Romans 13:11-14 – “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” NASU
God has no real interest in simply improving us, He wants us cured or transformed! Improvement is nice but we have experienced too many wars in the natural where there was no real pursuit of winning and the result is a world in chaos. I believe that we have missed a vital truth that if something is worth going to war over it is worth WINNING!
Spiritually, God wants WINNERS! He wants warriors who will fight to the finish, not people who seek a league or a covenant with the enemy. He wants those who will stand in the face of the flood and say, “ONLY UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER” is acceptable. Cure is required and nothing but the total package of God’s Promise will be accepted. NO COMPROMISE!
In Scripture, we have examples of people who missed this principle and the ramifications of that failure. In Joshua 9 we find a people who had heard of the terror of the people of God as they entered Canaan. As Israel journeyed through and drove out all the inhabitants, fear gripped the hearts of the enemies. The Gibeonites heard of their exploits and devised a scheme to secure a treaty or a covenant. They dressed in ragged worn clothes to appear as though they had traveled from a distant land. Their shoes were worn, clothes were tattered, bread was stale, and used old wine skins. They planned deception which is a perpetual tactic of the devil.
Israel was deceived and took at face value the story told them without inquiring of the Lord. That is a first principle in spiritual warfare, NEVER totally accept anything without first inquiring of the Lord – NEVER! They came to Joshua and Israel and requested a treaty and he looked on the surface and thereby violated God’s Decree. God said, “Drive out ALL the inhabitants of the land.” When Israel discovered the deception the Gibeonites pleaded, “We will be your servants, just let us live in our land.”
There is a painful truth to be gleaned. You cannot pacify the devil and you dare not trust him to keep his world. You cannot agree to let some devils stay and expect lasting peace. You MUST DRIVE THEM ALL OUT! You must dispossess to possess! The real reason the deception worked was that Joshua and the elders did not inquire of the Lord. They did not PRAY. We are prime targets for deception if we fail to pray. If we simply look at the external and pursue what seems reasonable striving for external peace WE WILL BE DECEIVED. Peace will not be the result. Satan’s goal is deception because that is the sum total of his power. He has no other power over us except through deception and is a master at it. The key to avoiding deception is PRAYER!
Today this is as vital if not more vital than in any hour. In the last days, the Bible warns, there will be seducers waxing worse and worse not getting better or becoming more amicable and willing to co-exist. In Matthew 24 we are warned against DECEPTION. There will be false apostles, false teachers, and false Christs. Beware, many will be deceived. Romans 13 instructs that we need to KNOW THE TIMES and we need to PUT ON the Armor of Light. We must be ready for spiritual warfare always. The enemy will not wait for a time convenient for us to launch his attacks. He is a coward and ambushes from the rear taking out the stragglers. He is astute in Gorilla warfare, and the use of snipers. Another reason to always be clothed with the FULL ARMOR OF GOD so that we are ready at all times for spiritual warfare!
I desire to address this just a bit more so we will pause now and pick this up in the next devotional. May the rich blessings of the Lord always be upon you in all things and at all times!