Spiritual Warfare – Part 20
If you haven’t yet read Part one of this study, please click here.
Ezekiel’s call to be a watchman
Ezekiel was a priest or the son of a priest, (Bible versions differ on which, – possibly both). He is well known for having visions, some of which are difficult to describe. In his long book we read of some of his visions and prophecies…
- Chapter 1-3 Four living creatures and wheels
- Chapter 37 The valley of dry bones
- Chapters 38-39 Prophecy to Gog and Magog (which many think is a message for the ends times we are living in)
- Chapter 47 The river of living water flowing from the throne of God.
Read Ezekiel 3:16-21
In the reading we are looking at here, God gives Ezekiel his job specification! It is very precise, and very scary!
If God gave you this order would you obey?
What a responsibility Ezekiel had to carry.
Do you think these verses were written….
- only for Ezekiel?
- For evangelists?
- For pastors?
- For all believers?
How does Ezekiel’s job description compare with Jesus’ orders to his followers in the closing verses of Matthew’s and Mark’s gospels?
How are you doing in obedience to those orders?
Can you see the work of the enemy in the fact that much of the church does not follow God’s commands to go and make disciples?
What can you personally do about that?
God sends evil spirits!!
One of the things that was said about Jesus is that “even the demons obey Him”. But did you know that sometimes they are sent by His father?
How do you feel about that?
- Do you trust God no matter what?
Let’s look briefly at a story where God didn’t SEND the evil spirits, but He definitely allowed the attack.
Job 1:6-12 Satan still has access to Heaven.
What were God’s motives in drawing satan’s attention to Job?
Does the thought of satan bargaining with God worry you, frighten you, or infuriate you?
Remember that God put the limits on Satan’s activities. (verse 12)
The long book of Job is worth studying, but let’s jump towards the end and see how Job’s suffering finally led him to recognise his own sin.
In chapter 40 God let’s Job know how little he actually knows. Is this a word for the arrogant today?
Job finally recognised his unworthiness, (Job 42:1-6) and confessed his sin.
But remember that God classed him as “blameless and upright”. (Job 1:8)
What does the story of Job have to teach us today:
- No-one is exempt from suffering?
- God allows suffering?
- Friends may turn out to be accusers?
- How little we actually know of God?
- Alls well that ends well?
God blessed Job at the beginning, and God allowed his testing, God blessed him again once he had successfully got through the tests.
What does that have to say to you today?
1 Samuel 16:14-23
Can you imagine this situation going on around some of the world leaders today?
Why or why not?
Did God send the evil spirit in order to have David brought to the courts of Saul?
The Message Translation of the Bible doesn’t talk about “an evil spirit” sent from God, but “a black mood”. Is that the same thing?
All seemed to go well for a while, and in chapter 17 we read of David’s famous victory over Goliath, that’s when Saul began to get jealous, and the evil spirit of jealousy took over the situation.
1 Samuel chapters 18 and 19 recount the ways Saul tried to be rid of David, then through the intervention of Saul’s son, Jonathan, Saul relented and took David back into his courts as a musician. But a second evil spirit came from the Lord! (1 Samuel 19:9).
Through all this story of Saul’s mood changes how do you suppose David felt? He knew he was anointed to be king (1 Samuel 16:13) but life must have been a bit scary at times.
Does it encourage you or worry you to know that God is in control of the demons?
Jesus exercised his authority over evil spirits many times, and after His resurrection from the dead He gave that same authority to His disciples, (Mark 16:17-18) and consequently to all believers.
How does that affect your life today?
How many demons have you cast out this week? This month? This year?
David’s life as king was not 100% perfect, and he made bad decisions from time to time. One of those is recounted for us in 1 Chronicles 21. David’s spiritual life was at a low ebb and that allowed satan in, with dreadful consequences.
Can you think of a time when you have made a decision which was not of the Lord?
What were the consequences?
How can you prevent making bad decisions in the future?
GOD NEVER CHANGES
Hebrews 13:8 confirms to us that God never changes. He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow, and He is still looking for a Holy people who will….
- Trust Him completely;
- Commit themselves to His service;
- Learn and obey His commands;
- Wear His armour;
- Fight with His weapons;
- Play their part in bringing His kingdom on the earth.
God in His grace has given us each other, (the church) to work together, to support and encourage each other in the tasks He has prepared for us to do.
Let’s do it together, all the time remembering that “THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD”!
That brings us to the end of this study of Spiritual Warfare. We hope you have enjoyed the study and grown closer to the Lord through it.
We will be taking a few days off now before bringing you a fresh study next month. Be sure to bookmark this site and check back regularly for new studies. In the meantime, take a look at my books available through Editions de la Source
See you soon, and God Bless You.