Spiritual Warfare

By Hal Lindsey
War! It’s one of those words that carries a built-in emotional wallop. It can raise feelings of patriotic pride and of dark dread at the same time. Other than terrorist attacks, America has been spared from fighting on its own soil for a long time. But if you look back at World War II, you see that even on the home front — a place of seeming peace — lives changed dramatically. 
Car manufacturing plants were converted into plants for making the machines of war. New cars could wait. But to keep Ol’ Bessie running, you might want some new tires. Sorry. The war needed rubber, so tires became impossible to buy for most citizens. Food was rationed. Millions planted “victory gardens.” Lots of restaurants removed meat from their menus entirely.
Change and sacrifice are two of the main hallmarks of a winning war effort.
If you read the Bible, you already know that we are in the midst of a war right now — a spiritual war. If you watch or read the news — or if you get out of the house — you know that that war has risen to a fever pitch. 
Like it or not, we live in a war zone. Bombs of deceit, violence, and rage explode all around us. This spiritual war is not hypothetical, and it is not a metaphor. It is a real war with real casualties and real collateral damage. But a spiritual war is not to be fought with guns, fists, or missiles. In John 18:36 [NKJV], Jesus said to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight.”
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
The battlefields of this war are the hearts and minds of human beings everywhere, including our own. Battles rage around us and in us. We need to cast down those things within ourselves that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Make every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Don’t be surprised when the war brings hardship. 2 Timothy 2:3 says, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” War is not easy. 1 Peter 4:12-13 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
In the midst of the battles, even with painful wounds and sacrifice, the joy of the Lord can be your strength. Stay close to Him. Enjoy sweet fellowship with Him. Sometimes that will include what Philippians 3:10 calls, “the fellowship of His sufferings.” No one wants to suffer, but suffering in fellowship with Him is sweeter than the grandest party with anyone else.
So far in this country, our sacrifices have mostly been financial — typically that has meant giving to the cause of Christ. Compared to the suffering of many Christians around the world, that’s small. And when we give well, it is highly effective for the cause of Christ and therefore of peace for the world.
Will the war become more severe? Until the rapture takes place, the general trend will be toward a world of increasing chaos and persecution. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation.” Then He added this glorious statement. “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In other words, He has already won the war, and that means we have, too. So, be of good cheer!
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