The Pastor’s Quill
The Need For Real Christians To Step Up and Step Out
By Pastor Tim Hodge
July 16, 2017
Spiritual Warfare. We started a study on this two weeks ago for our Wednesday night Bible Study. Someone not associated with the topic may be asking, “What exactly does “spiritual warfare” mean?”
That would be a great question that every Christian should be able to answer. Today, I want to delve into this ‘spiritual’ aspect a bit.
In our first class (and a refresher for this past week) we deduced the two words and came up with a working definition: “Spiritual Warfare is an armed conflict of opposing parties associated with the supernatural realm.” Unfortunately, for mankind this battle plan is playing out in a sphere of the natural earth that exists within a supernatural (spiritual) realm.
This may be slightly confusing to some. However, if we understand God’s intent for mankind we were not created ‘just’ for a natural realm, but we were created for a dual status: we are both natural and spirit (we have a body that is the temporary housing of an eternal spirit). Some get this confused and they live expending their resources and chasing things they feel will help them have a ‘spiritual encounter.’ The truth is quite converse of that. We are spirit beings having a temporary natural encounter. Spiritual experiences are part of our experience; we just don’t readily recognize them.
Supernatural encounters (spiritual interactions) take place all the time for those walking the Christian life. Worship, true worship, is a supernatural encounter. Notice I put the disclaimer of ‘true worship’ because this goes beyond singing a song and it goes into the depths of intimate encounters with God. This is nothing kooky or spooky, but a true design as to what God intended worship to be. Note the words of the Apostle Paul, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (v18) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:17–18 NKJV).
If I can break this down to its simplest thought: “We encounter God in true worship, we can’t really (literally) see Him, but we encounter Him and we are supernaturally changed every time this occurs.”
I believe PRAYER is another spiritual encounter where dynamic things take place. Prayer is communication with God. Therefore, what comes out of our mouth in a natural realm becomes heard in a supernatural realm. When we pray in the Spirit, we are allowing the Holy Spirit (the supernatural, all-powerful member of the triune Godhead living inside of us) to speak through us what He is hearing and saying with God the Father and God the Son at the very throne of Heaven. Ummm… you can’t get much more supernatural than that.
Yet another true spiritual encounter would be witnessing for Christ. Note the closing words of the Gospel of Mark: “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen” (Mark 16:20 NKJV). How could this not still be a dynamic, supernatural encounter: we share the gospel and the SAME Jesus is with us wanting to CONFIRM what we are sharing of Him!?!?
I am so afraid that much of what has transpired in America’s churches has been of good intent but lacking true spiritual drive. For example, I’ve been to many Christian conferences ranging from themes dealing with the prophetic, to worship, to church growth. I’ll use this latter as an example. Here is the gist of most church growth conferences: have big-named speakers who lead mega-churches to come in and tell you what they did. Take notes. Buy their stuff. Then go home and do what they did expecting the same results. Now there are principles that can be gleaned, but church growth doesn’t come about because of good ideas. Numerical growth may happen, but church growth is a dynamic spiritual dimension that is tapped into where Christians mature into their own personal destiny and the gospel takes over a town, city, region, and the world (at least that’s what happened in the book of Acts and the early church). They were not focused on numbers and gimmicks but, rather, on the spiritual power of the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself through His church.
Colossians 1:27b states, “…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (NKJV). Christ is a descriptive title which means “the Anointed One.” Therefore, the Anointed One in each of us is the hope of glory… the fullest intent of God’s desire in the earth.
In closing, I would suggest that each of us seek God as to renewal, revival, awakening to the dynamics of us living out our true spiritual (supernatural) potential as found in Christ: the Anointed One. Remember, He is limitless (infinite and without bounds or boundaries). As we become more intent and acquainted with our purposes in Him then we lift the boundaries of this world and we walk as spirit beings who operate in a supernatural order while living in a natural realm.