Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spiritual Battle (part 4)

I'm surprised that I haven't gotten any negative responses on the many posts related to Spiritual Warfare since Time to Pray back on May 10.  When I started writing about this and even titled a few of those posts "Spiritual Battle" (part 1, 2, 3 and now 4) thinking it might provoke some discussion.  I know there are some readers out there.  There have been a couple positive comments; over on facebook (username "stevekarl") there have been some comments and "likes," but, mostly it's been silence.  Maybe people are just taking it all in.   Maybe this topic just makes people's eyes glaze over.  Who knows?

There's a spiritual battle going on in Second Samuel 11:25-12:14. (We'll be reading this on Sunday.)  In this story, King David's soul is lost.  He took beautiful Bathsheba for his own pleasure, conspired to cover up his adultery and effectively killed her husband, the loyal soldier Uriah.

By doing this, David betrayed the purpose of God.  God had raised him up from obscurity and gave him power and influence so others could be blessed with him as their king.  Instead, several times, and most notoriously in this incident involving Bathsheba and Uriah, he uses his power to pursue advantages for himself.  When he did that, he was lost.

But God loves lost souls.  To rescue them, God prepares spiritual warriors.  The principle spiritual warrior is God the Son himself, Jesus Christ.  In the case of King David, the warrior is the prophet Nathan.  Equipped with God's Word and divinely inspired insight, Nathan disarms David.  The misuse of power was David's downfall--but David still knows right from wrong.  Through the prophet God presents David with parable.  The parable tricks David into pronouncing judgment on himself:  "The man who has done this deserves to die."

Spiritual warfare makes us face the truth.  It's not pleasant, but it's good to be real, to have our fake, false fa├žades demolished.  Like the Velveteen Rabbit, we might ask "Does it hurt?"  Of course it hurts.  The Word of God lays us bare and makes us face what we do not want to know as sinners: the truth. But, like the the wise "Skin Horse" character in the Velveteen Rabbit story knows, "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."  It's good to be Real.  It's good to face the truth.

In the story of David and Nathan, God wins!  David surrenders with these words: "I have sinned against the Lord."  Because David surrendered, he is known as a Bible hero.  Because he surrenders to God, he is a hero, even though his life is riddled with sin.

When God comes at us, it's always good to give in.  That's how God saves our souls--by defeating us, by breaking us, by not letting us escape--by making us be "Real." And then, because of what Jesus has done, by taking our sins on himself, we are given a priceless gift in exchange--forgiveness--full and free.  We do not need to carry our past sins anymore.

So, let me ask: What in your life is a "spiritual battle" right now?  How is God not letting you escape?  How is God pursuing you with his Word?  Let him win!  Even if it hurts, it's worth it!  God's future, God's reality--It is so good!


  1. Thanks for the post. I have never thought of spiritual warfare in the context that you use. I am not saying I disagree with your context, I have just never heard it that way before. I do believe there is a spiritual war, a war over souls, going on all around us, all the time. According to Ephesians 6:10-19, we are to "put on" the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil's schemes. All of the "parts" that make up the full armor are defensive, for protection from the devil's attack, except for one, the sword of the Spirit. It is so powerful to know that the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, cuts to the bone and leaves us laying wide open! This is serious business...

    Thank you Lord for equipping us for battle!!


  2. The war, Mike, is going on not only AROUND us but also WITHIN us. And yes, the word-sword is what Nathan wields as he goes to battle for David's soul. David was so wise to surrender quickly. There have been many times when I've needed to repent. I just pray that we will be "Nathans" for each other as in Matthew 18:13 -- calling one another to account and NOT being silent. I also pray that when I am perceived to have sinned that you or others will come at me, not just once, but repeatedly if need be to let God's word-sword have its full effect. I am habitually falling into the same failings. Lord have mercy! (And, fortunately, He does.)

  3. I will and please, do the same for me.
    Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, I removed your stinky socks from the third floor! Everyone up there is in a much better mood now....

  4. If you want to stop by and pick up the floor again, you're invited! Thanks!