Real Spiritual Battles

by Dennis Peterson

1 Peter 5:6-11

Today we are going to look at two spiritual battles we deal with all the time.  The battle with the devil and the battle within ourselves.  Two real battles sometimes connected and sometimes they are not as connected as we think.

I know we deal with a lot of stresses in life like cars breaking down, home items breaking or being needed to be replaced and physical ailments causing us much distress.  Job issues and family issues that cause more stress to life.  But what is the real issue at hand in these?  For many they demonize everything and place a demonic attack on the things or issues.  I do believe it is a spiritual issue for all of these because we live in a fallen world.  Things break down because they get old and wear out.  People get sick and have permanent damage to their bodies and even die!  We do live in a fallen world that has been corrupted and because the world is corrupted everything wears out and people get sick and die.  The FALL in THE GARDEN of EDEN effects us all!  Real sin and Real consequences from the sins of the past and present!

Hopefully we can get a better perspective of the battles we deal with and direct our attention in the right direction!  Let us begin…

Real Spiritual Battles:

We already discussed that the Fall in the Garden has real consequences and effects on us all!  The effects caused by a temptation from Satan and then submission of both Adam and Eve to the devils scheme is evident in our 5 senses everyday by the results and predicament we obviously are in!  In reality this should cause us to hate sin and the devil’s ways and cling much harder to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!  The Spiritual battle began in the Garden of Eden and will continue until we as believers are in heaven.

Let’s look at 1 Peter 5:6-11 and examine our topic of study…

1 Peter 5:6-7

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

We must not think we can handle everything on our own but humbly come to our Lord because He is the mighty one who is in full control over all things.  Our control is limited but His control is absolute!  Knowing God is in full control should make us respond with bringing everything to our Lord because He really cares about us and our situations.  There is a true peace in being in God’s care!

The Bible does tell us about real spiritual battles and how to fight them…

Ephesians 6:10-17

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Physical), but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Spiritual unseen forces)

13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Here we get a picture of doing everything we can in the power of God we will BE ABLE to stand when the battles come!)

14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation (we Are God’s possession), and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Battle readiness was just described.

So we must ask ourselves, do we do this to be prepared for spiritual battles?  We need to trust in the strength of our God who is sovereign!  Here is what we are to do in an outlined form…

  1. Be STRONG in the Lord, not our flesh!
  2. Be standing in TRUTH!
  3. Be living a life of RIGHTEOUSNESS!
  4. Be knowing the GOSPEL OF PEACE!  Nothing can separate us from the love of God or our eternal position in heaven!
  5. Be living your FAITH!  Our faith keeps us strong and not timid for battle.  We know the battle is the Lord’s!  He is at our side and protects us and lives through us!  When the arrows fly to hurt us our shield of faith stops them from any permanent effect!
  6. Be wearing the helmet of SALVATION!  That is our salvation is secure and Satan would love us to doubt that and feel unsafe.  We are secure if we are Saved!
  7. Be ready with the SWORD, that is the WORD of GOD!

As we just read our Lord cares for us and gives us a game plan of readiness for when the battles come!

The battle with the Devil!

Martin Luther said, “We cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, but we can prevent them from building nests in our hair!”

The best advice I can give is what the Bible gives…

BE PROACTIVE:

1 Peter 5:8

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Have your guard up before the Devil attacks!  As we just read a minute ago in Ephesians we can have readiness by applying the proactive way the Bible teaches us to be ready!  Don’t wait until the attack comes, be ready for when the attack comes!  The devil is real and does want to hurt us!

SIDE NOTE:  The Holy Spirit lives in us so the devil CANNOT live in us also!  We cannot be possessed by the devil only influenced when we take our guard down!

Matthew 12:22-30

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw.

23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”  25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.

26 “If Satan casts
out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?

27 “If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges.

28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

29 “Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

30 “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

Our Lord took the devils control away from us by delivering us through the cross of Calvary so we would be free from sin, death and hell!  We are a new creation and we are the Lords!  The strongman in the illustration is Satan and our Lord bound Him so we can be free!  Just as the demon possessed man was released from Satan’s power!

Besides…

1 John 4:4

“Greater is He who is in you than he (devil) who is in the world.”

Martin Luther used to say, “I often laugh at Satan, and there is nothing that makes him so angry as when I attack him face to face, and tell him that through God I am more than a match for him!”

Back to our text we are to be proactive against the devils schemes!

1 Peter 5:8

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Again we are warned that there is a real battle going on in the spiritual realm in the world we live in!  So we are to be alert because the devil’s influence is all over.  But don’t forget so is God’s influence in us believers.  And where we are there should be a positive result!  One obvious result is our resisting the devils ways because we are firm in our faith!  We can do all things in Christ who strengthens us!

Spurgeon says about “Your adversary”, “There is something very comforting in the thought that the devil is an adversary.  I would sooner have him for an adversary than a friend!”

1 Peter 5:9

But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

RESIST him, FIRM in your FAITH!  This is very important to be victorious in our battle with the flesh.  If we think we are immune from the devils schemes we are in great danger of having a huge fall!

The Bible tells us…

1 Corinthians 10:12 “ Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”

Thank God He follows with these words…

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

In the power of God we win the battle with the flesh but once we allow the world’s ways to influence our lives we are on an unnecessary slippery sloop!  We owe it to ourselves to be on guard against temptations and to put ourselves in such a position that we cannot fall even if we want or desire to do those things that offend God!

Example:  If you have a habit of getting drunk and DWI’s you don’t work in a liquor store!  If you have a desire all the time for pornography and a job that is on the internet the temptation will be too hard so it would be better not to be in that occupation! We don’t put ourselves in positions that have obvious negative attractions and may cause us to stumble and fall!

This brings us to another point of importance, that is…

The Battle within ourselves!

I was reading out of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology this past week and he made a good point about Satan and demons that some may miss because many today have a deliverance theology that seems to take the emphases off ourselves and put blame on other things.  Listen to a paragraph on this subject…

“(In) the New Testament Epistles, we realize that very little space is given to discussing demonic activity in the lives of believers or methods to resist or oppose such activity.  THE EMPHASES is on telling believers not to sin but to live lives of righteousness!  For example, in 1 Corinthians, when there is a problem of “dissentions,” Paul DOES NOT tell the church to rebuke a spirit of dissention, but simply urges them to “agree” and “be united in the same mind and same judgment” (1 Cor 1:10).  When there is a problem of incest, he DOES NOT tell the Corinthians to rebuke the spirit of incest, but tells them that they ought to be outraged and that they should exercise church discipline until the offender repents (1 Cor 5:1-5).  When there is a problem of Christians going to court to sue other believers, Paul DOES NOT command them to cast out the spirit of litigation (or selfishness or strife) but simply tells them to settle those cases within the church and to be willing to give up their own self-interests (1 Cor 6:1-8)… These examples could be duplicated many times in the other New Testament Epistles.”  [End quote]

Later Grudem also said this, “(Christians) We need to accept our own responsibility to obey the Lord and not to shift blame for our own misdeeds onto some demonic force”.

The Battle within ourselves!

The Devil did not tell me to do it!

This should make us think of these important scriptures in…

James 1:13-15

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

We have a problem within ourselves and that is the sin nature that lusts to sin in our lives and that’s why we need to protect our minds from ourselves!

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Our mind matters and we need to give it to our Lord to transform and we do this through prayer and Bible intake!  Praise God as Christians our lives all end well with Him!

1 Peter 5:10-11

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

And may we all say the same…AMEN!

The Poached Egg Apologetics


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