Tuesday, April 28, 2009

this means war

For the last few weeks, I have been preaching on spiritual warfare. And, waking the dragon sure makes things heat up. I know that I'm not the only one facing the assault of the devil, the flesh and the world. How important it is to "stand firm" and be courageous.

One question I raised on Sunday is "What is spiritual warfare?" We blame difficulties in life on spiritual warfare but sometimes have no idea what it actually "is." I suggested the following definition: Spiritual Warfare is any conflict or challenge that threatens my confidence in who God is and what God is doing and tempts me to think, feel or act in an ungodly way. When I encounter something in life that causes me to forget the truth of what I know about God and leads me into temptation, instead of holiness, I am being spiritually attacked.

My friend, Scott Raines, woke up Monday morning to find that someone had stolen all four tires and rims off his truck. Finding my car on blocks isn't the way I want to start my week. I imagine my irritation, my anger, my overwhelming temptation to take revenge [if I could only find the culprit]. These feelings could cause me to be short with my wife, cynical about our police force and increasingly prejudicial toward certain groups of people. Having forgotten the sovereignty of God and His guarantee of final justice, I miss who He is and what He is doing and go right to ungodly thoughts, feelings and actions. That's spiritual warfare.

Fortunately, Scott handled things much better than I might have. He wrote me: "They are just wheels & tires. The funny part is I needed tires. During my prayer time on Monday after this, I thanked God for this knowing something good will come from it. Genesis 50:20 'You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.'"

My buddy took up the full armor of God [Ephesians 6:14-18] and survived the spiritual attack...only to be ready for the next one that is sure to come his way.

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