Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#60 Spiritual Boot Camp

C. Peter Wagner: When young people enlist in the Marines, their first stop is boot camp. There they receive intensive, basic training geared to carry them across the threshold from civilian to military life.

The major purpose of boot camp is to develop the character that will sustain a Marine in the crisis in situations of battle.

This partially done through grueling physical disciplines designed to build both muscle and stamina. 

But even more important is the psychological conditioning necessary to assure that every Marine believes in the mission of the Marine corps, develops courage and self-discipline, and is fully prepared to submit to authority and obey commands with no questions asked.

Without the basic training of boot camp, Marines would never win a battle, much less a war.

Basic training applies equally to Christians who desire to do spiritual warfare. Too many Christians want to get involved in the action without first submitting themselves to the discipline necessary to equip a warrior for battle.

To the degree that they do, they leave themselves open to serious personal attack and they run the risk of bringing discredit to the Body of Christ.

Spiritual warfare should be seen as involving two simulaneous movements: the upward and the outward. Some call them Godward and Satanward.

In a book that has become a Christian classic, Quiet Talks on Prayer, S. D. Gordon, at around the turn of the last century, pointed out that "prayer concerns thee."

It first concerns God to whom we pray, then the person doing the praying, but also the evil one against whom we pray.

"The purpose of prayer," says Gordon, "is not to persuade or influence God, but to join forces with him against the enemy."

Joining with God against Satan is essential in prayer. "The real pitch is not Godward, but Satanward," Gordon says.

Although our goal in spiritual warfare is to join God in defeating the enemy, we must never forget that we, in ourselves, have no power to defeat him. "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts: (Zech. 4;6).

The principle here is that it is extremely dangerous to attempt to move too far outward without first moving far enough upward.

Moving upward is the spiritual boot camp, while moving outward is the battle. Just as in the Marines, the battle cannot be won without first going through boot camp.

[Wagner gives a diagram on page 107, conceptualizing what he is saying.]

The rest of the book will describe in some detail our battle plan and what it means to move Satanward. But the sequence cannot be changed. We must look at the Godward side first.

A central text for understanding the relationship of the upward to the outward is James 4:7, 8: 

    "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee
     from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to 
     you.Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your 
     hearts, you double-minded."

In verse 7 "submit to God" is the upward or Godward relationship and "resist the devil" is the outward or the Satanward relationship.

These verses elaborate on the upward action by setting out three things we must do if we are to successfully resist the devil:

    (1) submit to God; (2) draw near to God; and (3) cleanse
    our hands and purify our hearts.

These are three essential parts of a spiritual boot camp designed to equip the warriors.

(Google image and emphasis added)

#60 Spiritual Boot Camp
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 106-108) Regal Books


ather, may we be willing to look to You for the guidance we'll need to be successful in our spiritual warfare efforts.
    Make it clear to us that You're the one Who has the power needed to overcome the evil one, and that we're supposed to wait on You to lead the way to the victory promised in Your Word.
    I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Copy and paste the above link, and you'll be blessed! God talks with a man about changing him into Christ's image...

Today’s Bible verse: 2 Sam. 22:2 "And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer."

25th- Saturday’s post:  Seasons of the Heart
James H. Cagle

26th- Sunday evening's post:  Pray First
Jennifer Benson Schuldt

28th- Tuesday's post:  #61 Submit to God
C. Peter Wagner

30th- Thursday's post:  # 62 Draw Near to God
C. Peter Wagner

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