Welcome to the War
Welcome To The War
War is a fact of life -- the US has been involved in many different conflicts including the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars 1 and 2, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars and literally hundreds of other conflicts throughout our history as a nation.
But there is another battle being waged all around us in the spiritual realm. Unfortunately, those engaged in spiritual warfare most often do not know who their enemies are, have no plan for victory, and have little, if any, training.
This morning I want to introduce spiritual warfare - just the basic stuff. In the Men’s ministry, we are taking an advanced study. Going so far as to identify the enemy and the different uniforms he wears.
Example, the spirit of Jealousy, which manifests it self as
But today I just want to state some basics and hopefully open closed eyes to a war that rages around us.
I will cover
· Where is the war?
· How should we prepare?
· Who are the spirit warriors?
· We will answer the question: Did the war end at the cross?
· And, What are we fighting for?
· What does a spirit warrior look like?
· And Warfare communication.
Paul gives us this instruction about spiritual warfare that we need to take to heart.
Ephesians 6:10-12 (KJV)
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. -- Prayer:
Where is the war?_________________________________________________
When soldiers get to the battlefield, they know they are in a war zone. They see the sandbagged bunkers, perimeters of barbed wire, guard stations, signs designating what is secure, what is not. Signs designating mind fields.
Everyone is wearing uniforms. You know who the good guys are. Maybe you hear some fighter jets fly overhead; maybe you hear some guns fire.
Look around. Do you see barbed wire? Do you see guard stations? Do you see signs telling you were not to step? Can you tell the bad guys from the good guys by what they wear? Do you hear the battle; smell the smoke or hear the gunfire? How do you know you are in a battle?
You are in a war zone. You landed in this war when you were born. You came out screaming and kicking. You did not want to be here. Your spirit knew the consequences. Your spirit knew you were in a war. Then to top it off, some one hauls off and slaps you on the rear. And ever since then, life has been kind of rough.
Where is the battlefield? In Vietnam or Iraq the battlefield is well defined, you can see it. See the smoke, the battle. See the wounded. Where is the battlefield today? You are the battlefield. Every Christian is a walking battlefield. The battlefield is here (mind).
But wait a minute. You do not really believe all this stuff. All this battle talk, spiritual warfare junk, is just a bunch of bunk; Right? There is no evidence of war so you do not believe it; Vietnam that was war and Iraq - that is war. There is no war here.
Illustration: God teaching me lesson
That is the danger of this war, there is no evidence so it is even more dangerous. It is one big mind-field. If someone here was to suddenly blowup, loose a leg; or even die from a gunshot wound – then you would take notice.
And if that is not bad enough, you are not trained to defend yourself. The US Armed forces are trained for battle before going to war; you were just plopped into the war with no training. You have weapons but you were not trained to use them.
How should we prepare? __________________________________________
Too many Christians just trudge through life half-numb, not aware of the war raging around them. They become casualties – shot to pieces in a war you do not take serious. Pulled down by temptations; blown up by sin.
Let me tell you about Switzerland. A snap shot of Switzerland could be characterized like this: In every home, stored in the closet or leaning in a corner, a military-issue assault rifle exists with a specified number of rounds of ammunition wait at the ready. Every adult man in the country is provided with a weapon.
The Wall Street Journal states “more firepower exists in Switzerland than in any other place in the world, yet it is one of the safest places to be – how can that be true?
Switzerland is armed to the teeth but they are a Nation of peace lovers. They are the most armed and ready nation in the world yet they are the most peaceful nation in the world.
That is a model for Bible Reading Christians. We are a people of peace but we must be armed to the teeth and be ready to engage in battle at a moments notice.
The Swiss have adopted the position this world is a dangerous place and therefore stay prepared. As Christians, we must realize there is a spiritual warfare and therefore we must remain prepared.
We can learn from the Swiss and stay prepared. However, there is a major difference between the Swiss and Christians. That is, the Swiss are neutral. If you seen old war movies, Switzerland was the place to be, it was not for the Germans or Americans, they were always neutral.
However, we are not neutral; we are on the side of truth. We are on the side of righteousness. We are on the side of God and we are against the devil.
The problems with many Christians however is they are either a captive of satan or not a soldier for Christ. They are bystanders; neutral. But you cannot have a bystander attitude in this war. The Bible says you are either for God or against Him. There is no grey area here.
Who are the Soldiers, God’s spirit warriors?___________________________
I do not care what you may have heard in the past, our God is at war. And if you are a child of God, you are a soldier in His army. - Commanded to fight the war for the Ultimate Warrior- God? The Word of God says so.
In 2 Timothy 2:3-4 (NKJV) we read:
You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
Paul says you are a soldier in God’s Army and must endure the hardship that every soldier endures. War is serious business for God. Why do so many Christians take it so lightly?
To assume a “Peace-Time” posture, be neutral, or take a “bystander” attitude is self-destructive.
The bible teaches us to engage in battle. In 2 Timothy 4:7 we are told to fight the good fight. And in Ephesians 6:12 we are instructed to “Stand Firm” against the assaults of the enemy.
We are not instructed to be bystanders, to let someone else fight the war, but to engage in the war and fight with all we have. Foxhole
The scriptures make it plain it is all out warfare. One of the shortest and clearest statements declaring war is in 1 John 3:7-8 (NKJV)
7Little children let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
It cannot be any clearer than that. It is all out war and fully declared; A war to destroy the counterfeit kingdom of the devil and to glorify God.
I read a story about a navy man during WW2. He went to sleep just underneath of some 5-inch guns. He awoke to the ear splitting noise, the fire, the blast from those guns as Japanese aircraft attacked the ship.
The concussion from the blast of those 5-inch guns literally blew his pants legs up to his hips. I do not think he had any doubt of being in a war zone.
There is an unseen war raging that is just as climatic as any war man has ever seen on earth. It is a supernatural war between satan and his angels and Jesus Christ. And us, well, we are the soldiers. We are the soldiers sleeping under the gun.
Bottom line if you intend to survive this war, let alone contribute to victory, then you had better read your orders very carefully. You must gain an understanding of your personal mission and operational orders as a Christian Soldier, male of female, in this spiritual war that spans the ages.
Did the war end at the Cross?_______________________________________
Wait! The victory was won on the cross. We do not have to be concerned about Satan.
The last shot has not been fired. The secured victory will not be realized until the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The war’s outcome is secure. The victory is guaranteed. It was not hamburger hill or some decisive battle in Iraq, but it was the battle of the Hill of Calvary. Jesus Christ had victory but that does not mean the bullets stop flying.
D-day is one thing, V-day is another.
My father landed in Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. He told me stories of that battle. How soldiers were killed just trying to jump into the landing boats. How when the doors of the boats opened, the Germans opened with machine gun fire ripping boys apart. How bodies floated in the water and he had to push them aside to get to land. How machine gun fire splashed the water around him.
That was a decisive battle, everyone knew the war was going to be won but they had to keep fighting. Christ’s victory on the cross was a decisive battle, a turning point in the spiritual war. We know the war is won but we have to keep fighting until the day Christ returns.
What Are We Fighting For?_________________________________________
Life is not the big picture. Too many of us live with the hallucination that this life here on earth is what it is all about; nothing could be further from the truth. This life is nothing more than the doorway to the real world, which is still to come.
Every Christian soldier will stand before the commander in chief. Life is short, but eternity is very long. You do not want to do something stupid with your life that will cause you to suffer for eternity.
Most Christians, I believe, go through life believing, “well, the only important thing is that we make it to heaven”. That assumes that everyone in heaven will experience the same thing.
The bible does not say that heaven will be that impersonal. We do not just slip into a crowd. The bible says we keep our individuality; we pass to the other side as who we are and what we are.
The scriptures indicate that we will find that eternity is intensely personal
Every Christian Soldier will have a unique, personal, eternal future. God made each and everyone of use unique. He fashioned us differently. He shaped us differently.
As a soldier, how do you plan your retirement from the war? You plan your retirement, you eternity, by the choices you make here in this short life.
The bible clearly states that the choices you and I make through the course of our lives – spirit-warrior career choices – have a direct affect on our eternal “retirement” program.
We must make decisions daily to:
· Avoid Sin
· Shun certain thought patterns
· Sacrifice for the kingdom (tithes, time etc.)
· Spend yourself in ministry
· Deny yourself and take up His Cross
· Put the Lord first in our lives
· Consider the needs of others before your own
What does a spirit warrior look like?____________________________________
If you were joining the military, you must possess certain criteria. You must be of a certain age; you must meet health requirements; be of American citizenship; not too tall; not too short; not too fat an not too skinny.
Could a 70-year-old woman in a wheelchair join - How about a 6-year-old boy? How about an overweight, middle age man with bad knees – could they join the service and be fit for war?
No. I doubt that any of these could pass the muster and get into service let alone go off to war. But everyone of them has magnificent potential to be a mighty spirit warrior – a solider for Christ; a warrior for the Kingdom of God.
Somehow we have mistakenly associated Spiritual Warriors with tossing demons around, we see televangelist whooping up on demons in front of cameras.
A military solider wears a uniform and carries a weapon for war. What does a Spiritual Warrior look like?
Can you look at the church body and pick out the warriors? Would you pick yourself? When it comes down to it, it’s what’s inside the man that makes all the difference in the world.
A spirit warrior does not have to be the strongest and fittest like in the military. It’s the inner strength that counts; it’s the character of the man that makes the Soul of the Warrior.
In the world of Spiritual Warfare, none of that has any meaning. It does not matter if you are built like Mr. America; it does not matter if you can bench 300lbs, all that is unless.
The warrior’s greatest asset, his greatest weapon, is his soul. His soul gives direction to the mind and body. You can beat up al the demons you want on T.V. However, the character of the man or woman determines how mighty a warrior they are.
Communication is vital in any battle and war. It is no different in this war. We need constant communication with God. We always must be in prayer and fasting when engaging the enemy.
Never take your eyes off the battle. Whenever we win a battle, whenever we take down a strong hold, whenever we advance in the kingdom of God, whenever we take territory, never give it back to the enemy.
Never pull back. Never cut and run. Never give up the ground you have taken from the enemy. Never let the enemy take back that which you have beaten out of him.
Stand with me this morning.______________________________________
You have been given some grim news today… Let me give you some good news.
You have Spiritual Authority.
You have the same power that Christ had here on earth.
You have the power to rebuke demonic strongholds
You have the power to break demonic yokes
You are a soldier in the Army of the Lord
Your commander and chief is the God of the universe
You have been given all the weapons needed to bruise the head of the enemy.
Closing Prayer: Spiritual Warfare
In the name of Jesus, We put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil; for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places.
Therefore, we take the whole armor of God that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. We stand, therefore, having our loins girt about with truth. Your Word, Lord, which is truth, contains all the weapons of our warfare, which are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.
We have on the breastplate of righteousness, which is faith and love. Our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. In Christ Jesus, we have peace and pursue peace with all men.
We take the shield of faith, wherewith we are able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; the helmet of salvation; and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. In the face of all trials, tests, temptations, and tribulation, we cut to pieces the snare of the enemy by speaking the Word of God. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
Thank You, Father, for the armor. We will pray at all times — on every occasion, in every season — in the Spirit, with all prayer and entreaty. To that end, we will keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints. Our power, ability, and sufficiency are from God who has qualified us as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant of salvation through Christ. Amen.
Greet your Fellow soldiers
Ask you neighbor, “are you a spirit warrior?”