January 19, 2007

thoughts on spiritual warfare

I have heard many sermons and teachings on spiritual warfare. I have learned and grown immensely from all of it too. Whenever I mull over this topic my thoughts and concerns most often become directed towards myself and those closest to me. This is for a reason. I believe that God has given each of us a "sphere of influence". That sphere being a limited area or group of people that He has allowed us to influence and be influenced by. Influence implies relationship. This sphere can only become so big because we are only so big. In praying and interceding for others I think 90 percent of our prayers should be for those within our sphere of influence. In other words, those closest to us. This is my opinion but... I think I'm right.

I believe prayer is essential for change and growth within ourselves and the world around us. Even more, I believe specific prayer is important. We will only know how to pray in detail for someone if we know the person intimately. Lastly, prayers are stronger if we are of pure heart. Just imagine how it would be if a christian would love a pre-believer as a friend when they're together. Then, when the christian goes into their prayer closet and offers up detailed, compassionate prayers up to the Father how much more effective that would be compared to a self righteous, cultic christian going up to someone they do not know and start "casting demons" out of them. That is someone going out of their sphere of influence, out of God's will and screwing everything up.

Relationship with people prepares the battle ground. The battle being in the spiritual realm with demons, NOT with people. More importantly, the battle begins with us.

In one of the teachings on spiritual warfare that I have studied, the speaker/author brings up the debate concerning the armor of God. There are some that say we must put on the armor every day. There are also some that say we already have it so don't worry so much. The solution the author gives is that they're both right. I disagree, kind of. I think they both miss the mark. For years I would consider myself to be of the opinion that I must put on the full armor of God every day. This was good for me for a season but after a while I would recite and recite and recite. My words were just noise. Active but void of relationship and grace. The armor is not a literal armor.

The latter opinion which asks why we should worry because Jesus has won the battle already I more strongly disagree with because the truth is we are in a battle. I'm not saying we should worry. Satan has lost and is losing but it still doesn't mean that he can't bring others with him, including myself. Our faith in Jesus is a relational one. One that requires us to work out our salvation with Him.

So now when I think of the armor of God I try to think of it in a relational manner. I ask, "Lord, which piece of my armor is weakest". In other words I ask Him how I can become more like Him, The ultimate warrior of our hearts.

more thoughts later.

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