Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A “short” course on Spiritual Warfare

(Please note, I was on vacation last Sunday. This is last (and this) Sunday nights' brief outline. You must look up the verses or you will missunderstand. WARNING: due to the nature of the material, if you are NOT a believer in Jesus or ARE spiritually or emotionally immature please do not read this section of the blog! This is a very deep and heavy subject and this post is a very, very, very, brief sketch of two sermons. In other words, you need a solid biblical and theological foundation to understand the material.]

1. There is an enemy. [1 Peter 5:8]

***** This is the common enemy of humanity. Historically, the enemy’s goal has been to “steal and kill and destroy” [John 10:10] through sin [Genesis 4:7] *****

FALSE: Satan has no power over the Christian.
TRUE: Satan has no power that God does not allow. [Job 1:12] In other words, God may allow the believer to be attacked and tormented, as Job was.

FALSE: Satan is the cause of many of our problems.
TRUE: Satan can pressure us, BUT our choices decide the outcome, consequences, and results. [James 4:7] The myth allows us to pass on our personal responsibility.

FALSE: Satan has nothing to offer.
TRUE: Sin has its pleasure for a season. [Hebrews 11:25]

FALSE: Satan is easily beaten by the “name of Jesus” or being covered “by the blood of Jesus.”
TRUE: The things that overcome Satan are: the blood of Jesus, testimony, and the sacrifice of our lives. [Revelation 12:11] In other words, our victory is eternal not for the present moment.

2. People are not the enemy. [Ephesians 6:12]

***** When people attack us, we take it personally and miss the point of spiritual warfare. [John 15:18] Since sin is slavery, slaves are under someone else’s control. If you have a problem with someone, you are having a problem with the person’s master. *****

3. The enemy attacks with ideas. [2 Corinthians 10:5]

***** Mental images can be completely irrational and separated from reality. Opinions are formed before information is collected and facts are interpreted. [see Ephesians 6:11] *****

4. We have “weapons.” [2 Corinthians 10:5 and Ephesians 6:14 – 18]

***** Humans expose their ignorance and own sin when we interpret others. This can only be done by projecting our attitudes and motivations onto the other person. Jesus taught us to pray for those who persecute [Matthew 5:44] and mistreat [Luke 6:28 ] us, bless those who curse us [Luke 6:28], go the extra mile [Matthew 5:41], turn the other cheek [Matthew 5:39], love them [Matthew 5:44]. *****

5. We are the ones who are on the attack. [Matthew 16:18]

***** Gates are not an offensive weapon. Gates are used by those under siege. *****

6. It is God’s will that we face battle.

a. Adam and Eve [Genesis 3]

b. Job [Job 1 :8]

c. Paul’s thorn [2 Corinthians 12:7]

d. Jesus in the wilderness [Matthew 4:11]

7. What to expect in battle:

a. “Satisfy the physical.” [This is an appeal to passion. Notice that a legitimate physical need can become a battle ground. “Sell out.”]

b. “Do your job.” [This is an appeal to pride. Satan is suggesting that Jesus take the easy way. “Show off.”]

c. “Enjoy the benefit.” [This is an appeal to possessions. “Step up.”]

8. Strategies on hand to hand combat: (as modeled by Jesus in Matthew 4)

a. Be obedient to the Holy Spirit. The bottom line of spiritual warfare is “who will control your life?”

b. Use God’s Word. Every temptation was met with the truth of Scripture. That implies that we must know the Bible and use it correctly.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” [James 4:7]

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