“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV) “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4, NIV)
Sunday I preached on Acts 19 (we’re going through that book at New Life). It is the story of the early church in Ephesus. I won’t re-preach it here…but the gist of the message was about spiritual warfare. Paul would later write to the Ephesians and Corinthians some important points of strategy. You can’t win a spiritual war in the same way you might win a physical one. The enemy is different, the weapons are different…everything about it is different.
When the church began in Ephesus, they were confronted with the worship of the Greek goddess Artemis. She had been worshiped in the region as the “Queen of the Cosmos” for centuries. She was literally the center of Ephesian society and culture. But after the church arrived, her worship lasted only 50 more years! Think about that. Centuries of paganism ended in 50 short years.
How did the church win? They didn’t riot or protest or get out the vote. They prayed. They shared their faith. They proclaimed the truth of the Bible. They laid hands on the sick. They asked God for miracles. And people responded.
In other words, they fought a spiritual enemy with spiritual weapons. And the church won.
We will win a similar victory in Denton…when we realize that the battle we’re facing is in is a spiritual one…when we realize that our enemies aren’t flesh and blood…when the weapons with which we fight are spiritual.