Sunday, March 8, 2015

Theft #13 - Stealin' Back Spiritual Warfare

 I try to watch the movie "The Patriot" every year around Independence Day weekend, at least. This movie in particular shows 18th century warfare at its worst, even as it was considered normal and orderly by the English, French and other European armies.

What we see in the film is that the American Colonial army cannot possibly fight the English army and win using those standard European tactics, for example, having two massive groups of soldiers facing each other, on a field across a relatively short distance, and taking turns firing at each other with one-shot muskets. So, as portrayed in the movie, and verified by history, the Colonial militia fights what is essentially a guerilla war, and "hit and run" war, hiding and ambushing, destroying roads and bridges, and in general just keeping the English army from making any advances. It is a tactic that works well enough to baffle and anger the English "gentlemen officers" to the point where they can no longer predict how or where the Colonials will fight.

It strikes me that in our "battle" against the world, the flesh, and the devil, that we--ordinary believers in Jesus Christ--are probably entirely too predictable, and are employing similar "stand and shoot" tactics which can never give us the victory that the Bible promises.

If, instead, we follow the "battle tactics" of Jesus Himself, and of His apostles, we see men who just showed up in places and begin to "do battle"--spiritually, and with words--with no formal declaration of war, no formal plan of attack, and no notion that retreat was an option. Jesus showed up suddenly, said His peace--generally stirring up controversy as a consequence--and then when on. Paul did the same, as noted in the last post on Acts 17.

The Bible teaches us that the weapons of our warfare are not related to normal physical battle at all, but are aimed at unseen spiritual forces allied against God, against us as His people, and have as their captives the entire unbelieving world. We have faith and words as our weapons, faith in Christ past, present and future, words to the Father in prayer and words to the world in the gospel. Sometimes we must be "hit and run" soldiers, speaking to those we come in contact with only for a moment or two, and other times we are true "guerillas" living amongst our neighbors those having infiltrated the enemy camp simply because don't look all that different on the outside.

These are the tactics God has given us. He has never told the Church to act as a unified army waging war on Satan, but merely to stand firm against Satan's attacks on us and resist his temptations so that he will flee. God has also never told the Church to rely on the respective governments of whatever nation, state, or city in which we happen to reside. God does not bless His people because of the nation, but rather He blesses the nation which accepts the message and faith of His people. Although it is not entirely true that "you cannot legislate morality," it is utterly true that you cannot legislate faith in the One True God, Jesus Christ. We speak, the Spirit convicts, and the listeners believe or don't believe, and that battle is the same in every part of the world now and until Jesus returns.

It's time to stop depending on a favorable political environment in which to worship God and speak the gospel, and time to rely only on the spiritual environment created by the truth that we are in Christ, and He in us.

Later in Christ,
The Thief

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