Writing on this subject, my friend, Trinity Family Church Pastor, Marty Reid, got the marbles in my head moving around a bit prompting me to throw in my two cents (maybe fifty cents or a dollar by the time I finish) on the matter.
Spiritual warfare is a topic grossly misunderstood, taught wrong and tragically misapplied to the detriment of so very many followers of Jesus. Years ago a southern gospel music quartet, The Florida Boys, recorded a song titled, “I Came Here to Stay”. A line in the chorus reads, “It’s a battlefield brother, not a recreation room, it’s a fight and not a game”. This is true, Believers are indeed involved in a conflict with a very real enemy who is as determined to keep people out of heaven as God is to get them through the gate. He has light years of experience and has taken down some of the greatest warriors ever to set foot on the planet. So then, before you head off to engage him, you may want to do some homework, some serious study actually. It’s like this; I wouldn’t advise an unlearned, untrained fighter to step in the ring and go a few rounds with Mike Tyson, nor will I suggest a Christian spin the wheel and take your chances with the devil. An unprepared soldier is as good as dead.
One problem is we read such passages of scripture as 2 Corinthian 10:4-6 telling us, “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh (“carnal” in the KJV) but have divine power to destroy strongholds…”, without taking note of the fact the apostle is not telling the Corinthian church what weapons they have in their arsenal, but the weapons Paul and his entourage have in theirs. Goodness gracious, he doesn’t even say what those weapons are yet we somehow get blindsided into thinking they are in our quiver and we’re good to go – big mistake.
Here’s another problem I see tripping people up. Why is it we tend to think because Paul did it, I can too? That’s like saying because Michael Phelps won 22 Olympic medals in the swimming pool, I can jump in the water and take home the gold myself. Sound ridiculous – it should because it is. But no sillier than thinking we can do whatever someone else in the bible done simply because they did it as if it were an entitlement. Such reasoning is preposterous and not at all biblical. Have you seen or heard of anyone parting the sea with a staff lately, turning water into wine, or making an ax head float on water? I don’t think so and with good reason; I’m not Moses, I’m not Jesus and I’m not Elisha.
The ability to do the supernatural things we read of others doing in scripture is not a divine strand of DNA written into a Christian’s genetic code the moment we come to faith in Christ giving us supernatural powers; we won’t be pulling spiritual rabbits out of the hat nor should we be so foolish as to step into the ring with the devil expecting a KO in the first round. More than likely, you’ll be the one down for the count.
Granted, God is no respecter of persons, he is completely impartial loving every man equally. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is the gift offered to all without prejudice. However, if we are going to step up to the plate to engage the enemy, I highly recommend a whole lot of time in the batting cage first – you’re not Barry Bonds.
Page Two coming soon.