Looking around at the current state of society, believers cannot help but ask themselves if the modern church is prepared for the coming battles.
In 1999 the Lord said, “Demons were going underground for 20 years, so the church will not be prepared for what was coming. The church will go to sleep regarding demons and be caught unaware of how to deal effectively with them.”
Therefore, He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk [e]circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of [f]God. (Ephesians 5:14-21, NKJV).
Yes, the church has gone to sleep before and will again. Regarding demons, the church is asleep and unaware when dealing with real demons. When was the last time a demon manifested near you or in a church? Remember, demon manifestations are a regular biblical experience. We see this in Jesus’ ministry on many occasions.
Is the church ready to face the enemies of the 21st century?
I don’t think we’re ready.
I know the battle is the Lord’s, but we are the soldiers. So, are the soldiers prepared for what’s ahead? Again, I don’t think so.
My concern is the lack of experience in the modern church when dealing with demonic spirits and spiritual warfare. One key factor is knowing your enemy. The scripture says we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices (II Corinthians 2:11). The ecclesia knows there is a devil, and they know He is a liar. But are we equipped to handle His deception, power, and antics? One tactic of the enemy is how he uses the five human senses to display his false power.
As humans, the five senses are an avenue that Satan uses to influence and deceive believers. Many Christians in the United States have never dealt with a demon spirit or seen the manifestation of actual demons.
Actual demons can be scary and manifest superhuman strength.
Demons can morph into animal-like beings, deceive the human eye, and trigger fear and unbelief. I have had the unfortunate experience of facing real demons. These encounters were never fun, and while my Spirit was unafraid, my five senses were in chaos. Yes, I experienced fear and mental anguish.
One demon manifested through a woman in bobcat-type manifestation and leaped four feet into the air: landing on her knees and hands like a cat. We eventually cast this demon out, and the woman was restored to a sound mind. But few Christians have encountered these types of manifestations.
Why did the demons manifest around Jesus? Because Jesus carried the presence of God, in the 80s & 90s, we experienced demons in the church because the church was sacred and holy, and the demons could not stay in a person’s body while in the presence of God.
The demons manifested in the church because they wanted to escape from a person’s body while in God’s presence and on holy ground. We have lost the holiness in the house of God and settled for the anointing. Demons manifested in God’s house because God’s house tormented them.
I am not old school, but I resonate with the late Leonard Ravenhill when he said, “No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”
Leonard Ravenhill is so on-point. Many of today’s churches are primarily a social connection with good speakers and good music. The church has lost the focus of our purpose and calling.
When He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” (Matthew 8:28-29.
Churches today are vastly different than churches a few decades ago.
I am not saying that every church is the same; I am not saying that today’s churches are powerless. I am not a church hater, and I fully support new church methods and cutting-edge creativity.
But the churches that substitute prayer meetings for church services are not prepared to handle this generation’s demons and spiritual warfare atmosphere. We must learn the NEW WINESKIN skills and strategies of binding the strongman and tearing down principalities and powers.
We have lost our identity.
Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. (II Timothy 2:4, NLT)
How many Christians are living the life of a soldier? Only a few. Yes, we are distracted, and many Christians have boarded a cruise ship, not a battleship. The first shift is the way we view ourselves. We must recover our identity, and we are soldiers in the army of God and not country club members.
Going to church is not the fullness of your Christianity. We are followers of Christ, and signs follow true believers.
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name, they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18, NKJV)
Jesus did not give us spiritual power and authority to walk around in tranquility and have the best small group. Our God-given authority is to tread upon demons and enforce God’s rule over every demon spirit.
Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. (Luke 10:19, NLY)
We possess all power over every enemy.
No, we do not have to be afraid or succumb to the emotion of fear.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love, and self-discipline. (I Timothy 1:7, NLT)
The church has the spiritual power and the commission to go into the world and face the enemy. I do not question the source of power, but I am concerned about our lack of training and identity. I am convinced we will win this war, but the soldiers that lack training are often the causalities on the battlefield. We have time to prepare but do not know how much time. So, let’s get started.
For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, we, being many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8, NKJV)
We can use our spiritual gifts to equip and empower the saints.
Let’s get to work; the preparation and training of the soldiers will determine the church’s future.
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