Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Our battle is not against flesh & blood
by Erik Momsen
The Christian who does not face daily battles is probably taking some strong mind-altering medication. The bumper sticker says "Life's a ‘B....’ and then you die". This is true for the unbeliever, but for the Christian "life is a battle and then you go the heaven". By this I am not saying we do not have glorious victories but I am trying to dispelling the myth that all is plain sailing. Jesus did say, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33).
Much of the time we fight our battles as if they were completely materialistic in nature but the Bible is clear that much of it is of a spiritual nature. Paul was very clear on this issue:
"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world." (Ephesians 6:11)
The bible is painfully clear that we have an enemy, the devil, who has schemes to destroy us. We are not fighting a battle which is primarily physical but one which is spiritual. The new testament refers to devils, Satan and demons one hundred and thirty five times. Furthermore, they are to be defeated be the blood of Christ and the testimony of believers (Revelation 12:11). We are a long way from the understanding Paul had about "rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world", but we must start seeing beyond the material world if we are to have victory in spiritual things.
The battle between the only true God and the unclean spirits who inspire the gods of this world is seen in Israel's deliverance from Egypt. The exodus of Israel was for the primary purpose of worshipping God in a different spiritual environment. The same phrase is used nine times.
"Then say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert." (Exodus 7:16)
It is difficult for westerners to believe there is a cosmic battle taking place over and for humanity but God states it plainly as his motivation for the plagues over Egypt. The Exodus was a battle between God and the gods of Egypt.
"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD." (Exodus 12:12)
The plagues were a combination of terrible natural disasters and onslaughts against the gods of Egypt. The water turning to blood is described literally as "blood in and on the wooden and stone things", i.e. idols.
The frog plague is a mocking of Heqt, the frog goddess who helped women in childbirth. The plague against animals showed the powerlessness of the bull gods Apis & Mnevis, cow god Hathor, and ram god Khnum to protect their beloved holy cows. The plague of darkness showed Egypt how powerless Ra, the sun god, was.
Even in Isaiah we seen the battle between God and evil powers continuing:
"In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below." Isaiah 24:21
Daniel gives some details on the spiritual battle taking place over us.
"Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. So he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince)." Daniel 10:12,13,20,21
"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then." (Daniel 12:1)
We see there the battle of the "Son of Man" with the prince of Persia. He only reaches Daniel after the angel Michael comes to his aid. Later also the prince of Greece also comes onto the scene.
From these passages we must learn that:
i) We are in a spiritual battle and thing are not what they seem.
ii) It is a battle of faith, character and perseverance.
iii) We are to use faith, the Word, prayer and the power of the Spirit.
Most of all we must remember and believe that we are in a spiritual battle and we have spiritual resources in Christ. Those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
Date Added: 2011-02-08
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