Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spiritual Warfare

The Bible clearly states that there is a battle going on all around us. If we refuse to believe in spiritual warfare, we can’t expect to win the battle. It would be silly to see our troops fighting a war with their backs to the enemy, but when turn our back to the spiritual battle raging all around us, we are doing the same thing. In order to fight the spiritual battle and win we need to do 5 things:
1. Define the enemy.
Our enemy isn’t the bully at school, the coworker who refuses talk to us, the corrupted government, or even the terrorists. The enemy is satan and he has plenty of experience. Satan has been perfecting his tactics for thousands of years.
Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Satan has many names: tempter, thief, ruler of this world, roaring lion, murderer, father of lies, lucifer, lawless one, king of bottomless pit, evil one, enemy, dragon, deceiver, beelzebub, angel of light, adversary, accuser, old serpent, and ruler of darkness. Satan doesn’t fight fair. He will attack you when you least expect it. Satan hates God, therefore he attacks God’s children. Satan knows our weaknesses, but he also attacks our strengths. If we think we are to spiritual for temptation, we are walking in dangerous territory and it won’t be long before satan is on your door step. Satan wants us to feel helpless and defeated, but through Jesus Christ we can be victorious!
2. Know satan’s tactics and his plan.
Satan’s plan is to destroy us spiritually. Satan masquerades as an angel of light. Satan often distorts God’s word to deceive us. We need to make sure we are listening to the right voice. God’s voice is the one that convicts us of our sin, but draws us near to him through repentance, forgiveness, grace, and unending love. Satan’s voice is the one that condemns, discourages, and makes us feel guilty by saying "if you were a TRUE christian, you wouldn’t have thoughts like that or be tempted to do ungodly things. Being tempted isn’t a sin in itself. The Bible states that Jesus was tempted, but was without sin. It’s how we respond to temptation that counts. It’s easy to listen to satan’s voice that makes us feel that we are incapable of living Godly, fruitful lives. When Satan tells me "your to shy, "your not a good speaker, you’re not good enough or smart enough, I recite the verse from 2 Corinthians 10:5 "Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." After all, I’m NOT good enough or smart enough. Only through Christ can I do all things. We need to rely on God’s word and not our feelings. Feelings change, but God’s word never change.
3. Use the right weapons.
Using the right weapons is essential to winning our spiritual battle against satan. The weapons include the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet that’s fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit (word of God), and prayer.
Without the use of these weapons, we are defenseless. We can’t overcome the enemy in our own strength. The Bible states that the word of God is like a double edged sword that is living and active. God’s word will plant a seed in your heart which will grow and help us live fruitful lives obedient to Christ.
4. Pray
Satan doesn’t want us to realize the power of prayer. James 5:16-18 states that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. When we pray, we are acknowledging to God that we can not fight this battle alone and we need his help. When we pray, the devil trembles. He knows the power of prayer first hand and will do anything to keep us to busy or unfocused on our prayer life.
5. Keep your eye on the prize!
When we keep our eyes on our present troubles, we get discouraged and we lose sight of Jesus. When we keep our eye on the prize, we will be able to run the race with endurance. God promises a crown of life to those who remain faithful and He is preparing a place for each of His children and will soon come back to take us to be with Him. The road to eternal life is narrow and the path that leads to destruction is broad, but if we keep our eyes on Jesus he will guide us and welcome us into His kingdom. What a day that will be to hear "well done, good and faithful servant." The Bible says to "encourage each other with these words."
Ephesians 6:14-18, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, John 14:3,Ephesians 2:1-2,Ephesians 6:14-18,Ephesians 6:12, Heb. 4:15,Hebrews 4:12

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