Week 15: Spiritual Warfare
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
In the early 1800s, the French biologist Louis Pasteur began to make some outrageous claims. He said that there was an unseen world that had a great effect on our world. People thought he was crazy. He was talking about germs. And today we not only believe him, but it’s changed the way we live. In fact, you can’t go three feet without a container of hand sanitizer somewhere to do something about that seen world.
Now, the Bible talks often about an unseen world that affects our world. The Bible says that we have a spiritual enemy that wants to kill, steal and destroy. And I promise you this, as you spend this year DEEPENING your faith in God and DEEPENING with the faith family, the target on your back, and mine, grows exponentially larger.
The enemy’s attack in your life are known as spiritual warfare. But when it comes to the awareness of spiritual warfare, let me caution you, extremes in either case are very dangerous. There are some people who completely ignore the enemy and his evil schemes. If we do this, watch out. Because the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour and he may have you right where he wants you. Now, the other extreme could be just as dangerous. There are some people who believe there is a demon behind every bad hair day. And for that person, the problem is they take no responsibility for their own actions because everything is the devil’s fault. So, let me encourage you to be aware, but not obsessed.
The good news is…is that the Bible speaks very clearly about our role and Gods role in spiritual warfare. And for the next several weeks we’re going to unpack what God has equipped us with to stand firm against the enemy’s attack in our lives. The first thing to know, is that our battle is not against flesh and blood. That means that the problems in your life are not merely physical. That means the real issue is not your boss…it’s not your spouse…it’s not your children…it’s not your bank account…it’s not your attitude. It’s not the temporary things that take up so much of your intention. Those things could be the manifestation of the enemy’s intent to steal, kill or destroy what God has for you.
And so, over the next several weeks we’re going to discuss what it means to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand firm against the enemy and his evil schemes. But notice what Paul says before he says to put on the armor of God. He says to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of HIS MIGHT. Did you catch that? “His might.” Not our might, but His might. You see, that our victory is not found in our performance, but our victory over our enemy is found in Christ’s performance at the cross. That we don’t lean on our own strength, but instead we depend on God’s might and strength.
This means that we are fighting from victory and not for victory. Trust me on this one. I’ve read to the end of the book and we win. This means that no weapon formed against us can prosper…that nothing can separate us from the love of God…that those whom He justifies He will also glorify. In other words, the battle is the Lord’s and for all that are in Christ His strength is in you. And only a mighty sovereign God could use even the schemes of our enemy against us as a means by which we are utterly dependent on our victorious King.
So as you walk in this, may you be more aware of the unseen realties that effect our daily lives. May you not focus so much on the temporary situation that you find yourself in and begin to shift your focus to the Lord and His Victory. And may you trust the Lord and His mighty strength and may that awareness continue to deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ.