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Saturday, November 24, 2018

11/24/2018            Who’s fighting Whom?

Ephesians 6:14-18

Laying in bed, early one recent morn, Father had me thinking about the woman my childhood friend, Ron, and I met at the Golden Corral as we celebrated Veterans Day (free meal, you know).  She was in our same age bracket and though she was never “in” in the military her deceased husband had been a career man. 

We got to talking as we were in line to get into the Golden Corral so we sat together and continued talking.  Eventually ‘religion’ was mentioned which Ron brought up that I was into more than he.  Part of my prayer is that Father keep me sensitive as to where other people are at in their relationship with God so I didn’t jump into a religion vs relationship situation (and shake some booties) but Father did lead me to mention what He has been showing me very recently – the significance concerning how the ‘natural man’, the ‘spiritual man’ and the ‘heart of man’ are impacted by the natural and spiritual realms (as if that may not shake some booties!). 

Because some of what I was sharing that night was as fresh as the morning dew (some just that morning), I only had (and still only have, as of this writing) the basic concept.  Father is still working out the details.  In fact, even as I jot this (and previous adjustments leading up to this publication) down, revelation continues to come.

In studying the Armor of God, Father has shown me the three areas that are addressed, the natural man, the spiritual man and man’s heart. 

He showed me how the first three pieces of the armor, the girdle of truth, breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace all reflect protection for the natural man.  The shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit all protect the spiritual man.  I said, Father, that’s only six pieces of armor covering only two areas.  Then Father asked me “What about verse eighteen?”  Always praying in the Spirit, watching and praying for the saints.  All about where our heart is!  I said “Wow! That’s pretty cool.”  Father showed me that the first three pieces don’t require salvation to be true.  People who don’t know the Lord can (and some still do) refrain from lying.  They can live (what they think) is a righteous life and they can read the bible.  May not understand it, but they can read it.  Without the leading of the Holy Ghost, they can only get a 
‘surface’ understanding of what the Word says (John 16:13). 

This is where faith comes in.  We have to have faith to receive Jesus into our hearts (1 John 5:10).  If we don’t believe who He is, we’ll never accept Him.  If we don’t have Jesus in our hearts, the bible will never truly open for us.  Faith is the beginning of our spiritual experience (Heb. 11:6) and it carries through protecting us from the fiery darts of the enemy.  If we don’t believe in our hearts that Jesus is for us, how can the shield of faith protect us? 

The helmet of salvation is self-explanatory (I think).  I mean, through Jesus, our eternity is secured (1 John 5:13) but without some sort of faith, we would never have accepted Jesus to begin with. 
 Also, without Jesus, how can we effectively use the Sword of the Spirit how can we rightly divide (understand) what is before us without His guidance through the Holy Ghost dwelling in us (Heb. 4:12)?  All this deals with our spiritual man.  After all, the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and the Word of God IS Jesus Christ and Jesus IS God (Eph. 6:17, John 1:1)!  The sword shows us how to deal with what is before us and without Jesus we would have no effective sword and Father had to give us a touch of faith to receive Jesus to begin with.  Ergo, our spiritual man is being dealt with.

Father gives us the Holy Ghost when we accept Jesus into our hearts (John 14:16-17), but Jesus promised His disciples a greater impact on their lives once they receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which is evidenced by speaking in the Spiritual language (tongues) God gives us at that time.  Jesus says that when the Holy Ghost is come upon us we shall receive power (Acts 1:8).  Power (strength) to do what?  For one, live this life in this world.  To have the authority to do what Jesus did (just as He said we could John 14:12-14) while He walked with us and helps us to witness to His love in this world.  Paul says we should always be “…praying … in the Spirit …”.  Communicating with Father with our heavenly language because the Spirit speaks mysteries (1 Corinth. 14:2).  We should always be watchful for we don’t know when or how the enemy will strike.  And because we all need support, we should pray for the saints and they should be praying for us.  These things reflect where our heart is as well as strengthening our hearts in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Father knows our hearts (Jer. 17:10) and He wants our hearts to always be right with Him (Acts 8:18-21).

Father also showed me how the spheres and choirs of angels (according to Origen, 184 AD – 254 AD) also reflected angelic interaction in these three areas.  The third sphere deals with the natural man.  It contains Principalities (rulers), archangels and angels, all who are responsible for what goes on in this natural world. 

The second sphere consists of dominions (lordships), virtues (strongholds) and powers (authorities) which deals with matter (creation) and ruling spirits.  If you will – the heavenlies.

The first sphere includes Seraphims who continually glorify and praise God, the Cherubims who protect God’s throne and then the Thrones who serve God’s justice and authority.  Think about it.  When we enter God’s presence (spiritually we enter His throne room) and can’t help but praise Him. We enter His presence and we are under His protection.  And when we enter His presence we willingly subject ourselves to His justice and authority which are administered (to us) only for our benefit. These are things that deal with our heart, our relationship with our heavenly Father.     

More recently, Father had me up at four AM, one morning, showing me how the law (the Ten Commandments, Exod. 20:3-17) also dealt with these three areas.  The last five commandments (killing, adultery, stealing, lying and covetousness) deal with the natural man, Four and five (honoring the Sabbath and mom and dad) deal with the ‘spiritual man’ (how we view things around us) and the first three (no gods before Jaweh, no idols and not taking His name in vain) deal with our relationship with the Father, our heart. 

He wasn’t finished.  He reminded me of the three temptations of Jesus (Matt. 4:1-11) (originally He  had shown me this one a while back).  Jesus fasted for forty days so Satan knew (in the natural) He had to be hungry.  So he tempted Jesus with the stones, then the pinnacle of the temple and then the mountain which overlooked nations.  The stones into bread – the natural man; jump off the pinnacle – the spiritual man and all these nations, putting Satan first – our heart. 

 There’s more.  He showed me how Jesus’ ministry follows suit.  For thirty years Jesus lived as we do.  He walked a mile (or three) in our shoes and didn’t sin.  Then He spent three and a half years teaching us how to deal with our spiritual man.  THEN He ascended back into heaven, sending the Holy Ghost back to dwell within us so He could continually help us to grow within our heart.  That is, impacting our attitudes and our relationship with the Father. After all, didn’t He tells us I am in you and I would that you would be in me as the Father is Me and I in the Father (John 14:11-21).
He also showed how the Godhead influences these three areas.  Jesus came to this earth to redeem the natural man (because we are born into sin – thank you Adam & Eve).  The Holy Ghost helps us to get our spiritual man ‘together’, while Father (working through Jesus & the Holy Ghost) works on our relationship with Him, getting our heart right.

I said “Lord, that’s only six areas (the armor, the angels, the Law,  temptations of Jesus, life of Jesus and the godhead).  Six is the number of man, our weakness.  I’m not comfortable with that.  What about seven?”  I searched my mind and heart but for the love of me I couldn’t come up with a seventh area.  Finally, Father said to me “Buck, are you (humans) a three part being?”  I said “Yes.”  “What are they?”  I responded “Body, soul and Spirit.”  Then the light came on 

and I humbly received the ‘duh’ award as Father helped point out that our body is the natural man.  Here, our soul equates to the spiritual man and our spirit relates to our relationship with Father, our heart.  SEVEN! (God’s number representing spiritual completeness!)

So Father has shown me six areas that are broken down and interfacing with our three part being – natural, spiritual and our heart.  He’s shown me areas (in scripture) where He has pointed this out to us so we can be aware of the need to address all three areas of our being so we can live fully in Christ Jesus.  So we can successfully stand against the enemy (Satan). Father doesn’t leave us hanging on our own (Heb. 13:5) as He shows us the protection we have and the help we have at our disposal.

All of this to ask the question “Who is fighting whom?” 

Father gave me the example of two women contending over one man’s affection (hey, I’m a guy – my perspective).  The woman coming up on the short end of the stick will submit to trickery, deceit and anything else to promote her cause to ‘win her man’.  So, even though at times, she may hurt the man, who is her real opponent?  The other woman, of course.  But she knows she can’t defeat the other woman in a fight (fair or otherwise), so she turns and works on the subject of the other woman’s affection.  In the end, the sad thing is, the woman may not even really want the man.  She’s simply fighting to keep the other woman from having him. 

Does this sound familiar?  The spiritual battle for our souls!  Satan trying to keep us from our rightful place with our Father in heaven????  It’s not that he wants us all that bad.  He just doesn’t want God to have us.

We have a three-pronged battle to fight.  The natural man, the spiritual man and where our heart abides.

We are a three part being: with our body reflecting the natural man, soul reflecting our spiritual man and our spirit reflecting our heart.  The law in the last five commandments reflecting the natural man, the forth and fifth reflect our spirit man then the first three expresses that this battle is a real and a fight for our hearts.  It is emphasized in Jesus’ life, ministry and resurrection.  And even in the three recorded temptations which Jesus faced in the wilderness.  The stones, the pinnacle and the mountain all point to the reality of the need to address all three areas.  Oh, and don’t forget God, Himself, in the Godhead, He shows us the three areas that need our attention as Jesus (the Son) has redeemed our bodies, the Holy Ghost helps our spiritual man to stay in proper alignment and the Father deals with our hearts.  Then the armor of God, which He gives us for our protection: the belt, the breastplate and the shoes for the natural man, then the shield, the helmet and the sword for the spiritual man and finally praying in the Spirit, watching and praying for the saints to get our hearts right.  

You say “You said there were seven areas!”  Right, God also gives us the angels to help us in our fight.  The three spheres (mentioned above) provide help for our natural man (sphere #3), our spiritual man (sphere #2) and our heart (sphere #1).

As I said, we have to be aware of all three areas of contention (body, soul & spirit) if we are to give 
ourselves to the One who truly loves us (Father through Jesus) and become aware of  all He has provided to  help us to victory over the forces of darkness.  After all, we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood.  We do contend with powers, principalities, rulers of darkness and spiritual 0wickedness.  Don’t we?

Praise the Lord!  We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ.  All we have to do is realize what we are fighting, the protection Father provides us then take up the weapons He has afforded us.


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