Egyptian magicians, part two

If you missed Tuesday’s post on this subject you should probably go check it out as it directly feeds into today’s post. You can read it by clicking HERE. Today I wrap up a look at this subject and why I believe it jumped out at me when I was reading in Exodus chapters 7 and 8.

When I was a kid my mom was super serious about warning me and my brother about Oujai boards. Also known as a spirit board, these things may be packaged as a harmless board game where kids pretend to be contacting spirits and ghosts, but my mom never presented it to us that way. She took it really seriously, and thus so did I. Not only did I never go near one of them, to this day I have a very severe stance against them. Sure, some of it is a holdover from that childhood fear that my mom instilled in me, but mostly it’s because I’ve studied enough to know that there are spirits out there (I gave many Biblical examples of this in Tuesday’s post) . If we open ourselves up to that stuff, if we dabble or play around with it or expose ourselves to it, there can be serious and dark consequences.

I know that I’m spending a lot of time talking about spirits and sorcery and dark arts here and it’s not exactly a pleasant subject, but that’s honestly where I felt God leading me when I was studying this section of Moses’ life. Modern Christians aren’t perfect, and one area I think we fall short on is identifying and showing a proper respect to not just the visible challenges that face us, but the invisible. Being tempted to sin, struggling to do the right thing in our day to day lives, these are visible and well discussed aspects of modern Christians struggles. Resist temptations, do the right thing, have a heart like that of Jesus, forgive people, love people, we hear these types of things regularly. But it’s so rare that you hear about the unseen, and in a way that means we’re losing that battle. Because if people don’t realize there’s a fight happening then how can we expect them to win that fight? How can I protect myself from an attack I don’t even know is occurring?

I’m not a master of spiritual warfare or demonic encounter. To be honest, my knowledge of this stuff is pretty surface level, and to be truly and absolutely honest, I’m a little apprehensive to dive deeper into the subject. The world can be scary enough without adding in the existence of demonic spiritual attackers. But when you think about these things, when you realize the way some of these invisible attacks are choking the light out of people and sending them to hell, I think you have to feel moved to get involved. Especially on a prayer level, I think it’s time to start incorporating the unseen along with the seen. Instead of just praying for a loved one’s salvation, we need to also pray that any spirits or demonic influence in or on their life is broken, that God will deliver them from the grips of any unseen attack or influence that’s attached to them. We need to pray it over ourselves. Father God, protect me from the obvious temptations and the not so obvious. Shield my spirit, cover me in your presence, keep my mind and soul and heart untouchable from any demonic influence, from any unseen spiritual attack.

There’s a real danger when you start picking and choosing the parts of the Bible that you want to include in your life. I’ll take that eternal life, I’ll take those blessings, I’ll skip the call to be holy and stop sinning, definitely skipping the part about giving money to God, oooh, here’s a bunch of love and favor from God, I’ll definitely grab that part, ugh, more about God’s vengeance against wicked people, I don’t need to bother with that, oooh, healing, I definitely want that. We’re not ordering dinner for two at Chili’s with the Bible. I don’t skip over the vegetarian platter and just focus on the double cheeseburger. The Bible is a whole book about a whole God. Nothing is in there by accident. God doesn’t tell me to pick out my five favorite things and then skip the rest. His word is what He left for me and for you to get to know Him, to get to know His will, and to get to know what we need to come to salvation and then to operate as victorious believers who are helping others come to salvation. We may not hear about certain aspects of the Bible very often, but that doesn’t make them unimportant. Demonic power, the dangers of the spirit realm, these are real things that the Bible talks about. And that means we need to be aware of them, that we need to be prayed up against them.

Ignorance doesn’t save you in a war. You can’t get shot in the back, call time out, and claim it’s unfair because you didn’t know there were any enemies back there. No, in that situation, you die, fair or not, because you didn’t take the proper precautions. You didn’t know all the enemies that were in the battlefield against you and you didn’t prepare yourself to defend and fight against all those who were against you. I understand this stuff isn’t fun, trust me, I’ve been sitting here writing about it and reading about it and studying it for a long time. I’d love to pretend it doesn’t exist, but I think that’s such a dangerous way to handle these things. Know your enemy. Get prayed up, get knowledgeable, talk to God about it, and prepare your heart, soul, and mind to defend and defeat not only the obvious temptations and attacks, but also the unseen.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, I come before you today as a man on the battlefield.  This world is a constant fight, every day contains struggles between doing things the right way and the wrong way, between choosing to honor and glorify you in my choices or to service my selfish needs and desires.  But it’s more than that.  There are real forces aligned against your people.  Your word tells me this.  You know my heart, you know how long I’ve operated in ignorance to this.  I pray that right now that ignorance ends for me and it ends for all of your people.  Shake us awake, activate our senses, give us a spiritual radar so that we may never again live in ignorance of the unseen forces at work in this world.  You are a complicated God, and there are complicated things at work in this world.  I don’t see them all and I certainly don’t understand them all.  But I stand here as your child, and I know that you give me everything I need to lead a victorious life.  I claim those tools today, in the name of Jesus Christ.  Equip us to not only defend against the unseen, but to attack it.  Get us on our knees in prayer, Lord, lead us to a place where we unleash your power against any influences or demonic presences that may be trying to operate in our lives or the lives around us.  I declare right now that any of these things operating in my life are broken this moment, and I declare it with full faith in Jesus and all the power that he wields.  I will no longer settle for being an ignorant soldier who’s aware only of the obvious enemies.  Make me mighty, God, through your power, the only power that matters.  Make me a prayer warrior, someone who never forgets the lessons you teach me.  Father, keep us educated.  Work past our fears, our tendency to want the happy parts of the Bible and not the parts that might confuse us or challenge us or talk about things that we don’t see as pleasant.  Give us great wisdom, grant it to us because we desperately need it.  Protect us, protect those that we love, and be with us as we fight back against the spirits and influences that would attempt to corrupt the people that we love.  Our fight is a victorious one, the victory is already guaranteed in your book, and I’m so thankful for the footing that puts us on when we do battle.  I know the final outcome, and the winner is you, Lord.  Thank you for loving us, thank you for equipping us, and thank you for the breaking off of influences you’re doing this very moment in the lives of people I know.  I pray all this in the precious name of Jesus, amen.

Well, that’s it for this week.  On Monday the Moses Moments series continues, as I take a look at Moses and the people of Israel as they stand on the shore of the Red Sea and face what looks like certain death.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve felt the presence of the Lord in an extremely strong way this week.  I’m not even sure why, He just feels extra present right now.  We’re in an era of His love and mercy and grace, it’s just such an incredible time to be alive.  I love you guys, and I hope that you have a safe and relaxing weekend!  God loves you very much!

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