There is a war that is raging! We can deny it. Dismiss it. Or Ignore it. But the war is real. The battles are intense. And the conflicts impact us all.
The war I’m writing about today is not in Afghanistan. Syria. Or Kenya . I’m not discussing current culture wars in America. Nor am I referring to the conflicts between political parties, or the battles between the White House and Congress.
The war that concerns me is more serious than all of those combined.
We are engaged in a spiritual war. A war for people’s souls. A war for YOUR soul!
The past four days, Dan DeGarmo, a gospel preacher from Chillicothe, Ohio, preached a series of lessons at Hickman Mills entitled THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD: Winning the War for Your Soul. He preached with passion. Power. And purpose. He reminded us about the nature of this spiritual warfare. The enemy we face. The attitude we must possess. The actions we need to take. And the victory that is ours to claim!
Here are some highlights that I recommend for your reflection.
The enemy is the Devil. He is real. He’s not a fabricated mythical character. He’s not the figment of our imagination. The Bible warns us: “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). He is called our adversary. The Slanderer. The Evil one. The Tempter. The Accuser of the Brethren. The Serpent. The dragon. The Father of Lies.
The Devil is out to get you! He is targeting you. Your friends. Your family. Your church. He wants to destroy you. He will tempt you with lusts. Lies. And the pride of life. He will steal your children. Ruin your marriage. Divide your church. And entrap you with deadly addictive habits.
We must fight this enemy! The apostle Paul exhorts “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:10-12)
Fight for your home! Fight for your children! Fight for your church family! Fight for your soul! Fight with the spiritual weapons God has given us.
How do we rescue the spiritual captives? There were four recurring themes this week.
(1) Love the lost. Love them like God does. Like Jesus did. Like the Bible teaches (1 Corinthians 13). Dan said, “Love must be the fuel to spread the message to the lost.” Love the alien sinner who’s mired in the pit of sin. Love brethren who’ve fallen in battle.
(2) Pray. Intercede for your wayward brother. For your lost friends. For your unfaithful family members. The Bible says,”praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:18)
(3) Forgive. God has forgiven us of a huge debt of sin we could never repay. He has forgiven us when we have refused His Word. Rebelled against Him. Returned to the putridity of the world. We must forgive others, like Christ has forgiven us.
(4) Point people to the God who loves them! It’s not about us. Or “our church.” Or personal opinions. It’s about God. A God who is “jealous for your heart.” Dan put this way, “God loves you too much to share you. God is in hot pursuit of your wandering heart. God’s crazy in love with you.” Do you doubt it? Read John 3:16.
Finally, be assured that the battle belongs to the Lord! The Devil is going to lose! God’s cause will ultimately win! And if you belong to Christ, you are on the winning side! You know why? “Because He lives!”
Jesus’ death did not end at the tomb! He was resurrected! He was victorious over death, sin and the devil! He’s alive! He rules and reigns today! And because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He lives I can face my fears! Because He lives I can overcome my weakness. My sinfulness. My addictions. Because He lives I can face eternity. With joy. Confidence. And hope.
The battle belongs to the Lord! Whose side are you on?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman