Woe? Really?

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers of the false prophets.”  (Luke 6:26)

When we read the Beatitudes, we all love the “Blessed are…” bits – but we tend to overlook and forget the “Woe to…” admonitions that appear most strongly stated in the Gospel of Luke.

Jesus is indeed love, light and truth – and we all love focusing on that.  But part of the truth of loving Him and understanding His message involves remembering the other things He said:  His powerful rejection of the mores of the day’s religious leaders, emphasis on the causality created by God in our world, and the many warnings about being careful where we focus our attention.  The above passage falls right in line with His many statements on this last topic:

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  (Matthew 6:21)

And even more directly in point:
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:1)

The passage is a reminder that what ‘everyone thinks’ is not necessarily the truth – and that people flock where they see numbers, often without any real perceptiveness.  It also hints at the soul-eroding quality of craving popularity in the eyes of men.

Dangers of the Internet

The dangers of seeking man’s approval rather than God’s have become even more powerful with the advent of the Internet.  Marketers and frequenters of social media (now a key factor in marketing success and the inflow of money and ‘all good things’) are taught to strive for ‘hits’, ‘visitors’, ‘likes’ and favorable comments.   Algorithms in search engines further feed into this.  And of course, the practice has moved beyond marketing into straight social activity, where it is in danger of becoming a fetish on the likes of Facebook.

Please understand I am talking here as a 20-years-on-the-net, ex-marketer who several years ago threw marketing away for this very reason, that I perceived the huge pitfalls of letting this whole approval-seeking, Internet fad become ingrained in the soul.

There are indeed many ways to fall into ‘The Trap’.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8)

Patricia
http://damascusroad.news

Battlefield Of The Mind – 1

roaring-lionI read the other day an article in which the writer was rubbishing the use of ‘old-time fighting armor’ as irrelevant to present-day illustration of the full armor of God described by Paul in Ephesians 6: 13-17.

Over the centuries, many illustrators and artists (myself included) have used these symbols, and I believe for very good reason.  These depictions of ‘old-fashioned’ armor come closest to the truth of spiritual warfare.

Now let’s get real about this: because we are being deluded into losing touch with reality in so many areas of life.  For example, here in NZ total online schooling of children has now been legislated into being – called COOL schools – WHAT???  Where will these children learn to work together and socialise with their peers and adults?  And for most families – who is going to supervise them at home?  This is typical beaurocratic nonesense.

Our worship of present-day technological advances, beneficial enough in themselves, is bringing about an appalling separation from reality!

For many people, war today is not what it used to be.  Instead of getting kitted out and going forth to fight hand-to-hand with the enemy on the battlefield, many warriors are sitting in war-rooms or high-powered jet fighters, bombers and tanks, pressing buttons.  Obviously, they do not need the body-protecting armor of days gone by – until the war-room gets overrun, the fighters and bombers crash, or the tank’s armor is penetrated, that is.

So – the enemy is trying to tell us that the old armor concepts are outdated, is he?  He is probably also trying to tell us that spiritual armor isn’t necessary.  Lies, lies, as always – didn’t Jesus say (speaking, note, to the religious leaders of His day):

“You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and lived not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  (John 8:44)

On the contrary, in spiritual warfare ‘body armor’ – and by that I mean the armor metaphors used by Paul in Ephesians 6 – are as essential today as they ever were.  No war-rooms, bunkers, jet fighters, bombers or tanks can protect us from spiritual attack – and of course most of the world’s population is without protection in war-time, or at any other time.  Spiritual warfare penetrates any form of physical defence – and the outcome of battles on the spiritual plane is actually far more crucial for a person than the outcome of physical war.

It is as essential today as it ever was for people to understand the Battlefield of the Mind.  For the individual, the mind is where the crucial battles take place – and one of the greatest problems people have in dealing with spiritual warfare is failure to recognize –

  • that there IS an attack; and
  • where it is coming from.

Because the enemy attacks by putting out ideas and thoughts that we take into our minds (often subconsciously), people have no idea where this stuff originates.  They most often think the thoughts came spontaneously, or that maybe they themselves are reponsible.  In other words, the enemy flies in under the radar.  And who is the enemy?

In 1 Peter 5:8 we are plainly told:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, like a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”

raging-lion

I will talk more about this later, but let me say right now, if you do not believe in a supernatural principal of evil, also called the enemy or the devil, if you think evil ‘just happens’ or some folk ‘just are bad’, then you know a lot less than people in third world countries who deal with this power and its principalities on a daily basis, in a far more open manner than we do.   These people know it only too well.

Wake up!

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news/

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