Recently, at a local park I over heard a mother question her child and his friends if they were playing nice? Those words captured my thoughts back to a childhood memory of my own. Where my father had to sit my brother and I down after supper and had one of “Those” talks. My father had been concerned by what he had seen earlier that day when my older brother’s friends had been making fun of me in a derogative way with out any objection from my brother. My father with a tone of seriousness told us that there is never a time for family to side against one another. My father went on to say at all cost we should stick together and not side against each other. I know he was emphasizing the importance of a family bond. Many times we see this same scenario with the different age groups or even different generations. We forget we’re family and allow our differences to bring a collision of generations. It’s not a bad thing to think differently or have different strong or weak points. We must see the value of God’s gifts in each person. In 1 Kings 12, We see a tragic story where this type of limited thinking brought a great disastrous result. It was at the time of transition from the great king Solomon to his son Rehoboam now becoming King. It says in verse four that a representing group from the people came to the new young king asking, “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” Israel had gone through an incredible generation of building and prosperity under the former king. The people didn’t want to rebel but wanted to enjoy life for a while. It was a reasonable request don’t you think? King Rehoboam consulted with the older advisors of the former regime. These men had been a crucial part of the success and would surely know what to do. Their advice and counsel in verse 7 saying, “If you will be a servant to these people today… and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever” was abruptly rejected! The king then went to his childhood friends and peers and asked them what they would advise. Now these where probably friends that the king had played army with and chased girls and even boasted on what they would do when they grew up? We read their shockingly different advice in 1 Kings 12:11, where they tell the king to say, “now, whereas my father put a heavy yoke on you, I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!'” It was an answer of arrogance and immaturity, yet the young king agreed with it. It was a collision of two generations that had long lasting results of epic proportions! The people were devastated and offended choosing to not follow the new king. This unwillingness to blend the thinking of two different generations caused a wall and great division. Verse 16 – 21 tells lets us know ten out of twelve tribes defected from king Rehoboam and chose their own likeminded king. In the next chapter we see this king leads this whole group astray from God. When the generations don’t “Play Nice” and value God’s gifting’s in each other it will lead people away from God!
Like it or not, as a believer, you are in a battle! Every person born into this world is immersed into spiritual warfare. Having been plunged into the conflict of the ages, we are not exempt nor can we be neutral. Either the forces of evil will trample us or we will be victorious through our spiritual warfare—winning souls, changing society, influencing history and helping establish God’s Kingdom. I’m not talking about being a demon chaser, blaming demonic forces for every uncomfortable situation or flaw in someone’s character. But, I am talking about a battle that has been waged long before you and I were born, a battle that is waged against the purposes of God and His Kingdom. It’s a battle that has been waged by the enemy of your soul.
In Revelation 12:9-12 we see the allegory of the dragon waging war against the woman and her offspring. Verse 17 says, “Then the dragon became angry at the woman, and he declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and confess that they belong to Jesus.” That’s every believer on the earth! We are in a spiritual fight whether we understand it or not! Whether we like it or not it’s a battle!
There’s no time to relax on our blessed assurance allowing the enemy to steal the victory that Christ has already won for us on the cross (tweet)
There’s no time to relax on our blessed assurance allowing the enemy to steal the victory that Christ has already won for us on the cross (tweet)All through scriptures we are instructed in spiritual warfare and not be afraid. Moses gives principles concerning warfare to the children of Israel in Deut. 20. He starts off in verse 1 by saying “When you go out to battle against your enemies”. It’s important to realize that it doesn’t say “if you go out to battle” but “when you go”.
In 1Tim 6:12 Paul exhorts young Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith”. Again in 2 Tim 2:3-5 we read, “You therefore 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…”. We have been called and enlisted by Jesus Himself. Therefore, it’s no time to relax on our blessed assurance and allow the devil to steal the victory that Christ has already won for us on the cross.
Not only is the believer a target for the fiery darts of the demonic, but is faced with obstacles and conflict that manifest in the natural. If we’re not careful through the commotion we can loose sight of who we are actually in a battle with. Evidently, the church members at Ephesus were in that situation themselves. So the apostle Paul takes the time to include in his letter to them the explanation of who we are actually fighting against. He also writes to the Corinthians bringing understanding to believers about this spiritual fight. We read in 2 Cor. 10:3-4, “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…”
Once we recognize who we are in a battle against then it becomes clear that earthly and temporal weapons are useless. The believer must be spiritually minded if he is going to be effective in spiritual warfare.
There are four important areas of spiritual warfare that all believers need to understand and walk in. For the sake of memory I will refer to these as the four “A’s” of spiritual warfare—attitude, authority, armor and artillery. We will cover these four different points over the following weeks.