Summary: How a Christian Can Effectively Resist Evil
Spiritual Warfare - Message 1
There are times when we see evil so blatant, so powerful that we shudder with fear and weep in despair. On September 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m. - American Flight 11 from Boston crashed into the North Tower at the World Trade Center. Onlookers were stunned and the media focused national attention immediately on lower Manhattan. At 9:03 a.m. - United Flight 175 from Boston crashed into the South Tower at the World Trade Center. It became apparent in that moment that we were not simply witnessing an awful tragedy. Evil was at work. Before that day was over, we had started to trace the outlines of a conspiracy that was bent on creating chaos and suffering. We were looking at one face of evil.
On any city street, we can find overt evils in the drug pushers and pimps. It is not hard to spot the evil that lurks in the displays of pornography, or in the ads that lure people to believe lies of materialism or unrestrained sensuality. But we make a serious mistake in thinking that evil only shows in these ways. Many Christians spend huge amounts of energy fighting the social sins while ignoring evil that is hidden away inside their own ranks.
Frequently evil hides behind a facade of good.
∙ There is that person uses the structure of the Church, not to save and heal those who are broken, but to build a personal power base from which he destroys one person after another.
∙ There is the parent who praises God loudly in public worship who beats his son at home justifying his brutality with Scripture quotations.
∙ There is the woman who is careful about her public image, who is primly proper about her attire, whose public words are chosen to reflect her submission to Christ who at home is a hate-filled, gossiping, selfish person.
Evil may be loud and blatant or it may be lurking furtively in the shadows.
The world is filled with pain, suffering, cruelty, and exploitation — the result, directly or indirectly, of evil.
This series of messages does not attempt to solve the riddle of why evil exists. That question is a most difficult one that people attempt to answer in different ways.
First, why is life such a battle? Because of evil brought to us by a mastermind of evil who is given several names in the Bible: primarily Satan, the Devil. He engages in a constant war against God and His creation. He is a destroyer!
Second, is it supposed to be like this? No, God would have us to live as conquerors of evil both individually and in the world.
Then the questions are: How do we defeat this Mastermind of Evil?
How do we build the kingdom of Christ with peace and righteousness?
The answer: SPIRITUAL WARFARE!
I am reluctant to even bring up the phrase. Presenting this subject requires walking a very narrow road of truth that has a deep ditch on either side.
On one side the ditch of silly superstitions that will swallow us up with empty incantations, worthless recitations, and fables mistaken for life principles.
One the other side is the ditch of skepticism. Here we are deceived by our intellectual pretensions and we
ignore the realm of the spirit. We attempt to serve Christ through the power of our mind, using the ordinary self-improvement techniques and the psychological principles of behavior modification.
Despite the pitfalls and possibility of misunderstanding this Pastor feels strongly that it is my responsibility to teach you about the warfare that is necessary for good to triumph over evil. God has placed at our disposal adequate weapons for the battle and promises that we will not fight alone. It is important that we not be fooled into believing that our faith is inadequate in the modern world. Genuine Christianity, a life connection with the Holy Spirit that empowers you and me, makes us more than equal to the task. The Christian is, in fact, the only one who is completely adequate to deal with the problems that are rooted in evil.
THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
Jesus Christ informs us that life will be a battle, but that we will; because of Him, emerge in victory.
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I
have overcome the world.... John 17:13-18 "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (NIV)