Prisoner of WarÂ
The Bible says that the enemy comes to steal,Â kill, and destroy. When the enemy comes he will always seek to do one of those things. If you arenâ€™t prepared for the battle â€“ if you fall for the lies Satan perpetrates — you will become a prisoner of war.
This battle is not against flesh and blood, but you can become caught up in the deception and end up on the losing side of the battle.
One example that we see is the story of Lot and his wife in Genesis 19.Â In order to fully understand the story we have to go back to Genesis 13:5-18.Â Abraham (at that point still known as Abram) and Lot were traveling together and had become so wealthy in flocks and herds that Abram told Lot to choose what land he wanted and he would go the opposite way.Â Genesis 13:10 says, â€œAnd Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the Garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as you come unto Zoar.â€
Lot saw â€“ he relied on his experience based upon what he saw â€“ and he saw how beautiful everything was. He did not seek God as to where he should go. He did the same thing Eve did in the garden. He looked with his eyes and made a judgment that it was good. In verses 11-12 it says, â€œThen Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves one from another. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.â€
Fast forward to Genesis 19. Genesis 19:1 tells us that Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot left Abraham and chose the plain and pitched his tent toward Sodom, I highly doubt he ever thought he would end up living in the midst of Sodom.Â Yet here he was sitting on the gate of the city. This is just how clever Satan is. The deception caused Lot to become a prisoner of war, and he would be caught right in the middle of the battle.Â He made a decision to go into Sodom, yes, but he didnâ€™t make a conscious decision to leave God and enter into the wickedness.
If Satan held up a sign that said â€œFollow Meâ€ how many would actually follow?Â Most of us would naturally run the other direction. So he reverts to warfare–and in this case it was lust of the eyes. Lot saw the plain. And he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Oh, what harm can there be in looking?
Â Have you asked yourself this question? I have. I talk myself into going by the shoes in the mall just to look. And then sometimes I find myself in a quandary: I found some shoes for a good price that would be so awesome to have! I donâ€™t really need another pair of black heels but well, they are just different enough that I could justify buying them. So what started out as a leisurely window shopping day turns into a fight between do I buy the shoes or not buy the shoes? Yes, itâ€™s okay to laugh because itâ€™s a silly example, but itâ€™s the truth of the situation we often put ourselves in.
We can avoid sin altogether but we donâ€™t understand the battle.Â Understanding that there is a battle behind every decision would help us to identify that we are pitching our tent towards Sodom. We are walking right into the trap our enemy has set, and he is about ready to take us as a prisoner of war.Â He will hold us captive until we understand the war we are in and that the only thing that can set us free is the blood of Christ.
So in Genesis 19, we see that Lot was now living inside one of the most wicked cities ever to exist. He was now a prisoner of war. Somewhere along the line he stopped looking and started participating. Maybe his wife complained that there was nothing to do in the plain. Maybe his daughters complained that they were bored. Maybe the servants said it was too much work to go into the nearest city for what they needed. Maybe Lot himself forgot the Giver of the Blessings. Maybe Lot just thought it would be more convenient. Maybe he thought his family would be safer if he were in the city because more people would be around to help if trouble came.
All of these thoughts, if they passed through Lotâ€™s mind, are fiery darts of the enemy. Deception and dissension. Excuses. Fear. They are all things that take place on the battlefield of the mind.
But here we are and, not only is Lot living in the city, he is smack dab in the middle of all the sin. In fact, his family is so entrenched in the sin that they donâ€™t recognize it for what it is. Itâ€™s just the way things were. Everybody else was doing it so it couldnâ€™t be all that wrong. Right? WRONG.
The attitude of everyone else should not bear on what our attitude is. The war is raging and this manipulation tactic is winning out in our world today. The viewpoints of the world, when in conflict with Godâ€™s Word, are the viewpoints of the enemy, trying to infiltrate the mind.
Lotâ€™s wife became a prisoner of war who died in the war, not knowing that she was even a captive. When the angels warned Lot to get his family and get out of the city because God was going to destroy it, verse 26 says, â€œBut his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.â€Â She looked back longingly at her place of captivity and did not want to leave. If given a choice, she likely would have stayed.Â
Sin will destroy you. It destroys your ability to make proper decisions. You can no longer filter things through your mind and understand that itâ€™s a tactic of the enemy because your mind has become tainted.
Think of it like this: you are making frosting. You need the frosting to be white but you accidentally put a drop of red food coloring in it thinking that it will just be a really light tintâ€¦ and you notice that the more you mix it the more you can no longer find any white. And by now you realize your icing is pinkâ€¦ itâ€™s not the color you had originally designed and you canâ€™t go back and change it. That pink food coloring is the deception that taints the mind. Once the mind is tainted you can no longer go back to the way it was. You have to make a new batch of frosting.Â God has to renew your mind.
Satan wants you to think that itâ€™s not possible for your life to change.Â But when you leave it in the hands of God– when you cast yourself into His arms â€“ He will break those chains, wipe away your past, and renew your mind.Â When Satan tells you that God canâ€™t use you, remember that even though Lot was living in the middle of Sodom, God still provided a way of escape. If you feel paralyzed– convicted by Satanâ€™s lies–Â trust in God, and He can change your status from captive to captor, freeing you from being a prisoner of war.
By Kristen Stanton
Kristen Stanton is a dynamic singer, speaker, and writer. From discussions on Facebook, to live concerts on any stage, Kristenâ€™s main focus is to share her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She says: “I was saved when I was four years old. I’ve been in church my whole life. I went to a Christian college. I don’t have the experiences of walking away from God and how He brought me back. But I do have the experience of how God continuously reveals Himself to me… of how He answers prayer. I want people to understand who God is so that they can be more of a reflection of Him. My goal is to help others see God in a way that meets every need in their life.”
Following a trio of No. 1 songs from her debut project, â€œDestiny by Design,â€ Kristen recently Â released her second solo project, â€œLove As Jesus Lovesâ€ and is currently writing songs for her new album. Kristen is also an Attorney-at-Law, serving clients in Northwest Ohio.
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