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The Purpose of Spiritual Warfare
In a prior posting we provided information that demonstrated that Jesus has ascended to heaven and has prepared a place for us (the Promised Land). In addition, we quoted His words that reveal that violence (spiritual warfare) is necessary to take heaven by force. For anyone interested in reviewing this posting, please use this link: Jesus-Leads-us-To-The-Spiritual-Promised-Land
In a subsequent posting we addressed how the Tabernacle was instrumental in parting of the waters of the Jordan River, therein enabling Israel to cross over on dry land in their journey to the Promised Land. We also communicated how the walls of Jericho fell as the Ark of the Covenant (a component of the Tabernacle) led the army of Israel into battle. Again, use this link to review this post: Jesus-Our-Tabernacle-Leads-Us-To-The-Promised-Land
In our last posting we communicated how all of this was prophetic of Jesus Christ. A link to this post can be found at the very bottom of this page.
Today we address the purpose of spiritual warfare. We start by presenting the words of Moses as he prepared the nation to cross over the Jordan River and enter into the Promised Land.
Moses came before the people on the edge of the holly land and gave them instruction to prepare them for the battle. To ensure that things would go well for them. Here are some of the statements that Moses made that help us to understand the purpose of spiritual warfare:
Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you. (Deu 9:4 NKJV)
The Lord clearly states that the purpose of casting them out to eliminate their wickedness. Spiritual warfare seeks to eliminate evil. Because of this the people and their evil religion are to be completely destroyed. No one is to be allowed to live:
When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. (Deu 7:1-2)
In addition, the mission of spiritual warfare is to destroy evil:
But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire. (Deu 7:5)
As I have stated before, the war of the nation of Israel was a physical war. While it is prophetic of our spiritual warfare, one must remember that we do not engage in physical confrontations:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6: 11-13)
The ministry of Jesus is devoted to spiritual warfare. He confronted the scribes and Pharisees with their hypocrisy. He healed on the Sabbath to demonstrate that the welfare of people was more important than the letter of the law. In fact, He showed us that the changing of our heart is far more important than blindly following rules or attempting to game the system.
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matt 5: 27-29)
So Jesus once again raised the bar. He not only fulfilled the old covenant but He replaced it with a much better one. One that is pleasing to God. So now, simply refraining from the physical act falls short of the mark. Victory in the physical realm is insufficient as spiritual victory is the goal. Victory requires that we change our nature (through the leading of the Holy Spirit) and that includes even the desire for evil. Our heart must be pure so that we can put on the entire armor of God and be victorious in the spiritual warfare that rages all around us.