Summary: Many of you will be in two spiritual battles in your life – not all of you but some of you. We were born at war with God because we are born in sin. But when we lay down our arms at the cross of Jesus Christ in unconditional surrender, God declares peace with us.
This morning I want to speak to you on this topic: Lifting the Curtain.
One of my favorite coaches says this about any upcoming opponent that they play no matter the other team’s record, “It’s a five star match up because we’re in it.” Again, “It’s a five star match up because we’re in it.” The Bible teaches that there’s a war going on and it’s a five star match up because you’re in it! But most importantly God Himself is in it!
Keep your Bibles open to Ephesians 6 with me (page 1163 in your pew Bibles). As you are turning, Please know that we are so glad you are joining us for worship today. These are discouraging days but we want you to sense the hope that comes from Jesus Christ on the Throne.
When you drop into Ephesians 6, you enter into a fierce scene, an intense theatre of battle.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:10-20).
The Bible teaches that life is a war. The battle is real, it’s invisible, and it’s intense. Now, it may come as a surprise that you are even in a battle.
Aquila was quiet for days and his friends could sense discouragement in his voice. Finally, he broke down and shared the sadness that had plagued him for days. Aquila’s parents had written him out of their will. The parents did not like that Aquilla wouldn’t devote all his time to care for them. Instead, he worked tirelessly to bring the gospel to Muslims and Hindus in his SE Asian villages. Though they were believers in Christ as was Aquila, they felt he should be at home with them even more. The spiritual battle is real and Satan does anything possible to deter light from dispelling darkness.
Would you hold up two fingers with me for a moment? Would you make the “peace sign” with me? Many of you will be in two spiritual battles in your life – not all of you but some of you. We were born at war with God because we are born in sin. But when we lay down our arms at the cross of Jesus Christ in unconditional surrender, God declares peace with us. When God declares peace with us, the devil declares war on us and we must be permanently at our battle stations from earth to heaven. So our two fingers in the air reminds me that life has two spiritual battles. So you’re either caught in the first war against God, or you’re in the second war, behind God. So which are you right now: against God or beside God?
Spiritual warfare is the mother of all wars! This warfare affects every area of your life and every individual in your life. There is not one boy, one girl, one man or woman who can extricate themselves from this battle of the ages. There’s no place to run and there’s no place to hide. There is no bunker or foxhole that you can get into that will alleviate you from the repercussions of this battle. This battle is called spiritual warfare and let me show you the gravity of it.
1) The Gift of Spiritual Sight
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).