“We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.”
-EFCA Statement of Faith
A man went to the doctor complaining of dizziness. The man was concerned that perhaps he was experiencing a stroke or high blood pressure. The man expected to receive some elaborate treatment and go through a series of tests. Instead, the doctor offered this simple suggestion: “Whenever you feel dizzy, just look at something straight for a few seconds, then you’ll be able to function.”
Focusing on a fixed point may help the dizziness pass quickly. Focusing on a fixed point can also help with the loss of spiritual balance. Our sermon series has been on the need for a fixed reference point of what we believe so that we are not tossed here and there by the winds of various teaching. EFCA’s statement on Christian living covers many aspects of God’s work in us to conform us into the image of Christ. This past Sunday we looked at the Great commandment in Mark 12:28-34. This Sunday we will focus on the Great Commission.
I want to touch on what the statement says about combatting spiritual forces of evil. We need to think clearly on this and have a fixed point or else we will experience spiritual imbalance. What is involved in our spiritual combat? We are clearly taught in Scripture that we are to use spiritual weapons not fleshly techniques (2 Corinthians 10:3).
We are to put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11). What does that look like? What is this armor all about? Putting on truth. Embracing the gospel. Since Satan’s primary tactic is deception, we combat his lies by knowing and applying God’s truth. The devil cannot stand up against the truth of God’s Word (Matthew 4:1-11; Ephesians 6:17).
We are to remember that through Jesus’ work on the cross and his glorious resurrection, He has won the battle and our victory is assured. Because of the gospel this we know:
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1.
“The One who is in you (the Holy Spirit) is greater than the one who is in the world” 1 John 4:4.
“In this world you will have trouble,” Jesus said, “But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33.
“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” 2 Thess. 3:3.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you” James 4:7.
Also, in the Book of Job we see that Satan has to obtain permission from God. Satan cannot do anything to me outside of God’s will. He doesn’t “win” when he inflicts Job, but only if Job curses God. More than anything else, the book of Job teaches us that as powerful as Satan is, he is not God’s counterpart. God is the one in control and calling the shots.
We do not need to live in fear and run around in panic, for we know that no power on earth can harm us or stop us from what God calls us to do and what God wants to accomplish. God is still God- not just at the end of this present age, but right here, right now, and in every situation on the planet!