Summary: Helps the believer to determine whether he is experiencing God’s discipline or Spiritual Warfare.
ESS: The believer must learn to discern the difference between Spiritual Warfare and God’s Discipline.
OSS: To help the believer to determine if he is under God’s discipline or Spiritual warfare.
PQ: How do I determine if I am undergoing Spiritual Warfare or the discipline of God?
TOPIC: “Warfare or Discipline, Which?”
Have you been experiencing negative circumstances in your life? Do you seem to be encountering trouble where ever you go?
You are either experiencing Spiritual Warfare or God’s Discipline. How can you know which?
Answer the questions we will look at today and you will know.
I- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND GOD’S DISCIPLINE?
A- Spiritual Warfare Defined: Satan’s attacks upon a believer or church with a view to their destruction.
1-Satan’s attacks that are designed to:
(a) Tempt God’s people to do what is not God’s will(Genesis 3).
(b) Bring destruction to the believer or church (John 10:10a).
(c) render the people of God ineffective through personal or corporate sin, or physical destruction, in fulfilling God’s mission of redeeming a lost world.
2- Satan uses strategies or methods to accomplish his warfare (Ephesians 6:11)
(a) He uses the lusts of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).
(b) He uses pressure from outside. (Acts 4:1-4)
. (c) He uses doubts from inside the life of the believer.(Jas. 1:5-8)
B- God’s Discipline Defined: Training that develops and corrects (Heb. 12:5-11)
1-In the Bible the term chastisement usually refers to punishment or discipline brought by God for the purpose of :
(a) education, instruction, and training (Job 4:3);
(b) corrective guidance (2 Tim. 2:25); and
(c) discipline, in the sense of corrective physical punishment (Prov. 22:15; Heb. 12:5–11; Rev. 3:19).
II- HOW CAN I KNOW IF I AM UNDER WARFARE OR DISCIPLINE?
Ask yourself some questions:
A- What are my circumstances? (Col 3:17 )
1- Am I in a place where God would have me be?
2- Am I in a relationship that God has directed me to be in? Is it consistent with scriptural principles?
3- Have I sought God’s direction and obeyed Him in arriving in these circumstances?
B- Does my life measure up to the plumbline of God’s Word? (2 Ti 3:16)
1- Is there any area of my life in which I have departed from the plumbline?
C- Does your lifestyle strengthen or weaken the fellowship of believers? (Lu 22:32)
1- Am I doing anything that will hurt or hinder another Christian in their service to Christ?
D- Is Your life fully glorifying to Christ? (1 Cor. 6:20)
1- When others (inside and outside the fellowship) look at your life does it cause them to praise God?
2- Does your life reflect the works of the flesh or the fruit of the spirit Galatians 5:19-23)
E- Does this make you want to draw closer to God and accomplish His purposes? (2Pe 3:18 )
1- Does it cause you to want to surrender to God or to Sin?
* If you can answer yes to the above questions, it is Spiritual Warfare that you are experiencing. If you have to answer “No” to the questions, you are experiencing God’s Discipline.
III- HOW AM I TO RESPOND ONCE I UNDERSTAND WHETHER I AM BEING DISCIPLINED OR UNDER WARFARE?
A- If you are experiencing Spiritual Warfare:
1- Seek the Spiritual Armor God provides (Ephesians 6:10-17).
2- Seek the Filling of the Holy spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
3- Seek to be absolutely obedient to God and His Word ( Ac 5:29 ).
B- If you are experiencing the Discipline of God:
1- Repent of your sin. (Rev. 2:5)
2- Seek Restoration to fellowship with God (Psalm 51:1-12)
3- Seek restoration with those affected by your sin (Matthew 5:23-24)
Do not imagine that you can progress into a Christian life without first turning squarely away from the world and toward heavenly things. If you were on the wrong road last year, your only salvation is in a right-about-face. Picture a man departing from Cincinnati on his way to San Francisco, turning his car toward the east instead of the west. He realizes his mistake, but does not want to turn around; and so, in spite of regrets and resolutions and protestations that he wants to go to the Pacific coast, he one day ends up confronted by the Atlantic. Conversion means turning about, and it means that you are to do the turning yourself (Luke 13:3).