A message on today’s spiritual war. “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”(A) “You must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”(B) Wow! Did you realize you had been recruited and thrown into the front lines!?
LOYALTY. The battle you are in demands loyalty. Just as Christ looked into Peter’s eyes and asked him three times in a row, “Do you love me?”(C) —Christ does the same to each soldier. As he reviews the troops, he asks this question to find out if the soldier is ready—will he remain loyal & faithful?—do you love Christ?? WHO DO YOU SERVE? Christ or yourself. Christ told Peter, “Follow Me!” I know my soul sings, “As the deer pants for the water, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”(D) Does your heart also sing that?? We love Christ, and will follow Him into battle.
MISSION. So where is He sending us? He told his disciples: first go to your own city (Jerusalem), then to your own state (Judea), then to your despised neighboring country (Samaria), and then to the far parts of the planet (“the uttermost part of the earth”). ACTS 1:8b. He tells his soldiers, “You shall receive power.” ACTS 1:8a
INFILTRATORS. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. …You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because He who is in you is GREATER than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us.”(1 JN 4:1,4-6a) If you have had an experience with God, have looked to Christ as your attonement & savior, and have the assurance & hope of salvation that is given us by the Holy Spirit—in other words you know that you know that you are Christ’s—then guess what?? The World is not going to hear you. “…he who is not of God does not hear us.”
FOCUSED. Are you paying attention to your enemy which seeks to devour you? Soldiers who are dangerous to themselves & everyone else are busy stirring up trouble. We are given specific instructions “not to strive about words to no profit…shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness…and their message will spread like cancer….Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.”(E) “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.”(F) It never ceases to amaze me how wolves in sheep’s clothing who bad mouth other Christians and create divisions get so much attention. These trouble makers should be the one’s ostracized not the saints who they are bad mouthing.
PLEASING OUR LEADER. “…that we may please Him who has chosen us to be soldiers” (G) “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”(H)
DON’T BE DECEIVED. DON’T BE IGNORANT OF THE ENEMIES TACTICS & WEAPONS. The enemy’s deceptions are so powerful that these deceptions alone are nearly enough to control anyone. In ’95, I gave patent numbers on devices that can implant voices into people’s heads. I have been with people who had been subjected to having voices & thoughts placed into their minds electronically. For over 20 yrs. I have strongly admonished people to study & determine with rock hard certainty what they believe as followers of Christ. Then if any foreign thought comes to your mind, you will recognize it, and not act on it. Even Elijah had a suicidal thought the day after a great victory over the pagan priests! He whined to God, “Lord, let me die, for I am no better than my fathers.”(I) This episode is an example to learn from in several ways. First, if you have a spiritual victory or achieve a spiritual high—the enemy will counterattack to rob you of your victory. Be prepared. In WW2, Allied soldiers learned (sometimes the hard way) that the German army would launch strong counterattacks if the allies gained a victory. Some wishy washy Christians think that moving forward in spiritual warfare will only make them brave enough to get attacked. The enemy watches, and cowards are like stragglers that the enemy will destroy. Stay alert, strong and courageous, and stay in fellowship where you are not an easy, isolated target. It is the isolated individual that is more likely to get the electronic harassment and the voices beamed into their heads. As the Word of God says, “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”(ECL 4:12) I recommend spiritual cell groups of 3…people committed to each other.
So my friend, some will be cowards, some will be wimps, some will be draft dodgers, some will be AWOL, some will go to sleep on duty, some will be unfaithful & disloyal. The apostle Paul, who saw it all, said, “I can do all things through Christ Who is my strength.” (J) So it goes back to the question Messiah kept hammering Peter with, “DO YOU LOVE ME??”
(A) 2 TIM 2:1 (B) 2 TIM 2:3-4 (C) JN 21:15,116,17 (D) PS 42: 1-2b (E) 2 TIM 2:14b, 16, 17a, 23 (F) TIT 3:10 (G) 2 TIM 2:4 (H) PS 66:18 (I) 1 KGS 19:4 (J) PHL 4:13