June 20 – 24, 2012
Cefn Lea Park, Wales, UK
Jesus said that the greatest commandment was that we should love the Lord with all our soul, mind, heart and strength. This is God’s desire for all mankind throughout the ages. Although it didn’t start that way, man has become the prize in a great cosmic conflict and so it is Satan’s desire to stop that goal from happening.
The aim of this weekend was to re-open our eyes to that reality and understand how it affects each one of us in such a way that we are not aware of the devil’s schemes. More than that, we wanted to learn how to defend against his attacks and live everyday in the victory that has already been won for us.
We did that by looking at the four human battlegrounds spoken of in that greatest commandment the battle for our soul, for our heart, for our mind and for our strength. We learnt why each battleground is of strategic importance, what is at stake in the conflict, what some of the enemy’s strategies are and what our defence mechanisms should be.
Battleground 1 The Battle For Your Soul
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God – The wages of sin is death – These are well known verses to us. Satan’s destiny is guaranteed and will not be changed, a lake of fire has been reserved for him and his angels. But the good news is that God wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Satan is determined to rob men of that escape route so that they too will find themselves shut out of God’s presence for all eternity. If this battleground is lost, the battle for heart, mind and strength cannot be won either.
Battleground 2 The Battle For Your Heart
The battle for the soul, once won, is won for ever and Satan is forced to settle for a second prize. His next focus of attack is to rob God of his rightful place as number one in our hearts. This is an ongoing battle of submission to the will of God and to service for God.
Battleground 3 The Battle For Your Mind
From Paul’s writing it seems clear that the battle for his heart wasn’t the biggest issue for him, it was the battle for his mind. He knew what he wanted to do, but he wasn’t able to do it and the things he didn’t want to do, he ended up doing! Although he asked to be rescued from this body of death, and we tend to think of our flesh being the big problem, the fact is that everything starts with our minds – our mind controls what we end up doing, saying and seeing.
If Satan loses the battle for your heart, the next prize will be to nullify your best intentions by playing a series of mind games. God wants your mind to be sanctified, to be set apart, to be clear-headed, pure and holy. Satan wants to mess with it so that it is polluted and muddled.
Battleground 4 The Battle For Your Strength
When soul, heart and mind are all aligned, it is then that we are best able to serve God in the way that He wants. But even now, Satan is still lurking to try and rob God of the fruit that He wants us to bear for Him. Paul in his emotional and motivational speech to the Ephesian elders in the book of Acts said, somewhat surprisingly perhaps, that the church of God was purchased with Jesus blood. We are used to thinking of the cross-work of Christ in terms of laying down His life for His bride, or in relation to the Church the Body. But here we see that there was an additional goal which had the very same price.
Paul warned that after his departure, savage wolves and false teaching would come in which would decimate the flock. he Church the Body in general is beyond Satans reach, the gates of Hades shall never prevail against it. But the same is not true of the Churches of God.
As much as at any time in the last 120 years perhaps, the Churches of God are under attack and, especially in the Western world, the testimony hangs by a thread in certain places. With each lampstand of testimony being removed, the light that seeks to be faithful to Gods revealed Will and Word gets that bit dimmer – a testimony that Jesus died for.