Summary: Not only do we need to be prepared defensively against spiritual attacks but we must also counter attack with a great offense.
After Jesus showed his love by washing the disciples feet he said, "I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. We are blessed if we know the greatness of Jesus and we go out and demonstrate to the world his way of teaching. Always be prepared to serve the Lord by knowing Him as your personal friend. Our relationship with Jesus needs to be our way of life. It is the only way in which we can be prepared for the storms of life. Jesus is the only way; we are able to be victorious when the spiritual battles or trials come in this life. Our strength must come from our relationship with Jesus.
Monday afternoon, Deb and I, walked past the Methodist Church. There was a large group of men taking off the shingles of the roof, preparing it for the roofers coming on behind. It was sunny in Rock Valley, although it was stormy to the south and east. It appeared to be somewhat risky but as long as the sun was shinning and they had lots of bodies they kept on working.
It is strange how some of the storms of life come upon us. They don’t always hit everyone but the one on Monday evening did hit the church. With the shingles off the church, it was exposed to the hail and the hail did come. The water poured into the walls creating a disastrous mess. Fortunately no one was hurt but the church was damaged on the inside.
We are like that church building in many respects. We might have a strong foundation is Christ and we might worship him but there are times in our life that we are exposed to the attacks of evil. There are times temptation and various other attacks come our way and the result is we are damaged on the inside. A church building is a place where people gather to worship God. Many religious things take place there such as worship, weddings, baptisms, and funerals. It is a place where we meet God. Just as the Methodist Church was taking a risk, we too need to take risks in our life. When we take risks, we may come under spiritual attack but if we do not take a risk, we cannot defeat that which is evil in the world.
Those of us who are gathered here tonight are Christians. Most if not all of you have asked Jesus into your life and you came here tonight to worship him and to learn from God’s Word. As the old hymn goes, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back." The fact is when we decide to follow Jesus; we come under the attack of Satan’s arrows. I don’t think it is a continuous attack but it does come especially when we least expect it. We know that he is around because we have seen the storm clouds gathering around us. We have seen other Christians struck by his evil, just as other communities were being hit by the storm last Monday. The important thing for us is that we not be exposed to his attacks.
Knowing that we might be under attack might be somewhat intimidating but Jesus reminds us that we belong to him. Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." Our main line of defense against evil in this life is Jesus Christ. In I John 4:4 we read, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." Jesus is greater than the one who may attack us. Jesus gives us the power to defeat this one who comes and attacks. But the reality is Jesus is not only our mainline of defense against evil but he is our only defense. And while he is our defense against evil Jesus must also be our offense against that which is out to destroy God’s creation.
I believe that spiritual attacks come in many different ways. I would not say that all sickness is the result of spiritual battles but there are times that it is. Disease has a way of causing us to become weaker physically, emotionally, and mentally. It is during those times Satan tries to keep us down. Sometimes the attacks become so furious a person feels like giving up on life and there have been those who have taken their life because of the battle they were in. Evil does not fight fare. It knows our weakness and it know where we are vulnerable, therefore, if we show any weakness it will attack those areas of our life.