40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 29 – Spiritual Warfare

5 Comments

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.  43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:42-44)

 

In the volumes of literature on the Spiritual Disciplines, spiritual warfare is not often listed as a Discipline.  What is clear though, is that this was a practice that Jesus engaged in.  Our study of the temptation of Jesus earlier in our 40 day journey certainly emphasized this point.  So, over the next two days we will be focusing on the Discipline of Spiritual Warfare.  If you are a Christian, then you are in a spiritual battle.  To win, we have to “Be like Jesus”.

Let’s start our discussion by considering the enemy.  Please carefully read the passage above and answer the questions below.

Today’s Questions:

  1. How do you relate to the description of the devil that Jesus provides?
  2. To many Christians the devil is more like the bogeyman of childhood than a real adversary.  Why do you believe this is the case?

5 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 29 – Spiritual Warfare

  1. I absolutely relate to the Lords description. The deeds of the people were from hell. They resembled their father the devil, and so imitated what they’d been trained to do. We can correlate their actions to what we see happening today in society. The devil, was perceived like the tooth fairy, santa clause,boogeyman, big foot, “a story” a fictional character. Ignorance of Gods word, thinking something was bad luck, or a coincidence, lead us down the path that kept our minds in prison against the truth. If we continue to think he’s a fictional character we’ll be kept helpless and powerless against his schemes.

  2. I can surely relate to Jesus’ description. The devil is a deceiver both in how he comes to us and also in what he says to us. I find his actions very subtle and if you are not careful you will find yourself entrapped and only realise it when it too late. It’s therefore so critical to know God’s word so that we can resist him.
    Part of the problem for us not seeing him as a real adversary is that we don’t understand that he is out to damage us in every sphere of our lives. He’s not only in horror stories but messing with our family life, our relationships with others, on a church level and on a personal level. May we be always alert!

  3. I sometimes forget how skilled the devil is at deception. He isn’t merely the cartoon villain that so quickly comes to mind -he is persistent in trying to turn your mind from God in any way he can, and that manifests in even the smallest areas of your life. By being aware of his pernicious ways, and delving deeply in God’s word, we won’t be tricked as easily by his lies.

  4. The devil blinds us to the truth because he knows it will set us free. The truth is in the Word – this is why you have to train yourself to agree with God even when your mind, will and emotions are opposed to it. It feels contrived at first, but becomes easier over time. Practice, practice, practice …

    I could relate to this because the devil was not real to me for a very long time. The notion of the devil seemed a bit incredulous. Pop culture portrays the devil as a silly caricature with horns. Come to think of it, this is a clever tool of the devil to minimise sin so the world won’t take sin so seriously and therefore be blinded to its harmful effects This nonchalance towards the devil is a snare to many Christians. Lack of Bible reading and study however, I believe is the main culprit for many Christians deception about the devil. Added to which some preachers avoid the topic of the devil and sin altogether because they do not want to make their congregations feel uncomfortable.

  5. Good comments already made. I would add that satan is a “murderer” defines his intent – he seeks to kill and destroy – and is a “liar and the father of lies” defines his technique or approach because he has NO power over us unless through deception. He must tease us away from the truth in order to gain any control – we must recognise this and hence the critical need to pursue truth.

    Lately, through a demonic encounter, and through subsequent discussions with others, I have been gaining a heightened sensitivity to the truth of the presence of evil spirits / satan. Though we may move on from the fairy tale belief, we tend to settle on such presence as being rather exceptional. The truth of the matter is that the devil and his demonic legions prowl all around us and in our various environments and situations (Eph.6:12). This realisation should not make us fearful though – it is in fact nothing new – we just need to put on the armour of God, starting with the belt of truth, and remember that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world, and call on His mighty name!

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