Don’t Check Out
7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
While 2020 may be winding down, the spiritual battle continues with force. We are reminded that even after the birth of Jesus, King Herod killed all boys under two years old in an attempt to kill Jesus. The supernatural war of evil versus good is ever present and relentlessly attacks our faith.
Revelations provides spiritual insight on what is going on in our world – epic spiritual warfare!
Satan is very real and he wars against God to destroy true believers. Given the reality of the spiritual battle we’re in, we cannot afford to check out. In fact, Jesus commands us to watch and pray so we don’t fall into temptation.
Yet our flesh is weak and easily tested. For example, try to do something truly selfless and see how many inner and exterior obstacles arise! Even the simple act of prayer can be challenged by our busyness, our fatigue, our hearts, etc. We have to go against our human impulse to give into a desire for ease, comfort and self-focus in order to engage in the spiritual battles of life.
Consider what barriers and boundaries you put up to being “checked in” and ready spiritually. Do you start strong but when it gets hard or uncomfortable you stop? Spiritual maturity requires staying the course with God’s help and guidance (John 3:21). We also need each other’s help to push forward and make it through our spiritual battles.
E.M. Bounds, author and clergyman, said
“Spiritual work is taxing work, and men are loath to do it. Praying, true praying, costs an outlay of serious attention and of time, which flesh and blood do not relish.”
Simply put – being checked in spiritually is hard work. We’re called to humbly acknowledge this and choose to be authentic and real in our relationship with God and with each other. God doesn’t check out on us, don’t check out on him.
Three-points of introspection:
- Are you engaged or checked out? Each day do you read the Bible to connect with God for wisdom and strength?
- Do you need to re-engage? If you know you have areas where you are vulnerable to attack from Satan, be open and talk with a disciple friend about what is challenging you.
- Pray!! Pray alone and with others. Prayer is our lifeline to God’s Spirit that we need to stay strong.
With God our spiritual victory is sure! (Colossians 1:22-23)
22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Watch the Full Sermon here:
Thanks for reading this Christian Blog series: “Sermonized”. We will have a blog post every Monday ready for your quiet time!