The Church and Our Conflict
We want to be our own gods, create our own reality and control it, as seen in pornography, reality TV, cyberspace social networks, positive thinking, fiat money, and salvation by technology.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 28:3-19; Ephesians 6:10-20
- There are only two sources of power, knowledge and authority; we either have power from God (above) or from Satan (below).
- Saul rejected God’s word and sought secret knowledge so that he could gain control over his circumstances.
- Our culture is saturated in occultism, as seen in popular movies, and the personal lives of influential people.
- If we are our own gods, then we determine our own path.
- We want to be our own gods, create our own reality and control it, as seen in pornography, reality TV, cyberspace social networks, positive thinking, fiat money, and salvation by technology.
- Likewise, pragmatism is about autonomous control and says I’ll believe and obey God only if He “works” for me.
- Whenever we seek power and knowledge outside God and His Word, we’re rebelling against God and His reality.
- When these things are pursued outside of God and His word the goal is to predestinate reality in terms man’s will.
- Hypocrisy is an attempt to appear to be something other than what we really are in order to gain the influence or power of the thing we are pretending to.
- Hypocrisy and attempts to manipulate other people are instances of rebellion against God.
- God’s word and law gives us the structure for reality and truth.
- Knowledge, truth, and power come from God alone. We cannot control anything by our thinking and techniques.
- Everything, even trials, comes from God (Job 12).
- The church is in a battle and Satan is our (defeated) adversary (2 Corinthians 10:5; Ephesians 6:10).
- God’s word is the offensive weapon to engage the enemy, confronting actions and ideas in rebellion against God.
- Satan and spiritual darkness are real, but we are not to fear Christ’s defeated enemies (1 John 4:4).
- Jesus encountered demons everywhere, and His ministry signaled their demise (Matthew 8:16-17, 12:28-29).
- Christ has accomplished total conquest over all darkness.
- The biblical image of the Church is that we are about to plunder the enemy’s house; the apostolic, evangelistic, pastoral, etc., ministry of the church cannot be thwarted.
- But we are not to rejoice in power over demons, but that our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).
- In our work, finances, and struggles over sin and temptation, we are to trust in God.
- Obedience is not the road to defeat; God is on the throne and He is faithful. If God be for us, who can be against us.
- List several ways that people, past and present, have sought to gain control over their circumstances.
- How are both positive thinking and hypocrisy occultic?
- How is fiat money an instance of refusing to live in terms of God’s reality? What are the consequences?
- What is the consequence of well-intentioned rebellion? (1Samuel 15:22-23).
- Do we blame Satan to absolve ourselves of responsibility for our own lack of faith and obedience?
- Is the truth carrying me? Is God’s word living and active in my heart? Do I trust God to deliver me from attacks?
- How should Christ’s victory over Satan affect our lives?
- Do we rely on God’s armour in our daily battles?
- What disciplines can help us prepare for spiritual battle?