Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
Engaging the Enemy -- Part 2
“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God… but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks; Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 23-24). John Piper of Desiring God Ministries writes, “We cannot know what prayer is for until we know that life is war.” I think therein lies the problem. Most Christians have no idea we are at war. Our prayer lives reflect this. If you don’t believe me just attend the so called weekly “prayer meeting” of any given church. Such meetings are more akin to organ recitals than Spirit led, gospel drenched warfare praying. It seems we spend far too much time praying for Aunt Lucy’s stubbed toe or Brother Joe’s bursitis than we do missionaries on the mission field, our spiritually troubled nation, or those who are lost and on their way to a Christ-less eternity. It’s as if the devil has somehow shrewdly distracted us from engaging him with our two primary and successful weapons—prayer and the preaching of the Gospel. Paul wrote, “and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Eph. 6:19).
The church, like the ancient Jewish Temple, is to be a “House of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17). However, the truth is the church has become selectively worldly. Today’s gospel seems to be more about health, wealth, and prosperity than humankind’s only hope for forgiveness and eternal life. That which “is foolishness to those who are perishing,” has become foolishness to those who claim to be followers of Christ rather than what it really is—the power of God unto salvation. The church seems to have grown weary of warfare praying and gospel preaching.
Just observe that which appeals to the masses that flock to many mega and “Emerging” churches today. Consumerism, materialism, self-interest, pop-psychology, and technology in the place of grace are what folks want so that’s what we give them. The problem is these folks still die and they still go to hell because they don’t know Jesus! This is exactly where the enemy wants us. And it’s the reason someone can say something like I recently read, “I’ve conclude it is important for me to affirm that I am a Christian. You may wonder how…a man with a potty-mouth and an affinity for vodka can justify that declaration.” I don’t wonder how because I know how. One can justify such thinking because “the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” One can justify such thinking because “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Cor. 2:14). One can justify such thinking because, to folks like that, “our gospel is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the devil has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But do we pray for folks like this man? Not really. Do we try to get the only message to them that can offer them hope? No. We spend our time praying our organ recitals and entertaining the masses rather than engaging the enemy in mortal combat. “We cannot know what prayer is for until we know that life is war.”
I read an article recently in which the author rightly asserted, “Many modern American Christians are more like spectators at an athletic event. They are like preschoolers watching Sesame Street—they are so used to being entertained that they cannot consistently study the Scriptures and pray for themselves. They are not spiritually self-supporting; they improperly rely on others. They also lack the ability to be properly interdependent and work as members of a team. Half-hearted nominal Christians lack discipline, piety, and power because they pray instinctive, consumer prayers, and God in His wisdom does not grant their narcissistic wishes. The majority of professing American Christians are Christian in name only. In spite of all this, God preserves a remnant of devoted believers for Himself, sinners chosen by grace.” Are you part of this believing remnant ready to engage the enemy through prayer and the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—the one and only message that can change lives and save souls? The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12). Have you believed? I mean truly believed? If so, then heed these words: Battle Stations! Battle Stations! Battle stations!
Comments are closed.
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
Striving to glorify God by becoming more like Jesus.
Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.