This is the sixth and last post in a series.
- Part 1 explained why I talk about the application of Christian theology to politics.
- Part 2 provided a personal witness, what brought me to Christ Jesus.
- Part 3 explains why some believe might makes right.
- Part 4 considered the lesson of Ecclesiastes. To give might to life — we must love God and be obedient to His will.
- Part 5 looked at the prospects ahead for our children and grandchildren. Will those who choose to remain Christians risk becoming martyrs for the sake of Christ Jesus?
Here we will consider how God’s people use worship to conduct spiritual warfare.
The Warfare In Worship
The Temptation To Escape Responsibility
What characterizes sin in modern America? Are the sins we commit new? The list of the seven deadly sins originated in early Christian times. These are: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony; and these sins remain the sins we still commit with greatest effect.
What characterizes the sinner in modern America? Here at Walking In Truth are 28 Characteristics Of The Wicked. Since each characteristic references centuries old Bible verses, we cannot rightly say this list points to anything new about America’s sinners. With respect to sin at least, we are pretty much the same as our forebears.
So is there anything different about sinning in America? Perhaps. Consider the parable of The Prodigal Son. Here a generous father gives his foolish younger son a considerable sum of wealth, and that son squanders his inheritance with loose living. Thus, the story abruptly shifts from loose living to feeding pigs, and the loose living ends.
Here in America we can more easily fritter away our entire life with loose living. Unlike the peoples who lived in Biblical times, we are much better organized to promote loose living. What do we have?
- We have “free love.” We have subsidized contraception, including abortion. We don’t have to wait for “unwanted births.” We can sacrifice our children on the alter of self-indulgence before they are even born.
- We have a superabundance of recreational drugs. We have a perfectly legal alcoholic beverages industry devoted to glamorizing the joys of inebriation, and we have well organized and well-heeled crime syndicates dedicated to providing even more poisonous stuff (supposedly for pleasure).
- We have a welfare state. You don’t want to work? You think having multiple children with multiple husbands should just be considered investing in the future. Then America is most certainly the place for you.
- We have a mass media that artfully creates fantasy worlds, including imaginary worlds where sin has no serious consequences. You like living a fantasy? Can you conceive of committing all the crimes you can imagine? Would you like to be able take whatever you want, but what if you get caught? In America, that’s no problem. You just have to put up with prison freebies: room and board, job training, cable TV, a weight room, ….
Of course, to some extent I exaggerate. Unless you come from a poor intercity neighborhood, prison isn’t going to look like a picnic, but you can imagine it might be. If not for the company prisoners have to keep, even prison would not seem like an especially bad place to be.
Because of our prosperity, when we make poor moral choices and waste our time and resources with loose living, few of us risk starving. In fact, many of us can and do shift the consequences of our poor choices onto someone else. Moreover, America spends much of its industry peddling loose living for serious profit. So many people, knowing the immediate consequences will not be severe, choose the gate that is wide and the way that is broad, the path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14), and they seek escape into sex, drugs, sloth, fantasy, crime, and so forth.
The Importance Of Striving To Become Mature Christians
How did we get into this mess? Why is it that our people have become so undisciplined? Why do the morals of our society continue to degenerate? There are many things we might point to, but the answer, I think, can be found in Hebrews 5:12- Hebrews 6:20. Here is how that passage begins.
Hebrews 5:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
As a society, we no longer study God’s Word, “the word of righteousness.” Many cannot explain why we need Christ Jesus. Few know the Word well enough to teach those who have not been saved. Fewer still have the discernment to seek that which is good and avoid that which is evil. Almost none know how to put on the whole armor of God.
What Is Worship And How Do We Use Worship To Overcome God’s Enemies?
What is worship? When God wanted King Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites, including their livestock, Saul disobeyed. Against God’s expressed command Saul spared Agag the king and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good. The Prophet Samuel then used that occasion to explain to Saul how God wanted to be worshiped.
1 Samuel 15:20-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” 22 Samuel said,
“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 “For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has also rejected you from being king.”
How do we use worship to overcome God’s enemies? 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 tells a tale about Jehoshaphat, who was one of the few good kings who ruled over ancient Judah. When Judah was invaded, Jehoshaphat did something unusual. He put his trust in the Lord God. Here is how he led his army into battle.
2 Chronicles 20:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.” 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying:
“Praise the Lord,
For His mercy endures forever.”
Because he believed, God gave Jehoshaphat an easy victory.
The Bible tells of other such instances. Consider these examples.
- Joshua 6 explains how the Lord conquered Jericho for Joshua. To collapse the city wall, Joshua just had to order his men to march around the city with priests blowing trumpets of rams’ horns and shouts.
- Judges 7 tells of an even more preposterous story. Gideon had to convince his small army of 300 to “attack” an army of many thousands with nothing more than shouts, trumpets, empty pitchers and torches inside pitchers.
- The Book of Acts relates a still more inexplicable tale. It tells how early Christians, following the example of Christ Jesus, started a revolution that eventually conquered an empire.
What do we have to do to conquer our enemies? We must continued to live as did those early Christians spoken of in the Book of Acts.
- We must love God above all else.
- We must love our neighbor as we love our self.
- We must believe and affirm that Christ Jesus is God, that for the forgiveness of our sins He died a cruel death on a cross.
- We must believe in His resurrection.
- We must bless those who persecute us.
- We must serve as our Lord God’s hands and feet and seek to do His Will.
That is, we must study the Bible and seek to live by its teachings. We must allow God in His Holiness to guide our lives and fight our battles. After all, the victory belongs to the Lord.
Revelation 3:5 Good News Translation (GNT)
5 Those who win the victory will be clothed like this in white, and I will not remove their names from the book of the living. In the presence of my Father and of his angels I will declare openly that they belong to me.
- Jesus Was A Liberal: 15 Quotes The ‘Christian’ Right Doesn’t Want You To See (addictinginfo.org) – This article purports to post 15 Bible quotes the “Christian” Right does not want “you” to see. Apparently, the writer does not read what Conservatives write. Anyway, this article serves as a “good” example of how to quote the Bible out of context.
- Was Jesus a Jew? (altruistico.wordpress.com) – Here is something far more carefully researched. Given that some “Christians” still persecute Jews, the issue is more important than it might at first seem.
- SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 21:27-31 (settledinheaven.wordpress.com) – We study the Old Testament and books like Proverbs too little. At Settled In Heaven, the author shows us what a huge mistake that is.
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 NKJV – The Power of God in prayer (pagprayer.wordpress.com) – This article explains how and why we must prepare for spiritual warfare with prayer.
- Who Is the Chiefest of Sinners? (biblebelievernet.com) – Consider here the example of the Apostle Paul. Paul began the process of becoming a saint by acknowledging his sins. Until we admit our sins, we cannot repent. After Paul repented, then he became a great warrior for Christ Jesus.
- Traditionalism is also for Protestants (orthosphere.org) – Here the title of the post is a bit peculiar, and the author takes the long route to get to his point, but it is a good point. The battleground with Satan includes the field of politics.