Summary: We are in a battle with an enemy that we cannot see, but we see the results of his tactics all around us.

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July 27, 2008

Morning Worship

Text: 2 Kings 6:8-18

Subject: Winning the Battle Against an Unseen Enemy

Title: The Invisible Battle

I remember as a child the scary movies we used to watch on Saturday night in St. Louis. Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, and the invisible man. I always thought, how difficult would it be to fight against someone you couldn’t see? Throughout movie history the invisible enemy has been the most dangerous enemy. More recently the Star Trek movies provided an unseen and terrifying enemy when the Romulan Starships were equipped with “cloaking “ devices that made them invisible. Thank goodness for men like Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock!

Of course all those enemies are make believe. But you know that we do have an enemy who is invisible and can wreak more havoc in your life that any number of movie villains. This enemy is the enemy of your soul and his name is satan, the deceiver, the snake, the serpent, the spirit of the anti-Christ. And he wants to do more than just bring physical death to you. He wants to bring spiritual death to all mankind.

Even though we do not see our enemy we see the results of his treachery; drug and alcohol abuse; physical and sexual abuse; sexual immorality; lust for money; violence… it’s all around us. And satan’s vast army is bringing the charge against the saints of God and in fact against the whole world.

What can we do about it?

Fortunately we also have an army fighting for us that is greater than satan’s army. We can’t see it taking place but we do see the results of the battle.

I want you to follow along with me as I share the steps of the invisible battle that is taking place.

Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches…

I. A HIDDEN ENEMY (8-13) 8Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

9The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

You know the first thing you need to do is understand that there is an enemy. Elisha understood that Israel had an enemy and by operating in the spirit realm he was able to be proactive in the battle instead of being reactive. I want to tell you something. Too many Christians today are reactive in their battle against the enemy. We don’t enter into spiritual warfare unless the enemy starts the fight. For many Christians by that time it is too late. The enemy has brought sickness or poverty or bad relationships into your home and now you have been beat up so bad you don’t have the strength or the faith to stand against him and fight. “Well, it must be God’s will that I’m poor, sick or heartbroken.” That’s the easy way out and it always leads to defeat. But there is a better way that leads to victory. Proverbs 3:5-10, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. 6in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth,

with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. (the Holy Spirit)

Elisha was hearing the Word of God and acting on it. He was protecting the people of Israel by being one who stood in the gap for them. He was their intercessor.

Obedience to the Word of God launches a preemptive strike into the enemy’s territory and will win future battles for you. Here is a real problem for us though; too many people in the world do not even know that there is an enemy. But the Bible says we have a responsibility to warn them of the unseen enemy. Ezekiel 33:1-6, 1The word of the LORD came to me: 2“Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. 5Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. 6But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’ For many of our friends and family it may be too late. The deceiver has them firmly entrenched in his ranks, fighting for him against God’s people. For many we won’t be able to warn them of the impending disaster waiting for them. But there are so many others – and I don’t think people want to go to hell – there are so many others that just need someone to tell them about Jesus and every believer is called to be the person who is a watchman – to warn others about their doom should they resist the call of the gospel. That’s the type of battle that Elisha was waging. He was confounding the enemy before he could even attack and the people didn’t even know what was going on. So we need to be sharing the gospel and praying for people relentlessly, before the attack comes, so it isn’t too late.

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