Have you ever wondered why despite wearing a have-it-together exterior..be it a good job, solid education, or some other kudos credential…you may still experience a lingering feeling of inadequacy?
Perhaps an inner voice is trying to convince you that you are not good enough. Maybe your relationships just never seem to be on solid footing. Or maybe, life just continues to deal you blow after blow.
We don’t have to look far, sometimes not even past our own doorsteps, to realize things just aren’t exactly right. Sure, we can see the beauty in all of creation. We can sense the depth of the power and importance of relationships with others. We feel connected to nature. We get glimpses here and there of paradise, but interwoven with those glimpses of peace and perfection are signs that something has gone horribly wrong.
Tragedy, illness, disease, poverty, natural disasters, war, and all sorts of “isms” and injustices seem to run wild on the earth. We doubt, we fear, we fight, we flight. Our relationships take constant maintenance, we have to work long and hard each and every day just to meet daily needs; and just when we get things right in one area of life, another area starts to leak. Our souls long for peace and protection, yet the world seems to offer so little security and solace.
Even when we try our very best to follow “proven paths to success” we come up short. We just can’t seem to grasp the prize. Have you ever felt this way? If so, take heart, because you are not alone.
While our eyes cannot fully see and our hands cannot fully grasp the problems that seem to reside, fester and grow beneath the surface, and then explode into the world, our Christian faith reminds us that a battle is raging on. Even…as I type these words. Even…as you read them. Your heart is the battle ground where good and evil grapple for position.
Christ is our only peace and stronghold in this battle. He promises us his Kingdom. He promises us peace and rest. The mission he gives us is to believe that he has defeated evil, to believe that he is the Way, and to be able to see through this world and into the Word.
While this might seem a little Star Warsy or simply too-far-fetched for you to buy into, or perhaps you have been burned by religion in general and refuse to believe in “this stuff,” I invite you to think about your own life.
Do you ever get the sense that someone, something is trying to inhibit you from achieving what you believe may otherwise be possible? Do your relationships, although well intentioned, seem to always have an uninvited third party at the table that brings strife, arguments, and leads to hurt feelings? Is there an inner voice whispering that you are not good enough, smart enough, experience enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, girly enough, manly enough, etc. etc. etc.?
If so, who or what do you think that power/being/voice is and why do you think any of that negativity or strife happening?
Here at Christ Church, we are beginning a new sermon series on the spiritual battle that is ripping through creation. It’s ripping through your home and ripping through your heart. It can completely destroy everything God has planned for you, if you allow it to; if you are not prepared.
I am so excited about this teaching series, because as a church family we are going to learn how to prepare ourselves to fight this battle; to put on the full armor of God and stand firm in this battle that, mind you, is not against flesh and blood, but “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)
As we shift our mindset and our hearts to focus on spiritual battles that are raging, where do you see this fight playing out most in your own life? Do you believe that spiritual battles even exist?
I know this is tough is to figure out, to make sense of. Personally, I have found myself asking many times, “Is this really spiritual warfare? Maybe he or she is just being a jerk? Maybe I’m being a jerk too? Well, perhaps the answer is yes, yes…and yes!
We are multidimensional beings. Our physical and psychological make-up, emotional dispositions, past experiences and personalities all play a role. The spiritual dimension is also constantly at work, interlocked and sprinkled in to all other dimensions. To ignore the spiritual component of your existence would be to ignore a huge piece of who you are. To ignore the reality that evil is indeed at work, seeking to destroy everything that God is attempting to build up, causes us all to miss countless opportunities to join in with God’s army and the angels of light. We also miss opportunities to experience the power and might of our living God, here, in this broken existence.
I know God is going to speak deep truths of these next fews weeks, and I’d imagine Satan will be hard at work too. Because this is such a powerful and personal series, I’d like to invite you all to keep some notes and, if willing, share with us how God is speaking to you and conversely how the forces of darkness are attempting to counterclaim.
What are your initial thoughts on spiritual warfare? What are your questions?
Get ready to armor up…