Saturday, January 24, 2009
Spiritual Warfare in Our Present World
Some years ago, I worked at a youth center in Indianapolis. While on staff there, I counseled with juvenile delinquents from the inner city and youth with felony convictions from around the country. While talking with these young people, I would often ask, "Do you feel that you are in charge of your life?" A typical answer was "Absolutely. I'm the one in control of my life. No one tells me what to do." Next I would ask, "Did you come up with that idea on your own, or did someone come up with that idea before you did? I wasn't trying to put them down, just to show them this wasn't an original idea on their part; it was a lie foisted on us from long ago. Usually, when I asked that question, they couldn't come up with an answer. At that point, I'd turn first to Isaiah 14 and then Genesis 3 and say, "Satan actually came up with idea first." I wold show them how Satan originated the "I am in charge" idea millennia ago. He then sold it to Eve and Adam. They ate the fruit that caused spiritual and ultimately physical death. Had they not believed that God would send a Saviour into the world to crush and defeat Satan in a final sense, they would have died eternally as well. At this point, some of these teens would exclaim, "I have been acting just like Satan." This opened a crack in the door that let God's light shine into their hearts. As I showed them more biblical truth, many became receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, these two passages, Isaiah 14 and Genesis 3, show the most basic of Satan's strategy, declared in two big lies. First lie: You can and will take charge of your life, and God is not necessary, Second lie: God is holding you back; throw off His shackles and you'll be truly free to do as you want. These lies stand at the root of almost all sin problems. For instance, "Drugs are a way to be happy, and you can get them readily. God's way, which is holiness, is boring, painful, and makes you feel lousy all the time." Or consider the temptation of adultery. "An affair will get you what you want now." And even every form of abuse of another person is just another way of saying, "I will take from you what I want because I own you." This is the essence of spiritual warfare-Satan using lies to get us to sin against God and then keep on sinning as if there is no God. Dr. Ken Copley is availabe for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.