605. The Danger Of Not Showing Up For The War

“As we’ve talked about before,” Stan began, “bumper stickers can say a lot in a very few words.  I saw one yesterday on an old VW camper I haven’t seen for a long time.  It brought a lot to my mind.”

“What was it?” I asked.

“It said, ‘What if they gave a war and no one came?’”

“Interesting sentiment,” I responded.

“It is,” Stan replied, “and while I know the bumper sticker was not addressing it, what it made me think about is the whole notion of spiritual warfare.”

“Spiritual warfare?”  I said.  “You think there’s spiritual warfare?”

“Absolutely!” Stan exclaimed.  “I not only think so, I know so.  In addition, I think if I didn’t know spiritual warfare exists, there would be a real danger of not showing up for the war.”

Continuing, he said, “I can’t choose sides if I don’t recognize there are different sides to choose from.  I think the apostle John made this real clear in his first letter.”

“What did he have to say about it?” I asked.

“The greatness of the Holy Spirit who is in me, versus the spirit that’s in the world,” Stan replied.  “John specifically referred to that spirt as the spirit of the antichrist, which I think is the broad subject of all that is opposed to Christ.  The world, the flesh, and the devil.”

Continuing, he added, “If I don’t recognize in the first place such a spirit exists and, secondly, if I don’t recognize it wants to drag me down away from God, I can easily be headed in the wrong direction.”

“As in losing your salvation?” I asked.

“Oh, no,” Stan replied, “it’s not that I’m going to lose my salvation.  That can’t happen because my salvation is assured by God’s grace and by my acceptance of what Christ did through His life, death, and resurrection.  However, it can sure head me in the wrong direction and derail my effectiveness as a Christian on this side of eternity.”

“Okay,” I responded, “so if there is spiritual warfare, how can you protect yourself from not showing up for the war?”

“Choose,” Stan said.  “I have to choose to allow the Holy Spirit to reign, to exert His power, in every aspect of my life, knowing beyond a shadow of doubt He is fully ready, willing, and able to overcome all that wants to come against me.”

“He can do that?” I asked.

“He can,” Stan replied. “He can do that because He is greater, but I have to choose to allow Him to exert His greatness in and through me.”

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Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  1 John 4:4.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of salvation so I can look forward to spending eternity with you when it’s time.  Thank you, too, for your provision of the Holy Spirit to live within me on this side of eternity.  Thank you for His presence, His strong and powerful presence, that is capable of overcoming all that comes against me.  All that wants to draw me away from being who and doing what you intend for me on this side of eternity.  I need and I ask for all of the help you can provide for me to follow your lead in my total surrender to the greater strength of the Holy Spirit.  I choose to claim all the Holy Spirit is capable of doing in leading the spiritual warfare battle.  I choose to be on His side.  Thank you I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think about this:  Do you believe there is spiritual warfare?  Why or why not?  If you do so believe, are you prepared for the battle?  Is it your battle?  If people are secure in their salvation, but not alert to spiritual warfare, can that impact their Christian witness?  Why or why not?  Who is the prime advocate who wants us think there is no spiritual warfare?

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