically controlled empire, ruled by politicians and dark magic peddlers that wanted to exterminate God’s chosen ones.
God has always had a remnant of people to carry His message of grace and love to the world, and their conditions and treatment have often been savage and barbaric.
They were facing impossible conditions. Full term abortion was the law of the land. This was the mode of controlling the population of the Jews, extermination on all Israeli male children in Egypt. Those who resisted this devil controlled political revulsion of horror were but a small band of creative midwives.
It may have looked like flesh and blood that these courageous ladies were wrestling against, but behind all the visible layers of bureaucrats were the invisible powers of darkness. God provided free homes for these ladies as a blessing for their fighting in faith.
But here God singles out this one lady, a mother, who through her creative trusts in God, delivered her baby son Moses from the devils evil scheme through a risky plan. He goes from a reed shallow swamp on the Nile, to the palace of Pharaoh in the great empire of Egypt.
God trained this man Moses through 80 years of character forming pressures. His pressures and education was to raise him up, to stand in the gap, and build up a hedge between the unseen demonic powers and God’s throne, to plea for the Lord’s loved ones.
J.N. Darby writes: the struggle against the power of evil is another matter. Satan will not let the people go, and God permits this resistance, for the exercise of faith, and for the discipline of His people, and for the brilliant display of His power where Satan had reigned.
We have to learn, sometimes through arduous grueling pain, that we are in the flesh and up against Satan’s power; and that we have no power to affect our own deliverance.
At the graduation of Moses, an 80-year introduction to God’s ways, the Lord revealed Himself in a “great sight”
Moses turned aside to see in the mountain of God. Exd.3
It was a burning thorn-bush, passionate with fire, and yet not consumed. It was a striking display that the Lord was about to pour out new grace in good will to His people.
It’s “the good will of him that dwelt in the bush” Deut. 33:16.
A thorn-bush, a bramble, is an applicable representation of what we are. We have this treasure (God’s Spirit within) in clay vessels.
We’re incompatible, naturally, to contain the presence of God, as a dry bramble wouldn’t be fit to enclose a consuming blazing inferno, unscathed by its intense devouring ingest.
But the intimate loving heart of God yearns to dwell in the midst of loved ones. His desires are to embrace us to Himself and to live within us in constant intimate communication, us with Him, Him with us, and to fill us with all His life.
In Psalm 90, we hear the prayer of Moses, the man of God, as He stood before the flaming bramble bush.
Let your work appear unto your servants, and your majesty unto their sons. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish the work of our hands upon us: yea, the work of our hands, establish it.”
The Lord’s work and majesty appears in the fires of His indwelling, abiding, filling Spirit. He delivers, blesses, and clothes us with His own beauty and grace.
He’s our glory Psalm 106:20; and, it’s the work of our hands to make for Him a sanctuary, it’s His power and might to dwell in us and fill us. This is what He would create ultimately for Himself but He guides us to take each step under His leading and guiding.
It wasn’t the flame of fire that engulfs Moses’ attention, but that “the thorn-bush was not being consumed”.
I wonder if it took Moses 80 years to learn he was a dry wispy thorn-bush. It’s the only way to yield to God’s deliverance; He wants us to rest in His nearness and to relax in the flame.
The burdens in Egypt were severe, crushing and life threatening. They cried out in their afflictions but the fire wasn’t in them, they lacked light, so Moses was prepared and sent. It’s so improbable to be filled with the fire of God but God’s ways are pure.
J.N. Darby writes: “Before the deliverance, when the hopes of the people are now awakened, the oppression becomes heavier than ever, and the people would have preferred being left quiet in their slavery.”
But the rights and counsels of God are in question. The people must be thoroughly detached from Egypt, and to this end, are now become their torment under God’s hand. God’s ways are not our ways for sure.
Moses works signs. Then the magicians imitate them by the power of Satan and it hardens Pharaoh’s heart. But when the question is of creating life, the demon filled magicians are forced to recognize the hand of God.
Our adoring worship is seeing this bush and that God has in His heart, to live in our thorn-bush. His grace, His compassion, His forgiving mercy and purifying discipline are our glory.
We’re to order our inner house to become suitable to His life in us. God is effecting the prompting encouragement with His power within. It’s Jesus’ pleasure to gratify us with the greatest engagement of all, and marriage of intimacy with Him.
There are the unseen contenders, invisible adversaries that we wrestle against and it’s not the seen flesh and blood of humanity. It’s the evil one and his hordes of devils that oppose and attack.
But God uses it all to drive us to yield to His presence, power and the fire that engulfs us in the Spirit of Christ filling us.
2Cor. 10:3-8 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Phillips NT says it this way:
Now I am going to appeal to you personally, by the gentleness and sympathy of Christ himself.
The truth is that, although of course we lead normal human lives, the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God’s warfare for the destruction of the enemy’s strongholds.
Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defense that men erect against the true knowledge of God.
We are to fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ. Once we are sure of our obedience we shall not shrink from dealing with those who refuse to obey.
We need to “turn aside” from conditions here, from everything human and natural, to see this great sight.
Moses had to remove his sandals from his feet. It’s holy ground to see God’s relationship with us in a weak scrawny bush. We’re His people, dependents of His grace.
Christ is the vine, God the Father is the vinedresser and we’re His branches, drawing our strength from the vine in harmony with Him, abiding close to Him, as He lives in us.
The thorns are always poking, psychological, emotional, and physical thorns. They’re there to point us to Jesus and the passionate love of His fire within. They are painful, they are weakening, there’s anguish in them, but as Paul expounds on his thorns, He says, the power of Christ rests upon us. This power of Christ is the fire within and the bush is not consumed but as we yield to His workings and purifying.
Moses was to remove his sandals, we’re to keep our shoes off; we are on holy ground, as we need the constant foot washing of Jesus.
We need to have our feet cleaned of the clutter of doubt to see that Christ lives in us with His burning desires of love to conquer in us a freedom. This is a freeing is of us, and the possibility of a prayerful liberating involvement to others. We have around us those who are vexed by the tyrannies of personal decline, the cruelties of political catastrophes and the constant onslaught of the perverting collaborations of the slaves of the evil one.
Often we’re blind to our bondage and it’s only as thorns pierce that we see our captivity. We can defy by faith as we make a stand in prayer between the Pharaohs of our time and our Lord who wants His love to be burning in the thorn bush of our life.