Living in the Stronghold of Deception (Part 1 of 8)
By David Wickey
May 1, 2017
Part one of an eight-part series called Living in the Stronghold of Deception.
Fighting the Good Fight
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:10-18)
When God moves an individual or a group of people to do what He has called them to do, God Himself is the author of it, and these people are led by the Holy Spirit. This threatens Satan’s kingdom. It stirs up the demonic world of spiritual wickedness in high places. If we think we can battle this spiritual wickedness with our own carnal power, we will be utterly defeated, and the work of God will cease. I am not being negative; I am being truthful. I have seen it happen.
When a person is first born of the Spirit (born again), he or she is a baby in the things of God. When we are babies, we do not know how to fight properly. Those who have walked with Christ in the way of the cross for a longer period of time have learned to fight more effectively. Spiritual babies think they know how to fight the good fight of faith, but they fight carnally. They are babies in the things of God. I have personally fallen many times, and I am still learning. When we are babies, we hang on to our self-righteousness, self-work, and self-will.
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3:5-11)
As we begin to lose our lives according to the working of His grace, we are brought into Christ and we begin to understand how to fight the good fight of faith. We then are made conformable unto His death. This must be by faith through His grace working in us. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
As babies, we begin to come into the workmanship that comes from God. We start growing into Christ Jesus. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen (2 Peter 3:18). My friend, this is called holiness!
The Holy Spirit teaches us how to fight the good fight of faith. We can begin to overcome the spiritual wickedness in high places because we are in Him and not in the flesh. We learn how to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We begin to know how to put on the whole armor of God. We learn how to stand, having our loins girt about with truth, for we are in the truth. We learn how to put on the breastplate of righteousness, for we are in His righteousness. We learn how to let our feet be shod with the preparation of peace, for He is our peace. We learn how to take the shield of faith, for we are in the faith. We learn how to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one, for we know how to put on Christ. We learn how to take the helmet of salvation, for our mind has learned of Him. We learn how to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
The one who has learned this fight from years of walking in faith can and will fight for the baby in Christ: watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:18).
On earth, when people enlist in the army, they must go through basic training. They have given up their lives to serve their country. When they are in training, they must give up their way of doing things and learn how to fight the army’s way. If they don’t learn the army’s way and keep on going their own way, they get into trouble. It is the same with a baby Christian. Baby Christians think they know how to fight, but they do not yet know how to fight God’s way. If the baby Christian is to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and complete the call of God on his life, he must lose his own life and his own purposes and enter the life of Christ and the purpose that God has called him to. If he doesn’t do it God’s way and in God’s order, he will run into great failure and devastation. I have seen it in my own life and in the lives of others. Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier (2 Timothy 2:1-4).
When we begin this training, through the work of the cross by the Holy Spirit, we want to run, because it puts to death our way of thinking and doing things. We do not want to die but death to the self-life is mandatory if we are to come into the life of Christ and into His purpose for our lives.
How does one die to the self-life?
If we have been born again of the Holy Spirit, we have a choice. God has given us free will. We can choose to submit to this training or run from it, going our own way, and doing our own thing. How do we know when we are being trained God’s way or when we are going our own way? Ephesians says that after the Lord had descended and also ascended above all the heavens, He gave gifts unto men. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:11-14).
So you see, brothers and sisters, we cannot become good soldiers of Christ until we choose to put ourselves under the training of true, proven ministry that God has given to His church, and not to man. This is God’s order and not man’s order. I am afraid we have lost this order in the church. Let us pray that we will allow God’s order once again to operate in the church. We learn how to fight the good fight of faith by God’s ordained order. May God have mercy on us and give us wisdom and understanding. God’s order always leads us to the cross and what He accomplished for us. This leads us into the great redemption of mankind and the manifestation of the sons of God. This is a glorious work! The human mind cannot understand it. The rulers of the darkness of this world and the spiritual wickedness in high places do not want this work to take place, because it is bringing the kingdom of God to earth, and Satan thinks it is his kingdom.
God has foreordained that we, the church, the called-out ones, who choose to become a workmanship of God created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10) and walk in the faith, learn how to fight the good fight of faith, by the grace of God.
When we choose to go our own way and walk away from this training, we will have eyes but will not be able to see. We will have ears but will not be able to hear. We will think we are doing the will of God. We will think we are fighting the good fight, but it will be by our own carnal ways which war against God’s ways. Satan will laugh and encourage us to do so. He comes transformed as an angel of light. Satan has his apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, but they are false ministers. Baby Christians won’t know the difference. That is why we need the training of Ephesians 4:11-16. Pray for laborers in the harvest field, for they are few. We MUST learn how to fight the good fight of faith God’s way, which is the way of the cross. Brothers and sisters, let us never, never, never leave the cross. If we do, we will surely come into deception in the power of self-righteousness, which in the end will destroy us.
In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul wrote: And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (1 Corinthians 3:1-4).
The people had their eyes on the ministers instead of on Jesus. Satan was laughing at the confusion in Corinth, for he was the author of it. Being yet babies, they did not know how to fight the good fight of faith. If the apostle had not brought the word of God and put the church according to God’s order, God’s will and purpose would not have been accomplished in Corinth. It would have ceased to operate. They would have missed their calling and would have missed growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
After the correcting them and putting God’s order in the church at Corinth by the Holy Spirit, In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul says: Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. In other words, be mature. Don’t be babies anymore. Be strong. Don’t fight the fight of faith in your baby or carnal ways that have not yet been crucified with Christ. If you do, you will be defeated concerning the faith. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, 11, Paul writes: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith. . . . Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. When we submit to God’s order through the working of the cross by the Holy Spirit, we grow into maturity. We do not remain babies. We are humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God, and He is exalting us (1 Peter 5:6). We are than fighting the good fight of faith. Again, one cannot fight the good fight of faith unless one is in the faith, and not into some man-made worldly church system.
— David Wickey
To read other parts of this eight-part series, please click on the links below:
Part 1: Fighting the Good Fight
Part 2: God’s Wisdom
Part 3: Circumcision of the Heart
Part 5: True Judgment
Part 6: Pride and Humility
Part 7: The Unlimited Power of God
Part 8: True Healing of the Churchcomments powered by Disqus« Back to Articles