Before I can truly share what God has been speaking to me about the concept of Spiritual Warfare, I have to lay the ground work of how I got there. This journey started when a women’s group that I am part of decided to dive deeper into the idea of a “Hardened Heart.”
I looked up “Hardened Heart” in the back of my Bible and proceeded to write down the list of verses that it gave me to reference and I started my journey. I’m not going to comment on every single verse, but I’ll give you the list in case you want to dive into it for yourself (which is really what I recommend… it’s easy to read what I’m sharing, but don’t just trust me, let God open your own ears and your own eyes).
- Exodus 4:21
- Exodus 10:20
- Psalms 95:8
- Isaiah 6:10
- Matthew 13:15
- John 12:40
- Ephesians 4:18
- Hebrews 3:8
I am starting my focus in Isaiah 6. I encourage you to read the entire chapter for yourself first. But to give you some commentary… Isaiah 6 opens by saying in verse 1: “It was in the year that King Uzziah that I saw the Lord.” It’s easy to skip over that line, especially cause most of us probably don’t even know much about King Uzziah. I know I didn’t.
But King Uzziah was a popular King. He had a good track record. Everyone in that time knew of him. He became King at 16 years old. And in 2 Chronicles 26:5, we read that “As long as the king (Uzziah) sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.” He was the kind of man that made it easy to put trust in because of his accomplishments.
Don’t get me wrong, he had his problems as well (especially at the end). But the people had their hope in the king and their eyes were fixed on him, perhaps too much. And when we remove our faith in God and replace it solely in men, eventually, God has to remove the man. And that is exactly what happened. Which is why it is crucial that Isaiah says “It was in the year that King Uzziah that I saw the Lord.” Isaiah likely had his eyes fixed on king Uzziah as well. And It wasn’t until the king died that Isaiah’s eyes were truly opened to the fact that God is always on the throne yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
So Isaiah 6 continues with this detailed vision that God gave him, of God reigning in Heaven on a beautiful throne surrounded by angels. And then in the vision, the Lord asked “Whom shall I send as a messenger to the people?” Isaiah says “Send me!”
Isaiah 6:9: The Lord said “Yes, go, and say to the people, Listen carefully, but do not understand. Watch closely, but learn nothing. Harden the hearts of these people. Plug their ears and shut their eyes. That way, they will not see with their eyes nor hear with their ears, nor understand with their hearts and turn to me for healing.”
Read that again. We get so distracted and over-stimulated by everything going on in this world. All we see is all of the bright lights and distractions, both good and bad. We lean on our own understanding. We put our trust in other people. And we are left disappointed, tired, sick, and hungry over and over and over.
It’s not until we stop “seeing with our eyes” and “hearing with our ears” that we start to see what God is REALLY doing around us. When we tune out all the NOISE around us and focus solely on Jesus we start to see. We start to see opportunities to serve. We start to see people to love. We start to hear the pain of those around us. We start to feel the hurt and burdens that weigh us down and realize that it’s all a distraction.
All we are called to do is SEEK the Lord and LOVE each other. That’s all. Anything else is just natural flow from that.
And we can do that ANYWHERE!!!!! It doesn’t matter the setting, it doesn’t matter the circumstance; because when you start looking with God’s eyes and hearing with God’s ears you start navigating the world in the Spiritual realm. And don’t take that to mean some wild new age term, I’m talking about operating outside of your flesh and listening to the HOLY SPIRIT that already lives inside of you when you believe that Jesus paid the price for your sin, died, rose from the dead, and sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of you.
To give you to rest of my journey…
Later Jeremiah 5:21 repeats the same thing: “you foolish and senseless people with eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear”
Continue to read in Matthew 13:11-17 where Jesus is explaining why he uses parables in his teaching. He confirms that He only reveals Himself to those that are truly listening and seeking His word.
Then in Acts 28:25-26 Paul states that “The Holy Spirit was right when it was told to Isaiah…” as Paul is trying to tell the Jewish leaders (the religious people) that the Messiah has already come and that salvation through Jesus is being freely offered to them. Just as written in Isaiah, their eyes didn’t see and their ears didn’t hear. Paul ends by saying “So I also want you to know that this salvation has also been offered to the Gentiles, and they will accept it“
The religious people were so blinded by their own rules and laws that they couldn’t see the free gift of spiritual salvation and freedom that was right in front of them. And yet, the “non religious” people would be the ones to freely accept the gift. Sit on that.
The second part of this series is going to be titled “Identifying the Enemy.”
Lord, I pray that you open the eyes and ears of anyone reading this. I pray that these words are nothing but an outpouring of your mercy, grace, and love to someone that desperately needs to hear them. All I am doing is planting a seed. But you God, you can water and grow these words into a life of freedom for someone else. Thank you for all you’ve done and all that you will continue to do. Amen.