Perhaps the most important principle to remember regarding spiritual conflict is that the warfare is SPIRITUAL and not physical. Time and time again believers are tricked into fighting each other, their employers, their neighbors etc instead of fighting he who is behind all that is bad - the devil. The oldest, and most effective, trick in the enemy's book is to switch the emphasis away from him to those who are influenced by or are simply the messengers of his plans. Always remember that it does NO GOOD to fight people. We must always keep in mind that the battle is spiritual and our warfare is in the spiritual realm and not the physical.
Please look at the following two passages, for they underscore and define the boundaries of our warfare:
38Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two.
42Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy:
44but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;
Matthew 5:38-44American Standard Version (ASV)
3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh
4(for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),
5casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;
2 Corinthians 10:3-5American Standard Version (ASV)
When believers look at PEOPLE as their enemy, they inevitably end up warring according to the flesh. When believers in Christ transport themselves back to Old Testament times and pick up their swords and spears to battle those who are their enemies; they violate the very principle Jesus introduced which is love. In order to avoid walking in and warring according to the flesh, we must consciously cast down and lead captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. If we return to an eye for an eye mentality; we are not obeying Christ, for He said to NOT resist him who is evil. If we harbor hatred for our enemies; we are not obeying Christ, for He said to LOVE your enemies and PRAY for those who persecute you.
When the enemy succeeds in making our conflict against people, places and things; he succeeds in drawing us into physical warfare that ends up producing results that are not pleasant spiritually. When we allow unpleasant people (who usually are not saved) to get us all bent out of shape, angry, hurt, uptight, etc - we end up exactly where the enemy wants us, which is not in fellowship with Christ. As difficult as it is to obey Christ and love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, we must do these things or we will be drawn into physical warfare which has no promise of victory.
Yes, we have been given the promise that we can be more than conquerors , but this promise refers to the spiritual and not the physical. We can be over comers and bask in the glow of our victory, but again, these promises are spiritual in nature and not physical. When we try to appropriate spiritual promises to the physical realm we usually end up banging our heads against the wall in a futile attempt to be someone and have things God never promised to begin with. But, when we rise up and claim the spiritual victory we have in Christ, we are able to more than conquer any wile of the enemy or any demon he dispatches to harass us. We may be afflicted, but we are not conquered. We may be sick, poor and vagabonds in this life, but we are not slaves or under the control of the adversary.
It behooves us, as born again Christians, to compare spiritual things with spiritual and stop trying to apply spiritual principles to physical situations. It matters little how prosperous, healthy, good looking, popular or influential we are in this life. When all is said and done and we stand before Jesus Christ face to face, the only thing that will be important is whether we obeyed Him and claimed the spiritual victory He purchased for us. I pray that we all rise up from the ashes of materialistic thinking and physical warfare and live, walk and battle in the spiritual realm where we do indeed have the promise of victory.
The only thing that will be important is whether we obeyed Him and claimed the spiritual victory He purchased for us.
The wealth of Christ Jesus is not the things of the world which does perish and fade away but wheather the riches of heaven , meaning it's not the outer man that will inherit the kingdom of God but the inner man as your statement the spiritual man.
For all the knowledge and wealth it brings of this world fades away ,But the wealth of the knowledge of the lord shall never fade away !
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not sway, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Be forever blessed
"...when we rise up and claim the spiritual victory we have in Christ, we are able to more than conquer any wile of the enemy or any demon he dispatches to harass us. We may be afflicted, but we are not conquered. We may be sick, poor and vagabonds in this life, but we are not slaves or under the control of the adversary."
Understanding this is the difference between living a victorious life through Christ and a defeated life.
How many times have I forgotten this vital truth?
One time just a bit ago, I was upset about something at work. Something someone had ssid. a coworker came up to me and said, (not too nicely either), "Beth, what did you tell me? It's a spiritual battle. "
BAM! Like a 2 by 4 between the eyes. ... it's spiritual!
I, like the vast majority of Christians, spend too much time asleep at the switch.
Thank you for trying to awaken us.