I love to teach. More than that, I love to teach about Jesus. Yesterday I had the honor of teaching at Crossroads Walton on the subject of Spiritual Warfare. I had a couple of people ask me for the link to listen to the sermon, so I wanted to do that, and also give the outline in the hopes that these words might speak to someone. I changed up the outline some to help make it more “readable” for you…hopefully it will be clear enough for you to follow along my line of thinking.
I was excited to teach through this text and God used this text to speak into my life in large ways. I am prayerful that He will do the same for you.
You can listen to the talk via our website, iTunes, etc. Here is the link for that: Cosmic Conflict Sermon
“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.”
Recognize the fight.
If you are not aware of the fight going on around you, it doesn’t mean there is not a battle, it just means you are losing! Here are some verses that describe sufferings, fights, races, etc:
2 Timothy 4:7
We were never promised an easy life, in fact Jesus promised just the opposite. He promised us that we would face tribulation for His name’s sake. He promised us that the world would hate us because of Him. (That doesn’t mean the world should hate us because we are jerks…but more on that later).
We should remember the type of battle that this is. It isn’t a battle for political office. It isn’t a battle over land, or kingdoms, but a battle for souls. It’s a battle that matters not for 5, 10, or even 100 years- but a battle that matters for eternity.
Realize your need.
Continuing our line of thinking about a soldier – what happens before a soldier goes to boot camp?
There are scores of assessments and tests to see their strengths and weaknesses right? It makes logical sense that there must be an assessment of what we bring to the table for the battle we are in.
You know what positive benefit you bring to the table?
This is a significant issue. (And that’s a significant understatement).
You cannot manage the fight on your own. You need God’s strength.
In this we see the beauty of the Gospel. That it is not our strength that we rely on, but rather His strength.
2 Corinthians 12:9
It is His strength that allow you to fight.
No friendly fire.
Being a good soldier means that you don’t shoot those who are not your enemies. Friendly fire is extremely frowned upon in the armed services. We do not battle against flesh and blood.
Christian people tend to get outraged easily. It doesn’t seem to take much for the Christian culture to get upset and start shooting (and shouting) aimlessly.
A soldier wouldn’t last very long if they responded the way that many Christians do.
What does this mean? Your enemy is not politicians, World Vision, homosexuals, government, President Obama, Democrats, Republicans, rich people, poor people, or any other kinds of people.
If they’re not our enemy how should we treat them?
We should love them.
We should lay down our lives for them.
1 John 3:16-19
Why is it so important?
John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
1 John 4:19-20 says that our love for God is proven by the love we have for our brothers.
Know your foe
Our battle is against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against spiritual forces of evil. This foe is Satan.
He’s deadly: 1 Peter 5:8-9
He’s a liar: John 8:44
It’s a spiritual enemy we face, in a spiritual battle. Therefore, we must pay more attention to the spiritual aspects of our lives to have a chance of being victorious in the battle. We wouldn’t send out soldiers in to the battlefield without making sure they are prepared for battle- that would be utterly ridiculous. Why then do we think we have a chance of fighting a spiritual battle without any focus to our spiritual life?
Verse 13 wraps up this section by telling us this is why you must take up the FULL armor OF GOD. You must do it, you must be prepared so that you can stand against Satan.
Some of you had no idea you were even in a battle. You need to wake up and engage.
Some of you have been trying to fight in your own strength. Let me tell you- that is EXHAUSTING and you will not make it. You need to come to the cross and start relying on His strength.
Some of you have been fighting the wrong people- you’ve been fighting the ones you need to be loving. You need to repent, and possibly seek out some people and ask their forgiveness.
Some of you have not been giving any attention to your spiritual readiness, yet you wonder why you feel defeated. You need to get serious.