The Real Battle: Feb 20th - 26th

This Week & Beyond...

This coming Sunday is our Team Night #4!!!  Bowling and pizza fellowship night!!! If you haven't confirmed your attendance, please do so by Thursday evening, if possible.  If you're not sure by then, don't decline, just let me know and I'll make note.  

Thanks!!!

Devotional...

The Real Battle
by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, Missouri 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

I just received another email about the FCC supposedly endeavoring to remove religious broadcasters from the airwaves. That makes five or six of these I have received in the last few months. When I got the first one, I immediately went on the internet to check it out. Within ninety seconds I found out that it was false. Both Snopes.com and Focus on the Family say the email is a myth. No one is quite sure where they came from originally or how they got started. Yet such emails seem to take on a life of their own. They continue to perpetuate.

The sad part is that it causes us as Christians to view the FCC or some other human organization as our enemy. There is absolutely no truth to the accusation, yet we vilify someone as a result. The email slanders a person or institution, and, consequently, we also speak ill of them, even though our words have no basis in truth.

The fact is that we have an enemy and it is not the FCC or any other human organization. Of course, it is possible for the enemy of our souls to use human institutions as tools to further his purposes, but those organizations are not ultimately our enemy. Make no mistake, though, we do have an enemy.

I am amazed that there are so many Christians who don't believe we are in a spiritual battle. You cannot honestly read the Bible and deny the fact that spiritual warfare is real. Peter warned the early Church, "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). He doesn't want to play games; he wants to devour you.

And although we as Christians clearly have a spiritual enemy, we spend far more time fighting battles against flesh-and-blood "enemies." We struggle against the government or the media. We fight against educational systems. Yes, I am keenly aware that there may be times to take a stand on clearly biblical issues, but those organizations are not ultimately our enemy.

Okay, let me step down off my soap box for a moment and put this into the context of the worship ministry of your church. Where are you doing battle? Are you praying and taking a stand against the enemy of your souls, or are you fighting and bickering among yourselves? Are you upholding one another in the real battle -- the one in the spiritual realm -- or are you too busy arguing with people in your church about musical styles and other trivial matters? You see, our enemy knows that if he can keep us busy with mundane, eternally unimportant issues, then he has little to fear from us.

Scripture says we are not fighting against flesh and blood. No, our real battle is against the spiritual forces of evil. As those involved in worship ministry, we should be fully engaged in the spiritual battle and we should be encouraging others to be engaged in that battle also.

Ultimately spiritual warfare is not something you can decide on. If you're a Christian, like it or not, you're in a battle. The only thing left to decide is what you are going to do in that battle.

I challenge you today to honestly look at the spiritual battle in which we as the Church are engaged. Are you sitting on the sidelines watching the action? Or, worse, are you engaging the wrong enemy?

GOING DEEPER:
1. In your personal life, where do you tend to fight against the wrong enemy?
2. How are you -- specifically in the worship ministry of your church -- engaging the enemy in the spiritual battle?