Summary: This is an introductory sermon on spiritual warfare by first understanding who we are in relation to Gods image through our bodies soul and spirit; and how we communicate with God himself.
This sermon was delivered in St Oswald Church in Maybole, Scotland on the 24th August 2009 by Gordon McCulloch.
Prayer: Father, you speak in the bible of the spiritual realm; a realm that we can neither see, hear, feel, touch or taste; but it is the realm where you live, along with the other dark forces. Father I thank you that Jesus conquered this realm, and that you want us to follow in his footsteps, footsteps that show us the way to victory. Amen.
We heard the words in Joshua this morning asking the people of whom they want to serve, God or Idols?
The answer to me is obvious, God of course; but most people today worship idols although they may say they do not. I will give you an example; how many times have you thought that if you only had this one idol, then you would be happy.
This idol could be new furniture, a new car, a new house, a new job even; but they are all idols in their own right. Now think, when you get that idol you desperately desire, you will be thrilled, even ecstatic for a while, and I am sure you deserved it, but ask yourself this question, how long does this contentment or excitement last? One thing for sure, it has a finite length of time, and it is not too long before you weary of this idol and seek another.
This continual seeking of idols seam to suit most people; it is normal life for them, it is their God for a while, it is their focus, and they build up these idols thinking they will help them, but they are not the answer to life's problems; although they can be use to cheer people up when they are down.
But when trouble really sets in, and it does, ... and when people are left on their own in these times, ... they know the idols they have collected will not carry them through.
And that is why these people will never speak openly of such intimate matters, that is personal troubles to openly because they know they are weak inside, and to speak of such matter is only proclaiming their weakness. In fact I am sure they would deny them strongly if you confronted them on how they are handling such trouble, as it is obvious that such idols and such a way of living will not see them through; ... they have severe limitations as there is very much more life than we they hear, see, speak, smell or touch.
And if there is more to life than this, what is out there? They would have to admit the existence of God, or even the Son of God who lived on this earth. And if you admit that Jesus is alive, they would have to admit that his teachings were sound, and that what he taught was true, even the existence of the devil. And if the devil exists, then they have to admit their is a war going on, that they are part of.
What I am trying to get at here is that there is a point within everyone’s lives where they are in touch with things spiritually, and I personally have no doubt that most adults within this world have tasted spiritual things at some point even if they do not realise or admit what they are; things which are not of this world and things they are reluctant to speak.
We will leave that for the time being as an introduction and move on. We read Paul in Ephesians this morning say “for we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies – the evil rulers of the unseen world …”
This verse go on, but the point I want to make here is that Paul is stating there is a spiritual world out there; a world that we cannot see, but a world that very much exists; and Paul goes on later in the passage to let us know how to fight and win this spiritual battle. So how can we win a battle, if we do not recognize the fact there is a battle going on in the first place. And if we acknowledge that then we need to acknowledge that is an enemy out there; after us; which we cannot see; with weapons you cannot see, hear, feel, touch or smell?
But there is a battle; there is an enemy; he is after us, with a passion; and we cannot sense it; or it weapons against us. In fact it gets more complicated, God tells us how to win this battle; a battle he has already won, and he tells us to do like-wise; using HIS weapons, and HIS tactics, ... to defeat HIS enemy who is getting at him through us, in an arena called Spiritual Warfare. ... Spiritual Warfare, ... I am sure many of you may have heard this term, but I am also sure this maybe new to others.