Thursday, January 01, 2015

The battle of 2015

Happy New Year! 

Spiritual warfare - artist unknown
Spiritual Warfare - Artist unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Colossians 1:1-20

TO CHEW ON: "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love." - Colossians 1:13

Kristine McGuire grew up in a Christian home and gave her heart to Jesus at an early age. However, a combination of things including an interest in horror movies and scary books, a series of life events that frustrated and angered her, and the performance-based legalism of the church she attended, fueled an attraction to the occult.

And so for eight years as an adult she gave herself to ghost hunting and activities as a psychic, medium, and witch, rationalizing that she could be involved in these things as a Christian, even calling herself a Christian ghost hunter.

Her story, told in An Insider's Guide to Spiritual Warfare, shines a light on one area where many in our society and even some professing Christians are living under the power of darkness, that is, through involvement in the occult. McGuire writes:

"People are hungry for a spiritual connection with God …. Satan counterfeits the power and good gifts of God, twisting them into what we see being done by mediums, psychics, diviners, energy healers, and those who practice forms of magick and spellcraft" - p. 160.

But we don't have to stay in this dark place of fear, deception, and confusion. For as our focus verse reminds us:

He has delivered
[rescued, drawn to Himself] us to Himself from the power [authority, right to act, ability, privilege] of darkness [darkened eyesight or blindness, ignorance respecting divine things and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality] and conveyed [transferred, removed and relocated, "… refers to the deportation or transference of captured armies or populations from one country to another" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 1671] us into the kingdom [royal power, dominion rule] of the Son of His love [agape love].

Recognizing and getting free from the power of the occult is only one aspect of spiritual warfare. As we enter this year, let's prepare to fight in all areas as captives-who-have-become-warriors of the kingdom of light. McGuire ends her book with this challenge:

"Spiritual warfare:
It is in the prayers we say or forget to say.
It is in the choice to be kind or hurtful.
It is in our work ethic or lack thereof.
It is in the people and relationships in whom we choose to invest or not to invest.
It is in the experiences, mundane or supernatural, we accept or deny.
It is in the causes we take up or reject.
Every day the battle wages.
You are a spiritual warrior.
The time has come. Take up spiritual arms.
And with God's help, make your stand" - Kristine McGuire, An Insider's Guide to Spiritual Warfare, p. 226.

PRAYER: Dear God, please alert me to areas where I am playing with and living in darkness. Help me to live completely in the Your kingdom of love and light. Amen.

MORE: Feast of the Holy Name

Today the church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Name. The liturgy for today begins with this Collect:

Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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