Summary: If you are living the way a true Christian should live as defined in Ephesians chapters 4, 5, and 6, then you can be sure of one thing - you are going to run right into the enemy.
Ephesians 6:10-11 November 22, 2009
OPEN: Today as we continue in our study towards the end of the book of the Ephesians we are to going to be talking about the topic of spiritual warfare. I want to spend a couple of weeks on the topic. This morning all we will do is basically do an overview and introduction. I think that to some degree the entire book has been building up to this topic. The task of leadership is what? To prepare God’s people for works of service, right? If you’re going to serve the lord – you’ve just stepped up to the battle line. If you attempt to live as a true Christian as defined in chapter 1,2, and 3, and if you are living the way a true Christian should live as defined in chapters 4, 5, and 6, then you can be sure of one thing - you are going to run right into the enemy. It is impossible to live in the manner that Ephesians outlines without having conflict with Satan -- it's impossible. And that's why, having said all this, he says the final thing you need to know is that you have to be strong, you have to put on the armor of God, because you're in a spiritual war. It's a war. And the battle is real.
The moment you decide to get serious about your faith and walk in humility, in unity, and put on the new man – the moment you decide to walk in light and not in darkness, wisdom not in foolishness – to not drunk with wine but filled with the Spirit, if we're committed to glorifying the Lord in worship, thanking God for all thing and rather than being proud and individualistic we are begin to submit ourselves one to another, when couples decide to live their marriages according to biblical guidelines and parents begin to raise their children according to biblical standards and employers and employees begin to relate to one another in a biblical manner, you will run against the grain. And that's exactly what's happening in our society.
It Is Impossible To Be An Authentic Christian Without Being Engaged In Spiritual Warfare.
The battle is real. The context of the passages we have just previously studied remind us of the areas that are most dear to us. Marriage, children - our workplace. Many of us are very familiar with how the enemy works in each of these areas. Every one of us can think of a list of families of men and women who started out in the marriage relationship determined to love each other and vow to spend the rest of the lives together on earth. Only to have their relationship fall to the wayside either because of sin or neglect or distraction. Instead of loving one another they end up in a war with one another. The battle is real. Some of us have children whom Satan has deceived with his lies and he has caused them to either wonder away from the faith or they have fallen prey to his evil temptations. We live with the every day heartache of seeing our children make decisions we know are not in their best interest, yet we seem unable to at times to even communicate with them, because of invisible wall that somehow separates us from them - the very ones that we birthed into this world and love with every cell in our body. The enemy is somehow snatching them away. The battle is real. And in our workplaces – so many Christians see the troubles their coworkers face and they long to be able to comfort them with a word from the Gospel – to point their coworkers towards faith in Christ, towards real food, real relief, real hope – and they are muzzled – restricted in their ability to speak a word of hope - they can’t because they’ve been so restricted by their employers they know if they even mention the name of Christ they are apt to loose their position entirely. Play by the world’s rules or pay the penalty. The battle is real.
Every once in awhile a wounded soul crawls in out of the battle for a few moments. Looking, hoping to find some relief from the never ending battle against sin. You can see the woundedness in their countenance – the brokenness in their eyes. A near casualty – yet still hoping there still might be a way out of the never ending battle they face day to day and you’re reminded that the battle is real. Or you hear one more heart-rending story about some collection of believers who were ministering well in their community until something happens – one person becomes disgruntled at another, and all of a sudden the entire congregation is picking sides. More often than not, it doesn’t really matter what the issue is really all about. But instead of battling the spiritual forces at work in their community, the redeemed end up battling amongst themselves - becoming so preoccupied over their petty personal issues that they forget what the battle is all about. Too many Christians end up AWOL in this battle. Absent With Out Love. We hear it on almost a daily basis on our news stations -the never ending war of worldviews. The world pridefully demanding that its views are right and that it has a right to do anything and everything without restriction or boundary. Demanding that Christ, the Christian and the Church keep quiet behind our stain-glassed walls. We are not in anyway to bring our worldview one inch beyond the confines of our parking lot and if we dare to try – it’s all out war. The battlefields are the classroom, the media, and legislation. These are the tools and the stomping grounds of our modern enemy.