Our Struggle by Pastor Ken Damstrom
“ Our struggle 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
According to God’s Word, we as Christians are under attack. This is a relentless, ongoing attack of the forces of evil which can create such conflict that believers can yield to the powers of darkness and become neutralized in the battle.
The gospel of Mark 3:27 tells us, “no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.”
The idea of “tying up the strong man” and “robbing his house” is a direct reference to defeating the enemy, Satan, and setting free those who have been put into slavery by his evil spirits. This is a war being waged by the power of the Holy Spirit available to every believer by choice.
A famous quote often said is “war is hell”. Although, not theologically sound, it is graphic. It describes the awful trauma (emotional experiences) of the violent, physical life and death struggle in which Christians are also engaged in.
Spiritual warfare is just as real as physical warfare! At times the emotional impact may not be as severe as the physical, but what it can do to our lives is devastating and crippling. We know that spiritual warfare is not “hell”, but it is a waging of our faith and strength against the “forces of hell!” If you have read the Word of God, you know the final outcome at the end of all wars and all time God wins by a landslide.
We as Christians are called to “separate ourselves” from this present world. Christian soldiers wage war against evil, not in their own power, but with the spiritual weapons provided (Ephesians 6). Christians wage war by “intercessory prayer,” and reaching their objectives in this battle through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ. When the U.S. Marines planted the American flag on top of Mt. Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima, they claimed the territory. Like military “flag planting” we as praying warriors must “plant the flag of the Kingdom of God” to claim more territory for Jesus Christ.
Which ingredients are needed today to obtain victory in spiritual warfare? Here are just a few to think about:
- PERSEVERANCE: The Holy Spirit leads in prayer and will continue to burden us until the enemy’s stronghold is torn down and every enemy of the gospel be routed. Check out Luke 11:5-10 for the theme of persistence in prayer (Luke 11:9).
- MOPPING UP: After a battle is over and the victor’s flag has been lifted high, there are additional responsibilities that must be carried out. Where the stakes are high, there inevitably will be injuries. Let’s make sure we praise the Lord for the outcomes, rejoicing in Him not ourselves, and move on to the next assignment.
- CARING FOR THE WOUNDED: Every battlefield has casualties. Spiritual warfare and battles create frustration, depression, disappointment, exhaustion, etc. However, we must follow through and take care of every brother and sister in Christ. Do some need encouragement? Can we help others in a practical way of serving to help speed up their healing? Genesis 50:20 says by following through we affirm “that what the enemy meant for evil, the Lord has changed to good,” who is it that you can be of help to?
- PRAISING THE LORD: Joshua was a man under orders. He obeyed Moses’ orders to choose Israelites to fight the Amalekites who had attacked from the rear flank. Joshua obeyed the orders of Moses, but he was not to be alone. Moses promised to station himself on the hill; the battle waged on the hills (rocky desert) called Rephidim. The battle was also being fought in the heavenly realms. Joshua fought the battle, Moses prayed, he held forth the rod as an intercessor. Moses’ outstretched hands represented the arm of God.
1 Corinthians 15:57, “but thanks be to GOD! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
After the battle, we cannot go home. A war is made up of many battles, until Jesus returns! We are not mercenaries who fight for a limited time, we are regular soldiers who signed up for the duration.
MANY MORE PRAYER BATTLES AHEAD! STAND FIRM IN JESUS AND LET NOTHING MOVE YOU.
Our commitment to Jesus Christ means that we must stay in spiritual uniforms and keep applying the truth of Ephesians 6 by putting on the “full armor of God”.
Ancient Proverb: “Because I have been athirst, I will dig a well that others may drink!”
In love of Jesus, Pastor Ken.