Fight for Your Life - 13
How many of you have ever been in a fight? Not a nasty contest of insults, but a real fight where you delivered punches and took them, too?
You’ll be glad to know it’s been a long time since I was involved in a fist fight, but in middle school, I went through a phase. If you didn’t go through that same phase, there are some things you need to know about fighting.
First, you have to size up your opponent. If he’s bigger, chances are good you’re gonna lose.
Next, you must know what you’re fighting for. Some things are worth a fight. If you try to hurt my wife and kids, I will fight. Other things aren’t that important.
By now, you’re probably wondering why I’m talking about fighting. It’s because if you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re in a fight every day of your life.
This fight is different than others you may have gotten into. It’s not against your spouse, your kids, or your boss. In fact, it’s not against a person at all. You’re fighting an invisible heavyweight: Satan.
This fight has a special name: spiritual warfare.
Because you can’t afford to lose, I’m going spend the next few weeks showing how you can take Satan on…and win. I’ll answer eight questions about spiritual warfare. Are you ready? Let’s go!
The first question many people ask is…what is spiritual warfare?
Simply put, spiritual warfare is the fight between good and evil in the world.
In today’s society we tend to avoid calling things “good” or “bad.” Instead, we just say they are “different.”
Additionally, there’s a strong tendency to think evil is a symptom of a psychological issue, not the result of an outside influence.
As a Christian I believe another source…a spiritual source…is the primary agent of evil.
This entity has a name: Satan.
Before we talk about how to resist him, let’s take a look at how the Satan, a.k.a. the devil, became such a powerful enemy…
At one time, Satan was an angel in heaven. But Satan rebelled. When God cast him out of heaven, one-third of the angels went with him. The Old Testament says:
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.
Isaiah 14:12,15 (NIV)
You may be saying “OK. Now I know what spiritual warfare is. But why should I care?”
If you’ve been around church a while you’ve probably heard that God has a plan for your life. However, you may not have heard that the devil also has plans for you! He wants to cause you to fail in every good thing, make you feel miserable, destroy you…your friends…your family…then laugh in your face!
How do I know this? The Bible says…
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
Knowing this, you might ask “Should I be scared?”
If you’re not walking with Jesus the short answer is yes! But if you are following Christ, you have effective weapons to use against him.
How can you be victorious? Satan is real and he plays dirty. But God is more powerful than we can imagine. To access his power, you must first give your life to Jesus...then submit to his plan and use Scripture to resist. The book of James tells us…
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7-8 (NIV)
Resisting Satan's manipulation is one of the biggest aspects of spiritual warfare. The Apostle Paul knew this, so he instructed Christ-followers to…
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)
God wants you to win your battles with the devil, and has all the power you need to do just that. But his power can only flow when we stay close to Christ, embrace God’s purpose, and follow his plans.