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GOD’S WORD FOR SEPTEMBER 13 ~ ~ Joshua 24:15 ~ ~ “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Studies have shown that a cottonwood tree sets up an elaborate zone defense when attacked by aphids. Some branches will manufacture poisons to resist the aphids, while others use a different strategy. Branches that offer the aphids poisons can be dozens of times more resistant to aphids than neighboring branches. Should an aphid land on a leaf that is not manufacturing poisons, that leaf is very likely to be shed by the tree. This squeeze play by the tree keeps both strategies viable in resisting aphids.

However, sometimes insects are almost as clever as trees. The eastern tent caterpillar eats a fatal dose of cyanide with each mouthful of cherry tree leaves without harm. The poison is combined with two sugar molecules in the leaves. Normally an insect’s digestive system would separate those sugars, releasing the cyanide. However, the tent caterpillar’s digestive system releases only one sugar, leaving the cyanide bound and harmless. On the other hand, the pink sawfly larva concentrates and stores the toxic oils of the eucalyptus leaves it eats. When threatened, the worm-like larva rears up and spits droplets of the poisonous oils at its attackers.

In the world system in which we’re living today, we have many enemies. Some of them attack Christians physically, killing them by the thousands. But many times, they attack in other ways. They attack socially, emotionally, or morally. They attack with confusion due to propaganda that is forced upon them.

As Christians, we have the power of God in us. If we allow Him to, the Holy Spirit will guide us in these situations. He will never force us to listen, though. But when the lies from demons “step foot” on our territory, (like the aphids on the leaves of the cottonwood) and we are attacked with lies from the demonic world against our beliefs, we, like the cottonwood tree, have something that is like a poison to demons. It is our faith. When we stand firm in our faith, showing the spiritual attackers that we know we are a child of God, not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Jesus has done, they cannot go any further. They must drop off. To do this, we must know the Word of God, and be sure of our position in Jesus, knowing also that it’s only because of Him that we have salvation.

The pink sawfly larva also show a spiritual act when they spit poison on their attackers. When the demonic lies come to our minds, the best defense is the Word of God directly. We can spew out the Word at them, just as Jesus did when satan tempted Him in the wilderness in Matthew chapter 4. “It is written” is a potent poison to stand up and spit into the “face” of the lies being told you, just like the sawfly larva do to the aphids. We need to know the Word, spend time in it and apply it to our lives. Otherwise it won’t mean anything to them. They know if we mean it or if we’re just quoting words. Of course, so does the Savior know that. He will be our Savior if we are sincere, but He will be our judge if we are not.

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