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Spiritual Warfare (SW-06)

Weapons of Righteousness

1 Peter 5:8-9

While most Christians would not deny that spiritual warfare exists, the truth is that many have, for all intents and purposes, disengaged. They no longer live as though there were at war. Rather, they are content to have others engage the enemy on their behalf. They want to ride on the tails of the victory of others, and rise with the swells of the successes of others.

And I can understand that because these people tend to dwell on the past rather than dynamically engage the present or intentionally lay hold of the future. They tend to live out of their ‘yesterdays’ instead of into their ‘tomorrows’. This is true of individuals as well as institutions, of corporations as well as for churches. The problem with this mind-set is that neither God nor the devil are living in ‘yesterday’. The war we are engaged in is very much a ‘today’ war.

Yesterday’s battle orders will not secure today’s victories, and yesterdays triumphs will not suffice for today’s troubles.

Now watch this - God gave me this and some of you need to hear it.

You will not remain on the path to victory guided by a mind filled with doubt and you cannot secure the place of victory while accommodating a mind-set of disengagement.

In Mainland China during 2002, Pastor Li De Xian and his wife Zhao Xia refused to be silenced. "Christ was the first to suffer," Pastor Li said. We just follow Him. There are many thorns, but we are just injured a little on our feet. This suffering is very little."

Despite continual pressure from the Public Security Bureau, Pastor Li refused to miss a service unless he was in prison, or change his message of salvation through Jesus Christ. He had been arrested so many times previous two years that he had lost count. After a three day episode of torturing he was forced to work on an assembly line in the prison factory putting bulbs into strings of Christmas lights to send to America.

"Don’t feel sorry for us," Zhao Xia says of their lifestyle. "At least we are constantly reminded that we are in a spiritual war. We know for whom we are fighting. We know who the enemy is. And we are fighting. Perhaps we should pray for you Christians outside of China. In your leisure, in your affluence, in your freedom, sometimes you no longer realize that you are in spiritual warfare."

I know why you have disengaged - because it is hard. Warfare is hard. It is hard for our men in Iraq. When a helicopter goes down with 14 aboard and all are killed, it is hard. When IED’s wreak havoc, it is hard. When ballistic fired rockets hit your vehicle, it is hard. The most terrifying moments of my life have been staring down the sights of my rifle to stop an enemy about to rain havoc on a platoon that I was a part of. Folks - it is hard, uncomfortable and messy. It is far nicer to disengage, more comfortable to sit in front of the television and watch the war, less messy to simply find fault with those engaged in the war. Nobody who has ever been in a war likes the idea of war or thinks that it is a good idea. When you have been in a war, war is the last thing you opt for again.

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