If you have ever had any questions about spiritual warfare I think as we listen to this series all of our questions will be answered. I know for myself when I was a young Christian I was confused as to how we are to stand up against the enemy, and as I look back I too was lead down the wrong path many times. Are we to bind Satan? Are we to rebuke Satan? Are we to cast out demons? Are we to take back territory held by the enemy? We need to really understand what spiritual warfare is according to the Bible and how God wants us to handle it. Let me know if you enjoy this series.
Here is an article by Timothy J. Hammons that needs to be read. I’ve heard too many preachers on t.v. say that God’s love is unconditional. It really isn’t you know. God is holy, holy, holy, and He hates sin!
Check it out here.
Originally posted on Timothy J. Hammons:
If you have held Calvinistic positions on anything concerning Scripture for more than a minute, you know that the moment you voice such convictions, it will not take long for someone to make the claim that they disagree with you and “will not put God in a box.”
The irony is that the moment they say they will not put God in a box, is the moment they do. The problem with their box is that it is much worse than the box used by Calvinists because their feelings and emotions define the box they use, as opposed to the box used by Calvinists, which is scripture.
The reality is that whenever we think about God at all, we put Him in a box. We can’t help it. We are finite beings trying to think and describe that which is infinite. We are sinful and fallen trying to grasp…
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Originally posted on Timothy J. Hammons:
It seems that we have “another” movement afoot in Christian circles again. This time it is the If:Gathering, which is a woman’s conference led by Jenny Allen and Jen Hatmaker. The website even has Ann Voskamp listed among the leadership. If you read my post on Voskamp you would know why I have problems with this conference before we go any further into the details. But on the front end, I will say that this movement is just another misguided movement like so many others foisted upon the church in the past 30 years.
The emphasis of IF seems to be on women gathering and praying and then unleashing all those other women in our culture who are in bondage. Here is their mission statement:
Sounds good on the surface, but from what…
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Does the word dread ever enter your mind or conversation? It does mine. Sometimes when I’m tired I dread having to go to the store for groceries, or I dread the housework facing me that day, or I dread an appointment; especially the dentist or doctor. Sometimes I even dread having to get up and start my day. I thought to myself, “Why do I dread things?” “What is dread anyway?” So, I looked it up in the dictionary and here is what I found: Dread: “To be in terror of; fear greatly. Fearful anticipation.”
Wait a minute! Fearful anticipation! What? I thought fear was out of my life. I didn’t know that dreading something was being fearful. So, is it sinful to dread things? I don’t want to sin against God!
I looked up “fear.” Here are some synonyms for fear: anxiety, dread, panic, trepidation, worry, stress. Oh no! I’m not liking what I’m reading! What does the Bible say about anxiety?
Mat 6:25-34 MKJV Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (26) Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not much better than they are? (27) Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature? (28) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, (29) but I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Therefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much rather clothe you, little-faiths? (31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? (32) For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (34) Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow shall be anxious for its own things. Sufficient to the day is the evil of it. (Emphasis mine)
In these verses I count the phrase “do not be anxious,” three times. Just think about it, these words came out of the lips of Jesus himself! Amazing! And, when He says something we can take it to the bank. This is a command! Do not be anxious! There is no other way to look at this than anxiety (and all those other terms we use, like dread, and fear) is sin. In these verses Jesus Christ has told us not to be anxious about anything: our life, our immediate needs, and our future. If I dread things then I am also being anxious, and anxiety is definitely sin. I need to confess to God that I have sinned and repent of it. Repent means to turn away from. I need to turn away from any dreadful thoughts and turn them over to God.
Doubt and dread are first cousins. What is doubt? Doubt is to be unsure, or distrust, or something uncertain or unsettled. Yes, when we are uncertain and unsettled in our minds about something than that thing becomes bigger than us and we begin to dread it. Our minds go over the situation time and again, and sometimes we blow it out of proportion. We doubt that we can do the thing that lies before us, or we feel it will make us feel uncomfortable, and we dread it more and more until we are paralyzed.
Jas 1:6 MKJV But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. (Emphasis mine)
Picture the waves of the sea crashing upon the seashore. The wind drives the waves against the shore and then back out to sea again to be driven in again. We are like a tiny boat on that sea and when doubt enters our minds we are tossed all about not being able to make decisions or function. We need an anchor. The Bible is our anchor and we can find our answers there. Don’t be tossed about by everything you hear or think. The mind is the devil’s playground, and dread and doubt can keep us from doing the work God has called us to. Satan is happy when we are full of worry and stress. Are you experiencing this? Is there something you know God wants you to do but you are full of dread when you think of doing it? Cheer up! There is an answer.
So, what is the antidote for dread and doubt? It is another word that starts with “d.” It’s discipline. According to the dictionary discipline is, “training that develops self-control.” That’s it! We need to discipline or train our minds in order to be in control of our thoughts. “How do we do that?” you may ask. Let’s look to our anchor the Bible for the way out of the storm. Do you know that God loves us so much that He told us what to even think about? It’s true!
Php 4:8 NASB Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Emphasis mine)
It’s right there in the Bible. We have to discipline our thought life. Think about what you think about! Examine your thoughts according to Philippians 4:8. Are you thinking rightly? Or, are your thoughts anxious? If you catch yourself thinking about something you truly dread, or perhaps a doctor’s report you are about to receive, then check out your thoughts. Are you blowing them out of proportion? Are they true? Or, are you jumping ahead to the “what ifs,” or “what might be.” These words are also a picture of Jesus. He is all of these things. Set you mind on things above.
Col 3:2 NASB Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Our minds can be renewed. As we study, read the Word and pray God will renew our minds and it will change us. We don’t have to be the way we used to be. We don’t have to think all those awful thoughts that drag us down.
Rom 12:2 MKJV And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.
2Co 10:5 MKJV pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; (Emphasis mine)
Let’s not be captives of our thoughts! Let’s be free! Who is in charge? You or your mind? Take control and set yourself free. God says in the above verse that we can take captive every thought. If He says we can than we can! With God’s help, prayer and keeping in the Word we can be disciplined and overcome dread and doubt.
How do we do this? Here’s how.
Php 4:6 MKJV Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Emphasis mine)
Checking your thoughts and then prayer. Ask God for help, and be thankful. Tell Him things that you are thankful for. He is waiting. He is right there all the time ready to help us if we will only call on Him.
If you change what you think about do you know what will happen?
Php 4:7 MKJV And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Isn’t that wonderful? We can have a peace which we cannot even describe. I know this is possible because I’ve had this peace. I still have to be careful every day and monitor my thoughts according to Philippians 4:8. I can’t let them get away from me. It is very easy to fall back into the bad thought habits that were once an everyday part of me. I must be on guard.
In summary we see:
Dread: It keeps us from doing God’s will in our lives.
Doubt: When we doubt we are not trusting. It is Satan’s tool to trip us up.
Discipline: Be aware. We need to break old bad thinking habits and acquire new ones according to the Word.
Deliverance: Depend on God to set us free.
If you have trouble in this area I would suggest you take a 3×5 card and write out Philippians 4:8. Put it where it is easy for you to see or get too. You could place it on your desk, in your purse, on your visor in the car; wherever it is handy for you. It would also be a great scripture verse to memorize so you wouldn’t have to depend on finding your card. Also memorize Philippians 4:6-7
Some time ago I wrote a post called “Should Christian’s do Tai Chi?” In that post I gave several links to sites that I researched. They are informative and will tell you a lot about what Tai Chi is and it’s dangers.
What is Chi?
“Chi is believed to be the binding life force in the universe, existing both externally and internally, moving through invisible channels in the body called meridians. Taoism teaches that strengthening and reinforcing one’s inner chi will bring good health and long life as well as spiritual benefits. Certain breathing techniques, meditations, and bodily movements are taught to cultivate and enhance the chi. This belief is the basis of Tai Chi. There is no supreme God or Creator in Taoism; all originated from the Tao, which is an impersonal principle or source of creation.” – source Gotquestions.org
So, they don’t believe in One God as Christians do. We believe that God created the universe and everything in it. We do not believe we can manipulate God or his creation. I don’t believe in the chi energy force and that it needs to be balanced in your body in order for us to be healthy. You see, I am a born-again believer and I have the Holy Spirit living in me. He is my power.
Today there are many groups especially for the older population that are teaching Tai Chi for better balance. As we get older many people do have problems with balance and walking, and some have found that this helps. But, if this is a religion should we actually participate in it if we are Christians? I have an idea. Why not just do your own exercise program? There are many really good stretching and movement exercises that one can do without practicing Eastern Religions. Yes, Tai Chi is a belief system or religion.
Participation in a False Religion
If you were to go to a church and you were not a Christian and you participated in the Lord’s Supper, or as some call it Communion, then you are practicing that religion whether you know it or not. If you were not Catholic, but were to attend their church and you bow down to the statue of Mary, you are practicing that religion. You are actively joining in with the others. So, if you were to join a Tai Chi class where they are doing their movements according to that religion you are actually unknowingly practicing that religion. God does not want us to do that!
Remember, according to the Bible when the people came out of Egypt and settled into other lands God told them not to practice those pagan religions? But, guess what? They rebelled against God and did it anyway. They thought it was harmless. God judged them eventually for that.
Jdg 2:19 But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways.
2Ch 24:18 They abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols; so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt.
Do you realize that God disciplines His children? When we step out of line if we do not repent He may allow something to come into our lives to wake us up. Just as a parent punishes their child for disobedience; God loves us so much that he does the same.
Heb 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Rev 3:19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
There are hidden danger in participating in Tai Chi classes. The possibility that one would open themselves up to demon influence is real. When a person empties their mind and meditates in that way they are open to the evil spiritual world. Doing Tai Chi could be an avenue into the occult for some people especially if they are not Christians. There is a dark side. God doesn’t want us to have anything to do with the evil spirit world.
“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.
An Example to Unbelievers and New Christians
More importantly, what about the example I am setting for others? That is the question that comes to my mind. I am an ambassador for Jesus Christ. I try to represent Him in all that I do. There may be an unbeliever or new Christian who doesn’t understand these things, and if they see me doing Tai Chi they might say, “Hey, Bonnie is doing Tai Chi and she is a Christian, so it must be okay if I do it.” That person may end up in big trouble because of my actions. I take that seriously! In fact, they might not take the class I’m taking, but another one where the leader goes deeper into the practice, and they might be lead down the wrong road.
All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
We need to be careful what we do in public that might cause a weaker brother to fall.
But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
(1Co 8:9-13) (Emphasis mine)
Those are serious words and I do take them to heart that is why I will not participate in Tai Chi in any form.
I want to let you know that I’ve started an online Bible study for the ladies who read my blog. We are studying Philippians and our teacher is Susan Heck. She is an excellent Bible teacher and counselor, and comes highly recommended. You will love how she digs deep into the scriptures and brings out so many truths that I would overlook. I try to post a new lesson every week. The lessons and discussion area are protected and you will need a password to get into them. That way we can keep what we say private and just between the members of the group. If you are interested you can click on the link below to see what it is all about. Hope to see you there!