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Climb Higher: Surviving Spiritual Warfare

Read 1 John 1:5-10


This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


Reflect

· Are you being deceived? Are you among those who believe that spiritual warfare is pure fantasy--the stuff of chilling novels and thriller movies?

· God is greater than the enemy, and prayer is powerful. So, exactly how should you pray for others, as well as yourself?

· What can you do to survive spiritual warfare in your own life?


As Christ-followers, we must expect conflict--not comfort. Billy Graham described Christians as soldiers and points out that our Captain does not promise us immunity from the hazards of battle. "Jesus told His followers that the world would hate them. They would be arrested, scourged, and brought before governors and kings. Even their loved ones would persecute them. As the world hated Him, so it would treat His servants. He also warned, 'a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God' (John 16:2)."


The Enemy operates on a personal level. He seeks to lure us into a hostile position toward God and uses every kind of distraction imaginable--boredom, selfish desires, inferiority, drug abuse, doubt, fear, materialism (the list could fill up a book). Satan's biggest ally is our flesh itself. This is the human, physical dimension of our life that instinctively wants to live independently from God. Even though you now have a new nature in Christ, the sinful world still tempts you to return to those old ways of thinking and living. (See Romans 8:5-8 and Ephesians 2:3.) Yet here's some good news: The Lord has armed every Christian with spiritual weapons packed with "divine power": (1) The sword of the spirit--the Holy Bible--and (2) prayer. Colossians 3:16 tells Christians to let "the word of Christ richly dwell within you," and Philippians 4:7 promises that "the peace of God . . . shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."


Pray

Lord, help me to trust You as I face trials and conflict. Protect me as I endure spiritual warfare. Amen.

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