I’ve been through countless scores of confrontations with people. We’ve all seen them; the person at work, home, school, church or any social situation who tweaks us the wrong way; moments when tension broke acceptable barriers and social ties get damaged. But battles between people, while they are the most visible, they are not the end of what we face.
There are also battles in the areas of life we can’t see and often aren’t aware of. We live our lives through our conventional senses. And the rest, the parts we can’t see; they’re put on a shelf and kept out of our every day language and consciousness. The most influential problem is; what we don’t know can and does hurt us. That’s why you have insisting people like me running around telling the story; it’s about the battle for the human mind and the darkened corners that war is waged from.
The fight is everywhere
Confrontation is a part of life on Earth. It’s impossible to exist here without coming across consistent, multiple forms of opposition. Staying afloat takes a constant balancing act between sanity and a straight jacket. Over the years (thousands that is), our challenges as humans have grown; and these days, they’re growing exponentially. The technology, anger and deception that threaten to bind us; they’re expanding every day. And the devil hasn’t skipped a beat, watching as an opportunist and putting his hands in all of it.
We’re living in such an emergent world, that daily life is starting to feel overwhelming to more and more people; especially those who work toward God’s enlightenment of self and society. Life is hard for anyone who doesn’t want to play the friend of the world game. In other words, if you don’t support the corruption this world is basically run on, you don’t fit.
It’s becoming clearer
Lately, I’m seeing this fight everywhere; not because I think it’s the end of days (I really don’t know), but because I’m progressively waking up to faith. The more I experiment with, observe and adapt into Christianity; the more the heart of our personal battles is exposed to me.
The fog between myself and my truest enemy is lifting. As I seek I find; therefore his efforts to make himself look like nobody and nothing have reached catastrophic failure for me. And behind the onslaught, peering past each blow to my world; I see him, the devil. Even though it’s convenient to write this stuff off as crazy, a truth remains; that when the logic and patterns are traced down it’s not hard to see systemic function. In other words, the devil and his battle for human hearts and minds are real, active and easy to see if you pay enough attention.
Before I knew much about the Bible, before I began properly researching and testing how to fight for my own mind, heart and spirit; I spent years trying to build my own tools to fight evil. I had a “my way” attitude. The independence was a bit fulfilling. I’d put up some resistance, throw out some of my own wit, then imagine myself striking a warrior’s pose while thinking something like “Yeah! Thought you could knock me down!”. That worked for a moment, but was always followed not long after with a blindsided hit to myself and my own. Even though I have ample strength and skill when fighting most human opponents; that did not prepare me for one who had the anger of being disowned by God, and thousands of years of practice in throwing a fit over it.
To boot, I was joining the enemy’s system without knowing it. Even if it seemed like I had a reason to get mean (as everyone thinks they do, when they do), I was fighting out of anger and pride. I pushed love out the window and fought the way I learned to as a kid, the way the devil taught many I grew up around. But, ultimately, I am responsible for what words and actions I put out. That means I have to choose to fight smart, not mean. That means I have to drop my pride and choose a method designed by someone who can’t be wrong, someone who is perfect, someone called God. And now I’ve done it both ways; the way of my self-righteous pride and the way presented by Christ. Only one of them works longer than a minute.
Divide and conquer
Understand this; the enemy wants us to think we can do it on our own. Why? Because the more we puff out our chests and firmly point our fingers, the more we become separated from the ways that actually work. We tell our Father we will do it our way and the devil smiles, rubs his hands together and digs in. Divide and conquer takes hold and the enemy scores big.
It’s a living thing
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 KJV
The same verse in the NIV:
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
What does that mean? I don't know. But my bestimation (yeah, it's a word now) is that it's actually a form of energy, guided by vocabulary. Maybe God himself listens for this scripture and acts on it. Maybe he's created a module that gets activated by the words. All I know for sure is that it works. It beats temptation down harder than any self-centered, action-hero-movie-like movement or statement I've ever come up with. It brings strength and confidence that are greater than any human, mob mentality I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot).
An example set by Jesus
Christ himself set the example of what I’m talking about here. When he was met with temptation and attempted misinformation; he didn’t puff out his chest, beat on it a few times and shout “I pity the fool!”. Jesus didn’t sit and think about how he could outwit the devil. He didn’t design and set traps, put up warning signs or fight fire with fire. He simply opened his mouth and let out the sword given to him by his Father. The same sword given to all of us. Jesus Christ used scripture as defense.
Christ... 40 days in the wilderness; fasting, starving, probably having his defenses weakened in many other ways. I'm imagining how grumpy and weak-minded I get if I've not eaten for just a handful of hours. And yet, Christ apparently had a purpose for this moment and knew it, because when the devil came to him and arrogantly said "If thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread.", Jesus responded:
"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
- Jesus Christ, Matthew 4:4 KJV
Did you catch the "It is written" part? Jesus was referring directly to scripture that had already been written before his time. It happens to be the same scripture we have access to in the manual to life, the Bible. During that 40 days, this was not the only time Christ quoted scripture to push off the devil.
Know your scripture.
That means reading the the manual to life and then, rereading. Why? Because Satan knows it inside and out. That means he knows how to quote it and, even worse, he can easily manipulate the context. So if you’re not too familiar, he can use it to lead you astray without suspicion. It’s only when you start to know the bible well, that you can grab it from his hands and correct him.
The good news
The system of spiritual battle has been well established. There are many modules you have to work on, but this one is one of the biggest: read scripture and bring out the word of God into the battle. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to exhaust yourself. You don’t have to waste your time and invite more trouble like I did.
As we strive to be whole humans, we have to cover every base we can. That means even the hidden ones. So practice remaining aware of the enemy’s ways. When hardship, discouragement and temptations come, dig in, and pull out the sword that God has strapped to your side.
The scripture list
A list of passages for general protection
Each page has about 2 minutes worth of reading.
The first list of passages for general protection.
The second list of passages for general protection.
The third list of passages for general protection.
A list of passages for general protection.
A list of passages for more specific purposes
A list of passages for fighting peer pressure and mob mentality.
This article is also a permanent collection on the GettingToGod.com website.
More sets will be added soon. For supporters, there will soon be downloadable .pdf, .doc, .rtf and audio versions of these sets.
For more general information on how to get into the Bible, see The Bible - What is it and how do I Read?
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