Waging A Spiritual Warfare

Jeff Strite tells the story when heavyweight champion of the world Joe Louis took on challenger “Two-Ton” Tony Galento.

Louis was favored to win, so he was surprised when Galento threw a punch that knocked him sprawling onto the mat. Quickly Louis jumped to his feet.

When the round ended Louis’ manager scolded him, “You know you’re supposed to take the full count when you go down. Why didn’t you stay down for nine?”

“What, and give him a chance to rest?” Louis responded.

Joe Louis was annoyed, because he knew he was better than Galento. He wasn’t about to allow a sucker punch to get the best of him, which is why he quickly got back into the fight.

Strite then makes the point that “we are better than our opposition. In fact, if we fight the way we should we cannot lose against our enemy.”

That’s just not Jeff Strite’s opinion. The Bible says so.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”

(1) We are in a war.

While some are averse to the metaphors of warfare, the Bible abounds with such analogies. “Fight the good fight of faith,” Paul urged Timothy. Put on the Christian armor, he admonished the Ephesians. Be “a good soldier for Jesus Christ” (I Tim. 6:12; Eph. 6:10-18; 2 Tim. 2:3).

We are fighting against the Devil and his minions. Against idolatry. Immorality. Indifference. Ignorance. Atheism. Agnosticism.

(2) The war spiritual, not carnal.

The war is not against people, but worldly ideas. Secular ideals. Carnal strongholds. Ungodly world views. Religious error. Our weapons, however, are not physical, but spiritual. Politics is not the answer to the ills facing, nations or homes. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

(3) The struggle is inward.

The heart of the problems we both face and fight are problems of the heart. Outward actions are but manifestations of an inward issue.

Jesus warned, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matt 15:29). That’s why the wise man instructed: “Keep your heart with diligence for out it spring the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).

Satan is seeking to control the heart. To cloud the mind. To corrupt feelings. To compromise values. To curb the appetite for spiritual things. And to contaminate the soul.

The war within is a battle against ignorance. Satan wants us to blind people to the truth. Keep us in spiritual darkness. And to remain unlearned and illiterate regarding God’s will and Word.

The war within is a battle against immorality. Lust that foments in the heart will finally express itself in unrighteous actions.

The war within is a battle against wrong attitudes. Envy, jealousy, pride, and selfishness are sins of the heart that ultimately are acted out in ungodly actions.

The war within is a battle against apathy and indifference. Our hearts can grow cold and our ears become dull of hearing Bible teaching and gospel preaching.

To win the war, we must begin within ourselves. Our hearts must be right with God. And then the battle is really for the hearts of lost souls. Winning outward and secular battles may make us feel good, but they are not the supreme reason why we are here on earth.

(4) God’s cause will win.

While it may seem at times like we’re losing, the Bible teaches that Christ’s cause will ultimately be victorious. The devil is going to lose. His cohorts and comrades will finally fail. Truth will win out. Righteousness will prevail. And God will rule triumphantly.

So, when Satan knocks you down. Get up. Get back in the fight. And know you’re better than that.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Waging A Spiritual Warfare

  1. Stephen Segrest

    I am on a major college campus (50K students) every day (USF in Tampa). I see first hand why young people are fleeing the Evangelical Church. I see students flocking to efforts to help others (by Muslims and Catholics). All I see from Evangelicals is anger, screaming on a loud PA system about abortion and homosexuality (and increasingly, that Christians are the “true victims” of PC society). I hope you will look at the following 2 articles and write introspectively on what Evangelicals (where about 90% support Trump) should be doing much better on to connect — rather than just blaming others for not following God’s Word and being deceived by Satan. https://www.ft.com/content/b41d0ee6-1e96-11e7-b7d3-163f5a7f229c?fbclid=IwAR1eznmS-HuKoa6H8cp89lFZxCf6M0h_wr6r3-1lODmpaytExjBTF2f1EnM ; https://medium.com/the-radical-center/beware-the-friends-of-liberty-1e2c3124ec72

    • Hey Stephen

      After reading my blog for so many years, I am a bit surprised that you would lump me in with the kind of Evangelicals mentioned in the article. Also not sure what triggered your response, because nothing is said in this post about abortion, homosexuality and certainly not President Trump! I have written on the other sins mentioned in the article on various occasions. Have said that politics is not the answers to our ills. And have written on how to lovingly respond to a secular, sinful world. I, too, am turned off by shouting street corner “preachers” screaming on bull horns. However, your comments may be fodder for a future post. Thanks!

  2. Stephen Segrest

    Dear Ken, we need some introspective thinking from our Teachers (such as you) to change the mass exodus of young people from God. Thx

  3. nicolas

    Why should atheism and agnosticism be an evil? I really don´t understand.
    The multiplicity of religions and worships in the world implies that if one of them is right, then all the others are wrong. But what makes you believe that you picked the right card after all? what will happen to you if one day, say, we get a Buddah coming back and proving that everybody but buddhist were wrong? how would you react?

    There is a fundamental flaw in the reasoning of religious apologists when they start to argue: they take the existence of their own god for granted and expect everyone to accept the arguments that convinced them. But we cannot expect others to be conviced by the same things, and some of us simply set the bar higher.

    The fundamental difference between a skeptic and a believer is essentially that it is always possible to convince the former to your thesis if you manage to provide an argumentation solid enough to be accepted. It is just a difference of degree, not of nature.

    The other problem is that believers ( of any nature- not only religious) try to defend they thesis by an accumulation of proofs- some of them even develop affection for their worldview, which make them unable to abandon it if it is proven wrong. ( this is called the Galileus complex)
    But scientific method proceeds by elimination, by trying to test every possible hypothesis and drop the wrong ones. This means that we have to be ready to accept that a theory we believed can be wrong.

    So let´s ask: are you really ready to abandon your beliefs if one day, they are disproved? Atheists, at least, are ready to do this. Because you cannot preach the absence of god. The moral is no longer imposed by a superior authority, but has to be decided collegially- which means, through debate and democracy rather than arbitrary. This imposes a separation of theology from politics, which makes de facto secularist system. In other words, a Theocracy cannot be democratic. neither in Iran, in Saoudi Arabia, nor in the USA.

    SO if you love Democracy, and respect its rules, then i think you cannot see Atheism and secularism as an evil, because it is the direct product of democracy.

    And if you cannot convince sceptics, maybe you should question your own arguments before blaming others.

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