There are so many times believers, including myself, have gotten caught up in Spiritual Warfare. It is true that there is an enemy after our soul, and after our mind, and even to bring discouragement to us and to bring sickness, and disease on our flesh so we have to equip ourselves with tools, and not give up and fight the good fight of faith, but there is a season for that, and that can usually be avoided if we keep our eyes focused on the love of God.
You read my post on the “Tests of Life”, and God is testing us.
Deuteronomy 8, says –
2 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you…
11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’
18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.
In these passages after the Israelites went through the wilderness, God told them why He had to test them, and to know what was in their hearts. When God put hearts, [not just physical, but spiritual], they were made to love Him, and to love Him, with all of our hearts, our minds, our souls, and our strength.
Each of us has to go through training and tests in the wilderness, and some of us come in and out of wildernesses, but that wasn’t God’s intention. After Jesus was baptized as recorded in the book of Matthew, and the Holy Spirit rested upon Him, He was still tested in the wilderness in the same manner and affect of that the Israelites were tested in the wilderness. I would even venture to say that it was a form of redemption for the Israelites. This passage in Deuteronomy 8, is where He got the Scripture – “Man does not live by bread alone.” He is an example of the total obedience. Why was He completely obedient? Because He had complete love or Agape.
Agape – unconditional self-sacrificing love that comes from God alone.
The New Covenant commandments are based on two basic principles – “Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself” With these commandments, the Old Covenant laws have been summarized.
Jesus knew that the Father loved Him, and He had no doubt in His mind that the Father loved Him. He knew that God the Father, loved Him so much, despite what He was going to make Him through, because He was the one person on earth, who knew His complete beginning from His end to resurrection of life for the eternal Kingdom. The only time that He was hesitant, was when He asked for the Father to take the cup away from Him, and I would venture to say that it had to take place that way for Him to show the meaning for the example of what surrender to will was really about. He still lived in a body, and He still had emotions, and He was still a man, though being completely divine as well. The Holy Spirit never left Him, but He still experienced the stress of the world, upon His soul even before the cross. He took the fears and stress of the world upon Him, at that moment in the Garden of Gesthemene, where He cried out to His Father, so much so that He would be shedding tears of blood.
Paul says in Romans 8, 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And in one of the Psalms, David says that nothing can separate us from the Presence of God’s Spirit, not even hell. [Psalm 139]
That doesn’t mean we should strive to aim for hell, but David new that nothing could separate him from the Presence of the Spirit.
When Jesus became sin for us, and took upon sin for us, and became the New Blood Covenant Sacrifice, the Father looked upon Him and He had to hate His only begotten Son, and it tore Him away from the Father for one moment in time. And after it was done, He said, “It is finished.” He knew that the Father loved Him, even though He was called to die, and to be hated, and to be separated from the love of the Father, who none of us will know, unless we choose not receive the gift of eternal salvation, which Jesus promised in redemption, He still was completely obedient to the Father’s will and that was out of complete Agape.
So what separates us from fully realizing the impact that this kind of love God has for us, even as believers? What makes us think that we have an enemy so big, that God’s love and His redeeming Blood Covenant, cannot fix?
Sometimes we are so caught up in Spiritual Warfare, that we forget to realize, what exactly has been done for us, and how much God does love us, and that it is not just an emotion, or feeling that we experience, but it is through the example of what Jesus did for us at the Cross by becoming the Blood Covenant.
When Peter was walking on the water and he had his eyes focused on Jesus, everything around him seemed insignificant, but it was when the waves were coming, and when he took his eyes off of Jesus and on to the waves, that Peter was not able to walk on the water anymore and had to ask Jesus to rescue him. That’s the way it is with most of us, we get all excited, when we begin to walk, and then when trouble comes, we shift focus, and keep our eyes of Jesus, that we get overwhelmed by the things around us, and that may be sicknesses in our bodies, financial troubles, stresses of life, or anything else that seems to be a distraction to deter us away from the Kingdom of God.
Love is not an emotion it is a lifestyle, and an attitude. We are to live with the God kind of love, and needs to be shared with others, but unless we come to the full realization of exactly what has been done for us, that how deeply and immensely we are loved by Jesus, by what He did for us, and by the Father having had His Son slain from the foundation of the world, we will struggle with the things that come from day to day life, and even though we have an enemy, our weapons our useless, unless we have that firm foundation of how much we are loved. The price that was paid for us was expensive, and we are now bondservants of Christ, and slaves to Christ. Granted He is still our friend, and that is the foundation of love, and He knows us now as friends and not as servants, we must return the favor in submitting to Him as our Master and in turn our bridegroom.
When an engaged couple meet when they are dating, they first become friends, and they are known as friends. In the ancient Jewish culture, a man had to pay a ransom for the woman, to purchase her away from the ownership of her parents, and he paid that to the father of the bride. So when the couple decides to become engaged, the woman no longer belongs to her parents, and now belongs to her husband, and takes on his last name. So when the Bridegroom purchased the Bride with the cost of His Blood, He purchased her and redeemed her, so now she belongs to Him. Often we see in movies and hear in songs, that women say, “I would do anything for you because I am so in love with you.” Young girls are so passionate in their affection they will say, “I will go to the ends of the earth for him” and they right love letters to the young man. How much more are we to be passionate and in love with the one who we follow, trust, and are supposed to love with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. He is jealous for us, and He doesn’t want anything to get in the way of His relationship with us. His love is an all consuming fire. His love is so passionate and jealous for us. That is why He died for us, so that He shows us that He does love us, and to become the Blood Covenant that the Father sees.
Before a man and women get married, they have to check to see if their blood types are compatible so that when their children are born they are born without defect. The Bride has to have the right kind of blood to match the Bridegroom, and in this case, she takes on His blood, and in essence has a blood transfusion, so that there is a filtering of the old blood with new blood. When someone has a kidney failure and has to go on dialysis, their old blood, goes through a machine and is purified and put back into the body so that it becomes pure and clean and rid of all toxicity in the blood, and that new blood brings back life to the kidneys and to the body. Depending on the severity of the trauma, the blood has to be purified in many treatments, but if done successfully, and if the kidneys are strong, then the blood stays clean, and the person has to monitor their lifestyle. In the same way the Lord has given us a blood transfusion, and gave us new blood, because the old blood of our flesh was sacrificed, but it takes a constant process of letting the new blood flow through us because it comes from a pure heart and loving veins, and it shows us what the love of Christ has done.
When we aren’t focused, we can’t see properly, and we need to change our perspective. Instead of looking at things from our own eyes, we have to see them from God’s eyes. That takes knowing God’s heart, and the key to God’s heart is love. This Agape love, of God towards us and us towards God, is an opening door for many miracles in life. They may not always be tangible, but they are miracles in the spirit because then the old man and the old nature is dying away, and the new nature and the new man is becoming more and more real. We must come to that level where we say, “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in us.” To do that we must always come back to the Cross, and to focus on the love of Jesus. Let us not be distracted by trying to ward off an enemy, but let us rather be focused on our love walk with Jesus, and our intimacy and fellowship with Him. We need to spend time with Him even when our flesh is sick, or doesn’t feel like it. Whenever we’re going through something uncomfortable, let us remember that “Greater is He [the Holy Spirit who comes through accepting Jesus] then he [satan, accuser, devil] who is in the world. We do not need to be afraid of anything the enemy can do because our God is greater, and the enemy has to ask permission from God to even touch us because God is sovereign. This is part of the test of life and it is a love test. How far are you willing to go for love?
So when you are overwhelmed by the enemy, just reexamine your life, and instead of engaging your life in Spiritual Warfare, see if you can allow God to bring back His love into your life. Seek Him, Pursue Him, and Find Him, the One who loves you. That is my Valentine’s Day message.