Posts tagged ‘spiritual warfare’

Spiritual Veal

Have you ever eaten milk-fed veal? I personally do not eat it because of how it is made. Once the calf is born, it is restrained on the floor so that it cannot move. It is then fed nothing but milk for its entire life. After all of this, it is butchered and sold. I am not writing this as a condemnation of veal (although I could), but instead to ask a question. Are you spiritual veal? Here is what that would look like.

After the new birth, they choose to remain inactive. Whether this is through fear or a lack of conviction, they never get busy with the obedience that their faith was designed to produce. By keeping themselves weighed down, the never develop their spiritual muscles.

“but refuse profane and old wives’ fables. And exercise thyself unto godliness: for bodily exercise is profitable for a little; but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life which now is, and of that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7, 8 ASV)
We must exercise ourselves to godliness. The time to develop spiritual strength is before trials come. In the middle of a spiritual battle is not the time to begin getting ready.

We also need to have the proper diet. Veal calves are fed nothing but milk, which makes the meat very soft and light. But it means that the muscles never get what they need for further development. The Hebrew writer put it this way:

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14 NASB)

While it is important that when we are new Christians we “as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation;” (1 Peter 2:2 ASV) we cannot stay that way! Just as it is necessary for a baby’s diet to change while growing, we must take in nourishment appropriate to our spiritual age.

So is being spiritual veal a big deal? I mean, does it really matter? YES!
The devil is prowling about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, (1 Peter 5:8) and a weak veal Christian is likely to be exhausted and fall away. Do not be deceived. Satan wants you dead and being spiritual veal makes it easier for him.

And since we are engaged in a spiritual battle, your fellow soldiers need you to be strong. A weakened veal Christian makes those around him or her more vulnerable to attacks of the enemy.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13 NIV)

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At All Times!

Wouldn’t it be great to always know the right thing to do in any situation you encounter? To know that, no matter what else you do, that there is something that brings God on the scene for our good? Well there is just such a thing you can do. In fact, it’s never the wrong answer! Let’s let the Apostle Paul show us what it is.

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, (Ephesians 6:18 NASB)

Both “pray” and “be on the alert” are participles in the Greek text. That means they are instrumental and connected with all the proceeding instructions. As such, they are not additional commands to do, but instead are the means through which the previous instructions are carried out. Without alert prayer, none of the things in the previous verses are possible! So if we are reading the prior verses about the armor of God and using the sword of the Spirit and asking ourselves how we are supposed to do all of this in a practical sense, then here is our answer in verse 18; pray and be alert. So when, in the present context, Paul says to pray in the Spirit, he is talking about how to wield the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. There is something powerful about praying over the Word as we are reading and studying, and about using the Word of God in our prayers themselves!

We can also see that the word “all” is used four times in this verse.

ALL kinds of prayers and supplications are to be used: public prayers, private prayers, silent prayers, spoken prayers, long prayers, short prayers, intercessory prayers, prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of intercession, and every other kind!

ALL seasons are the season of prayer: all times of the day, all conditions and circumstances, all occasions, all states of mind, etc. There is no time that it’s the wrong time to pray!

ALL perseverance: through times of discouragement or defeat when it seems that all is lost, when victory has smiled or when it has failed …. let nothing hinder the prayer life.

ALL the saints are to be remembered in prayer. What an intercessor was Paul. His letters abound with the word that he is praying for those whom he remembers and for those who will receive his letters. He considered it his spiritual obligation to continue in constant prayer for his brothers and sisters in Christ. It is hypocritical in many ways to ask others to pray for us if we are not willing to also be in prayer for them as well.

Even though the Christian has put on the whole armor of God, he cannot win the victory except through a constant reliance upon prayer. A prayerless Christian is a contradiction of terms. When attacking an enemy, one of the first things that is taken out is the communications network. If you can cut off communication with their commanders, you render an army powerless to know how to fight. Satan has the same tactic. He wants us to cease communicating with the captain of our faith so that we become confused and powerless to recognize his tactics and resist him.

Prayer is not glamorous. Prayer is something largely done in private. But prayer is the tool that God has chosen to use to accomplish his will on the earth. Do you want to see God active in every one of your life situations? Then never think for a moment, in any circumstance, that “all we can do is pray” because prayer is the best, most powerful thing you could be doing!

Prayer — Just do it!

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