Sunday, June 01, 2008

Spiritual Warfare

I don't know about you, but it often seems that when I step outside of my comfort zone to do something to further the Kingdom of God, things that have been under control start to spin horribly out of control. This phenomenon is so much bigger than Murphy's Law. It's part of the battle between God and Satan for control of our loyalty. It's Spiritual Warfare.

Satan used to be one of God's angels. That is, until he got prideful and got to be rebellious. God does not allow rebellion in His kingdom, and consequently, Satan was cast out of heaven along with his entourage which numbered 1/3 of all the angels.

Needless to say, Satan wasn't happy about this. In his fury, he does whatever he can to keep us from God.

That's why he makes the sin so attractive ("You'll feel better if you drink this/smoke this/sleep with her ... no one will get hurt from it, and no one has to find out.") It doesn't take long before we're caught up in that sin, and so stuck in our guilt that we believe that we are of no use to God.

*stops the flow of the post*

Even as I write this post, I sense some spiritual warfare going on. My friend Chris and I decided about a month ago to blog each week on the same topic. This week it's Spiritual Warfare. Chris posted on Thursday. My intention was to have mine up by early Saturday afternoon. Now it's Sunday night.

During the week I've done some reading and written notes on the topic. I have no idea how to tie all these notes together. It seems every time I sit down to write, some distraction comes up. I look for a Bible verse or a picture on the internet to stimulate my creativity, and spend way too much time looking. Or a friend will send me an instant message online. Or I'll start messing around on Facebook. Saturday morning I even had to make an emergency trip to the optometrist (nothing serious ... just a minor allergic reaction to something).
It seems as though this post is trying to be kept from happening.

Murphy's Law? I don't think so. Spiritual warfare isn't always an all-out assault. Often (as is this case) it's subtle. And we're deceived into thinking we can handle it on our own. The truth is, we can't handle this adversary on our own. We need assistance from the One who has already defeated him -- Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul gives us some great battle strategy in chapter 6 of Ephesians:

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 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.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.

For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Satan is not greater than God, nor is he equal to Him. He is actually subject to God's authority. That doesn't stop him or his minions (demons) from wreaking havoc in our lives. But we are not in this battle alone. We have other Christian warriors on our side to help us out. And we have Jesus Christ in the battle with us, watching our backs. And Christ comes out victorious!

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