Displaying items by tag: spiritual battle
Alexander, Iryna and their children are in Kyiv and tell us how their faith helps them to live under siege. ‘Millions are praying for Ukraine and we believe that God has the victory. It's scary, we feel fear and don't know what the next hour will bring, but God is still the same as 2,000 years ago. We see military helicopters, hear shelling, but we believe we will win. People will have to give lives for this freedom but we know our nation is strong. We know that the truth will win, and the darkness and the lie will be exposed. Sometimes we don’t see God's intentions, but he hasn’t stopped doing his work and we must trust and believe. Our God came to give us life and no doubt, it's a spiritual battle. We are on the prayer frontline. God's word is alive, God’s word comforts. His word is active and gives us strength, his spirit is within us. God is big, he's bigger than any enemy.’
Many believe that what we see in South Africa is the physical manifestation of what is happening in the spiritual realm. A spiritual battle is raging across South Africa, and it is manifested through riots, arson, gang violence, taxi violence, farm murders, etc. When confronted with recent scenes we must guard our hearts and minds against looking at it purely from a physical perspective. Mr Zuma’s imprisonment represents the progress made in the fight against corruption within the country. Amid the many challenges SA faces, it is easy to lose sight of the good, and positive things that are happening. In 3 ½ years SA has seen the evidence of corruption and specifically ‘state capture’ being brought to light. This would never have happened, had it not been for a mighty movement by God’s Spirit, in conjunction with many prayers. The devil would not be happy about it and is heating up the battle to ‘turn the tide’.
A Christian journalist in Bethlehem said the unrest between Israel and Gaza is a ‘spiritual battle’. In Genesis God tells the Jews, ‘I will give you this land’. Muslims believe that ‘a Messiah is coming soon and will free Jerusalem and give Israel and Palestine to them’. In his opinion this is making for a spiritual battle in the Holy Land - a view partly echoed by a Canon of St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, Rev David Longe. ‘I think it's quite clear that elements within each of the warring factions will see it as a spiritual battle, because they will actually look to Scripture to give them the grounding for the reasons why these actions are happening.’ Rev Longe is desperately concerned for both sides in the violence, and believes it is vital for people across the world to continue to pray for peace in the region.
One of the most well-known and probably most frequently told stories of the Old Testament is that of the battle between David and Goliath. The battle is set like many other historic battles; Israel was perched on one mountain ridge and beyond the valley on the other side is the Philistine army. There is a ‘standoff’ as the Philistines best man, and he’s quite some man, takes the valley floor. Goliath challenges the leaders of Israel to send their best fighter down to meet him. Whoever wins in the proposed hand to hand combat wins the war! Simple, but who have Israel got that is an equal match to an experienced and extremely strong champion warrior whose physical and military stature is of massive proportions?
You will recall the story I am sure, the youthful David takes him on but without armour, without a sword or a spear and slays him with a stone from a sling. He takes Goliaths sword and chops his head off. This is the sort of stuff that films are made of!
So, if I asked you where the real battle of this story was fought you’d look at me quizzically and either think me stupid for asking the question or perhaps feel I’d lost the plot! You’d probably say “It’s in the valley, between David and Goliath of course”. But is that the real battle? What territory is being fought for here in this battle? We are perhaps too quick to hail David as the victor and hero of the story. Sure, he’s been extremely bold, but even he says that his victory is not his!
The real battle being fought here was for the hearts and minds of God’s people - Israel. The battle ground was in fact an internal one; this was not simply just a fight between our hero David and the evil Goliath.
David say’s in 1 Samuel 17:46-47 that it is the Lord who gave Goliath into his hands, the battle isn’t David’s it’s The Lords, and not just that, The Lord is the true victor. The Lord seems to have set up this battle for a purpose! But, if He has, why has He? Look at these verses, David speaking to Goliath said “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands.....that all the assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lords.......” The ground that is being contended for is not simply, Israel’s land or Saul’s sovereignty over Israel. The land the Lord is trying to occupy is the hearts of His people. The issue at stake is one of trust! Where is God’s people’s trust? Is it in the might of the sword and the spear or in the name of the Lord?
The battle ground is one for the hearts of His people. Nothing changes! The true battle ground is always internal. Do we place our trust in our own might and strength, our own types of swords and spears or do we place our trust in the Lord. Maybe the battle that you thought you are fighting is in fact not the real battle!
Tim Farron’s resignation from UK politics indicates that it is increasingly difficult for a practising Christian to remain leader of a political party. But even more sadly, the church in the west is falling victim to the same anti-Christian pressures. Instead of being salt and light in a fallen world, boldly proclaiming scripture truths, the Church is increasingly drawing upon the beliefs and ways of the world for moral direction on issues like abortion, marriage and multi-faith services. As the world becomes more corrupt, we can pray for Christian leaders to remain faithful to God’s Word. Pray also for all Christians in the limelight. May the example of American Christian athlete Jaelene Hinkle, who jeopardised her career by choosing not to play in games when her team supported ‘LGBT Pride’, encourage those facing modern-day pressures to compromise their faith in the workplace. May God empower all Christians facing subtle attacks on lifestyles and value systems.
Thousands scavenge on the streets for scraps of food. Masses wait in long queues for basic necessities that are largely unaffordable and unavailable. Venezuela's economic crisis is now a humanitarian disaster. 82% live in poverty. There are massive food shortages. Three-quarters eat less than two meals per day. There has been a sharp rise in infant mortality, maternal deaths, malaria, and diphtheria. 85% of medicine is in short supply. There have been demonstrations against the government which have become increasingly violent. President Maduro has prosecuted political rivals under terrorism laws, and on 14 May the Supreme Court tried to dissolve the national legislature, which is led by the political opposition. Beneath all this is a spiritual battle. Venezuela is the least church-going country in Latin America. Many, even within the Church, dabble in Spiritism. New Age spirituality is on the rise, and Satanists actively seek to destroy the Church.