Introduction to Spiritual Warfare
If you have read the previous message, this introduction is unchanged and though I recommend you re-read it, the new content begins just below the Key Bible Verse…
In any war, there are places where the enemy is engaged. This is the place of the battleground; the turf where spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical conflict against evil is played out. In the war against the forces of evil, the Believer must evaluate where the enemy is active; where the skirmish-lines are. From there we can apply the Truths of the Bible to counterattack. In order to best defend ourselves one might suggest a study of the nature and movements of demons. However the Bible specifically warns us not to do that (Romans 16:19). The way to discover where the enemy is maneuvering, is to evaluate our lives for evidence of disobedience and neglect. This is where the devil and his crowd are most certainly to be found. Jesus said we are to be “fruit” inspectors:
Key Bible Verse
A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit… so then, you will know them by their fruits…
In this message, we approach a battleground of intense spiritual warfare, a place where an examination of our own fruit indicates our progress on the Jesus Path. In this lesson we focus on: Battleground: View of Others. It is not very difficult to cipher we either think too much of others or too little of them. If a look at our “fruit” reveals the presence of either of these conditions we can be quite certain the devil and his crowd are making gains in their efforts to distract you from your God-given mission to see needs and serve others.
What evidence might I find if I am someone who thinks too much of myself?
- Live like my livelihood is in the hands of others
- Self-esteem tied to approval of others
- Looking to others to provide solutions
What evidence might I find if I am someone who thinks too little of myself?
- Ignoring presented needs
- Misplaced or dishonorable affection
- Unwillingness to engage strangers
Where then is Bible ground to face and destroy the enemy in his attacks upon us in these areas? The Truth lies in evaluating how God views others. Once we have a correct, honest and open understanding and acceptance of His view of those around us, we can begin to engage (and with the help of the Holy Spirit) defeat the devil and his crowd as they try to trip us up in our view of others. Here are the three summary points from the message:
- Love the unloveable
- Love the unloveable
- Love the unloveable
I know… its the same point three times. But in a nutshell, as I prepared this message it became crystal-clear that God loves and is patient with all mankind (Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance – 2 Peter 3:9) When we make the effort to climb up to Bible ground on the topic of others, we learn we are to intentionally focus our gifts, mercies, and energies on them.
However, loving the unloveable does not mean we are to be a doormat. Look at how Jesus loved:
- Completely… In our dealings with others we are not to hold back – but to be generous with our love, “even as I have loved you”
- In spite of… We may have a host of issues with others – but Christ’s love is “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Love in spite of how we have been treated – or in spite of how deserving the other is of our scorn and contempt
- In Truth… He loved in truth. Truth can be firm: He called the Pharisees whitewashed tombs, He instructed not to “cast your pearls before swine.” Paul wrote – “to the extent that it depends upon you, be at peace with all men” – not that we will be; but to the extent we can influence things
- Never giving up… Pray for those who persecute you and curse not. Jerks will be jerks, but we can love them with simple kindnesses (not exposing ourselves to being manipulated, dominated, or abused) but to pray for their recovery and repentance is the best way to reflect Jesus
We must remember we are engaged in spiritual warfare with malignant spiritual forces who seek to foil, confuse and debilitate us. They seek to make the actions and presence of others odious to us; which helps us justify neglecting them. There is only one way to eradicate this condition, and that is to serve others as their needs are presented to us. Please check out the video. Lord bless and keep you are you seek to understand your way on the Jesus Path.
There is every reason for you to study this Series as if your life depended on it.