Summary: The first in a series looking at the daily reality of what we face in spiritual warfare.
What about spiritual warfare?
Well, I can tell you this may be the most diverse of our discussions yet and at least one of, if not the, most misunderstood, misused, abused, and outright confusing topics we can bring up.
It seems that everyone has their own opinions when it comes to this and many have very strong feelings regarding their viewpoints.
The seeming conflict within the church over this and unfortunate chasms that develop among christians due to varying stands has and continues to cause great harm in the body of Christ.
I do not consider myself an expert in this arena by any means, nor do I profess to hold all the answers or even hope to attempt to answer all your questions that may arise.
That said, I will, with all due diligence, conduct this series with all the truth of God’s Word that time and my limited understanding allow.
By the end of our study of this subject, I trust we will each be closer to a full knowledge of the reality of spiritual warfare and the working of the spiritual world around us with as little human reasoning and bias as possible.
My research takes me to extremes of teaching and in that I try to find the balanced truth of God’s Word He has given us.
If at any point you have a question or don’t quite understand, please feel free to get my attention so you may ask and we will make every effort to answer your question or bring clarification at that moment.
If a question arises that you would like further discussion, contact me at the office or via e-mail and I will take the appropriate action to respond.
Finally, if you disagree with something I say, please talk with me about it privately afterward so we can make sure it is not just a misunderstanding before it becomes a public thing.
We will start tonight with possibly the two most famous verses on spiritual warfare.
We are not going to get into breaking these both down that much tonight.
Tonight will be laying a lot of groundwork and introductory stuff and each Wednesday will find us getting deeper into this topic and opening up new subtopics.
I do want to address a couple of concerns up front. There will be others addressed, but these two will start us off.
The first is our need for wisdom. Without wisdom in our study and wisdom in our application we will get ourselves in trouble quickly.
There is an old proverb worth noting: “Age and treachery will always defeat youth and zeal.”
Before we engage into spiritual warfare we must know that Satan is an ancient and extremely treacherous adversary. He has power and his tactics are refined.
We must be careful that are idealism and untested fervor do not lead us into situations that we are either not ready for or not meant to be in at all. Wisdom.
If zeal by itself attacks the treachery of hell it will loose over time. In the end compromise comes in as discouragement and frustration become too much to bear and leading to outright sin and even spiritual bondage.
Ignorance is one of Satan’s tools as well. He doesn’t care if we jump out in attack against him and the forces of darkness if we do so in ignorance. He knows he can overcome that easily.
The problem happens because we tend to put Satan in a doctrinal box and expect him to stay there.
He does not and will not. He uses anything he can to defeat us as God’s children. There are no rules of engagement, no Geneva convention, no laws, no sense of restraint on his part.
Satan is limited by God only.
Jesus warned His disciples and subsequently us when He sent them out in Matthew 10:16 to be wise as serpents and yet innocent and harmless as doves.
Wisdom must proceed warfare and virtue, purity, holiness, must come before victory.
We live by faith and we trust God to guide and protect us, absolutely, but we need to learn the ways of God and think with wisdom.
The second concern is that there are only ways to make spiritual warfare longer and more perilous, there are no shortcuts.
In any battle, carefulness and preparation are the essence of victory.
Presumption will lead to destruction.
If you find yourself on some spiritually lofty plane better and higher than the rest of us, just remember that your fall will be harder and more damaging.
After all, Adam was in Paradise and walked and talked with God in the same way that I could walk and talk with any one of you at this moment.