Last week Pastor Peggy reminded us that we are in a spiritual war and that we must be dressed appropriately. Pastor Peggy then commissioned us to put on the full armor of God and live victoriously! This means that we must be armor bearers for one another because some in the battle will be wounded and in need of protection. This week Greg picked up on the military theme and called us to be aware of the schemes of the enemy (2 Cor. 2:10-11 esp. vs. 11). As Greg pointed out, during a time of spiritual attack, “every weak link will be tested.”
Last week Pastor Peggy reminded us that we are in a spiritual war and that we must be dressed appropriately. Pastor Peggy then commissioned us to put on the full armor of God and live victoriously! This means that we must be armor bearers for one another because some in the battle will be wounded and in need of protection. This week Greg picked up on the military theme and called us to be aware of the schemes of the enemy (2 Cor. 2:10-11 esp. vs. 11). As Greg pointed out, during a time of spiritual attack, “every weak link will be tested.” Greg called to mind many areas in which we are often attacked: physical illness, psychological attacks (suicidal thoughts, forgetting who we are in Christ, hopelessness, depression, etc.), relationships with each other and God being threatened and so on. These disruptions occur at some level in everyone’s lives in this fallen world, but sometimes it becomes apparent that an unusual intensity and frequency is at hand. Now is such a time for our church. Our intercessors have confirmed/discerned that the enemy is attacking us on these various fronts. How should WE, the church, respond?
Greg told us a childhood story about he and his friends playing baseball. Frequently, a bully named Jimmy would come with his friends and take over the field they were playing on simply because they were bigger, stronger and could do it. One time Greg felt a rising anger, a rage really, and stood his ground. Though his friends were very ready to get off the field as usual Greg stated that they were not done playing yet and would not be leaving until they were. Jimmy pushed Greg and Greg unleashed the rage that was building up within him. Jimmy ended up needing dental care and got the clear message. That message was “Back Off!” While it is NEVER appropriate to unleash such rage against another human being, it is perfectly appropriate to be infuriated with evil, injustice and the schemes of the enemy (recall Eph. 6 esp. vs. 12).
With the mounting attacks against us as a church and especially the very direct attacks on the staff, Greg is calling us to confront the enemy with a united “BACK OFF!” The battle is God’s but God has chosen to fight the battle through us, the BODY of Christ—who is the ultimate conqueror of sin, death and the devil. As we take up this responsibility to challenge the enemy there are three things to keep in mind:
Hide Extended Summary
- No Fear! As people united with Christ we are a people with NO reason to have fear. (2 Tim. 1:7)
- Rejoice! When we are obedient to God’s calling in our lives, it may well mean that we will be targeted by the schemes of the enemy, for we are taking back territory through our obedience! But in the midst even of such hardships, the peace and joy of God is there. When we are confident that we are doing what God requires of us the peace and joy accompanies us through the hardships. This does NOT mean we don’t feel the loss, but it does mean that we see it in the right perspective. God can and will turn it around!
- Sell Out and Unite! Christian faith is not about religion, the American Dream, or simply playing church when it doesn’t cost us too much. NO! We need to pull together, and truly get radical for Christ! Greg’s call to let the passion of faith well up within you needs to be heeded if we are to see what God really wants to do with us here at Woodland Hills. Only if we unite together with a unified vision and honesty with one another can we prevent the weak links among us from being broken.
- PRAY! Since we know that we fight not against flesh and blood, we need to remember also to use the weapons that are not of this world. Specifically, we MUST commit to prayer on behalf of not only ourselves and our families but also the body at large and our leaders in particular.