Summary: First in a series of messages on Spiritual warfare
Chico Alliance Church
June 25, 2006
Pastor David Welch
"Spiritually Aware, Alert, Armed and Aggressive" Pt 1
We live in an age where we can no longer ignore the existence and influence of the spirit world. The teaching and principles of Satan have subtly been introduced even into our evangelical ranks. Satan’s influence is not limited to the extreme manifestations we normally attribute to demonic activity. Paul said we are not ignorant of Satan’s schemes, yet in our day, we are woefully ignorant of the work of Satan. I hope to widen your perspective concerning your struggles and give you some tools to wage a war we are all called to fight and yet few are even aware.
I. Be Aware
A. Aware of God and His purposes
How does the spirit-world fit into the "big picture?" We must be aware of how the activity of Satan plays into the overall redemptive plan of God lest we get tripped up on some of the puzzling details of particular incidents. Things are not always what they seem. There is a global war being waged on a spiritual plane that tangibly affects every other dimension.
B. Aware of our Worth and position in Christ
We must never forget our position as children of God. We have been given authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. Paul related to the Romans that through their obedience Satan was about to be crushed under their feet.
C. Aware of the battlefields
There are three battlefields for the Christian.
1. Fight with the WORLD
2. Fight with the FLESH
We have an internal conflict with a pre-programmed fleshly drive that operates on the basis of selfishness and independence from God. That selfish tendency gets us in a considerable amount of trouble when we listen to it. In fact, our commitment to self-protection and self-promotion is at the core of a majority of our present day struggles and destructive patterns of relating. Satan is right there to reinforce a life of self-reliance and life in the flesh. Christ came to redeem us from a life found only on the level of the sinful flesh. Christ came to give us his very life. We died with Christ and likewise were made alive by His Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life. To live above the flesh is to live by faith in the work of Jesus Christ then and now. We yield to the power of the Holy Spirit to produce in us what we cannot do. God continues to transform us into the likeness of Christ as we give ourselves as a living sacrifice and yield to the truth of the Word of God.
We are transformed by the renewing of the mind. As we encounter and emulate the truth by the power provided by the indwelling Holy Spirit, we bear the fruit of the Spirit.
3. Battle with DEVIL and his angels
There is however a third arena which we must continually wage war.
"Then He will also say to those on His left, ’Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” Matthew 25:41
We must continually fight against an external foe who desires to establish an operating beachhead in our flesh from which to bind us and bully us to do according to his will. This battle cannot be fought or won by yielding. This battle is waged through direct hand to hand, face to face resisting and confrontation. A summary of Jesus’ ministry in the book of Acts clearly indicates the prominence of spiritual warfare.
Acts 10:38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him.
Ephes. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
1 Peter 5:8-11 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.