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**Spiritual Warfare (loose definition): The Christian concept of taking a stand against the evil forces, evil spirits able to intervene in human affairs
- Romans 6:12-13: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”
- 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…Since the fall of Lucifer, that angel of light and son of the morning, there has been no respite in the bitter Battle of the Ages. Night and day Lucifer, the master craftsman of the devices of darkness, labors to thwart God’s plan of the ages. We can find inscribed on every page of human history the consequences of the evil brought to fruition by the powers of darkness with the devil in charge. Satan never yields an inch, nor does he ever pause in his opposition to the plan of God to redeem the “cosmos” from his control.
- Warfare/Distractions/Happenings This Month:
- Innocent lives taken (civilian and cop)
- Natural disasters
- Pokemon Go
- Political Lies
- Gay rights VS Church rights
- Perry Noble
- 2 Thessalonians 2:5-12: Evil is already insidiously at work but its activities are restricted until what I have called the “restraining power” (of God) is removed. When that happens the lawless man will be plainly seen—though the truth of the Lord Jesus spells his doom, and the radiance of the coming of the Lord Jesus will be his utter destruction. The lawless man is produced by the spirit of evil and armed with all the force, wonders and signs that falsehood can devise. To those involved in this dying world he will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused to love the truth which could have saved them. God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their play-fellow.
- Quote (“Hidden Flame”) – I believe the Lord performed this fearsome sign so we would clearly understand that choices must be made. Either we are fully with Him, or we are with the world. We will soon be forced to declare our allegiance, and in doing so, we must accept that the world may cast us out.” (In the book it is referencing the death of Ananias and Sapphira, but this is so relevant for the things that are happening all around us)
- Ephesians 6:10-20 (The Armor of God) – Silver Analogy (Protection fades if we don’t maintain it) “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
- Quote (“Hidden Flame”): We must share His truth – to change the world. To make it a place filled with love rather than hate. With peace rather than war. With mercy, rather than revenge. With holiness, rather than evil.
- The devil’s greatest weapon against us is distraction:
- Sometimes we are so busy doing the “work of God” that we don’t have time to simply spend time with Him and do the simple things He is asking us to do … distraction causes our service to get in the way of our study
- Action for God and attention to God are not the same thing, but both can be done at the same time if we maintain a good balance … no one is going to tell you that ministry is a bad thing or you shouldn’t be doing it, but is what we are doing actually what God called us to do or was it the church committee?
- We need to put ourselves alongside Jesus and not just hover around Him … our orientation to Jesus is everything
- The “distraction” Jesus talks about to Martha comes from the word “overburdened” … she was so worried about helping everyone that her service was no longer a joy
- Prayer of confession:
Merciful God, we confess that we have been distracted with many things and have not loved you with our whole heart and strength. We have not paid attention to your word. We have allowed the poor to be neglected and the weak to be oppressed. We have been impatient in worship and insincere in our dealings with others. We have ignored signs of injustice and disregarded warnings of judgment. Forgive us, we pray, and teach us repentance. Free us from our habits of pride, and make us steadfast in faith, that we may live as those who are reconciled with you in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
- Quote (“Centurion’s Wife”): When He looked at me, I saw my own soul. His gaze broke through all my assumptions, all my barriers. I was stripped to the very essence of my being. He saw all my lies and my failures and all my sinful ways. And yet He loved me still. When He spoke, He illuminated a truth I had always yearned for and yet always run from. I am known as an authority on holy texts, and yet when He spoke, I realized I knew nothing. And what I did know, I had cloaked in my own selfish interpretations. In doing so, I had turned the truth into lies.”
- Having an enemy makes us more careful and intentional … having a savior should make us more grateful and compassionate.
- Sermon on Spiritual Warfare – James Ford/Randy Hahn (Colonial Heights Baptist Sermon Series): http://theheightsonline.com/sermons/
- (Jun 19th: Hostile Territory, June 26th: Battle Lines, July 3rd: Twist and Doubt, July 10th: God’s Devil, July 17th: Victory and Defeat)
- Screw tape Letters – S. Lewis (book)
- Audio dramatization of book and information: http://www.screwtape.com/
- How can I bless someone of a different ethnic background?
- How can I bless a public servant this week? (police, firefighter, etc)
- In what ways can I rid my life from distractions for an hour this week to pray and seek God’s peace in my life? (How can I seek quiet so I can listen to what God is telling me?)