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Summary: What are we striving for when we do battle for Christ?

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The Strategic Goals of Spiritual Warfare

What is the mission?

That question is one of the most important ones we ask as we work on any challenge or project.

When we take up the challenge of Spiritual Warfare, we need to understand our mission, our strategic goals. Knowing our mission and goals helps us to define our tactics and to know if we are succeeding.

*ill.- James received an archery set for his birthday. His friend, John, came to visit and was amazed that each hole in the targets indicated that the arrow had struck dead center. John had no idea that James was so proficient with the bow, he watched his friend in action. The explanation was soon discovered. James took a blank sheet of paper and hung it on the bales of hay that served as his backstop. He fired arrows at the paper then he took out his marker and drew a target around each of the arrows!

Are you waging an effective war against evil?

How do you measure your efforts?

In our text, we are told that we have two strategic goals in our spiritual warfare. Let’s take a look. {READ}

Text: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. NIV

I. We are to tear down every argument that keeps people from knowing God!

In The Message, a contemporary translation of the New Testament, this verse is written:

“We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies,

tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God.”

Every era has its own philosophies that shape the lives of the people in those eras, often without much conscious thought. Few of us have explored the foundations on which our thoughts and reasoning stands. Thus, we are frequently locked into fortresses with strong, though invisible, walls.

We need to ask:

∙ Why do we choose to live the way that we live?

∙ What “truths” are guiding and shaping our culture?

∙ What arguments and pretensions have gripped our minds that must be torn down so that we can truly serve God?

The culture Western world and particularly the United States did not arrive at where it is in 2002 simply by chance. Over the past 3 centuries the Western mind has been completely reshaped, the roadways along which our thoughts travel have been rebuilt. We think completely differently than people did when America was born as a nation. Modern philosophies are woven into our minds, not only by formal education processes, but through cultural influences, movies, music, advertising, books, and television. We often adopt non-Christian thought patterns without making a conscious choice.

Certain basic assumptions about the meaning of life have become strongholds in the modern mind. As Christians we must demolish those strongholds that block people’s hearing and understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that keep us from serving Christ effectively and faithfully.

One of those strongholds in modern thought is radical individualism.

We worship our individuality to the point that we believe we have a nearly unlimited rights to do what pleases us. The restraints of law, religion, or morality are resented and resisted. About 15 years there was a popular Christian book published with the title: “I Gotta Be Me.” In it, Tammy Faye Bakker, the wife of the televangelist argued for her right to self-expression. Despite her place of prominence as a Christian she insisted that she just had to do what her individuality demanded of her. Few challenged her. In fact, many Christians applauded her conclusions as bringing necessary liberation to the Church. Surely Tammy Faye made some valid points about the shallow and judgmental culture within organized religion, but she missed the bigger point that we are NOT free to be ourselves without concern for the effects of our choices and actions.

Most of us sitting right here today are imprisoned by this stronghold. We find it difficult to think of ourselves as being constrained by our responsibility to each other and to God. We are convinced that fulfillment and happiness will be found in doing what we want to do regardless of the will of God or the needs of friends, family, nation, or church.

The wisdom of the Scripture challenges radical individualism with this statement, Romans 15:1-3

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself . . .” (NIV)

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