Summary: A sermon about the spiritual war that every Christian faces and can be used to draw a parallel to the 2nd gulf war.
“War of the Worlds”
In 1898 H.G. Wells wrote his book “War of the Worlds.” It was a story about Mars taking over the Earth. In 1934, Orson Welles did a radio broadcast of this story. As you may remember, many people did not realize it was just a show and thought the world was really being taken over by Martians. We know today that there are no such things as green men from mars and there are no such things as flying saucers and the book “War of the Worlds” was just a fantasy. However, while Orson Welles production was a hoax, there is another “War of the Worlds” that is not a hoax. It is the war between the devil and Christians. It is a war that takes place in the “spiritual” world. And Paul gives us some insight into this war in our text for today.
A.W. Tozer once said that a vast majority of Christians believe that the world is a playground instead of a battleground.
Is it any wonder then, that so many Christians are losing so many spiritual battles?
I. The Fact that we are at War.
A. Paul alludes to the fact of this spiritual war by revealing the warring elements. He mentions:
1. “War” – to make a military exdition, to lead soldiers to war or to battle, (spoken of a commander) to do military duty.
II. The NATURE of the war (vs. 3b-4a).
“We do not wage war as the world does”
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world”
A. This War is a SPIRITUAL war and as such is not fought by conventional means.
1. I never cease to be amazed at the weapons our military has in their arsenal.
2. U.S. Military weapons:
a. Smart Bombs
b. Laser guided bombs
c. Satellite guided bombs
d. G.P.S. guided bombs
e. Tanks able to shoot on the move. In the first gulf war, two of our tanks took out 86 Iraqi tanks.
The list goes on and on...
And everyone of these weapons are useless when it comes to the spiritual war each of us face daily.
B. Why? Because this war is fought on a spiritual level.
1. It is a battle against lust, envy, idolatry, pride, selfishness, temptation, anger, hatred, discord, jealousy, immorality, and the like.
2. And there is no conventional weapon known to man that can defeat these enemies.
3. That’s why Paul says, (vs 4) “the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
C. (That leads us to another interesting observation in our text) – This war is NOT a DEFENSIVE war – it is an OFFENSIVE war.
1. We are NOT called to “hold the fort” as the enemy attacks. “Unfortunately, that is the plan many Christians seem to have. They want to circle the wagons at the church building and hold off the devil until Jesus comes back. That is not God’s plan!” (Tim George)
2. At the end of verse 4, Paul uses the phrase “demolish strongholds.”
3. The imagery is that of a “stronghold,” which was a fortress, or castle-type structure that presented an imminent danger. The stronghold itself was a defensive position. We are called to bring down or demolish the defensive position, which means taking the offensive.
4. This makes sense. If Satan were to build a stronghold in your life, such as immorality, you will live in constant defeat if you allow that stronghold to exist. Therefore, we must take the offensive and destroy that stronghold.
5. Proverbs 21:22 says, “A wise man attacks the city of the mighty and pulls down the stronghold in which they trust.”
III. Divine Power (vs 4).
“Divine Power” lit. “powerful for God’s cause” OR “powerful to God”
A. What this means is that when you face a stronghold, you have at your disposal the very power of God.
B. Now think about that,
--the power of God that divided the Red Sea,
--the power of God that brought down the walls of Jericho,
--the power of God that protected Daniel in the lion’s den,
--the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead,...
...is the same power you have available to bring down the strongholds in your life.
C. Consider the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
The Philistines gathered their army against Israel, Goliath, who was over 9 feet tall challenged the people of Israel, “Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects, but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects.” (vs. 8-9) What was Israel’s response? They were terrified and dismayed (vs. 11) they coward down and took a defensive position.