Summary: This one looks at the various ways Christians are to engage the kingdom of darkness in spiritual warfare.
Dakota Community Church
September 23, 2007
Doing the Stuff
Spiritual Warfare III – In week one we looked at the kingdom of darkness and saw its destructive nature. We took special note of the fact that all of nature, not just fallen humanity, is in the grip of this evil empire.
Then in week two we saw the enemy behind all the mayhem. Much more than the attempts of primitive cultures to explain mental illnesses, we saw that the devil and the fallen angels are real, they exist, and that we have a part to play in the battle against them.
This week I want to talk about “Doing the Stuff”. How do we engage the enemy in battle?
II Timothy 2:3, 4&7
Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.
… Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
1. Spiritual Stuff.
I am sure the majority of what you will have been taught about spiritual warfare will focus on this first part. When we hear the word “spiritual” in reference to this battle most of us will automatically go to thinking about prayer meetings. That is most definitely part of the battle.
After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn’t we drive it out?" He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.
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 saints.
No doubt about it prayer, fasting, and worship are a part of what we are called to in spiritual warfare.
The problem is that in North American Christianity we often prefer to deal in intangibles. We like to do things that cannot really be measured.
By sticking to prayer and other spiritual disciplines as the primary way we engage the enemy no one can really question our commitment or our effectiveness.
Who is to know if you are really practicing your faith by spending time in the prayer closet, or if that is what you say you are doing while in fact you are spending that time in front of the TV or computer?
"Not everyone who says to me, ’Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ’I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Do we need to pray? – YES
Is that all we need to do? - NO
2. Mental Stuff.
The battlefield of the mind
There is a spiritual battle that we must all participate in that involves our own mind will and emotions.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
What is a stronghold? The clue is in the next sentence, arguments and pretensions that are set up against the knowledge of God.
By virtue of the fact that we have grown up on this fallen planet, we come to Christ with ideas that are contrary to the truth of God. Some of them we are able to let go of easily when we come face to face with the truth, others are really hard. Everything in our being recoils against that truth. This is a mental stronghold.
Examples of prominent mental strongholds:
- Issues of sexual purity
- Issues of financial generosity
- Issues of racial equality
- Issues concerning gender
You get the idea, anyone realize they have a mental battle that needs waging right now?
Again the mental battle is one that is largely immeasurable. Who knows if you are trying or not?
3. Physical Stuff.
This is the part I really want to focus on this week – and next if we don’t have time.
Where and how does the Kingdom of Light clash with the kingdom of darkness in the physical realm?
- Is it in the fight against gay marriage?
- Is it in the fight against abortion?