Spiritual Warfare

(Scripture is from The New Living Translation)

For the purposes of discussion, let’s call this spiritual warfare Good vs. Evil.

Good influence is from God.

The source of evil influence is from Satan.

We can grow spiritually by involving ourselves in the fight against any form of evil.

Of course we know that this spiritual warfare is far-reaching and encompasses much more than the simplistic terms of good vs. evil, but at least this is a beginning to understand the opposed forces that are present around us.

Spiritual growth means deciding to do whatever is necessary to move closer to God. It is similar to our human relationships.

If we don’t exercise movement toward the other person, we become stagnant, and are in jeopardy of even moving in the other direction.

We have powerful resources from God to grow spiritually. They are

  • the Bible (His Word),
  • the power of love,
  • God’s grace,
  • the Holy Spirit,
  • spiritual leaders,
  • and our understanding of truth and reality.

Knowing the truth is what sets free.

The opposite forces that influence us are powerful forces too:

  • hate,
  • bigotry,
  • selfishness,
  • fear,
  • ignorance and
  • falsehood.

When we can at least recognize that we are in a spiritual battle and understand the forces that are influencing our lives, we can become victorious through God by using the powerful resources He has given us.

From the moment we are born, we have two forces pulling us.

One is God.

The other is Satan.

Since we are in the middle, we need to have scripture and knowledge to recognize the forces that each use to influence us. God tells us in Romans 1:19-20:

For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts.

From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.

As the scripture states in these verses, there is no excuse for not knowing God. He put a natural inquiring nature in each of us to search for our Creator. We look around us and know there is someone who created all things.

God pulls us to know Him, to know Jesus his only begotten son.

John 3:16-21:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

Satan is constantly doing everything he can to hold us back from seeking the Creator and doing good. God has given us scripture that clearly shows us that this is true:

John 3:18-21:

“There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.

Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.

They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished.

But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants.

So, how do we determine good? It is expressed through knowing God and His terms. We can test the spirits–fear and confusion is not of God. 

It could be a simple analysis of whether one is

  • “doing unto others as he would have them do unto him.” 
  • we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love others as we love ourselves.

A person would therefore show unselfishness, always putting others first, be always caring and considering what is best for others, what is best for their spiritual growth and well-being. These are God’s ways.

Conversely, Evil is expressed through extreme selfishness, seeking our own desires, and totally disregarding the well being of others.

That could be manifest through many forms such as

  • stealing,
  • lying,
  • murder,
  • rape,
  • gossip, and
  • misuse of the name of the Lord, our God,
  • and all other of the 10 commandments.

Evil is further shown through refusing to follow God.

Test what the Holy Spirit says within us.

Romans 1:21-32

Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused.

Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead.

And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes.

So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.

Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen.

That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.

And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. 28When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done.

Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.

They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents.

They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving.

They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Before we ask Jesus to come into our hearts and have a personal relationship with us as our Lord and Master, our conscience lets us know what is right and wrong, good or evil.

After we are saved, the Holy Spirit resides in us to quicken our spirits to know the difference. If Satan can delude us into thinking he doesn’t exist, then we will not recognize that we need to fight. And without fighting, we will be automatically tripped up. Without going into the battle wearing the whole armor of God, we will also be tripped up. God shows us truth, and truth will set us free.

We don’t need to overemphasize Satan, but we do need to recognize that we are in the battle. Since Jesus already defeated Satan when He died on the cross, then winning the battle is in recognizing Satan yipping at our heels, trying to trip us up, and trusting God’s armor to shield us during the battle. 

Satan can only fight. 

He can’t win. 

He can fight in a myriad of ways, but we need to remember the battle has already been won.

God’s victory in us is won when we remain faithful to Him with constant determination to “NEVER GIVE UP”.

When we love unconditionally, as God does (agape love), no matter what, we give our trust to God.

Thank you. Be blessed!

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