Between Carnal Weapons and the Whole Armor of God

By Maiwa’azi Hosea Fwangmun

Between Carnal Weapons and the Whole Armor of God

Now I want to make something clear here. As a Christian, your real enemy is not the person you see. It’s not that old woman in your village, nor is it that brother or sister of yours. Your enemies are not the Muslims or fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Your real enemies are not the traditionalists around you, nor are they the members of an opposite political party. I will make bold to say that your real enemies are not the political leaders in your country, state or Local Government. Your real enemies are not even those who oppose you on any social media be it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, etc… Your real enemy is totally different from what you are expecting or thought to be your enemy.

Let’s go to the scripture to see our real enemy as believers:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:10-12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

You can see clearly in this passage that our enemy in spiritual warfare transcends the ordinary human being (flesh and blood) to spiritual forces, principalities and powers that are in the heavenly realm. And if that is the case, carnal (fleshly) weapons cannot defeat this enemy as buttressed by Apostle Paul who instructed the Christians in Corinth thus:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭10:3-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Apostle Paul made it clear that these spiritual forces can NEVER be defeated by Ak 47, bombs, sword or any other fleshy weapons. That’s why David understood this reality and sang in one of his psalms that:

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭20:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

It’s quiet appalling that many Christians are failing in their daily walk with God because they trust in chariots and horses (strength of man) instead of the name of the Lord.

When David confronted the giant Goliath, he said to him “I come to you in the name of the Lord God of Israel”. This clearly means that there is a name that these spiritual forces respects and submits to – the name of Jesus Christ! And that is why at the mention of the name Jesus, the scripture says every knee must bow and every tongue must confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10).

Jesus our Master understood this truth more than anyone else, that if at all he will overcome the world, he must be ready to deploy only spiritual weapons by putting on the whole armor of God. And because of this, he went the way of the cross. In fact at a point, he made it clear that “my kingdom is not of this world”. There was nothing he did that was out of his own emotion or natural thoughts. He was devoted and committed to doing the will of the Father who sent him. Even when the Pharisees came to arrest him in the Garden of Gethsemane Peter resorted to carnal weapon by cutting off the ear of one of the person in the entourage, but Jesus took the ear and mended it back and rebuked Peter in this words:

“But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”
(‭‭Matthew‬ ‭26:52‬-54 ‭NKJV‬‬)

At the end of the day, Jesus conquered death through the cross. The devil thought it was weakness on the part of Jesus, not knowing that Heaven has already set a bubby trap for the accuser of the brethren and lo and behold, Jesus conquered death and gave us eternal life to all who will believe.

Isaiah also prophesy of Jesus’ experience that led him to the cross thus:

“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.”
(‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:7‬ ‭NKJV)

In view of the aforementioned, I strongly believe that Jesus has left a worthy example for us believers to follow. But unfortunately, many believers still thinks they can defeat the spiritual forces by their strength and human wisdom. Not knowing that there is always weakness in the strength of man. In the contrary, the secret to victory is by us relying on Jesus through the help of the Holy Spirit to supply us with wisdom from above and strength for the battle. No wonder David recognized this fact which made him realized that, it is the Lord that teaches our fingers to war and our hands to fight.

Dear brothers and sisters, why not rely on him rather than resort to self help that seldom leads to defeat and more defeat? Let’s always remember that God’s ways are not our ways!

The moment we start relying on the arm of flesh, it will always fail us, because that’s not how God designed it to be in his kingdom as the way up in God’s kingdom, is always down.

Now the challenge here is for us to be fully connected to the Lord Jesus Christ and put on the whole armor of God that we may stand the wiles of the enemy as it was written in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in Ephesians 6:10:

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

What are these armors of God that Paul through the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 6:11-18 says we can use as individuals and as a church to defeat and neutralize the missiles of the enemy from the family unit up to global level?

The first element of our armor is TRUTH (verse 14). This is easy to understand, since Satan is said to be the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Deception is high on the list of things God considers to be an abomination. A “lying tongue” is one of the things He describes as “detestable to Him” (Proverbs 6:16-17). We are therefore exhorted to put on truth for our own sanctification and deliverance, as well as for the benefit of those to whom we witness.

Also in verse 14, we are told to put on the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. A breastplate shielded a warrior’s vital organs from blows that would otherwise be fatal. This righteousness is not works of righteousness done by men. Rather, this is the righteousness of Christ, imputed by God and received by faith, which guards our hearts against the accusations and charges of Satan and secures our innermost being from his attacks.

Verse 15 speaks of the preparation of the feet for spiritual conflict. In warfare, sometimes an enemy places dangerous obstacles in the path of advancing soldiers. The idea of the preparation of the gospel of peace as footwear suggests what we need to advance into Satan’s territory, aware that there will be traps, with the message of grace so essential to winning souls to Christ. Satan has many obstacles placed in the path to halt the propagation of the gospel.

The SHIELD OF FAITH spoken of in verse 16 makes Satan’s sowing of doubt about the faithfulness of God and His Word ineffective. Our faith—of which Christ is “the author and perfecter” (Hebrews 12:2)— is like a golden shield, precious, solid, and substantial.

The HELMET OF SALVATION in verse 17 is protection for the head, keeping viable a critical part of the body. We could say that our way of thinking needs preservation. The head is the seat of the mind, which, when it has laid hold of the sure gospel hope of eternal life, will not receive false doctrine or give way to Satan’s temptations. The unsaved person has no hope of warding off the blows of false doctrine because he is without the helmet of salvation and his mind is incapable of discerning between spiritual truth and spiritual deception.

Verse 17 interprets itself as to the meaning of the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT—it is the Word of God. While all the other pieces of spiritual armor are defensive in nature, the sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. It speaks of the holiness and power of the Word of God. A greater spiritual weapon is not conceivable. In Jesus’ temptations in the desert, the Word of God was always His overpowering response to Satan. What a blessing that the same Word is available to us!

In verse 18, we are told to PRAY IN THE SPIRIT (that is, with the mind of Christ, with His heart and His priorities) in addition to wearing the full armor of God. We cannot neglect prayer, as it is the means by which we draw spiritual strength from God. Without prayer, without reliance upon God, our efforts at spiritual warfare are empty and futile. The full armor of God—truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer—are the tools God has given us, through which we can be spiritually victorious, overcoming Satan’s attacks and temptations.

May God help us to walk in the truth of the Gospel! Amen.

Shalom.

Do They See Christ?

It’s my fervent prayer that Christ will fully find an expression of His life in me and you…Agape

Finding Strength. Gaining Courage. Loving God.

image

When you look in the mirror do you see Christ?

When others see you, can they see a positive reflection of Christ?

In order for us to effectively let our light shine for Christ, we must strive daily to be like Him. We won’t be perfect, but if we strive for that type of perfection then our eyes will always be pointed on Him.

This world offers us so many things to be focused on. We can’t pick and choose, it’s a single option for success: Christ.

He is the way. He is the truth. He is the light. When we bring Him into the center of our lives then we possess the ability to win.

Stay focused on Him. Let your reflection be of Him.

Workout time! Leg day! Couldn’t be happier!

View original post

Living in the Wind

wpid-images-28.jpg.jpeg

 

 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. John 3:1 – 9

Every time I read the encounter Nicodemus had with our Lord Jesus Christ, I am quickly reminded that religion and Life in Christ are two opposites that can never meet just like black and white are.  If you carefully read the above Scriptural passage, you will note that Nicodemus was speaking from human reasoning point of view and hence, he mentioned the word “How” two (2) times while Jesus Christ mentioned the word “Spirit” four (4) times. I believe that these indicates a kind of emphasis from the two personalities involved (Jesus and Nicodemus).

Today, religion is obsessed with the “hows” as we can see in many writings and sermons emanating from many bookstores and pulpits on several Christian subjects like: “How to pray”, “3-steps to Evangelism”, “5 Ways to live a Holy Life”, “How to be a good Christian”, “How to do Church”, “How to be a good Pastor”, “How to Succeed in Ministry”, “How to Love God” and on and on the list is endless.  It is quite unfortunate to see Christianity been reduced to methodologies and traditions of men which nullifies the word of God and thereby, placing Common sense and and logic far above Life in the Spirit. I now understand what Apostle Paul means when he emphatically made it clear that “As many as are led by the Spirit are the sons of God” (Roman 8:14). Not as many as say the sinners’ prayer contrary to popular believe.

Nicodemus was a very good man, but he was clueless as far as Spiritual things are concerned. He came with an expectation of Jesus to give him a sound theo-logical answer  of how he could be like Jesus, but was disappointed by Jesus’ response to his inquiry because Jesus end up shredding what was left of his theological knowledge by telling him that he must be born again and went further to state that he that is born from of the Spirit is like the WIND which blows where you least expected. In short, Jesus was saying that he that is born of the Spirit is not predictable because his life his hidden in Christ Jesus. He that is born of the Spirit does not live on “how” formulas and rituals, neither is he govern by carnal dictates or judgments.  He that is born of the Spirit is a person who has died to self and has no rigid agenda that cannot be subject to change. He that is born of the Spirit lives an open minded life because yesterday he may be going South, but today the Spirit mighty lead him North. He that is born of the Spirit does not build his life on the traditions of men and teachings of men, neither does he live to fulfill men’s expectations of him. He that is born of the Spirit cannot be a yes-man to any religious leader or group/sect, because the Spirit of God in him is not a stooge.

I have come to discover that a lot of so called Christians are not truly born again, as this could be seen in their unwillingness to shift ground whenever the Spirit wants them to. Yes, they may have said what has come to be called “the sinner’s prayer”, but they don’t have the experience Jesus was describing in John 3 and that is why so much of what is called Christianity or Church is nothing but a glorified religion of man trying to do his own thing as best as he sees fit. Not minding whether it is from above or below. As James reminded us in James 3:15 that there is a wisdom which comes from Above and another comes from below.

If indeed we are truly born again (from above) and born of the Spirit, then why is it that we are not flexible to the same Spirit who begat us? Why is it that you hear many people saying that  “I was born Catholic, ECWA, COCIN or Pentecostal and I will die their”? or “This is how we have always done it”. Why is it that we insist that the only right place to worship God is in our “wonderful”denominations and house churches when Jesus was saying to the Samaritan woman in John 4:21 that, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father”. Why are we so cling to our traditional mindset of judging and condemning other Christians who their only sin is that they choose to live in the Wind instead of living in religion? I must appreciate the humility of “Rev. Bishop. Prof. Nicodemus” for coming to an ordinary person like Jesus who hasn’t gone to any theological seminary nor have a title, in other to ask Him some pertinent questions concerning the Kingdom of God. We must give it Nicodemus for the fact that he came down from his high horse to a young man of 33 years old called Jesus in his days . It will interest you to know that even Jesus admitted that Nicodemus was a Teacher of the Law, but he deliberately became a student under the feet of the Master. I am just wondering if it will be possible in our contemporary society today  for a Bible Professor or an Archbishop who is well learned in the Greek and the Hebrew to go and meet a young man of 32 years to inquire of the things of the Kingdom. Your guess will be as good as mine.

The average Christian today is comfortable with his or her brand of Christianity, their is no more hunger to dig deeper into the realities of Kingdom of God. Many of us are always quick to judge before the time, and claims we have already figured out the Christian life all out. And hence, many are secured in their titles, knowledge, positions in church, activities, etc. Brothers and sister in Christ, the best life to live is in The Wind! When you live in the Wind, you will NEVER go to extremes. When you live in the Wind, you will NEVER make a mistake. And now I understand what our brother John was saying to the young believers in 1 John 3:9 that, No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”.  When you live in the WIND, the mind that is in you will be the Mind of Christ. Living in the Wind makes you free from bondage of religion, and the stress of TRYING to be a Christian. Living in the Wind is the best thing that can ever happen to you and I.

Let me give you some examples of some men that Lived in the Wind while on earth:

ENOCH:  Genesis 5:24 states that, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”. Enoch’s story is quite an interesting one, because this is a man that had a short number of years compared to his contemporaries like Methuselah, yet he constantly walked in the Spirit (with God) until he was lost in the Wind. God took him. In other words, God was carrying Enoch around instead of him carrying God. I love the last word that state “…and God took him”. What a parallel from a lot of Christians today, whom we are rather trying to carry God in our pockets and do anything we like with Him. Thank God that our God is too big for that. For Enoch, that was the opposite, because he completely surrendered to his God by walking with Him –  stepping where God steps until he followed God to his home in heaven. Enoch did not try to impress anybody, he was focus on pleasing his one and only friend who is God. It is interesting that all through the story of Enoch, he was simply identified as “Enoch” without any such titles as “Rev. Dr. Prof. Bishop, Elder, Apostle, Deacon, Pastor Enoch”. No! Enoch was a simple man and he walked in that simplicity of faith which earned him the last testimony that he pleased God.

JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH:  While on earth, Jesus categorically state that his meat (food) is to do will of His Father who sent him (John 4:34). He was focused on pleasing nobody but His Heavenly Father who sent Him. In the course of doing just the will of the Father, he ran into trouble with  the religious leaders of his day. Look at it this way, here was a young man that was never known to have gone to any renown Bible School, neither does he lead any “Church”, talk less of being a G.O (General Overseer), He has no title just like Enoch, he was an ordinary son of a Carpenter and to make it worse, he was born in a Manger instead of a world class State-of-the-art Hospitals that we have today, yet, he out-shined all of them all. Jesus was an epitome of humility and focus, he knew all men that He couldn’t entrust himself to them. Jesus lived his life in the Wind, always following the instructions of the Father, waiting to see what the Father is doing and doing same (John 5:20).  In short Jesus in the course of pleasing his Father, he broke religious rules and regulations, like healing on the Sabbath day, teaching with authority, chasing the money changers in His Father’s House, etc.

I have realize that if you constantly live in the Wind (Spirit) like Jesus Christ did, you will always end up in the cross – crucified!

As I close, I will like to say, that Living in the Wind is a daily thing, their is no holiday to living and walking in Spirit. We as Christians, must always be open to the nudgings of the Holy Spirit even if it contradicts the popular opinions  and thinking of men. Let’s keep setting our minds on things above and not on things below. May God in His Grace and Mercy help us to always walk in the Spirit in other to fulfill God’s purpose in our generation. Amen.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. Romans 8:14. AGAPE 🙂

Hosea Fwangmun lives in Jos – Nigeria,

Emaill: fwangmunhosea@yahoo.com

Looking for the Living among the Death

wpid-wp-1426912868499.jpeg

“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24:1-8

Today, a lot of churches are obsessed with membership, to a point that their is a lot of sheep stealing among the various denominations, this is evident in a lot of marketing strategies employed by these denominations just to woo and keep their members. Most often, these innocent souls, always end up working for the interest of these pastorprenures.

There was a time I noticed that my Staff who works in my company, seems to be cold spiritually and as a result, I was moved to engage her into discussion in other to find out WHY her spiritual life seems to be waning. It will interest you to hear her response towards this honest inquiry. According to her, she strong believed that the reason for her being cold is because that for some few times prior to our conversation, she hasn’t been regular in her routine “church activities” stating that if she had been attending the church programmes, she thinks that it would have given her christianity a boost by being closer to God.

Well, this is not a church bashing article, but rather my staff’s response and excuse for behaving more carnal, instead of being spiritually sound is to me lame and cheap excuse. But you won’t blame her for such mentality, because that is what she has been fed with by her “controllers” who always yank some Bible verses to intimidate their “members” on the need to be constant in attending christian activities and church programmes in other to be accepted before God.

In my response to this young lady who seems convinced with the above excus made me to cast my mind back to my days of “trying to be a good christian” some years ago, and I bet you that was my mindset too. I told her that, while their is nothing wrong with attending Christian programmes, their is everything wrong with making those religious activities to determine your relationship with God. Rather, we as Christians must trust God to bring us to a place where Christ is enough for us and f you are still not satisfied with the finished work of Christ and His agape love for you, you will constantly keep striving to ease your conscience with a high dose of endless and fruitless programmes/activities which always leads to an endless religious rigmarole.

Beloved, I want you to know that it is not the will of God for you and me to keep going in circle. Its time to seek God and Him alone. And that has nothing to do withwith your religious activities, rather, its a personal relationship with Him who laid down his life for you and me.

Breaking Free

Some one once said that “Its one thing for you to get out of Babylon and its another thing for Babylon to get out of you”. As we break free from the numerous religious encumberacies, to the reality of being led by the Spirit daily, may our joy and peace know no bound…agape. (Hosea)

FINDING YOUR SECURITY IN THE FATHER’S LOVE

wpid-10624756_10152966968196477_5845986402724988483_n.jpg

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  (1 John 4:18)

There is a hole in a man that nothing can fill it to satisfaction except THE LOVE OF GOD. That is why today, many people are looking for this love from wrong sources like drugs, women, money, fame, material things, praise and validation of men etc.

We are living in a world where people love to be loved, only that they always misdirect their search of love  from God to anything (both living and non-living things).

Since the fall of man, religion became a way of life to man as can be seen with Adam and Eve when they sinned and discovered that they are naked, instead of running to God for help, they ran to God’s creature by covering themselves with leaves. That is religion! Always looking for a cover-up and as a result, we hide behind anything in other to give us a sense of security. For Adam and Eve, their security was in the leafs instead of the Eternal God who created the leafs. Since then, man has been involved in one religious activity or the other in a bit to fill that God-giving vacuum, but all his efforts are nothing but a wild goose chase!

When we come to Christ, the story become different, as you begin to realize that there is a God who is your Father and He loves you. But the question is: How many believers have discovered and embrace this irresistible love of the Father? Is it not true that we are still not secured in the fact that God love us exactly as he loves Jesus? Could that not be the reason why the Bible say “We are co-heir with Christ”?

If you have not come in contact with this love of the Father, I promise you that your life on earth will be characterize by fear. And it is instructive to note that religion is motivated by fear while relationship with God is motivated by Love.

Little wonder today, so many Christians have been trapped in the fear of men (what will people say, do, or think if I should go ahead and obey God?) rather than the fear of God which is motivated by love.

When became born again, and start  knowing God as my Father, I met a brother whom God used to encourage me as a young Christian and one of the prayer he asked me to pray was: ” Lord, remove in me the fear of man and put in me the fear of God”. Truly, this prayer revolutionarized my life in no small measure!  Because I am by nature, timid and shy and I found it difficult to displease people, always careful to make everybody “happy”, you can call me ” Mr. Nice man”. But all that began to change with time as I discovered the Love of God towards me is the only thing I need.

No wonder when Apostle John got the revelation of God’s love he exclaimed in 1 John 3:1a that “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God”. Indeed what manner of Love!

Beloved, the best thing that can happen to you is to wake up each day and find out that God loves you just as He loves Jesus His son, who is the first born among the New Creation. Knowing this comes with a sense of security, safety and rest. This was the secret of our Lord Jesus Christ, he knew what it means for the Father to love him and he completely abandon himself in absolute child-like trust and surrender, knowing the fact that whatever happens, his Heavenly Father will NEVER let him down. This was the same revelation that David got and it made him sing in Psalms 23:1 that “The Lord is my shephered, I shall not want”. Common! Do you truly know God as your Shepherd? 

Jesus was operating from the security of the Father’s love, and hence he could stand in the synagogue and speak the word of God without fear, to an extent that the religious leaders marvel at his wirds. And it was this same security that led Jesus chased the money changers in the Temple which he called “My Father’s House”. This was the same love that made him heal the sick, raised the death and it eventually led him to Golgotha.

If you are secured in the Love of God, you will fear nothing, not even the “Herod” of your day nor the Pharisees and Saducees of your day. Jesus confronted them, because he found security in His Father’s love, hence he owe no man allegiance if it contradict His Father’s will.

Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 1:10 that “Am I now trying to win the approval of Hunan beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ”. What a powerful statement from a man who has found his satisfaction in the Love of God! Today, we have a lot of hirelings who cannot tell their members the truth, because it may affect their meal and the ability to pay their bills. No wonder these days their are a lot of Pastopreneurs all around claiming to doing the work of God, but in reality , they after their stomach only.

Mat God grant us a deep revelation and experience of His Love…to the glory and honour of His name. Amen! (With love from Hosea Fwangmun, Jos – Nigeria)