Today’s article is about choices, and how they affect us, both short term, and long term.  Why are we involved in spiritual warfare?  It’s because Satan is after our soul.  If we did not have hope of eternal life, he would not be bothering us so much, for the whole world is under his sway.  He doesn’t do battle with those he already has control of; rather, it’s the ones who want to be free that he targets.  As in the political world, a dictator doesn’t bother those he already controls, it’s the ones he DOESN’T have total control of that he sends his forces against to deal with them.

Satan spends a lot of time trying to get control of our thoughts through the media, by targeting advertising, music, visual content on TV and internet.  With almost every media being saturated with worldly and wicked content, it’s increasingly difficult to keep our thoughts clean and wholesome.  And of course, pornography is all around us, both on television and internet, and the devil wants us to look at it, dwell on it, and lust after it.  He is relentless, never takes a day off, and he is after your soul to destroy it.
You can say, “I can’t control my thoughts”, but that is not true.  Actually, that is the one thing you CAN control.  The Bible says in Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

While the devil can offer you things to think about that are contrary to everything good and godly, you have the power to reject those thoughts.  How?  Glad you asked.  It is written in 2 Cor 10:3-5,
2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

We are forced to make choices daily, in both good and bad situations.  (Deut 30:19)
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

The battle always takes place first in the mind.  If the devil can get control of your mind, he will also control your tongue and body as well.  God created you a speaking spirit, one who has power to change things by your words.  He did not give Satan that authority, so he tries to get YOU to use YOUR words, which are given authority on earth to accomplish things.  As you know, thoughts lead to words, and words lead to action.  The devil will suggest wrong thoughts to you in an effort to get you to dwell on them and speak them, and to act upon them.

Now you may think your words have not much effect on things, but hear me out:  suppose you tell your beloved mate, “You are so good to me, and I love you with all my heart.” Your mate will appreciate you and most likely do something nice for you.  But suppose you say, “You’re the most worthless, ugliest person I’ve ever seen.” You’ll probably be sleeping alone tonight, maybe for quite a few nights.  Wrong thinking leads to wrong speaking, and to wrong actions.  Those wrong actions can have very profound effects on a person’s life.  Many are in prison today because they didn’t reject a thought that just came to them, like, “You need money, why don’t you just go rob the convenience store, you’ll never get caught.”, and they dwelled upon it and finally acted on it.  Looking back, they have regret.  But regret won’t get them out of prison, and regret won’t undo something that never should have been done in the first place.

We can choose to love God and love others, or we can choose to expect everyone to cater to our every whim.  And of course the devil will tell you, YOU’RE ENTITLED TO EXPECT EVERYONE TO DO WHAT YOU WANT.  And we see a lot of that going on in today’s society, don’t we?  Or, perhaps he will work on you other ways, like telling you that you will never amount to anything, you’ll always be poor, you’ll never have anything good, that nothing will ever pan out for you.  Thoughts lead to words, and words lead to action, and what you do today affects your tomorrow and beyond:  DO YOUR THOUGHTS AND WORDS ALIGN WITH GOD’S WORD?

Many children have grown up having parents that spoke wrong things over them, like YOU’RE STUPID, you can’t do anything right, or You’re a loser, You never learn, or other similar things.  Satan uses the words of others to hurt you.  Now you may remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” Don’t you believe that!  Words can do more destruction that sticks and stones, because Satan uses those hurtful words to do spiritual warfare against you to destroy you, one thought at a time.

Do you remember those hurtful words you heard as a child?  Of course you do, and they have left scars in you, haven’t they?   You have a war going on in your spirit: “Do I forgive this person or persons, or do I just let this stuff fester inside of me and keep eating me up?” Cancer eats people up, and I believe cancer is a physical manifestation of a defective spiritual condition.  The thoughts you think and the words you speak affect the mind, and the mind controls what the body does.  Fix the spirit and you fix the mind, and the body.

Choosing to forgive sets you free from the hurt.  Choosing to retain those hurts enables the devil to use them over and over again, just like ripping the scab off of a wound that is trying to heal.  We are the subject of spiritual warfare from the day we are born until we die, the devil never quits trying to destroy us.  After all, he cannot destroy God, so he will try to destroy those whom God loves.  That means the devil has painted a target on you.

And yes, that’s what spiritual warfare is all about, Satan wants to influence your thoughts and set you up for destruction, either from within or without.  He will use your physical senses to get you to bow the knee to him, like lust of the flesh, or addictions, using pornography or alcohol or tobacco to bring you under his control.

Remember, there’s a war going on for your soul, and Satan plays for keeps, and he doesn’t play nice, yet he won’t try to get you into bondage with things that are not attractive to you.  The devil never sends some ugly woman to entice a man to commit adultery, he sends the attractive ones.  He will put a love of money in you, suggesting you gamble, dangling the hope of quick riches before you to get you hooked on gambling.  He won’t tell you that you can and most likely will lose everything you have and end up in debt.  No, you’re smarter than that.  He will let you win just enough to set the hook in you, and THEN he will reel you in.  And he will keep reeling you in until you’re a stuffed trophy on his wall.  And he has a BIG wall full of trophies, but there’s room for you, too.

Do we have any hope of victory in this spiritual warfare?  Well, I could say “Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion”, but many of you need help RIGHT NOW and can’t wait till next week.  Yes, we DO have hope, and more than just hope; we have a Savior and Deliverer in Christ Jesus of Nazareth, Y’shua Messiah, who is ever-present, and waiting for you to call upon Him.  Jesus liked to say “It is written…”, and so do I.

Rom 10:8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

By the way, that word “SAVED” in verse 13 is the Greek word “SOZO”, meaning safe”); to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): – heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
Does that sound like what you’re looking for?  I thought so.  Call upon Christ Jesus right now.  He is only a prayer away, and He is listening for your voice.  Don’t wait; do it NOW!