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Hi my name is Dean Smith and in this podcast I want to talk about the most important thing you can do in a spiritual warfare.
So what do you think is the most important thing to do?
Some might say putting on the armour of god. Another might say prayer. And certainly these things are important, but I believe there is one fundamental principle that we need to embrace first in spiritual warfare and it will make our prayer and spiritual armour powerful and effective.
And make no mistake we are involved in a spiritual battle.
A few weeks back I read an interesting story about Greg Gordon. For those of you who don’t know Greg, he runs a website called sermonindex.net which is a collection of thousands of sermons of pastors and Bible teachers from different church backgrounds and nationalities.
He also has a YouTube channel with over 145,000 subscribers and 7,000 sermons. These sermons have been viewed in excess of 35 million times. This is a significant ministry. But recently he was shocked one morning to wake up and find his YouTube channel had been shut down.
YouTube accused him of deceptive practices. Gordon had no idea what they were talking about but obviously someone had complained to YouTube about the channel. He doesn’t know who made the complaint, but once Gordon appealed the decision, YouTube restored the account.
But in an interview with Charismanews, he is convinced it was a spiritual attack:
“I started to consider this a direct attack from the enemy. That same night, I fainted and fell and ended up at the ER. This has never happened to me with a flu or sickness. We have curried the prayer support of thousands of prayer (warriors.)”
Gordon believes this was a spiritual attack because he felt the same kind of sickness when he woke one morning in 2005. A few minutes later, he discovered that someone had hacked their website and was redirecting all their links to porn sites.
As soon as the site was restored, he immediately felt better. This seemed to suggest that though these incidents appeared as two separate attacks, years apart, in fact there may have been a dark, underlying connection.
Was Satan the motivating force behind these random attacks?
If so, it may suggest that Satan has plan or strategy behind spiritual attacks and we can see this happening in the life of John the Baptist, a prophet who prepared the way for the arrival of Christ.
But John got into trouble when he started condemning King Herod who had gone to visit his brother and actually stole his brother Phillip’s wife, Herodias. Even by Rome’s low moral standards, stealing your brother’s wife was considered disgraceful behavior.
Angered by John the Baptist’s condemnation of her marriage to Herod, Herodias convinced her husband to arrest the prophet and shortly after that happened Jesus had this to say about what had just happened:
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding (harpazo) it. (Matthew 11:12 NIV)
Jesus used a very interesting Greek word to describe what had just happened with the arrest of John the Baptist. First the Lord called it a direct attack on the Kingdom of God. But then Jesus added that violent people had “raided” the Kingdom of God. “Raided” is the Greek word ‘harpazo’ which means literally to plunder and to have been carried off.
Literally, the Kingdom of God had been attacked and John the Baptist had been carried off as plunder.
But this wasn’t just some random attack. There was more going on the dark shadows of the spiritual realm.
In his Gospel, the Apostle John describes what happened next:
21 A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee; (Mark 6:21 NASV)
The Greek word for ‘strategic day’ is ‘eukairou’ and can also be translated an opportune time.
In other words what happened next was not some random event. There was a plan, a strategy in place as satanic forces waited for their next opportunity to attack the Kingdom of God.
That took place when King Herod decided to hold a party rewarding his loyal henchmen that helped him control Galilee. There would be lots of food and lots of alcohol. Herodias told here daughter to dance for Herod and his cronies at the party.
This was the type of dancing usually reserved for prostitutes, so it gives you some idea what was going on.
After impressing Herod and his drunken friends, the king offered his wife’s daughter anything she wanted. Herodias told her to ask for John the Baptist’s head.
Though Herod secretly liked John the Baptist, when the daughter asked for his head, Herod fearful that denying the request would cause his cronies to question his word, ordered the prophet to be executed.
John the Baptist’s death is clear indication that satan is attacking the Kingdom of God and these are not just random attacks. There is strategy involved.
So what is the key to winning these spiritual battles?
I believe it is found in another epic spiritual confrontation, Satan’s attack on Jesus in the wilderness. Christ had just completed a 40 day fast, when Satan launched his attack and tried to tempt Christ.
In one of the skirmishes, Satan challenged Jesus that if He was truly the Son of God, then the Lord needed to prove this by turning a stone into bread.
But instead Jesus responded:
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 NASV)
So what was the Lord talking about?
Well, let me introduce you to one of the worst chapter breaks in the Bible. Because Jesus was talking about something, God had said to Him while he was being water baptized by John the Baptist. But because it is in the previous chapter, we often don’t connect that with Christ’s temptation.
As Christ came out of the waters of baptism, God proclaimed, “this is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
In other words, Christ’s identity was not wrapped up in how many demons he cast out or how many miracles He performed, Christ’s identity rested solely on what God said about Him. He chose to believe God’s word.
Likewise we must do the same. The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 3:26, that in Christ, we are all children of God because of our faith.
We are all sons and daughters of God and because of this we have privileges others don’t have. But these privileges are only available to us if we understand and believe our position in God.
There is an interesting story involving King George V. He was England’s king during World War I. With the country on the brink of war, King George called a meeting of the country’s general and leading political figures.
Now when you visit Royalty in England, there is list of protocol, things you must and must not do. You can’t speak until the King asks you to speak. You can’t sit until the King offers you a seat. You are not even allowed to turn your back on Royalty, so depending on the circumstance you may be required to walk out of the room backwards.
Though this is a sampling of the type of protocol these military leaders had to abide by while meeting to discuss the looming crisis, a general shared an interesting story on what happened during that meeting.
One of King George’s children burst into the room crying because one of his toys had broke. He didn’t have to wait for an invite to see his dad. He didn’t have to wait to be spoken too before he spoke.
As King George’s child, he had rights that even England’s military leaders didn’t have.
But most importantly, the King’s child knew he had these privileges and took advantage of it.
This is what the writer of Hebrews was referring to when he wrote:
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (karios). (Hebrews 4:16 NASV)
I love how the King James Bible changes this verse slightly and says we are to come “boldly” into the throne room of grace. Notice how it says ‘throne.’ We are coming before the King of Kings.
The Greek word translated confidence and boldly is “parrhesia.” It means to be fearless, speaking unreservedly, speaking freely and speaking frankly.
We must absolutely respect and fear God, but the Lord also wants people who understand their position as a child of God. You have rights that others don’t have. We must pray with confidence as a child of God.
But notice how the writer says to come boldly in our time of need. The word need is the same word translated strategic day in Mark. We are to come boldly to God when we are under spiritual attack.
The key is to spiritual warfare is understanding your position in God. It is knowing and believing you are a child of God with speial inherent rights.
Now the question I ask is “Do you believe that?”
- YouTube shuts down sermon channel, claiming ‘deceptive practices’: Charisma News
- Youtube temporarily suspends sermon index, founder claims it was online persecution: Christian Today
- Lead image redit: Markus Kniebes/Flickr/Public Domain