REAL SPIRITUAL WARFARE: HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE AN EFFECTIVE CHRISTIAN
When a real believer obeys the Lord in presenting the real Gospel, the enemy strikes back and open spiritual warfare ensues.
Most Christians prefer non-spiritual warfare Christianity. Most Christians don’t even know what spiritual warfare is. Many have never even heard of the term. It is thus obvious that they are not at war.
How is it that a great Man preaching love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and joy was treated as a despicable criminal? It is because the people treating Him this way are despicable criminals. Whoever hates and rejects the Lord Jesus tells the whole world they are the world’s biggest and vilest creature and is the farthest from God (one could not be any farther). Whoever loves the Lord Jesus and strives to honor Him is the one who is closest to God.
Paul was sent on a mission. He was sent to preach the Gospel and rescue souls. What most people miss is that he was sent as a spiritual soldier into spiritual war. The Lord told him he would suffer for this. In watching one of the many D-Day memorials recently there was a clip I am sure many of you have seen. It shows General Eisenhower, the supreme commander of all allied forces, greeting paratroopers right before their mission. The video said that 40,000 paratroopers would parachute into northern France behind enemy lines. It also said that Eisenhower expected 80% casualties. In other words it was effectively a suicide mission. Yet here were all these soldiers geared up for battle in good spirits. They obviously had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Though many volunteered for the armed services, most were drafted and obeyed their government in good faith when forced into the service. The men on this particular mission would soon be decimated. I don’t know what the final figures were. Perhaps some of you reading this do. But it was a disaster.
Also, about 2,000 men died in the initial D-Day invasion. Most were killed right away, as soon as they began. Their crafts were blown away on the open sea. Many were strafed by machine gun fire as soon as they lowered the ramps of their boats. They had little chance. They were lambs led to the slaughter. It is said that both of these groups had to be sacrificed for the greater good so the successive waves could succeed. But again, I don’t think most of these men had any idea what they were in for.
This is what happens when you attack an enemy. The enemy will attack back. At that point you either quit or attack back again. The last man standing wins. It cost the lives of tens of thousands very early in this opening battle to bring eventual success. But it was the first group that suffered the highest casualties. Whoever is on the front lines gets hit the hardest.
This is why right-thinking people understand what the Lord Jesus really did and why He should be highly honored and respected more than any man. He put His life on the line for all the others who came after. It is the same for His original apostles who were the first wave sent into an evil world with the Gospel. These men would be hit the hardest, and they were. The Lord prepared them perfectly. They learned it all from Him. They saw how He handled everything thrown His way. They experienced evil striking out at Him every day. They knew they must learn from Him and grow, and develop spiritually and be strong. They knew that when their time came they would have to be ready and attack with full force, and also have much and keep much in their reserve tanks for ongoing battle. Otherwise they would fail.
UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
After doing exactly what the Lord told them to do at Philippi, they were beaten bloody and thrown into a filthy prison. But instead of feeling bad about what happened they praised the Lord Jesus. This set the stage for even greater miracles:
“Hey Silas, can you imagine how much we accomplished today? The devil threw everything he had at us!”
“He certainly did, Paul.”
“The Lord knew exactly where to send us and what to say. The enemy had a fit. Now we know the people in league with the devil who have sold out to the enemy, and who the people are we need to rescue. We know what is holding them back, what is constraining them. We know this is a little hell hole of the devil but with many people who want to be free.”
“And will be free! And are being set free!”
“Yes! Let’s sing to the Lord and praise Him!”
The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household. [Acts 16:22-34]
It was only after all of the above was accomplished that Paul and Silas were released and free to go in peace. It cost them with blood and suffering but they accomplished what the Lord sent them there to do. They showed themselves to be good and effective servants of the Lord by successfully attacking and defeating a powerful spiritual enemy and opening up doors of salvation.
They won the spiritual battle.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Posted on June 12, 2019, in Real Christianity and tagged Baptism in the Name of Jesus, Book of Acts, Christian Persecution, Discipleship, Gospel, Lord Jesus, Paul and Silas, Salvation in Jesus, Spiritual Warfare, The Great Awakening. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
I wish anyone who doesn’t believe we’re in a spiritual battle could spend a day with me in my counseling office as I listen to the stories of broken people, broken hearts, and destroyed lives. The battle is real. But we must continue to fight, because the BATTLE IS THE LORD’S!
Thanks Linda. You are without doubt one who knows and is very familiar with what people in general have to contend with in the spiritual life and life in general, both due to your lifelong association with ministry and in your counseling work. It makes it that much more difficult to understand why so much of Christianity has no heart for seeking real help and support for casualties of war.
Church services in general are great and necessary but as I write in my book they are not cure-alls. There is a lot of effort and resources directed to the relatively superficial and not nearly enough for the deeper problems associated with spiritual warfare. It is why it is so encouraging to know the Lord made sure the original New Covenant Scriptures were preserved which illustrate all the methods He used to help people. These are methods that much of Christianity does not acknowledge or have experiential knowledge of. His methods continued after the Resurrection within the early Community. They addressed the forces of spiritual darkness in direct confrontation so as to help people gain release and healing. It was often not so complicated at all.
Like it or not, all believers will at some point have to acknowledge the existence of a spiritual world with unseen entities, some which work for good and some for evil. Would that all Christian bodies of the present get right with the Lord Jesus and do the real work of setting people free as did the Lord and the early believers.
Keep up the good work and Be Blessed!
Thanks, RJ. It’s always interesting to read your comments 🙂
You know, I’ve finished Isaiah on my blog (took me three years!) and have started on Ecclesiastes. I’m thinking Solomon was experiencing spiritual warfare. And if you look at the accounts of his reign In I Kings 1-11, there is really no doubt.