Hello everyone and welcome to this week's Upstream Teaching Blog. We are now on Part 3 of Pastor Richard's teaching series 'Spiritual Warfare'. We hope you've been enjoying it so far. Do let us know in the comments what you've learned, any questions and we would love to hear of any testimonies you might have.
Last time we talked about the Number One reason many Christian’s don’t see victory in spiritual warfare; Passivity. We need to engage! This week we talk about the second reason; Ignorance. Did you know that? Exactly!! I’m sort of joking, but not really! Hey, you don’t know what you don’t know, right? How can you? Hopefully this blog teaching, and our entire series on Spiritual Warfare, will help fill in some gaps and encourage you in the fight.
Hosea 4:6 says; My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. It's important that we understand spiritual warfare, so that we can be victorious in it. Even in natural terms, knowledge is power. We talked about the importance of Intelligence in warfare. If you missed last weeks, we encourage you to go back and read it here: https://www.upstreamministries.com/post/ready-to-rumble
The army that is better prepared is the one that's more likely to win. It’s the same in the spiritual arena. Second Corinthians 2:11 says; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (Emphasis mine)
Now, it’s important that we don’t get too focused on, or spend any time meditating on, the devil. He's a loser and a liar. But, I do think it’s helpful for us to focus and meditate on what the Bible teaches on how we are to fight, on how to win! Psalm 144:1-2 says; Blessed be the Lord my strength which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdues my people under me.
What an amazing passage that is! King David says God is our shield and victory and He teaches us to fight. In the New Testament, we know our primary battle is not one of flesh and blood but a spiritual battle. The Old Testament however is a useful type and shadow for us to learn from. I'm not saying we should pick up a physical sword and attack our enemies, for our enemies are not flesh and blood. I'm saying we need to realise that God calls us into and He equips us for battle. The enemies we face might not be flesh and blood but they are just as, if not more dangerous! They set up their 'base of operation' in our minds whenever they can. You see brothers and sisters, the battle ground is in your head! Between your ears! That's the key 'battle space' for a believer. It's all in your head!
Why do we fail in this area of spiritual warfare? Number 1, Passivity. And number 2; a lack of knowledge. That’s why I’m teaching this series, to equip you with the knowledge you need to be a super warrior. To be a victorious champion for God both in your life and in the lives of others to establish God’s kingdom on the earth! I don’t know about you but that sounds exciting to me!
There are four steps to victory in this area that I’d like to share with you.
The Battlefield is in Our Minds
We Fight From Victory
Stay on the Offence
Use Your Spiritual Weapons
These four points will help you see victory in this area. Let’s start with number 1. Most people think that if they can establish God’s kingdom on the outside (physical circumstances) then they will experience God’s peace on the inside. We want to control the physical don’t we. Let’s be honest! We like to control, manipulate, exert our own power and influence upon the world around us and if we can get all that sorted then we will have peace, joy and fulfilment. The truth is the exact opposite. If I can control my mind and make it obedient to the kingdom of God, His peace, joy and fulfilment that is already in me in my spirit-man, my circumstances on the outside will begin to change accordingly.
Romans 14:17 says; For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Think about that. Paul is saying that the Kingdom of God is not conformity in the natural realm first, it’s in the spiritual realm first.
Won With The Word
The kingdom of God is spread through the Word of God. Jesus calls the seed in the Parable of the Sower, the Word of the Kingdom. Matt. 13:19; When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
Jesus is saying that the Kingdom of God comes by the Word of God. Where is this ‘seed’ being sown? Inside you. Jesus talks about the rocky ground as someone who receives with joy, but the plant fades and gives up when persecution comes. He talks about the thorns choking the plant as being the lusts of the flesh. These are all matters of the heart. When He talks about good ground, he mentions ‘a good and honest heart’ (Luke 8:15 - But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience).
The battle is in your mind. It’s inside you. Too many Christians are so focused on external things that they forget about their own minds. God’s Kingdom is built through the renewing of the mind. Romans 12 is a key passage of scripture. Romans 12:1-2; I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
A kingdom is where the King rules. People do what the King says. If it’s God’s kingdom, we’re going to be doing what He says. We see from this verse alone that we prove the will of God by renewing our minds. What we think, leads to what we believe, which leads to what we do. We want our minds to align with truth. When it does, you will then say and act accordingly and demonstrate the kingdom of God. Spiritual warfare is the fight to enforce the kingdom of God in our minds and the minds of other people.
Mark 4:24-25; And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
So what are you thinking about? What are you listening to? What thoughts are you allowing to take precedent in your thinking, what are you meditating on? Is it the Word of God? Or is it social media, TV, news, friends and neighbours, the various patterns of thinking that you’ve developed over the years from countless words being spoken over you and to you, influencing you when you didn’t even realise?
I hope this has been a blessing to you. If you'd like to know more about this message, Upstream Home Churches in general or if you'd like prayer, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can go to the contact page here: https://www.upstreamministries.com/contact or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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