Today's Foundations Devotionals: A new realm of spiritual conflict

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Memory verse:

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

(1 Corinthians 14:1)

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To seek the baptism in the Spirit without sincerely purposing to use the power thus received in scriptural service for Christ can be extremely dangerous.

One reason for this is that the baptism in the Spirit does not merely lead into a realm of new spiritual blessing; it leads also into a realm of new spiritual conflict.

As a logical consequence, increased power from God will always bring with it increased opposition from Satan.

The Christian who makes sensible, scriptural use of the power received through the baptism in the Spirit will be in a position to meet and overcome the increased opposition of Satan.

On the other hand, the Christian who receives the baptism in the Spirit but neglects the other aspects of Christian duty will find himself in an exceedingly dangerous position.

He will discover that the baptism in the Spirit has opened up his spiritual nature to entirely new forms of satanic attack or oppression, but he will be without the God-appointed means to discern the true nature of Satan’s attack or to defend himself against it.

Quite often such a Christian will find his mind invaded by strange moods of doubt or fear or depression, or he will be exposed to moral or spiritual temptation which he never experienced before receiving the baptism in the Spirit.

Unless he is forewarned and forearmed to meet these new forms of satanic attack, he may easily succumb to the wiles and onslaughts of the enemy and fall back to a lower spiritual level than he was on before he entered this new realm of conflict.

The life of Jesus provides a graphic example of this truth.

At His baptism in the Jordan the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove and remained on Him. Immediately after this the Holy Spirit led Him to a direct personal encounter with Satan.

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil (Luke 4:1-2).

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Prayer:

Lord, please help me to be alert to the attacks and opposition of the

devil, who wants to prevent me from growing and flourishing in the use

of the gifts of the Spirit, with which I want to help build the Body of

Christ for service and Your glory. Amen.

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