Summary: Spiritual Warfare...What you can’t see, CAN hurt you!
Stand and Fight: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You.
I heard the story of a boxer a few days ago. He was an older guy who had once been the champ, and he wanted to prove that he still had it and so he had gotten into the ring with a fighter that was in a whole other league. After five or six rounds of just getting the stuffing knocked out of him, he came back to his corner and sat down. He was cut several times, and both of his eyes were nearly swollen shut. But, his trainer was an optimist and he was trying to encourage the former champ so he told him, “You’re doing great, that guy has barely touched you!” The boxer looked up at the trainer, exhausted, and replied: “Then you better watch the referee because somebody keeps hitting me!”
In Christianity today, you have a lot of people, pastors and churches included, that are like that trainer. They are trying to convince everyone that there is no problem and they are telling everyone who will listen that their lives and lifestyles are alright, that the world is barely touching them or having an influence on them and that Satan and sin really can’t cause us that much harm as long as we try to be good. But if you look in churches today, you see a much different story. You see people who have been beaten and battered by life. You see immorality and addiction. You see families that have been torn apart but are still trying to keep up appearances for the Sunday crowd. You see churches that can’t stop fighting and that are splitting and accomplishing nothing for God’s kingdom. No matter what people think, someone keeps hitting us! Someone is landing these blows, someone is leaving the scars behind. You can see it on so many faces, the blows that have been landed in a battle that has raged from the beginning of time and that is not going to go away any time soon, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves that it’s not there.
Many don’t want to believe in angels and demons and a spiritual realm, so they just refuse to believe that there is anything out there beyond what we can see. But this is a case where “What you can’t see, CAN hurt you!” If you want to witness Satan’s greatest victory to date, you don’t have to look in dark and seedy places. You won’t find it in the occult or in the filth and trash we call entertainment today. You can see his greatest victory in many churches today where he has convinced the people that he doesn’t exist. So many today are more comfortable taking Satan as a symbol of evil rather than a created being who is set against God and his people and is a very real enemy today. The Bible does not teach him as a symbol. The Bible does not teach him as incompetent or unaware of what’s going on. The Bible tells us that he is a deceiver and a liar and a lion that is ready to pounce and destroy. There is a war going on. And like it or not, you are involved. This war is outside of the realm of what we perceive as reality, it’s outside of what we can see with our eyes. We can see the consequences and the damage and rubble that this war has left in its wake, but the battle is a spiritual one. It is a battle for the hearts and minds of God’s most precious creation, you and me.