|SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Domination: The Use of Overwhelming
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Jul 18 2008 08:00AM
George Bloomer's experience.....
"Some time ago I was accorded the great privilege of speaking in a large and well-known church. I was honored by the
invitation and excited at the prospect of speaking in this particular church. Imagine, George Bloomer, from the projects
of Brooklyn, was coming to preach in the church of this well-known and influential pastor.
I was instructed by the pastor to arrive a little while after the service began so that I would not have to sit through all the
preliminary announcements and such. When I arrived at the front entrance of this impressive facility, there was no one
waiting to direct me. Walking in the front entrance, I felt awestruck. There were television cameras everywhere and the
place was jam-packed. This was going to be so exciting!
My heart was filled with the prospects and possibilities of speaking from that renowned pulpit. I was rehearsing my
sermon in my mind and thought it might be a good idea to go over my notes one last time. At the same time, my mind
and attention were caught up in the background music and activity on the other side of the sanctuary doors. My heart
was awhirl with the anticipation of this tremendous opportunity. In the midst of this impressive moment, I put my hand on
the doorknob and pulled open the sanctuary door. The sound and excitement grew the farther I pulled it open.
Suddenly, I felt the jerk of someone rudely pulling the door out of my hand. I lost my grasp on the doorknob as it closed
sharply before my stunned eyes and face. There I stood, outside the sanctuary, alone and deflated. My fervor was
extinguished in a moment's time as if smothered by a wet blanket. I said to myself, 'Okay, maybe I shouldn't have
touched the door. I'm in the wrong here.' I had been in the church for a long time and should have known better than to
just walk through a sanctuary door. After all, they could not have known it was I, the 'Special Guest Preacher,' on the
other side of the door. But just as the swelling of my wounded ego was going down, insult was added to injury. The
lady usher who had so rudely jerked the door out of my hand, dampening my excitement, slipped open the door and
came back for more.
Focusing her widened eyes at me and wagging her head from side to side, she spoke at me in the most condescending
of tones: "You see this door? Do not put your hands on this door. Anytime you come to this church and you see this
door closed, you just wait until I open it. They're up there praying: what's wrong with you?" Then she again shut the
door in my stunned face.
I was breathless! 'Well, I know exactly what I'm preaching about tonight,' I said to myself - "carnal church workers!" Now
I would have my "pound of flesh!" She would be one sorry usher. How dare she insult me and treat me like some
insignificant no-account nothing from the projects? I was the "Special Guest Preacher."
Just then, a young man came up and warmly greeted me. He said, "Come here with me." But I was so stunned and
deflated by that lady usher that I could scarcely hear this man. I was out to get the 'Jezebel.' I was serious!
The young man, sent by the pastor to take care of my needs, took me down some steps and through a tunnel that came
up into the pastor's office adjoining the platform. As I stood in the pastor's office, I gathered myself together. Then,
after putting on my pastor's robe, I made a grand entrance onto the platform. As I strolled out onto the platform, the
offending usher, with her condescending attitude, was standing at her door. When she saw me, she shriveled into the
corner with her eyes turning downward so as not to catch my direct gaze. She had not realized with whom she had
trifled. I was the "Preacher" - the honored guest speaker for the day. It was I who was to bring the Word of God. It was
I who now stood in the holy majesty dressed in flowing ecclesiastical robes behind the pulpit. And now it was judgment
day. She was toast!
How would I do it? What could I say to put her in her place? She was only an usher, while I was the preacher.
Thoughts and strategies filled my mind as I sat there on the platform behind the pulpit. Then the praise broke out, and
after a little while I was called up to minister. Suddenly, as I stood behind that renowned pulpit, the Holy Spirit took
over. All the words set to spew forth from my wounded heart were now stuck in my throat. I wasn't able to "preach my
thing" or "say my stuff." In an instant the Lord flooded me with His presence and brought me to His footstool. Without a
word I was delivered of my arrogant and vengeful thinking. The Holy Spirit arrested me with His glory before I could say
a word. By God's grace alone, I was able to minister.
As the Lord continued to cleanse me, I glanced at the usher. It was like looking in a spiritual mirror. I had wanted to use
my position to crush and destroy this usher. I had wanted to use my holy appearance to crush tears of repentance out
of her. But then the Lord changed that. Though I didn't feel delivered from my animosity completely, I realized that I
had been thinking pretty highly of myself. At that moment, I realized, as Paul said, that we all stood equally in the grace
of God of Jesus Christ.
than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
What happened there? Satan used an emotional bruise to start a war. This was part of his deliberate strategy to
wound and kill another brother or sister in the Lord. Although we both should have been focusing on God, we were
ambushed by pride and diverted by conflict. That is always Satan's strategy, his never-ending theme: distraction,
diversion, and disharmony with God and one another. Without the intervention of the Holy Spirit and His gentle
conviction, the day would have been lost.
So I ministered to the congregation (not on carnal church workers), finished up, and was going about my post-service
business when this woman approached me to apologize,. My heart now calmed, I was ready to hear her apology.
"I'm so sorry for the way I treated you," she said.
As she began to speak, I felt badly. But then she added, "If I had known you were the preacher, I would have never
spoken to you like that."
When she said that, I realized that her apology was political, and my flesh rose up once again. After my first encounter
with her, I had asked myself, "How dare she speak to me in such a manner?" I asked myself a lot in that short question.
It was a clear indicator that I had placed myself above this sister somehow. When a preacher thinks that way, he is
more likely serve the sheep up on a platter than serve the sheep in the love of Christ. By the wonderful grace of God, I
had repented of my self-exaltation and now extended mercy to this sister.
Nevertheless, her second qualifying remark caused me to wonder how many came through that door on a weekly basis
who probably didn't return to the church again because of her nasty, condescending attitude. Then again, I wondered
how many times I had spoken down to people from my own pulpit. The same shoe fit both of us. Indeed, it fits most of
When Satan can't scare us by terrorism or manage us with psychological warfare, he tries to crush us through the
overwhelming force of domination. This is the tactic that an army uses to utterly destroy their opponent. It is a
"blitzkrieg" strategy that simply overpowers an enemy through brute force. As with the other strategies of distraction, we
become tools in Satan's hand to crush and dominate others, keeping them from the grace of God.
This was the strategy that Satan employed in the events at the church where I was the guest speaker. Ironically, both
the usher and myself were the channels through which Satan employed the strategy of overwhelming force. Each of us
tried to put the other in our respective places while at the same time guarding our own. Both of us thought we were
something and that the other was nothing. We were both wrong.
We were standing in a place set aside for the worship of God, and we could not get our minds off our own positions.
Both of us tried to dominate the other, looking down from our lofty positions. Both of us were operating in the flesh.
This same scene is played out with different characters in different settings every day and in many different arenas of
life. We try to dominate one another in the workplace, in the family, and, most appallingly, in the church. Why?
Because, though we are saved, there is still a part of us that is not submitted to God. We are living or walking in the
flesh rather than in the spirit as spiritual people.
Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the
things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Galatians 5:16-18
Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:5-6
We could say this another way: "The flesh ignores the spirit." To live by the flesh is to live by the same things that
motivated us before we were saved: "...The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the
Father, but is of the world." I John 2:16. Look at the progression: flesh, mind, and pride, of which the latter is the fuel
for the use of overwhelming force.
All of these are associated with the three strategies Satan uses to distract us from God. Intimidation has to do with the
flesh, manipulation with the mind, and domination with pride or self-exaltation. If we look carefully, we will see Satan's
full array of strategies employed throughout the Bible, even in his dealings with Jesus Himself.
desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her;
and he did eat." Genesis 8:5-6
Do you see the enemy's arsenal? Look at this verse more closely:
We see the same strategies in the wilderness when the enemy tempted Jesus.
Pride is a result of thinking that we are more than we are. It is Satan's oldest weapon. Again, he tells us, "You can be
like God." Part of us believes him. When we believe him, we use our position to dominate other people. We "bite and
devour one another," as Paul said in Galatians 5:15.
Opportunities for Force
Pride is an important issue, because, in this strategy, we rob God of worship. Pride is, in effect, self-worship. If our
eyes are on ourselves, then they will not be focused on the Lord. God cannot be seated on the thrones of our hearts if
we are seated there ourselves. Satan does not always try to get us to worship him right away; sometimes he leads us to
worship ourselves first, and we call that pride.
At no time does the strategy of overwhelming force have a greater opportunity than when we have been wounded in
some way. When we are wounded, we remove our saintly suits and put on judge's robes. We feel that we have a right
to judge the one who has wounded us, just as I did when the usher offended me. Our flesh is offended, our mind is
distracted, and our pride takes over. "Here comes the judge!" But we are not carnal; we are spiritual creatures. When
we are wounded, we are to restore in the Spirit rather than wound in the flesh.
considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For
if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." Galatians 6:1-3
The dangers and opportunities to use overwhelming force lurk in the hearts of leaders in the church as well. Some
leaders don't want to be held accountable. Self-exalted people don't want to be disciplined. But all leaders are "under-
shepherds" of the Good Shepard, Jesus Christ. They are therefore accountable for their personal morals and attitudes
toward the sheep, whom they are given the privilege of serving.
Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be
among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the
chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to
give his life a ransom for many." Mark 10:42-45
Anyone who knows anything should be able to discern that leadership and dictatorship are two different things, just as
authority and domination are two different things. The example of this church could be replayed in the Sunday school
department or anywhere else in the church where the people of God allow prideful thinking to direct their steps.
Leaders in the church must remember that they are one of the sheep as well. They need to keep in mind that the flock
belongs to God. The authority belongs to God. The worship and glory all belong to God. If we succumb to pride and
self-exaltation, then we are on our own. The grace of God cannot flow to us or through us until we are submitted to
Him. Grace always flows from the greater to the lesser.
"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with
humility: for GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, AND GIVETH GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Humble yourselves therefore
under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
I Peter 5:5-7
How Is Your Walk?
How do we determine the character of our walk? Are we walking with people or over them? Are we walking in such a
way that demonstrates the lordship of Christ in our lives? You and I must walk (live) in such a way so as to keep our
eyes on God. We must walk by the Spirit, walk in love, and walk in humility.
Walk By The Spirit
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16
When we are walking by the Spirit, we are living with eyes lifted toward heaven. We are walking as Jesus did, which
means we make pleasing the Father our priority. We do not walk independently, but we take each step in the footprints
of God's leading.
what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.... I can of mine
own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of
the Father which hath sent me." John 5:19,30
When we live by the Spirit, we live in a way that pleases God. We are no longer concerned with our own plans and our
own image. Walking by the Spirit is a moment-by-moment decision to believe God. Our old iniquitous nature is gone; it
has been buried with Christ. We are no longer subject to fear or manipulation. "Therefore we are buried with him by
baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also walk in
newness of life." Romans 6:4.
We must also walk in love.
Walk In Love
greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL
THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. On these two
commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:35-40
Love is the greatest law and governing principle of the kingdom of God. James called it the "the royal law" in James 2:
8. But, because it is everything opposite to the carnal nature of the old man, it must be contended for. God's kind of
love is not a mere emotion; it is a conscious decision. We can set out each day determined to love regardless of the
events and people we encounter. We can be predisposed toward an attitude of love. But this attitude is only possible
when we believe that God loves us. Love is not our idea; it is God's. Because we are loved and secure, we can risk
loving other people.
in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that
feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us." I John 4:17-19
Love is the answer to the foul stench of iniquity that gives entry to the enemy's warring ways and tactics. James said
that lusts of mortal flesh literally "war in [our] members" (James 4:1). When we are born again and receive the Holy
Spirit, God helps us overcome our anti-love nature, but it is a daily battle that we must choose to fight. The battle lines
are drawn around our families, the church, the workplace, the grocery store, the bank - wherever there is the possibility
and opportunity to express the love of God.
Walk In Humility
There has been much misunderstanding about humility. To be humble does not mean that we become doormats. To
walk in humility means that we have a proper concept of God and of our relationship to Him. Also remember that those
sitting and working around you weekly in your New Testament church are vessels of God's Holy Spirit, just as you are.
When we walk by the Spirit, in love and humility, we are able to "overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21) and "cover a
multitude of sins" (James 5:20; I Peter 4:8). We are able to walk in grace, both receiving and extending it to others.
THE HUMBLE. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to
God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble
yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." James 4:6-10
God gives us "more grace" - as much as we need. God gives us more of Himself as we resist the devil and draw near to
God. God lifts us up as we humble ourselves toward His throne. As we walk by the Spirit, in love and humility, we walk
in the same grace that saved us, giving glory and honor to God.
Spiritual Warfare, by George Bloomer, Copyright 2004, Whitaker House.
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