Spiritual warfare is a very serious subject, perhaps the most serious of all subjects. Clearly some religions equate spiritual warfare with hand-to-hand combat, bombing raids, and other acts of violence. To most of the world, warfare is warfare. Period. Some Christians think it right to bomb abortion clinics and kill doctors.
But, in truth, spiritual warfare has absolutely nothing to do with violence.
Beginning my approach to spiritual warfare with the crucifixion of Jesus is, admittedly, a very, very tough place to begin. This should most probably be the last lesson on spiritual warfare, but there would be so many lessons before this one that it might be years before I got to it, and there is so much going on in some churches today that this subject presses on my heart.
There are five realms in God: obedience, surrender, discipline, acceptance, and grace. In this context, acceptance is defined as, when God gives you something that you want and you receive it. The key to this expression of acceptance is gratitude. As strange as it seems, this is perhaps one of the most difficult things for people to do — accept into their lives something that they want. But this is not the kind of acceptance that relates to the topic at hand.
Instead, the way to the cross – the ultimate manifestation of spiritual warfare to a Christian – is to accept what is placed before you. No matter what it is. And to accept that this is the path God wants you to follow. Needs you to follow, in fact.
There comes a time in spiritual warfare wherein human logic has to be suspended, and in its place absolute surrender to God’s will must be pressed into our hearts and our own will. This is an act of absolute faith on our part, a time when we are, literally, joined to God in our actions.
What looks like failure on our part has been taught to me to be an act of drawing our enemy to fall on his own sword. What evil celebrates as a victory, is, in fact, just a means of drawing that same evil to where God wants it to be. And it very well may have to go through us to get to the goal God has created for it.
As Christians, as followers of Jesus, we have no choice but to follow his way and the way that he taught us. It is to be beaten and downgraded. It is to bleed and, in some ways, to die. We cannot turn our hearts and faces away from his suffering and decide that we are going to win our spiritual battles our own way.
We have been blessed by his teaching of what this kind of acceptance means. We have been taught by his example to glorify God by falling on our knees and saying, not my will, but yours.