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The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 06-27-99

Tree of Life for 06-27-99 "Conflict" starts in the soul where we do our thinking. It is therefore the believer's soul which is the target for the enemy's missiles. Human viewpoint in the soul of the believer is our enemy's goal. This is why ROM 12:1-3commands us to renew our minds daily. The positive believer must garrison his soul continually with residual truth. The life of every believer is determined experientially by two major factors, (1) what he thinks and (2) what he decides
. Processing God's thoughts into the soul is the believer's fulfillment of the command given in Philippians 2:5, to have the mental attitude of Christ. This verse points to the transition of divine power from the dispensation of the hypostatic union to the church age. Divine power was demonstrated for us by the humanity of Christ during His incarnation and it is this very same power which every believer in this present age can function in! The filling of the Spirit and the word of God (truth and Spirit, JOH 4:24) is what secures for the believer a divine mental attitude and allows for spiritual advance. A divine mental attitude uses problem solving devices rather than defense mechanisms.
Any human solution is based on human reaction no matter how nicely it is doctored up. If Satan can get us to think via human viewpoint we are not appropriating divine power and divine solutions. It is therefore very important for the evil one to attack our system of thinking since from our thinking comes our motivation and from our motivation comes our decisions and from our decisions comes our lifestyle. Satan attacks every facade of the word of God starting with the gospel to the forty things given at salvation to the grace and word of God to eternal security and the spiritual skills. How do we know if and when the evil one has made a successful hit on our souls? When the communication of Bible doctrine is no longer as important to you as it use to be that is because Satan has caused a direct hit on the mentality of your soul! The enmity factor against the believer in Christ is ever present and increases as our faith increases. Satan hates believers in Christ and he will do everything in his power to hinder the believer's advance in the spiritual realm. This is why we so desperately need the shield of faith at all times. We are never safe! If you think you are safe Satan's tactics have been successful.
Our enemy has many different angles by which to approach us and many different directions. He may even deploy missiles from different directions at the same time causing mass confusion. But we know that God is not the author of confusion, 1CO 14:33. Confusion, if allowed to fester in the soul of the believer, only serves to aid defeat. We do not fight evil as something abstract or something personal. The angelic conflict started long before you entered the ranks. Yes, each believer is offered the privilege of serving in God's forces, but in holding up our shields we must realize that there is a much larger battle scene to view than our immediate circumstances! We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual persons, beings, and forces. Though we cannot see them the word of God emphatically tells us of the warfare we are engaged in. God warns us to stand firm against the evil one for he will hurl whatever he must at us! But Christ has overcome the evil one and extended the necessary power to us for us to do the same. The choice is yours. Do not grow discouraged in the face of opposition and confusion, antagonism and unfair treatment. Our Lord Jesus Christ pioneered the spiritual life and He knew much more pain, sadness, and humiliation than we will ever endure. The antagonism against Him was so intense that He sweat blood through His pours. Sure we will feel pressure and are challenged as deemed appropriate for our spiritual strength but the important factor involved is to remain focused on HIM not self!
The over-all war plan is far greater than the fleeting details of our lives here on earth. When it is your time to be challenged you must not be thrown from your course when the smoke of confusion, doubt, and pressure leaves your soul tired and discouraged. Focus at large and outward, do not focus your attention on you but on the plan laid out for you by the great General. And though you may not see clearly during the battle, your knowledge and faith in God, His word, and His plan will see you through to the next stage of the war. Do not retreat! Remember, there is no combat gear supplied for the "back". You need to shield and protect yourself against the things hurled at you starting with the preliminary attack which takes place before the enemy moves in closer. You will then need even greater spiritual strength when you are privileged with personal contact with some fallen angel at close range combat! The interest of the enemy is to hit the target but also to have the destruction spread! Many believers, upon having their souls hit and allowing the missile to taint their thinking, proceed to infect the souls of other believers. This is exactly why we each need to be of the same mind, PHI 2:2. The mind of Christ found in the word of God is our hope! It is our security and our garrison. Without it we become another casualty of spiritual warfare. The evil one will attack our capacity for life and try to overwhelm us with adversities. He will deploy missiles at us in an attempt to get us occupied with self and our own problems. Unfortunately he is very successful in this area. It is therefore important to be fully aware that Satan's strategy is based on deceit. We must remain spiritually sharp since once a believer falls into deceit he does not know it! Under the deception of the evil one the believer thinks he is carry out the will of God. This deception can be conducted in a very moral manner even appearing godly. But without the filling of the Spirit there is no truth.
Religion projects a righteousness but it is not the divine righteouness of Christ, MAT 19:13-36. There is a system of power and dynamics employed by the enemy which is functional and appears most effective but is in reality of a false spirit, 2TH 2:8-10 cf1JO 4:1. There is a doctrine taught under the pretense of "truth" but it is doctrines of demons, 1TI 4:1. Beware, Satan has an ingenious marketing department. His propoganda and public relation specialists are excellent at what they do. You need your shield! Never advance without it! Never stop to rest and let it fall from your hand. How effective do you think you can be in spiritual warfare without spiritual combat gear?? Was the apostle Paul just telling us a colorful story about his friends who were Roman soldiers in Ephesians 6? Does the word of God really mean what it says concerning spiritual combat? If so (first class condition) you need to know what gear you have available and exactly how to use it.
Satan is a cunning opponent, never underestimate him and never grow to comfortable with your security. Any aspect of your life can come under attack at any time. We must always be on guard for our adversary the devil prowls about like a lion seeking someone to devour. A lion when prowling will do so until the game is won. And the cats prowl is conducted in such a fashion that play is incorporated into it before the great pounce and kill. Satan, will let you think you are getting strong and that you have even won a battle. He watches his victim like a cat watches the mouse begin to move again... tantilized by the movement and the mouse's return of courage, the cat stalks and then wham... his great paws come down.
Be on guard!!

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