The Blueprint View World View
There are two main views that Christians have, according to Pastor Greg Boyd in his book, God at war. The first is the Blueprint view. The Blueprint view is that everything that is happening right now is the result of God’s divine decree. It also holds that if the devil is involved in anything, it is because God has ordained him to do that. Sickness, death, tragedy and poverty are all part of God’s Blueprint Plan. To explain suffering and pain, it use phrases like: “There is a purpose for everything. His ways are not our ways. God is teaching us something”. There are even Scriptures that could signify this to be true.
The Warfare World View
There’s another view that I believe every Christian has to adopt and that is the warfare view. The warfare view says we are in a cosmic conflict between good and evil, satan’s will and God’s will. Satan demons and evil people have their own will, they are responsible for their will. What happens on this earth is not consistent with God’s character as revealed in Jesus. Meaning, if you want to know who God is you don’t look at Job with the tsunami or famine, you look at what happened in Jesus. Jesus didn’t promote starvation; He fed the multitudes. He didn’t allow the storm to kill people; He stopped the storm. God is revealed in Jesus. We believe through the warfare view that God does not will evil, He is not evil and He is at war with evil.
The view of early fathers for the first four centuries was very simple: all sickness is demonic and all natural disasters are called by the devil. They simply waged war. Life is a war.
Life Is More Like A Normandy Beach Than A Disney Vacation.
It is immoral to act like you were on vacation when you are in fact at war. When you are in vacation mode, you ask why do bad things happen to good people. You expect everything to be good and God forbid something goes against you, you make a fuss about it. Nobody has that attitude in war. When you are in war, you’re not surprised that bad things happen, you’re surprised if good things happen. When you are at war, you’re grateful for the smallest good that you see there, because in war bad is normal, good is not. We have to embrace a warfare Christianity because it is the only view that will make sense of the suffering, trouble and evil we see in this world. I believe it is the only world view that will give us the tools to respond when we see injustice in this world instead of blaming God or blaming ourselves.
Matthew 11:12, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Jesus is not saying load your gun and go shoot everybody that you don’t like. He’s saying in the Spirit realm, everything’s changed and we need to wake up; update your software because you are not on a vacation; you are still at war. Right now, in the Spirit realm, we see rockets flying because people are taking their lives, drugs, cancer sickness, disease and pestilence are taking lives. We are in a war but we’re on the winning side.
The Church Is A Warship Not A Cruise Ship.
Matthew 16:18, “…I will build My Church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
The only reference Jesus makes about the church is actually about war. He’s not talking about social work, just building hospitals and helping the poor, though that is what the church should do; He says the mark of My church is this is: Hell will not withstand My church. That’s war my friend. That’s not pacifism or the church defending its gates; that is the church attacking the gates of hell which is unleashing nightmares upon this world. We are not a cruise ship; we are a warship. Our Savior is the Captain, is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. Our Savior defeated hell and the grave.
You cannot experience genuine peace if you’re not at war. We want to come against sickness, demons and all evil, not only outside but inside people because we are a battleship, not a cruise ship.
The War Is Won But The Battle Still Rages
Hebrews 2:8, “You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.”
This is what theologians called already but not yet. Jesus says the Kingdom of God suffers violence meaning, there is the faith that rose up in God’s people. We’re no longer victims; we are victors. We’re no longer just running away, we’re going forward into all the world and making disciples of all nations. Spreading the message of Jesus Christ everywhere is our mission. Jesus beat the devil but the complete victory day is still coming.
You Are A Soldier, Not A Survivor.
I am in the war; there’s a war taking place. Jesus declares about the church, right away applying warfare view. Jesus defeated the devil but yet He’s not fully gone. This means I’m a soldier, I am not a survivor, I’m not a slave; I’m a Son.
We have to pray prayers of revolt, not prayers of resignation. There are two ways to pray. If you believe that behind everything is God’s reason and God’s will, you’re not going to pray against cancer, you’re going to pray a prayer of resignation.
As a soldier, Paul prayed three times against the thorn because the default position of every soldier is not to surrender but to subdue. It’s not to accept, it’s to attack. Even your body goes into an attack mode when bacteria hits it. I want to challenge you today if you have a sickness, if you’re battling maybe with an addiction, wake up the soldier inside of you, go into a prayer of revolt and rebellion. I’m not talking about rebellion against God; God is not your problem. Your problem is the enemy, addiction, greed, lust, poverty, sickness and disease, envy, alcohol, pornography. Begin to pray a prayer of revolt. I come against that in Jesus’ name, I break the grip of that pornography over my life. I break the grip of that rebellion or I break the grip of that pride over my life in Jesus’ name. If you pray for healing, keep praying.
War Against The Real Enemy
I used to look at Samson in a negative light. Every time bad stuff happened to Samson, he went on a revenge spree. However, Samson never took vengeance on the people who caused him suffering. For example, he marries a girl and then his best friend takes his wife and marries her. You would think the vengeful thing would be to kill your best friend. He didn’t kill his best friend; he killed Philistines. He always took vengeance on the enemy that was behind the apparent enemy he saw.
When you don’t have a warfare world view, you will take vengeance on your spouse, children, government and on people instead of the real enemy that’s behind it. If we don’t keep a healthy revenge attitude, we will develop resentment against God. You can either have resentment against God or you will turn your revenge against the spirit behind cancer. God wants to partner with us in this. That is the benefit of having a world view of warfare.
The Spiritual Battle Doesn’t Only Have Physical Symptoms, It Also Has Mental Strongholds.
It’s easier to see the battle out there in the sickness, demons, famine, starvation, racism, abortion and murdering on the headlines. Sometimes God uses us and accomplishes His Kingdom to help us win the battle there. But the battle then gets inside, when there are those demonic parasitic thoughts in our head. That’s why Paul tells us not only to do wage warfare in the Spirit realm; he tells us the wage warfare in our mental realm – our thoughts. Don’t let demons roam free in your headspace while you wage war on the outside. You have got to bring them down.
If you adopt a warfare mentality, you will experience more vacation feeling that you will know what to do with. If you strive for a vacation life on this earth, warfare will smack you so bad and bring you back to reality. Let’s start with the default position. We’re victors; we are on the Normandy beach. Our captain, Jesus Christ is not somebody looking down from Heaven looking down on us, He is with us. He’s the man who walked on this earth, got beaten, rejected, whipped, crucified and now, He has the keys of hell and Hades for us.
God is not your enemy; He’s the one you need the most. The enemy wants to confuse you and tell you to blame Him the most, so you will withdraw from Him. Then the devil will toy with you like a cat with a mouse. You have to remove the scales of your eyes and understand that God is not your enemy; He’s a good God.
Sermon by Vladimir Savchuk; Blog by Edward Gardiner.
Watch The Full Sermon Here:
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