Summary: The Bible gives the believer insights in how to wage spiritual warfare.
Title: 4 Ways to Wage Warfare Script: various passages
Type: Spiritual Warfare V Where: GNBC 6-9-19
Intro: On the evening of June 4th, 1940 PM W. Churchill faced the Parliament at one of the darkest moments in the history of mankind. The French Army, purported to be the greatest in the world lay shattered in pieces, the BEF, which only by the grace of God had escaped total annihilation at Normandy, leaving nearly all of their artillery on the beaches, was washing back up on England’s unarmed shores. All the nations from Poland to France lay crushed under the boots of the Nazi war machine. And on that evening, it was that rather plump old man’s duty to make the case how Britain could not only fight, but win a war few thought they could. In his memoirs Sir Winston write about how the greatest battle that had to be won that night was the battle against fear and doubt. And in his ensuing speech he instilled confidence in a nation and people who were sadly lacking at that moment. In the simple speech every citizen could understand Churchill laid out the plan for which Britain would wage war and win.
Prop: Today we will examine 4 ways every Christian can effectively wage spirit. Warfare.
BG:1. To “wage” warfare is active, not passive. To wage a campaign means to take action.
2. Most conservative evangelical Christians feel as though spiritual warfare is either for fringe nutters or the super spiritual. Yet the truth is that each of us faces more frequently than either we discern or care to discuss.
Prop. Trans. – You might ask self: “How can I successfully wage spirit. Warfare?”
Prop: Today we will examine 4 ways every Christian can successfully wage warfare.
I. Wage Warfare Through Fasting- Is. 58:6
A. Christians need to be reminded of the importance of fasting.
1. What should we understand about fasting
a. Is. 58:3-12 offers Christians one of the finest polemics against false fasting and description of what true fasting involves. The Jewish people during the time of Isaiah asked the question of why it is that God didn’t pay attention to their endless prayers (v.3a). God’s simple answer is that they are not fasting for the right purpose, but rather instead of seeking the Lord in a time of fasting, they only seek their own means all the more!
b. God is more concerned about our mentality while fasting than the number of meals we miss while fasting! We don’t impress God because we skip a dessert of breakfast if we are harboring ill-will toward others. In a very effective series of rhetorical questions (v.5) God points out that this in not the kind of fast He desires or is pleased with. Israel was fasting from food while they should have been desisting from their lust of money. Whereas they should have been helping their neighbors, yet instead they were robbing them. If they would follow God in this He would send light and healing and righteousness (v.8).
2. What was the point Isaiah was making in this passage?
a.Now don’t miss the point. Neither Isaiah nor any other prophet was opposed to fasting, but they were opposed to any kind of religious ceremony that was not accompanied by righteous living and practical good works. It does not negate the practice, but rather, the value of the practice is negated if we don’t live consistent righteousness.
b. Many of our African brothers and sisters could teach us Westerners a few things about the importance and discipline of fasting.
B. How is Biblical Fasting a Part of Spiritual Warfare (This type only comes out thru p&f)
1. Look again at the passage in Is. 58:6 – What is the purpose for which this fast is called?
a. Notice that this type of fasting had a purpose: “loosen bonds of wickedness”, “undo the bands of the yoke”, “let the oppressed go free”, “break every yoke”. Now a yoke here doesn’t refer to eggs! Rather, it was a farm implement in which you would harness two animals together for the purpose of pulling. You see people are in bondage and need to be set free. Non-Christians, even Christians can become enslaved and bound to things not proper. No, we are not to assume that every problem an individual has is at it’s core a problem due to demonic influence, however, probably more than we give credence to.
b. Is there a situation you know of where this needs to take place? Family member? Loved one? Work place? Need in the church? On the mission field? It takes warfare and yet God has given us a valuable tool in the ministry of fasting. Jesus’ statement when you fast (cf. Matt. 6:16) indicates that fasting is normal and acceptable in the Christian life. He assumes His followers will fast on certain occasions, but He does not give a command or specify a particular time, place, or method.