Spiritual warfare awaits. Satan will choose a season to attack. Will we be victorious, or will we fall? Much depends on what we do now–before the wars begin.
National Geographic recently ran an article about the Alaskan bull moose. The males of the species battle for dominance during the fall breeding season, literally going head-to-head with antlers crunching together as they collide.
Often the antlers, their only weapon are broken. That ensures defeat. The heftiest moose, with the largest and strongest antlers, triumphs. Therefore, the battle fought in the fall is really won during the summer, when the moose eat continually.
The one that consumes the best diet for growing antlers and gaining weight will be the heavyweight in the fight.
Those that eat inadequately sport weaker antlers and less bulk.
The Bull-Moose Principle
Enduring faith, strength, and wisdom for trials are best developed before they’re needed.
What you do to prepare for spiritual warfare NOW, will reveal itself in the season of attack THEN.
As a young person, we sometimes think we are invincible, in other words, death is further away from us because we are younger.
We can’t think like that physically, but also spiritually as well.
If we even begin to believe that we are capable of not being close to spiritual death, I want you to consider what your level of health is spiritually.
For Satan – the world is his work field
For Christians – it is his battlefield
1 Peter 4:12-13
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
Yes, the glory of Christ will be revealed, because through the time of testing, when the believer withstands the enemy’s attacks, God is most glorified.
When you came to Christ, you became a “new creation, the old things have passed away and the new things have come.” And part of the new things that come along with Christianity is the attack from Satan upon you.
Before Christ, you were living in this world as a part of it, and you were no threat to him and his schemes.
Now that you are living in this world as a follower of Jesus, you have now become his #1 target. And he will do whatever he can to take you out of the game. The last thing that Satan wants any person to recognize is their need for a Savior.
There are 2 ways that Satan attacks us:
Temptation- Hides God’s Holiness
He deceives us to believe that we are better than we actually are, and tries to convince us that God is not who he says he is.
Accusation- Hides God’s Love
And then, when Satan makes you believe that you are sufficient enough to save yourself, he then tells you how insignificant and sinful you are. He deceives you to believe that God is too good to save even you, a sinner.
He wants people to believe that they have become their own self-sufficient savior, rather than seeing they need a better Savior and perfect one who happens to be Christ.
Now to some people, this can be discouraging and depressing, but be encouraged. Why? Because the winner has already been decided!
1 Corinthians 15:57
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
What is Spiritual Warfare?
Spiritual Warfare is when Satan uses his arsenal of weapons to cause someone to fall.
2 Corinthians 4:4
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
This battle is not one that we fight in this physical realm but it is one that we fight in the spiritual realm. Against Satan and his army of demons.
Spiritual Warfare is when you and I are tempted by the things that grab our attention.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
It’s comforting to know and it’s encouraging to see how we can be victorious, and really, it becomes the only way we can be victorious.
1 Peter 5:8
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
It should put us on guard that the enemy we are up against, is not fake, he is not stupid, but he is crafty and deceitful. Satan will use any and every devise he can to keep you away from God.
Whatever the case may be, Satan will use your weakness in the battle because he knows that’s where you’ll slip up.
Where Did Spiritual Warfare Begin?
It began in the garden. Satan negotiated with Eve in the garden and made her believe something that wasn’t actually true.
Satan fell long ago because he thought he was capable of sitting on God’s throne. He tried to sneak his way into the position of God, but God is exclusive, He is not co-God, He is God alone.
Satan’s position was revoked by God, and Lucifer fell from glory and has now become God’s enemy.
Anything that God speaks of in command or order, Satan will twist and thwart into his own devious ways.
The famous words of Satan, “did God really say?…” That’s what he does. He presents something so disgusting as something so beautiful.
He offers this joy, which is actually sorrow.
He encourages you to partake of it but then condemns you for giving in.
The same way that Satan caused Eve to sin, is the same way he causes us to sin as well.
Ephesians 6:11, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
In the greek language, the word “schemes” actually means, “trickery; snares laid behind; treacheries that come upon someone unnoticed.”
It’s the word, “methodeia” which is where we get our English word, “method”.
There is a method to his madness. There is a plan and a very well executed game plan to bring you down and to try to keep you away from God.
The snares, schemes, traps & trickery of Satan are all stealthy in major ways.
He tries to remind you of your past. He tries to make you relive your past as something desirable and pleasing to go back to or even something to condemn you with.
Satan does more harm as a wolf in sheep’s skin than he does as a roaring lion.
He is crafty, sneaky, & swift, ready to slow slither in on you and attack in a very slow and painful way.
But there are strategies of our own we have been given.
When Jesus was led into temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4), Satan met Him there and tried to make Jesus bow before him, but Jesus combatted him with Scripture.
The same is true of us. When the enemy attacks, we combat him with Scripture.
“For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Notice, that each piece of the armor has no defense of your back.
If you turn your back to the enemy, you are done.
The reason that is, is because God does not want us to be passive Christians, but active Christians.
God does not want us retreating in fear, but advancing in confidence. Because we don’t trust in ourselves and in our own might.
We trust in the power of Christ. Because the same power that conquered the grave, the same power that rose Christ again from the dead, the same power that overcame the power of sin, is the same power that is now actively working in the life of the believer.
Satan tries to put a twist on sin. But because Satan is so crafty and so sly, we find ourselves succumbing to his trap anyway.
There are some things that even Satan uses as his weapons against us. The sin of doubt. “Did God really say?…” The sin of lessening sin. Is sin really sin? Is sin all that bad?
He tries to lower the degree and severity of it. He offers it as acceptable. We’ve maybe even seen ourselves negotiating with sin rather than completely closing off to it.
We make that compromise, and we allow ourself to sign a contract off to sin and to Satan and we welcome ourselves into the club of willful sin.
See sin for what it is…SIN!
Remember who you belong to. You are sealed and secured in Christ.
Don’t trust in yourself. Trust in God to take care of it for you. He already did!