Worship then Spiritual Warfare

Look around. What do you see? Do you notice the beauty around you? Do you notice things that you deem wrong? Think about that for a minute. What is it you focus on?

I ask this question because there is so much more than what we can physically see. Our physical eyes have limitations that prevent us from seeing the spiritual side that is around us. The reality is, is is not just what we see that impacts our minds and our lives. We are also impacted by the spiritual side we cannot physically see. How?

Recently I read a short book called “The Garden” by Jon Gorgon. It is a parable about Genesis 1-3. In this short parable, the main characters begin talking about the thoughts they have. One of the teenage characters begins to reveal all of the negative thoughts that have been occurring.

The point? The older character, who is guiding the teenagers, begins to tell about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He explains how everything, from the beginning, was created for good…until negative (evil) thoughts entered into the minds of Eve and Adam. The whole point is negative thoughts did not come from the internal self, they came from outside forces.

We may not realize how much we are impacted by outside forces. It is easy to turn something positive, something good, into a negative experience or situation or even person. This is one of the ways we can be impacted by the spiritual realm.

I know there will be those who disagree, but the point is to pay attention to what we pay attention to. It may not be a voice whispering in your ear, but how much negativity is experienced just through media? Through people who have had a bad day?

One thing we can do is to make time, and take the time, to worship God. When we worship, we place our being in a place of God’s victory over any negativity, any evil, any darkness. Psalm 27:1-6 demonstrates a worldview of worship, and victory with God. Take time to read it:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:1-6‬ ‭NIV

See, when our focus is on the Lord, we place ourselves in a position to live a life without fear. We can see how God is transforming AND protecting us in the midst of great difficulty. When negativity or anything else comes in our way, take time to praise God. 

The truth is the only way we can engage, and endure, any type of spiritual warfare is putting ourselves in a position and lifestyle of worship. Negativity and evil only brings us down if we focus more on it rather than on the power and presence of God. Just because we cannot see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. 

Take some time and ask God to open your physical eyes to see the spiritual realm all around us. I just bet you’ll see even more beauty and goodness all around you than you ever imagined possible.

Worship above all else.

I’m praying for you.

Published by Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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