WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
Spiritually explicit material ahead. Please read, but only if you can read the entire post.
Today’s verse in Philippians deals with some awesome and poignant material. It reveals a few of the cohorts of the evil spirit kingdom in operation around us.
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.” Philippians 3:2
Who is he talking about? Let’s take a look at the literal translation.
“Beware of dogs, (backbiters). Beware of destructively evil workers. Beware of those who mutilate the flesh.” vs. 2
First on the list, is the back biter. We’ve talked a little about this in a previous post. This behavior reminds me of a show on NatGeo Wild about a pack of wolves trying to take down a baby buffalo, with its mother. First they strategically divided them from the pack. Then they worked to divide the baby from its mother. The only problem was there was 2,000 pounds of ticked-off Mama in the way. Then, they attacked the baby from the back, the side, and anywhere the mother couldn’t reach. Mama could only do so much. When one was being driven off by her, two other wolves pounced on the baby. I was horrified and realized they were probably going to take it down. Then, suddenly, the baby fought back. The screeching yelp of a dog getting kicked pierced the canyon. A baby buffalo still outweighs a wolf by three times and in one minute the game changed. The baby got away with its mother because it defended itself. They made it back to the herd and back to safety. That little buffalo was just a little smarter too.
This threesome of devil spirits Paul mentions are back-biters, evil workers and then mutilators of the flesh. These are like that pack of wolves. Think of our young kids. Teenagers especially. Have you ever had a teenager back-bite? What about sneak in and steal from you? What about do drugs behind your back? That is one example, but think of the wives who start with back biting against their husbands, then cheat on them, then drink and do drugs to medicate their misery? Are we not living in this time? There are also those who cut themselves. Are these behaviors natural to man? No. They are spiritually driven.
Let’s think of the devil’s agenda for a second. He wants to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10a, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:”) Like the wolves strategize, the devil also has to divide you from the pack (like-minded believers, God, church, Bible study) where you are strong and safe. Then he has to make you want to be away from them. So he sends in the backbiter devil spirit. These harp and complain and point out all that is wrong with everyone and everything around you. Suddenly, you’re thinking about all the evil things someone has done instead of all the good they have done. You start believing you are the victim of everyone else’s heartlessness. This is the exact opposite of Phil 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.”
All this evil thinking leads you to act. Thoughts are the seeds of our actions. That’s why God asks us to control our thoughts by renewing our mind. We need to send out a hard kick right then and there. If you do not, the devil spirits are not done attacking yet. They will push and push and push until you feel so off-kilter and alone you’d do anything to feel better. They make you feel as though you don’t need “them” (the fellow believers, your pack) you can make it on your own. Or you think, “I’ll just be an imposition with all my problems and phobias, they don’t want that in their life.” This leads to actions, dangerous, risky desperate actions. And all because you want to medicate with false thrills, false hopes, and false fun. Where does that lead? Yep, to the next phase, self-mutilation. Now this can be subtle with partying or it can be full-blown with suicide. Again the devils spirits are pushing and pushing and pushing. What is their end goal? Destruction. They want you dead, they prefer if you kill yourself and bring someone else down with you, if possible. They’d love it if the other person was a fellow believer in God and Jesus Christ.
I know that there are some of you out there reading this who think, “No way!” But there are others who’ve been through this roller coaster ride with a loved one or on your own that are saying, “Oh my, it all finally makes sense.”
“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].” Ephesians 6:12
How do we get off this roller coaster ride? Stop it now. 95% of solving any problem is realizing there is a problem! Once you see it, you see how you’re being attacked, you can stop it from continuing.
If that baby buffalo would have kicked that dog before it got divided from the pack, things would have gone different. They wouldn’t have been on the brink of death. That’s what we need to also “beware” of. Dogs are out there trying to divide you, first from your fellowship with God, then from your fellowship with other believers. It all starts with a thought and usually a back biting thought. I’m going to go over our next verse tomorrow too, but in it lies the solution to this whole mess. Let’s read it.
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh.” Phil. 4:3 (KJV)
And the literal…
“We are the (true) circumcision (chosen of God) who worship God by the spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.” Phil. 4:3
We have a weapon in this gift of holy spirit. We have nine ways to use it. We don’t just have hooves to kick with, we have healing and miracles. If you are neck-deep in this kind of situation, you are being attacked with the same shrewd force that the baby buffalo was. You need to get back to your pack. If you need prayer, support and or help I’m begging you to reach out. You are not alone. Don’t let the devil steal from you anymore. Take back your peace of mind, take back your life!
God bless you today!