Monday, January 26, 2009

Victory in The Spiritual Battles of Life

Please read Philippians 1:27-30 The Christian life is not a play ground, it's a battleground. If the Enemy can rob believers of their faith in Christ and His Word, then he can cripple and defeat the ministry of the Gospel. It is sad to hear people say "I don't care what you believe just so long as you live right." What we believe determines how we live, and wrong belief ultimately means a wrong life. Each local church is but one generation short of potential extinction. This is why Satan attacks our young people in particular. How can a group of Christians fight this enemy? We must use spiritual weapons, namely the Word of God and prayer. An army to be effective must fight together. There are three essentials for victory in the battle to contend for the faith. First, We must have staying power. We ought to learn the glory of the grind. God is more interested in what you are than what you do. The most important weapon against the enemy is the consistent life of believers. Paul is suggesting that we Christians are the citizens of heaven. While we are on earth we ought to behave like heaven's citizens. The Christian that practices the truth, and behaves what he believes is going to defeat the enemy. Consistency is rooted in Christ like character. A consistent walk produces Christ like character. Second, we need team work. The words "Striving together' gives us our English word athletics. Paul pictures the church as a team, and he reminds them that it is teamwork that wins victories. There was division in the church at Philippi. Satan always says "Divide and conquer." Two women were not getting along with each other. The people were taking sides. The enemy is always happy to see internal division in a local ministry. It is only as believers stand together that they can overcome the wicked one. Believers are to perform as a team of athletes. No one man teams, no glory hounds. Not everybody can be captain or quarterback. The team has to follow the rule book. There is one goal, that is to honor Christ and do His will. Third, we need fortitude. Paul says we are not to be alarmed by our opponents. In the above verses Paul gives us several encouragements that give confidence in the battle. These battles prove that we are saved. Many new believers have the idea that trusting Christ means the end of battles. In reality it means the beginning of new and bigger battles. Christ carefully taught the disciples this truth. The presence of conflict is a privilege and a gift. Another encouragement is that others are experiencing the same conflict. Satan wants us to think we are alone in the battle, that our difficulties are unique, such is not the case. Paul reminds the Philippians that he is going through the same difficulties they are experiencing hundreds of miles from Rome. Humans nature is the same. Satan and his hoard of demons are active everywhere. We all know that change in geography is usually no solution to spiritual problems. The silver lining in the battle comes in knowing that going through spiritual conflicts is one way we have to grow in Christ. During these times God gives us the strength we need to stand firm against the enemy. God's grace is always sufficient. The Philippians had seen Paul go through conflict when he was with them and they had witnessed his firmness in the Lord. The word conflict gives us or English word agony. When the enemy sees our God given confidence, it makes him fear. "You are writing a Gospel, A chapter each day, By the deeds that you do And the words that you say. Man read what you write Whether faithful or true; Just what is the Gospel According to you? Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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