Our Spiritual Fight
DATE: 23 Sep, 2007 AM
PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
I. Introduction (Galatians 5:17)
A. The Christian leads a double life – one that is both Physical, and one that is Spiritual
B. We are supposed to walk in the Spirit, but we tend to walk in the flesh!
C. The two lives are against each other
D. They both want their own way – but only one is best for you!
1. The Physical life is visible, emotional, mental, tangible and temporary – the flesh
2. The Spiritual life is invisible, yielded, trusting, intangible and eternal – the Spirit. To be led of the Spirit is much more than just emotional feelings and mental understanding. It is being led by the Holy Spirit, not your own thinking, feelings, or habits!
3. Before a person is born again, their physical life is in full operation, but their spiritual life is dead and empty of God - filled with only drink, and drugs and demons and death!
4. That’s why a person desperately needs to become born again – with eternal life put into that Spiritual part of their life!
E. We easily understand THIS world we live in – we see it, hear it, taste it, feel it. We KNOW what we see! And for most people, that is ALL they know!
F. But there is another dimension – another realm – the spiritual realm
G. I want to talk for the next few weeks about the Christian’s Spiritual life – the OTHER Life! That part of our life that makes our physical, and emotional burdens a whole lot easier to bear!
1. People have so many problems with their health, homes, minds and their hearts – and no amount of drugs or drink will repair any of it
2. We need to take a good look at that part of us that is eternal, and much more important than how we look, or feel, or where we live, so that, when yielded to, our Spiritual life will strengthen our Physical life
3. Last week we looked at the Christian’s Spiritual Mindset (1Cor 2:14) and our Spiritual Birth (John 3)
4. This week, let’s take a good look at our Spiritual Fight (Eph 6:12)
II. Message – What Spiritual Things Do We Have?
A. A Spiritual Fight (Eph 6:12; 2Cor 10:3-5)
1. There IS a BIG war going on right this very minute – a very deadly war, with massive casualties, but people are fighting the wrong way!
a. People are fighting each other (Gal 5:15) – killing each other!
b. People are fighting other Christians (Philp 1:13-18)
c. People are fighting their pastor
d. People are fighting their Bible – mad at what it says – wresting it to their own destruction (2Pet 3)
e. People are even fighting against their own minds and hearts! “Opposing themselves!”
f. And all the while, the devil is mowing people down like Al Capone did in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago, 1920s
2. Our fight is NOT in this realm
a. It is hard to believe, but your battle is NOT with your wife, or your kids, or your parents, or your mind, or your neighbour, or your past, or your brother, or your cousin!
b. It is with a spiritual force, and in spiritual dimension that you cannot see that is both against God, and against you!
c. It is like fighting blind! Only much harder!
d. BUT you have to start believing this dimension is there and just as real as your kids and wife and husband are, etc!
3. Jesus said in John 18:33,36 that He was the king of a SPIRITUAL kingdom, not a physical one (at least not YET) – and that THAT kingdom was experiencing great violence in His day (Matt 11:12)!
a. Oh that we started battling in THAT kingdom, instead of always in this one! That we started to live victorious in THAT “spiritual” kingdom instead of only this one! Fighting and battling in THIS kingdom has little effect!
b. Listen to Matthew 10:16
c. Do you…
1) Do you constantly fight and argue with people, and then go on the offensive and get offended by people? Is it PEOPLE that set you off, or could it be the devil?!
2) Do you constantly get discouraged by what you see and feel?
3) Do you constantly feel like you are losing, even though you know all the Bible verses about being more than a conqueror?
d. Then you are battling only in this realm – you are living and fighting only in the flesh, and not attempting to fight in the more important realm – the Spiritual realm!
e. Every time you pray, you are battling in the right realm!
f. Every time you witness and urge people to repent, you are battling in the spirit (Acts 26:17,18)
g. Every time you just obey the written words of God, you have moved beyond THIS realm, and are living in the Spiritual realm, and are promised a victory there!
h. Every time you DISOBEY you move OUT of God’s place of victory, and into the devil’s domain! Let me show you how big Satan’s domain is! See 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
4. Three Things to remember and firmly believe… that is, if you are born again…
a. We have only spiritual enemies (Eph 6:11,12; 1Peter 5:8)
1) Our physical enemies are NOT really our enemies! Not according to God! You are going to have to decide whether you believe this Book or your eyes!
2) We are to LOVE our people-enemies – not kill them, fight them, or even hurt them! No matter what they do to us!
3) Who are your enemies? How well do you treat them? By order of the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 6:27-35), you have to start…
a) Loving them
b) Doing good to them
c) Blessing them
d) Praying for them
e) Feeding them
4) WHY? Because the fight is with the spirit behind them! Examples:
a) Peter let Satan give him anti-christ thoughts – Jesus’ battle was not with Peter, but with Satan behind him!
b) James and John were controlled by a demonic spirit in Luke 9:55 – so Jesus rebuked them for allowing such a spirit to take over their attitudes against the Samaritans!
c) Job’s wife in Job 2:9 was driven by a spirit of grief and bitterness that nearly drove her to suicide
d) Ananias and Saphira were driven by a spirit of greed and deceit that cost them their lives in Acts 5
e) David knew that king Saul was driven by an evil spirit, and chose NOT to fight against him, and instead honoured him, and respected him and let GOD deal with him (1Samuel 16-19) – which He did!
b. We have spiritual weapons (Eph 6:13-18)
1) The Garment of Truth – the truth about heaven, hell, God, and demons, angels and sin! We have the truth about creation and true science, eternity and death! We have the truth folks! It is what will keep you from freaking out (Illus: noise in the car, or problem in your chest – ignorance breeds fear)!
2) Breastplate of Righteousness – there is no guilt in a forgiven man!
3) Shoes of the Gospel – forward motion!!!
4) Shield of Faith – quenching fiery darts by our greater confidence in God
5) Helmet of Salvation – mind protected by the security of your relationship with God (this is where the devil HAS to attack you to win)
6) Sword of the Spirit – the word of God – use it to hurt the devil!
7) Prayer – constant prayer strengthens you in the right realm! “A man who will not pray, WILL become the devil’s prey!”
8) Not to mention: kindness, grace, forgiveness, patience, love etc!
c. We have spiritual victories – promised, and waiting for us!
1) Jesus has already won the war (Colossians 2:13-15)
2) We are just handling the last remaining fire-fights, skirmishes
3) Physical death is no defeat for a Christian – to die is GAIN!
4) My destination is fixed, my relationship is secure, my ticket is paid in full
5) And my enemy wants more than anything to get me to backslide, and get off course so that he can at least have SOME pleasure from a life that he has lost to Christ!
6) Listen to the promises: Romans 8:37; 1John 4:4; 1Cor 15:57; 2Cor 2:14
B. How to Handle A Spiritual Battle – a Five-Point Plan to Win Every Time!
1. Ask yourself… Is it a Battle, or maybe just a Test? Maybe the problem is YOU? Maybe God is trying to sort YOU out!
a. Your battle might be meant to dethrone some demons like: Your pride, Your name, Your rights, Your fears, Your plans, or Your Past!
b. All the above may just be being worked out, and changed by the pressure, or the trial (James 1:2-4; 1Peter 1:6,7) that otherwise would just stay a part of your life and slowly take over (they are ALL strong holds)!
c. Not everything in your life that HAS to be fought, but sometimes allowed, and endured (2Tim 2:4), and rejoiced in (2Cor 12:9)
2. Identify your opponent – your REAL enemy (2Kings 6:15-17)
a. Force yourself to SEE beyond the person or the event, and begin to see that Satan is behind the attack – that it is HE that is behind them, and prodding them, and pushing them against you!
b. Have compassion on your physical attacker – they probably don’t know they are just being USED (2Tim 2:24-26)
c. Look beyond your problem (car, debt, loneliness), and realize the devil wants you to get your eyes off of the promises of God, and fixed on those things! Look unto Jesus!
3. Humble yourself, and then humble yourself more! (James 4:6)
a. In the spiritual realm, everything is backwards!
1) You MUST humble yourself TO BE STRENGTHENED!
2) You MUST give to get!
3) You MUST die to live!
b. So… Start every battle as seeking peace and not a fight (Luke 14:31,32; Matthew 5:25) – as being SOFT, and not angry!
c. THAT is when God will show up and fight for you!
4. Submit to God (James 4:7a) – don’t try and fight the devil until you have done all of this first! Let God work on you, and then THROUGH you for a victory (Exodus 14:14)! Quit doing God’s work!
5. Rely on your “better” weapons – use your spiritual weapons, not your carnal ones
a. Calm yourself first (don’t freak out) – yield to the Spirit’s power! He is with you, and will be your strength – such an awesome strength too
b. Empty yourself of your own pride and self-righteousness – become filled with God’s Spirit
c. Start to pray silently for the other person – pray blessings on them
d. Claim a strong promise that God will help as you humble yourself
e. Raise up your shield of faith against your fears, and past experiences, and everything that a person may say against you, or whatever they may do against you!
6. Resist (defeat) the devil (James 4:7b) – now you are hurting Satan himself! The Bible promises… “And he will flee from you”
C. In summary:
1. The next time you get into a fight with somebody, drop to your knees and pray “God, help me transfer my energies to the real battle!” Humble yourself in this realm, and raise up in power and strength in the Spiritual realm, and start winning against temptation, and demonic attacks like you were saved to win!
2. Every battle can be won the right way! The Apostle Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
A. The Christian fight is on and we cannot afford to quit, but must face our real enemy and engage ourselves in the fiercest battles that come anytime and anywhere. Every Gospel-related ministry will be targeted by the devil, so we must not neglect to encourage ourselves and also other Christians to keep on fighting for the Truth lest we neglect our role as God’s army and lose more souls! We must be aware that without strong churches and strong Christians sharing the Gospel, the lost will never find their way to the Living Saviour.
B. There is more to come!
1. The Christian leads a double life – one that’s both Physical, and Spiritual
2. These two lives are against each other – they go in exactly opposite directions
3. They both want their own way – but only one is best for you!
4. We easily understand THIS world we live in – we see it, hear it, taste it, feel it. We KNOW what we see!
5. But then, there is another dimension – another realm – a spiritual realm
6. “Walking in the Spirit” makes our physical, and emotional burdens a whole lot easier to bear!
7. What Spiritual Areas can we become more aware of that will help us actually “walk in the Spirit?”
a. A Spiritual Mindset (1Cor 2:14)
b. A Spiritual Warfare (Eph 6:12)
8. Spiritual growth occurs when any of the above increases
9. Without any focus on growth in those areas of our life that are spiritual, then the physical, and emotional areas are going to take over – like weeds take over a garden that is not tended to!
10. It all Only Begins with A Spiritual Birth (John 3)
a. Everyone is born physically
b. Evidently, everyone needs a second “birth” – according to Dr. God!
c. The first birth that we all have is only physical – of the flesh! It cannot get into heaven (1Corinthians 15:50). It is sinful, temporary, and it is faulty!
d. The second birth is spiritual – of God’s Spirit
e. It can only come from God. John 4:24 says that “God is a Spirit.” He is not flesh like we humans are. According to John 3:6, His Spirit will produce SPIRITUAL life in a sinner if they would just fully believe on God’s Son, Jesus Christ!
f. No good works, prayers, money, etc can get you into heaven – only a spiritual birth can make you fit!
g. How do you get this second birth? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland