This week, we begin a brand new teaching series from Pastor Richard Harris entitled Spiritual Warfare. It's purely a coincidence, but very apt, that the beginning of this teaching falls on Father's Day weekend. Men were designed by God for warfare. Yes, physically they are more appropriate to combat, larger, stronger (usually!) and more aggressive (again, usually!). And scripture contains a great deal of combat, battle, fighting. King David was a man after God's own heart, but also the leader of a large army that won many battles.
So, in honour of Father's Day, we want to wish all those Mighty Men of God out there amongst our readership, a very happy and blessed Father's Day. You are a warrior. For the Kingdom of God and for your family. We hope this series is a blessing to you and say thank you for all you do to love, nurture and protect your families. You are greatly appreciated!
Father's Day aside, whether you're male or female, young or old, you need to engage in spiritual warfare. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on a) the benefits God has you for your life, but also b) you’ll miss out on robbing the devil of his successes. You are in a battle whether you like it or not. The question is, will you and how will you fight?
What do you think of when you hear the term, spiritual warfare? Whatever it is, I wonder if 'lack of knowledge' entered your mind. You see, knowledge is power. We live in the ‘information age’. The CIA or MI6, their main goal is to gather as much information as they can because they know that the more information you have the better chances you have of winning a conflict. And, sadly, many Christians have very little knowledge in this area.
The enemies greatest tactic in this war, is deception. In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis has Satan saying to his apprentice; 'Our policy, for the moment, is to conceal ourselves.' The devil greatest tactic is to convince us that he doesn't exist. To fill our minds with images of comical characters with a pitchfork, tail and horns on their heads. The devil is a cunning liar. He is the father of lies, after all (John 8:44).
Satan wants to deceive you and blind you so that you will be in bondage and defeat. Hosea 6:4 says we are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. If it was a fill in the blank test, what would you put in there? Faith, love, hope? No, it’s knowledge. Why? Because if we don’t know anything, satan can deceive us far more easily.
Satan and God are at war. Ephesians 6:10-12 talks about the armour of God. But armour to stand against what: Deception! We are not fighting carnal, physical things but against spiritual entities and authorities. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 describes them as Strongholds and tells us to take thoughts captive. It says that we are to cast down imaginations and make them obedient to Christ. Our warfare is in capturing thoughts and imaginations and casting them down.
How did the war come to be? Read Gen. 1:26-28. We see there that God established the world, so He’s the king, but then he gave dominion over the created world. Essentially, He delegated His Kingly authority to us. When we rejected that authority and decided not to believe God but Satan, we handed the authority of this world over to the devil. Big mistake right?
What did the serpent say to Eve? 'Has God said…?' The devil wants to cast doubt on the Word of God. Then he contradicts God and accuses Him of lying to Adam and Eve. This is the key question in this issue - Who Says? Who are you going to listen to and believe?
Adam and Eve decided they would make up their own minds and eat of the fruit - that’s what sin is; deciding that we know better than God and are going to go our own way despite God’s attempts to guide us in the right direction. This is the heart of it. Right, wrong, good, bad - it’s not God’s place to tell us what to do. That’s sin! Mankind believed Satan’s lie that we can be like God without God. And they could achieve this, how? By controlling the natural realm. Ever since, mankind has taken the created form and turned it into the created. We began to worship the creation rather than the creator. See Romans 1.
Spiritual Warfare is a battle over what we believe. Satan rules his kingdom through lies and deception. The biggest lie of all time is that God is a liar and your natural senses are the truth. Will we believe what God says or what our senses say? Is God in charge or are my feelings in charge?
Romans 8:5-8 is a well-known passage contrasting the effects of being spiritually minded or carnally minded. The first leads to life and peace. The second, to death. Romans 6:16 says; Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? All of mankind is in one of two kingdoms. We are all born into Satan’s kingdom and become his subjects, his slaves because of Adam and Eve's rebellion in the garden of Eden. But, when we get born again we repent the lie that we can be like God, without God, and put Jesus in place as our King. We bow to him and make ourselves subject to him. Jesus came to reinstitute God’s kingdom and give us access to the very throne of the King! Praise God!
We will look at the conflict between those two kingdoms, next week!
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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Watch a snippet from Pastor Richard's teaching by clicking the image below.
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