Author: Taylor Wolfe
Conflict is something that we have all experienced. Whether we encounter it at home, work or at church, we can all identify when conflict has arisen. Conflict usually enters so that it can distract, divide, and destroy and comes in all forms and magnitudes. Rarely does conflict provide a positive worldly outcome, yet God uses conflict to bring His children closer to himself and to advance the Kingdom of God. The conflict that exists between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of darkness is what has become known as Spiritual Warfare.
Four truths of Spiritual Warfare:
Spiritual Warfare is real.
Spiritual Warfare is so real that many of us walk around with the scars of it on a daily basis. We’ve experienced the emotional, spiritual, psychological, and even physical scars, that have been inflicted on us due to our allegiances. Spiritual Warfare is a term used to describe the conflict that exists between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of darkness (Col. 1:13). As a result of the fall of man, we see that it was God who put the enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). The Bible shows us just how this enmity plays out over the generations. To this day, the war remains real, and the battles continue to rage all around us (Psalm 27:3), yet God continues to be glorified through people walking out of the darkness and into the light (1 Peter 2:9) through the saving grace that faith in Jesus provides. God remains in control of all and has authority over all the spirit world (Col. 2:15).
Spiritual Warfare requires preparation and action.
Meals don’t prepare themselves; speeches don’t write themselves and children don’t teach themselves. In each of these activities, there has been much preparation before the final product has been revealed. The same is true about our spiritual walk as we prepare to engage in Spiritual Warfare. We cannot expect to be prepared for battle if we have not prepared for the task at hand. In Ephesians 6: 10-17, Paul instructs believers to prepare for battle by putting on the following items: Helmet of Salvation (v.17), Breastplate of Righteousness (v.14), Shield of Faith (v.16), Belt of Truth (v.14), Shoes of Gospel of Peace (v.15) and the Sword of the Spirit (v.17). These elements make up what Paul refers to as “the whole armor of God” (v.13). The armor of God is not something that we place on the shelf to collect dust, rather the armor of God is something that we wear knowing that the battle rages all around us. We cannot sit and defensively wait for the battle to come to us. God has given us tools that allow us to offensively enter the battle with confidence. As ambassadors of the King (2 Cor. 5:20) we must go to war, proclaiming the message of the King. We press forward knowing that our God goes before us (Deut. 31:8) and that if we don’t make it out of the battle, the war has been won (Rev. 12:11).
Spiritual Warfare is best battled in community.
God created us to do life together as it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). For followers of Jesus Christ, community is best done through the local church but can also include other intentional relationships. Community is the place where we can share our burdens, coordinate an attack plan, and encourage one another during the battle. When the community we have around us is encouraging us, praying for us, and helping us to understand God’s Word, we can go a long way. Somehow, someway, God uses a community of broken people who once lived in the Kingdom of darkness as a means of support for His children. Notice Paul’s description of the whole armor of God does not speak to the backside. He knew when our brothers and sisters in Christ have our back, we can focus on the things that are in front of us. Being in community doesn’t mean that there won’t be battles or that the enemy leaves us alone. Instead, Christian community provides a place for us to fight together. We are stronger together than we ever will be apart. At Rocky Creek, we encourage those who desire an in-depth and healthy community to join a Gospel Group. If you’d like to do so, please click here.
Spiritual Warfare leads to Kingdom advancement.
It’s hard to imagine how the attacks of the enemy can advance the Kingdom of God, yet that is what we see in the Bible, the history of the church and at present. Remember the stories of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, Job, John the Baptist, the Demon Possessed man, Stephen, Paul, Peter, Origen of Alexandria, Thomas Becket, and Jim Eliot amongst many others. In each of these stories, God used their sufferings and even their deaths to proclaim light in a dark world. The story of what God has done in our lives—our testimony—allows us to proclaim light in a dark world. Living out Matthew 28:18-20 provides us two great ways to advance the Kingdom of God in the midst of Spiritual Warfare. As we proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ (Evangelism), and we teach others about God’s Word (Discipleship), we are actively participating in Kingdom advancement. Though Spiritual Warfare may leave us with emotional, spiritual, psychological, and physical scars. These scars witness to others about the Kingdom of God and the salvation that is found in faith through Christ alone.
Join a Gospel Group at Rocky Creek: https://rockycreek.church/ministries/discipleship/
Cook, William F., et al. Spiritual Warfare in the Storyline of Scripture: A Biblical, Theological, and Practical Approach. B&H Academic, 2019.
Ripken, Nik, and Gregg Lewis. The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected. B & H Publishing Group, 2013.