July 7, 2021

I am writing this article this week to prepare us for the weeks ahead. I am so pleased to see the positive things that are happening in our body. There is such a great spirit amongst the people and even a level of anticipation for what is to come. It is for that very reason that I write today and will be entering into a short preaching series this week.

I want to bring up the topic of Spiritual Warfare. Oftentimes when we hear the term, we immediately go to thoughts of what is wrong. Oftentimes we see Spiritual Warfare because of the trials and struggles that people are having in their lives and often with other people in their lives. We equate Spiritual Warfare with conflict.

These depictions are usually true. We recognize Spiritual Warfare because of trials and tribulations. We see conflict and it shows us Spiritual Warfare. But far too often, we are in over our heads in the trials and tribulations or the conflicts before we recognize that it is all about Spiritual Warfare. Sometimes we never make the connection. And if we find ourselves in a place of extended peace it is often because we are not engaged in a battle and so the devil is not concerned about us or our ministry.

That being said, it is important for us to recognize that there is a strong spiritual battle taking place in our midst. It is striking at us all in different ways. Some are experiencing struggles at home with our spouse or our children. Some are having problems in the workplace. Some are struggling with conflict in the church family. Some are fighting battles to see ministry direction or ministry fulfillment. Some are battling sickness themselves or in the lives of loved ones and friends.

It is one of the tactics of the devil to attack each of us differently so as to confuse us about what we are experiencing. My challenge to you today is to begin to pray about this battle. Whether you see it in your life or not, it is there. Whether you are feeling it today or not, it is there. Not only is the spiritual battle being waged around each of us, we are told in Scripture that we have a responsibility to be engaged in the battle. There is no room made in the Bible for cheerleaders. We are all called to fight.

I challenge you/us to pray sincerely and earnestly for understanding, protection, and the expansion of how to use our armor as taught in Ephesians 6:10-20. I encourage you to begin reading the book of Ephesians. As you do, look at all the things that Paul calls us to in our lives. Understand that as we strive to fulfill what is taught in the book it will bring about great battles. This is why the book concludes with these last verses about the armor of God. When we engage in all that is taught here and throughout Scripture, we will rile the devil and we need to understand that he will attack. We will be in battle but we can be equipped for the battle, and we can attack back. It is all there. Will you engage?

-Pastor Gary

Wow! What a service we had yesterday. The Holy Spirit sure invested in guiding us throughout the morning. He is always with us, especially when we gather for worship. But sometimes the manifestation of His presence is overwhelming. That was the case yesterday.

 

It is such a joy to serve the Lord in a church that so many people are well connected with the Lord. I am not just speaking about salvation but also about growth in our relationship with Him. This leads to committed service to Him and the people around us as well.

 

I know that yesterday as we worked through 1 John 1:5-10, I was speaking to many who have already understood and adopted that teaching into their own lives. I am aware that so many in this congregation have vital and growing spiritual walks with the Lord. But I know from my own experience that it is easy to allow what we know to be true to become intellectual alone with little practice of the truth.

 

I believe that God in His infinite wisdom brought us all a reminder of truth yesterday. I believe that many, including myself, needed to understand just how important our intimacy with Christ truly is both to us and to Him. And He showed us that even the simplest of sin in our life that is not dealt with puts us on a path away from Him.

 

I count it a joy to walk this path with all of you this week. I started my day praying the very things I encouraged you to pray. I then prayed that each of us would recognize the significance of this commitment. I prayed that we would all experience a fuller and more complete walk with the Lord this week. I prayed that each of you would have an ever-deepening desire for intimacy with the Lord. I believe that He will answer these prayers.

 

Do something special this week. Remember the challenge to memorize 1 John 1:9. Also, be encouraged to spend that 10 minutes. But do one more thing. As you see what God is doing through this in your life, write it down. Celebrate how God is specifically working in your life by immortalizing it in the written word. Then share it with others. Encourage one another by sharing what God is doing in your life. Even share it with those who don’t know Christ. It may be just what they need to move a step closer to receiving the Lord.

 

I know that God is working. I want to hear the specifics about how he is working on your life.

 

May God richly bless you today and throughout this week.