We all face a Spiritual battlefield which is real, but most Christians fail to see them.

Once visiting the Belgian town of Mons I asked my American friend if there were any 1st World War battlefields close by. He said he’d lived there for 2 years and there were no battlefield or graveyards from the war. I walked 5 houses down to the end of the street and there was countless graves from the battles of Mons. They are there, but my American friend never recognised them!

Our PM said overnight that he’s always believed in miracles, but regardless of the results of this election, Australian Christians should be under no illusion about our future. If the last year or so has taught us anything, it has shown us that we are facing, and more than any other time in our history, a Spiritual battlefield, we are battling for hearts and minds and even souls of our country.

 

So rather than sail along and ignore what we face as a church in this nation, I want to preach about it. We can get down, we can get fearful, but I’m going to get real and get mobilised as we face the enemy. And we do face a fearful enemy, but

 

1 John 4:4 (ESV Strong's)

you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

 

Over the coming weeks, we are going to talk about key battlefields in our lives, like the heart and mind, homes, families and even church. The enemy is active in all these areas, and I’m believing that these messages can be like a reconnaissance mission, to understand we can fight effectively and win.

SPIRITUAL BATTLEFIELD... THE UNSEEN ENEMY, AN UNSEEN ALLY

 

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV Strong's)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

Our enemy is not the government, it’s not people, it’s not gays or socialists or drug dealers, our real enemy is the devil. Our battle is not against what we can see, against people who oppose God but against an unseen, far deadlier opponents. Elisha faced a huge army coming to capture him in 2 Kings 6…

 

2 Kings 6:15-19 (ESV Strong's)

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria.

 

In this story, the young man could not see beyond the physical world in which we live, just like almost everyone today in our nation.  We might be Christians, we might say the battle is not against flesh and blood, but honestly, we don’t really get it… we don’t see this realm, this Spiritual battlefield.

 

Yet an unseen Spiritual battlefield realm exists–a world every bit as real as what we can see, hear and feel in the physical world. It consists of a countless multitude of ministering angels who are active in the lives of God’s people (Ge 32:2; Isa 63:9). It also includes demons who battle against angels and are trying to destroy us, or at least ruin our relationship with God.

 

You cannot see or touch this enemy, but he is there. You cannot sense the presence of angels, but I have a feeling we encounter them more frequently than we realise as they protect us…

 

Psalm 34:7 (ESV Strong's)

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

 

My mum and dad we’re in a car accident years ago on a remote stretch of road. Once the car came to a stop, they knew serious damage had been done, and out of nowhere a woman appeared claiming to be a nurse, and she reached through the broken car window and held my father’s head straight until ambulances arrived. Turns out his neck was broken, and this mysterious lady saved his life. However, not of the paramedics saw a woman, and we never learned her name, or why she was randomly on that stretch of road. You might call it coincidence, but after much reflection, we believe this mystery woman who save dad’s life was in fact an angel.

 

THE UNSEEN INFLUENCE

 

We are obsessed with earthly things, but the Bible encourages us to look beyond what we see to see a Spiritual battlefield…

 

2 Corinthians 4:18 (ESV Strong's)

as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

 

The heavenly realms fight to influence us in the Spiritual battlefield, and there is a spiritual battleground all around us. Books like Daniel or Revelation should show us that this world exists, and that it is fighting for influence. Demons are real, and they seek to destroy the bodies, the minds and the souls of people. Angels are real and they fight for us. But please realise that this battle is not on a knife edge… I know who wins!

 

Philippians 2:8-11 (ESV Strong's)

And being found in human form (Jesus), he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

We should be aware, but not obsessed by this unseen world of the Spiritual battlefield and it’s influences. Our prayers, as we have seen overnight, can reach into this world and mobilise forces beyond our understanding.

 

WHAT WE SEE ISN’T WHAT WE GET

 

The young man with Elisha could not see what the prophet saw. But just one prayer opened the spiritual eyes of the servant, and what he saw stunned him! God’s power and influence is immense in this Spiritual battlefield.

 

Every believer should have an awareness of the spiritual battle that rages around us. Most modern Christians have no concept of this spiritual conflict at all, because our western, scientific minds exclude what we cannot measure or see, and so we think it does not exist. I can claim gravity doesn’t exist, but if I step off a cliff, regardless of what I believe or can see, I’m going to experience the consequences of my choice.

 

Psalms 119:18 (ESV Strong's)

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

 

Elisha did not pray that his servant would stop seeing the enemy; he prayed that he would start seeing the goodness and provision of the Lord. Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what He sees. Elisha understood this and learned to look beyond his own limited perspective to the Lord’s reality. And because of his faith, God showed Elisha amazing things and did miracles through him.

 

Hebrews 1:14 (ESV Strong's)

Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

 

So when we face spiritual forces unseen. When we face life’s troubles, how can we begin to see the provision of the Lord all around us instead of the giant we seem to be facing? Well, when I think giants, I think David and Goliath, and I think of victory against all physical odds!

 

THE BIGGER THEY ARE THE HARDER THEY FALL

 

David faced a seemingly insurmountable task… a giant that the army of Israel had fled from, that he faced as one, scrawny kid. All the polls predicted a Goliath win.

 

Elisha saw what the young man did not, and through faith, David saw what his countrymen did not.

 

1 Samuel 17:45 (ESV Strong's)

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

 

In times of extreme pressure, God stretches our faith and deepens our dependence on Him. Without a strong, abiding faith, we can quickly yield to temptation and fear, especially when the trial or difficulty is intense or prolonged. God developed David’s trust until it became unshakable.

Whatever Goliath you face today, you need to bury one truth deep within your heart:

 

God loves you, He is on your side and He wins the battle every time!  You may go through times of failure. Life may not always turn out the way you planned—but ultimately, God will be glorified, and you will be blessed. When you trust Him, when you open your eyes to see the true spiritual battle, when you train yourself to see beyond the physical world into the eternal, you will live differently and keep battling!

 

So how were David and Elisha able to see beyond their giants, and how can we?

 

1.      RECOGNISE THE TRUE BATTLE

 

So often when we face difficulties and giants, we concentrate on the people attacking us rather than on the true nature of the battle.

 

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV Strong's)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

 

David did not see just Goliath on his Spiritual battlefield, he saw God’s enemy. Elisha didn’t just see the Syrian army, he saw the heavenly army ready to battle.  When someone attacks us, don’t concentrate on the person and hate them. Recognise the spirit that is behind the attack. We need to look behind any political party making immoral decisions, beyond any person making our lives miserable and see the devil battling to destroy our nation, our homes and our future.

 

This is why prayer is so effective, because prayer battles in the heavenlies, it does not just deal with the here and now, the people, the sins and the attacks. See eternity, and see things God’s way!

 

 

2.      RECALL PAST VICTORIES

 

David recalled how God had delivered him from the paw of the lion and the grasp of the bear (1 Samuel 17:32–37). You first win spiritual victories in your mind. If you cave into feelings of fear and doubt, you will lose. When you focus on the truth of God’s Word, you win every time. If you want victories in a Spiritual battlefield you face, remember how God has given you victories in the past, and know He can do it again.

 

We are facing the prospect of moving our church to bigger and better premises. The dollars involved are terrifying, but when I recall how God moved amazingly to provide for us to gain this property, I see that His unseen forces are working on our behalf, and my fear is overcome.

 

3.      REJECT DISCOURAGING WORDS

 

The young man with Elisha spoke words of fear and defeat. No one in the Israelite camp encouraged David in his quest to defeat Goliath. The soldiers laughed at him. His brothers felt embarrassed by his presence and urged him to go home. Even King Saul doubted him. If David had listened to the advice of others, he would have given up. If Elisha had listened to the young man, he would have been plunged into captivity or even death.

 

But they both turned their hearts towards the Lord and there they found the encouragement they needed.

 

People often say horrible things, even if they don’t mean to be mean, but their words cut us to the quick. As a pastor, I’m often criticised, and it always hurts. But I need to make the choice to give the hurt to the Lord  and keep doing what I know He has called me to do.

I recently had a pastor ask me what’s the difference between a politician and a pastor. If 51% like the politician he calls it a victory. If 99% like a pastor, he wonders why the 1% don’t like him!

 

Often you are criticised by people who should be encouraging you. Look at Peter…

 

Acts 11:2-3 (ESV Strong's)

So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

 

Gentiles had come to Christ, and the big criticism was not from unbelievers but from Jewish believers! If you face discouraging words, even from believers, your family or friends, you can choose to see the spiritual battle driving those words, and reject the words, not the people.

 

 

4.      RESPOND WITH GOD’S WORD

 

Elisha said to the young man who was full of fear,

 

2 Kings 6:16 (ESV Strong's)

He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

 

David was constantly told he could not beat the giant, but he responded…

 

1 Samuel 17:37 (ESV Strong's)

“The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

 

Hebrews 13:6 (ESV Strong's)

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

 

And it is not enough to just speak positively, you need to live trusting the Lord in every way. When you face attack or some other giant, we are tempted to worry. Worry is a sin, so confess it and give it to God and trust Him by faith that He will protect and guide you…

 

Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV Strong's)

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Jesus faced incredible attack and pressure in His Spiritual battlefield from the devil himself in Matthew 4, and Jesus didn’t try and argue or drum up positive words. He answered using Scripture, and so should we, that’s why I want you all to be reading the Bible every day. Read it, learn it, study it, memorise it!

 

5.      RELY ON GOD’S POWER

 

2 Kings 6:18 (ESV Strong's)

And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha.

 

David went out to Goliath with a sling shot, 5 stones and an attitude! In front of Goliath he said,

 

1 Samuel 17:47 (ESV Strong's)

and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.”

 

You can’t win a battle with the devil on your own. But thanks be to God, we don’t face him alone, we face him with Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lord, and the power of His Spirit can triumph over the evil one! Stand and fight on your knees and see the victory God will bring upon the situation in this Spiritual battlefield.

 

 

6.      RECKON ON THE VICTORY

 

Elisha saw an army struck with blindness. David saw a giant losing his head, and even before he stepped onto the battlefield, David knew he wasn’t going to lose. He knew it wasn’t his reputation on the line, but God’s. He knew it wasn’t his strength or cunning that would win the battle, but God’s strength and wisdom.

 

1 John 5:4 (ESV Strong's)

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

 

We face a Spiritual battlefield in our nation. We face battlefields every day in our families, our homes, our minds, our finances, and our churches, and over the next few weeks I want to target these battlefields and prove to you that victory is possible because God is on our side… But the real battle is not against people, even people who seem to hate us, but it’s against spiritual forces and powers in this Spiritual battlefield.

 

ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE?

 

Try and make church every week, because over the coming weeks I’m going to centre in on areas where the battlefield is fiercest in our lives… the family, finances, our nation and morals and even in the church.  Make no mistake, Christians are under attack in this Spiritual battlefield across the board more than ever before in this nation, and I for one am not going to bow my knee to the frauds of the enemy.

 

Today, if you feel like you are under attack, then I want you to make a stand. Some of what you face might be natural, it might be selfish people or bad decisions, but much of what you face could be driven by the enemy, demonic forces arrayed against you. You can’t see them, but they are there, and like Elisha, I want you to open your eyes to see the incredible army of God lined up on your side!

 

There are demonic spirits, evil powers and principalities that come against you, whether you see them or not, whether you believe in them or not. But I refuse to concentrate on them when there are myriads of angelic servants to protect, guide and direct our lives for us. They are watching, ready to step in, but they will not force you to act as God wants. You always have a choice in this Spiritual battlefield, but when you choose righteousness, when you choose obedience, when you pray in faith and obedience, they act on your behalf…

 

Psalms 55:18 (ESV Strong's)

He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.

 

If you feel like many things are arrayed against you, it’s time to reveal the enemy for the fraud he is and recognise the power of the Lord of Hosts.  We face seemingly insurmountable forces against us in our lives, our families and our church, but I for one will stand up and fight because I’ve read the Book and I know who wins!

 

Today, if you feel you are facing a Spiritual battlefield and demonic opposition in an area of your life, I want you to stand. I am standing, because I often feel a hopelessness about life, business, family and our church, but I am standing and committing to fight, not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark work in this Spiritual battlefield. And I’m going to win!