Monday, July 26, 2010

More on Spiritual Warfare

In 1529, Martin Luther wrote what is perhaps the best lyric describing our spiritual battle in his hymn, A Mighty Fortress is our God (Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Fred­er­ic H. Hedge, 1853.).

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Spiritual Warfare

The Scriptures describe the Christian life as cosmic battle between good and evil. However, we rarely think in such serious terms. I believe this is one the Enemy's greatest tactics -- to keep "out of sight" and subtly deceive us little by little. Who fights an Enemy you can't see?

But he is after us for sure, and he is strong. Peter says that he roams about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Paul calls his army rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces of evil (Eph. 6:12). Our Enemy is certainly stronger than we are, but he is not stronger than Christ. This is why we are called to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Eph. 6:10).

Are you aware of the Enemy's attacks on you? Do you recognize the subtle, but powerful lies he is feeding you? And are you standing firm in Christ's power?

For more on Spiritual Warfare, check out a two-part series I preached on July 18 & 25, 2010 at Oxford Bible Fellowship.