Do you sometimes have a wayward thought, radical and demeaning? Do you wonder where a certain image or inclination came from? Do you question how this temptation popped uninvited into your mind; perhaps triggered visually or by the reaction of another person toward you? Your first inclination may be, "that's not me!" Surprised and diminished, enticed or aroused you may assert to yourself that this particular thought, an invitation to temptation, in no way reflects the person you've worked and strive to be.

In the prayer that Jesus modeled for us we read: ...and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. We are told that our spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak. Even Jesus was tempted and modeled for us how we should react when tempted, speaking in His Father's name, quoting God's word as weapons against such attacks. Today we stand in the power of the cross, under the blood of salvation and proclaim the name of Jesus. ...the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2: 9b-11).

Thoughts usher in the process of temptation. The sin in a thought is not that we have it. The thought itself is a call to reject what we know is wrong and even unhealthy. The sin only comes when we give time and indulgence to the concept; moving ourselves toward the possibility and then to action.  If unwanted thoughts and images continue to plague us we are told to take them captive.  This reveals the understanding that we are dealing with the enemy who may be planting these thoughts in our mind.  What to do?  Pray to send any evil spirits to the throne of heaven to be judged by almighty God. 

If our eyes could be opened we would see an alternate reality around which temptation swirls. Sharing space, able to enter and exit time, angels and demons battle for the productivity, health, and influence over person-hood. Human volition, will, and choice are gifts given to us by God; allowing us to choose light over darkness, life over death.

1st Kings 22: 10-28; 2nd Chronicles 18: 9-27 record the account of Micaiah, Hebrew prophet of God. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel had been persecuting and putting to death those who disagreed with them and especially Jehovah's true prophets who challenged their conscience. For this reason Micaiah finds himself in prison. He has been speaking God's truth and Ahab is offended, but for some reason Ahab could not bring himself to murder Micaiah as he has so many others.

At one point Elijah, who has many times confronted Ahab, falsely believes that he is the only true prophet left in Israel, but God corrects this false assumption. God encourages Elijah, telling him that He has kept safe a remnant of the faithful who have never kissed, nor bowed the knee to Baal. Micaiah is part of this remnant, a trophy of God's grace. He has been set aside for a holy calling and purpose. Within God's timing Micaiah will confront Ahab and in doing so be the single voice that heralds the end of an evil reign by an evil king.

How often in life do we see this? That the end of evil comes when one person decides they will no longer be bullied and intimidated; they will no longer subscribe to lies; no longer be part of the problem.  As you consider this you might include the supernatural realm where angels and demons battle.  You might see both the physical and preternatural forces behind the conflict. 

More about Micaiah.  This is the time of the divided kingdom. Ahab is king of the northern kingdom of Israel and Jehoshaphat is king of Judah in the south, where Jerusalem is located. Because of the number of evil kings that have reigned in Israel many faithful families and prophets from previous generations have moved to the south where they have been more likely to enjoy the freedom to worship Jehovah-God. The temple, envisioned by David and constructed during Solomon's reign, is also in Jerusalem to which the tribes, from both north and south travel to take part in the temple worship. To keep the population geographically contained (isolation is a tool of evil)  in the north a false and substitute religion is largely adopted, breaking God's commandment; You shall have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20: 3). It is faith in Jehovah-God; one God, that sets the Hebrew tribes apart from their pagan neighbors. Assimilation is always a threat. This absence of Hebrew worship in the north has left a vacuum. Ahab has encouraged the state-sponsored occult worship of pagan gods, behind which demons sit and have influence, to sway and control.

It is true that some places, cities and venues are more evil than others. Demonic activity, people and their alliances, make them so. The northern kingdom, where Ahab openly executes and persecutes the true Hebrew faith, is such a location.

Ahab has decided to go to war. He hasn't sought God's will. Instead, aligned with satanic worship, he seeks his own will; expecting all others to blindly support his purposes. Under a false pretext Ahab has invited Jehoshaphat, king of Judah for a royal visit. He hopes to convince Jehoshaphat to commit his armies, along side of his, in the coming war.

Micaiah arrives at this divine juncture; God's appointed man of the hour. He stands before two kings, in the midst of 400 false prophets who have just predicted victory, going so far as to act out a dramatic pageant of symbolism to the entertainment of all who watch. Also present are the people, persecuted and weary, who have come to see the spectacle of these two kings dressed in all their finery, amidst all the accoutrement's of powerful office.

Micaiah is only there because Jehoshaphat is not entirely stupid. He's watched and been entertained by Ahab's "yes men," who have predicted a sweeping victory, but decides that this is too important a decision not to seek and then hear from the one true God. But Jehosphaphat asked, "isn't there a prophet of the Lord around, too? I would like to ask him the same question. King Ahab replied, "There is still one prophet of the Lord, but I hate him. He never prophesies anything but bad news for me! His name is Micaiah son of Imlah."

At the request of Jehosphaphat in comes Micaiah straight from the king's dungeon. He would be dirty and disheveled. He may not have been handsome or remarkable in any physical way, but having truth on his side and a heavenly mandate to speak this truth, he would be standing in the power of the Holy Spirit. Micaiah will tell of the vision he has already been given of what will transpire in the battle to come, even at the risk of his own death. Sad to say, both kings declare war in blatant disregard of God's message. Ahab dies. His death is a fulfillment of God's prophecy as spoken through both Micaiah and Elijah. Jehosphophat escapes death, but is humbled in the process.

Micaiah gives an account of his vision. In his words we have a profound insight, a powerful and equipping message of how some forms of temptation manifest as choice. We also see the process by which God allows Satan a certain license of influence over our thoughts, which may feed secret motives; some motives even hidden from self. If life experience hasn't already taught us this, we learn here that what we believe to be true is sometimes very wrong.

In other words, and just to belabor the point, some of what we may adopt as fact, feeding sinful purposes, supporting selfish rationalizations, arrive in our mind via the influence of demonic / lying spirits. Some of what we sincerely hold to be true, including false assumptions about self, can sap the joy out of our relationship with God. We may feel that we are not lovable, while God decided we are. Jesus died a horrible death on the cross so that, choosing faith, we could spend eternity with him in heaven. Jesus loves you beyond measure. When seeking God's will we want to always ask our Savior to open our minds to hear and comprehend the light of His truth, the wealth of His care, the depth of His love.

Micaiah, with great courage, describes an outcome different from that expressed by the 400 false-prophets of Baal. He also explains the process, important for us to understand.

I saw the Lord sitting on His throne with all the armies of heaven around Him, on His right and to His left.

Temptation, lodged in the mind, is a call to arms. Exercising the gift of choice we call upon the power of God for truth and insight. Here we see that God's armies are mobilized; poised and ready; awaiting the go ahead. I often pray for God's angel army to experience no delay in victory.

And the Lord said, 'Who can entice Ahab to go into battle against Ramoth-gilead so that he can be killed there?

God allows temptation. By it we grow and become strong. We'll falter and fail, but He is faithful. Satan is happy to help since Ahab will soon be consigned to hell.

There were many suggestions, until finally a spirit approached the Lord and said, 'I can do it!"

This spirit is Satan. Just as Satan needed God's permission to test Job; it needs God's permission to deceive Ahab. Satan is called, "father of lies'. Ahab has opened himself to this kind of unseen influence through his dangerous actions and toxic choices which have weakened his power to discern the truth. Satan has a foothold in the embattled territory of Ahab's person-hood. As we read about Ahab we see that, enslaved to sin, he has lost autonomy. By this same method, to these same ends, Satan introduces temptation, at various times, to all humans.

All of us, the very best of us, suffer temptations. Some temptations become ingrained habits to overcome. Some are introduced by what is whispered into our minds by demons.  This resonates and unless rejected, can partner with the original sin embedded in the fabric of who man is.  For this reason John proclaimed: He who is within me is greater than he who is in the world; a reminder to Satan to back off, a reminder that Jesus Christ holds his heart and his allegiance. 1st John 4: 4 is a good verse to memorize... a tool of warfare to speak whenever we are tempted.  We might say, "I reject that thought, image, temptation in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh.  I send any demons present to the throne of God to be judged and sent to the abyss and their orders concerning me be cancelled forever!!!  And I proclaim...  He who is within me is greater than he who is in the world. 

Read Job 1: 6-12; Revelation 12: 10-12; 1st Peter 5: 7-11; 1st Corinthians 10: 13.
In response to satan saying that he would take care of this matter of deluding and seducing Ahab's thoughts in order to manipulate a course of action God asked a question.  He asked this, not because he didn't know the answer...  God is sovereign.  He asked to give us clarity and for our benefit so that we can be armed against such thought-exchanges.  
How will you do this? the Lord asked. And the spirit replied, 'I will go out and inspire all Ahab's prophets to speak lies.'  Read 1st Chronicles 29: 11-13.  "You will succeed,' said the Lord. 'Go ahead and do it" (1st Kings 22: 19-22).

There is an end to God's patience and Ahab, false throughout, tested God to the limits. Those of us who know an Ahab wonder why God doesn't intervene sooner. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2nd Peter 3: 9).

These are my thoughts... I look forward to hearing yours.

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  1. Very Interesting

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read. Many blessings to you...


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