Monday, April 16, 2012

Spiritual Warfare

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12
From a Christian perspective, spiritual warfare is the cosmic war of good versus evil: its battles are fought daily between God and Satan; between the Christian Church and the world system ruled by our spiritual enemy; and between the Holy Spirit and the lusts of the carnal flesh within every human soul.

Billy Graham explained the reality of spiritual warfare in his book Angels:
We live in a perpetual battlefield …The wars among the nations on earth are mere popgun affairs compared to the fierceness of battle in the spiritual unseen world. This invisible spiritual conflict is waged around us incessantly and unremittingly. Where the Lord works, Satan’s forces hinder; where angel beings carry out divine directives, the devils rage. All this comes about because the powers of darkness press their counterattack to recapture the ground held for the glory of God

Spiritual warfare, simply put, is a struggle between light and darkness, between good and evil. Spiritual warfare is not a new concept.  The Bible depicts countless battles.  From Genesis to Revelation, its pages reveal there are both physical and spiritual wars raging.  However, the primary focus of Scripture is the ongoing conflict between Christ and Satan. And like it or not, every single one of us is involved.  In deciding to follow Christ, we believers accept the rule of Christ in our life (That’s what’s met when Jesus is called Lord – his authority and rule). This NEW YOU yields “all of yourself” to Jesus, but the OLD YOU doesn’t like it one bit. You know what happens then - with his temptations Satan jumps all over the resistance of the old self, the old habits, the old lifestyle, the old hunger for pleasures. So the battle is on and the devil causes us to wonder if we really are sold out to Jesus Christ.

The battleground for this intense spiritual struggle is not some piece of earthly real estate; it is the human heart.  Both Jesus and the devil are supremely interested in winning possession of our minds and hearts.  For this reason, Christians are called to be more than peaceful spectators or mediators in this cataclysmic conflict.  We must be committed front-line commandos. Satan wants us to fail and he wants us back because it will cut God's heart.

God is in charge, but there is an enemy that is in full-scale revolt, and that enemy has powerful influence all around.  Many of his victims do not even know there is a war going on. They make easy prey. It is an invisible war in that we fight against unseen forces. It is therefore a war which must be waged by faith, and not by sight. It is a war that we cannot fight in our own strength, but only in the strength which God Himself supplies.  Christians should know that we are in the midst of a great spiritual struggle, although many seem not to believe it.

Over the next several days we will be gaining insights on the different attributes, weapons, and armor of this unseen battle that rages.  Pray that God will open your heart and mind to what He wants you to hear. 

Scripture to Claim:
Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:3-4

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