Summary: A series looking at the daily realities of spiritual warfare which we all face.
What about spiritual warfare?
Last week we looked at the need for discernment. Tonight, we will spend our time on eliminating false discernment.
I made a statement last week that left a few people scratching their heads. At least one I know about anyway.
It was about the Bible and it’s application to sinners. I did not say we can’t or shouldn’t preach sin to sinners.
What I was saying is that we cannot expect sinners to live up to the rest of scripture in detail until they get to the point of salvation.
God won’t judge sinners on their every sin, He will simply look at whether or not a person is saved. If it is no, there is no reason to go further, the judgment is decided at that point.
It is Christians who will be judged based on individual sins and whether or not we lived up to the details of the Word of God.
My point is simply this, it is pointless to get too detailed with sinners about their actions and whether or not they line up with God’s Word until we get the most important thing taken care of, getting them to the moment of salvation.
Let’s go back to our verse from last week: 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
We focused specifically on verse 5. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,”
Spiritual warfare is not about fighting satan or attacking demons, it is about drawing closer to God and removing everything that opposes His will in us and leading others to do the same.
This takes discernment.
In short, discernment is knowing what God knows, having the mind of God.
So how do we eliminate false discernment? Glad you asked, I just happen to have an answer here.
Nutshell answer: We must learn how to listen.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
Waiting and listening can be a difficult thing to learn. We are so used to this go-go-go life we live.
But we cannot engage in spiritual warfare until we are first aware of God.
I don’t mean aware He exists, we are way past that. I mean aware of Him and what He is speaking and doing in the moment.
No act of spiritual warfare will ever be effective if it is not in line with the will of God. If we don’t know the will of God in a given moment, we cannot accomplish anything worthwhile because we may end up opposing the will of God and then our human spirit has just become a pretension set up against the knowledge of God: the very thing we use the weapons of warfare against.
We must get to the point that we know that He is God regardless of the situation we face. No matter the intensity of the personal struggle, He is still God.
John 5:30 “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
If you look at the full context of this verse, Jesus is speaking of the ultimate judgment at the Great White Throne.
Even in that He is saying that it is the Father that decides. Meaning simply, we need to let go of ideas of retaliation, judging, and self-motivation.
Jesus said no less than a half dozen times that nothing He spoke or did as a human in His ministry here came from Him, but it all came from the Father.
We have already stated last week that discernment comes from love, but let’s take it a bit farther to abounding love.
Philippians 1:9 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,”
This is love that leaps out from us towards others and is motivated by long-term commitment.
False discernment can be based on judging others as we have stated. It can also be based on mistrust, suspicion, and fear.
There is always coldness in false discernment. It may be packaged in love, but it never comes from love. It is comes from criticism.
The coldness of false discernment cannot see past the outside of a person or situation and pretends it knows the inside.
We so easily judge by outward appearances. It’s O.K. that the world does, they aren’t living in the grace of God, we are and so it is not O.K. for us.
Think of a biker with jeans and a leather vest and tattoos, piercings, longhair and a gottee. You see this man at night and you have a certain feeling of fear that comes over you and an immediate impression of him.
Now think of a man clean shaven, close cut hair, dressed as a professional with a charming smile. He also evokes a certain feeling, but more of admiration and your impression of him is positive immediately.