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What Does Spiritual Warfare Look Like in Everyday Life?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 3, 2022 4:53 pm

What Does Spiritual Warfare Look Like in Everyday Life?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 3, 2022 4:53 pm

Episode 1067 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes


Questions in this Episode


1. How can I enjoy the fellowship of others without putting them before God?

2. What does spiritual warfare look like on a day-to-day basis?

3. Were the Pharisees expecting Elijah to return before the messiah?

4. What is the appropriate way to preach through the Song of Solomon?

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What does spiritual warfare look like in everyday life? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We pray you had a great weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day, and our phone lines are open right now. We'll be taking your calls for the next 25 minutes or so. Call the number, jot this down, 833-THE-CORE, 833-THE-CORE, or 1-833-843-2673. Now, we should mention we also have a YouTube channel. You can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on YouTube and send him your question that way. And of course, you can always email us your question at

First up today, here's a voicemail that came in from one of our listeners over the weekend. My questions are, do others in the body of Christ really help us grow in our relationship with the Lord? And how can I keep people in general from being a distraction from God? Recently, I realized that I have been making an idol out of my friends who are fellow Christians.

This happened when I was spending time with them online and realized that I'd rather meet with them than go and spend time with the Lord. After this experience, I have a renewed passion to draw nearer to God and love and more, but I also feel as if others are a distraction. I enjoy the relationships I have with my brothers and sisters in Christ and want to remain in fellowship with them, but at the same time, I feel as if I should almost be monk-like and only spend my time with God. How do I keep myself from idolizing others, and how do I maintain healthy relationships with them? How can I focus on God first and love Him more? And are others just a waste of time when Jesus is all I need?

I'm so divided, and I don't know what to do. Well, thank you, sister, for that question and just for your honesty. There were several questions there. The very first one was, do people actually help us grow in our relationship with the Lord?

And I would say that the answer to that is absolutely yes. We are a part of the body of Christ. When we're saved, when we believe in Jesus Christ, He unites us to Himself by the power of the Holy Spirit, but also to His people, to His body, and we're called to grow together as a body, as one church. You see this very clearly in places like Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12, each of us being a different part of the body, and the body is only healthy as each member comes together and contributes those gifts that God has given for the mutual edification of the whole body. And so God intends for each of us to be a part of these kinds of communities. Now, it sounds to me like maybe there's some confusion here in terms of just the way in which you relate to people in the church, perhaps, developing an unhealthy codependency where you perhaps expect too much out of the relationship or out of the friendship.

And so I think that's something that you need to be aware of. A lot of times today we'll throw that word idol around, just making an idol out of this or an idol out of that. It's okay to enjoy friendships and relationships. And if you feel like, man, I really am excited about spending time with these people and I'm not as excited about sitting down by myself and reading my Bible, am I sinning? I think you have to feel like you're sinning.

Naturally, I think, being around people, friends of ours, made in the image of God, encouraging each other to grow, those are all really good things. And so you may be saying, well, this is an idol when it really isn't an idol. But again, this is where you're going to have to exercise wisdom. And if you're finding or seeing that there are unhealthy patterns of relating and that you're having a difficult time spending time with friends within the church without becoming obsessive or something like that, well, you need to take a step back and think about why it is that you're doing that. And the solution, I would say, is not going and becoming a monk or separating yourself from all people. It's understanding, okay, God has placed these people in my life for our mutual edification. These are good relationships, friendships. And we want to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ together in a way that's honoring the Lord, not becoming obsessive about the relationship or whatnot.

I would say there's a balance. It's not an over-dependence upon people, other people within the church, friends per se. And it's also not just running away and becoming a monk in a monastery or something like that.

It's learning to have healthy relationships within the body of Christ that are honoring to the Lord. And I think that's something that all of us are growing in. And so have conversations, I would say, with these people.

Just be honest about how you're feeling and some of the things that you're struggling with. I think openness is a really good thing. And then continue to pursue the relationship in a healthy way.

And Bill, I don't know if you would add anything. Your perspective as a counselor here and thinking about these sorts of relationships, would you say anything to our sister? I think you gave some really good advice. And I think the danger is, as you said, codependency. It's like, what are we relying on those people about? Are we relying on them so we feel good about ourselves? So we feel that we're worthy, that we are popular, talented, good-looking. Are we looking to others to kind of prop us up? Then that can be a danger.

But I love what you said. God said so clearly it is not good for man to be alone. And he wasn't just talking about Adam and Eve, about marriage there. He was talking about human relationships, and he's designed us for that.

That's how we thrive best, and that's how we grow, as you said. That's a big part of the sanctification process, in my opinion. It's the Holy Spirit using others in our lives to kind of burr off those rough edges.

Absolutely. And one of the things we continually reiterate on this broadcast is the importance of Christian community. I think for many believers, they just sort of feel like they can do the Christian life on their own in isolation. I got my personal relationship with Jesus in my Bible, but God intends for each of us to be a part of healthy Christian communities where the Word of God is faithfully taught.

And so just another opportunity to say that to our listeners and to encourage them in that. You know, I thought about trying that monk thing for a while there, but I couldn't deal with the vow of silence because I just talked too much. Boy, you must have really gotten on everybody's nerves there in the monastery. I did, yeah.

I can't imagine what that was like. They wanted to smite me. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Hey, our phone lines are open. If you have a question about doctrine or theology, maybe a Bible passage that's kind of confusing to you, something in your Christian walk that's been difficult because maybe it rubs up against what you're dealing with in our culture and those around you, maybe those in your workplace or at school. We'd love to hear from you. We're open to any questions at 833-THE-CORE, 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

Give us a call right now. You know, one of the things that we are dealing with in our culture right now in our society, and unfortunately it's become a huge issue for many people, and that's depression. And yes, depression even affects Christians. And today we want to offer you a brand new free resource on the topic of depression. Yeah, it's called Three Biblical Ways to Fight Depression.

And Bill, I'm glad that you said that this is something that plagues even believers in Jesus Christ. We want to make sure that we emphasize the fact that people need real help, biblical help, but also professional help as well at times. And so it's important that we understand depression and that we're able to address it, I think, with the resources that God has given to us. And so again, this resource is going to help you to do that. It's called Three Biblical Ways to Fight Depression. And you can get this resource over at Really, especially if you or a loved one wrestles with depression, I hope that you'll get a hold of this resource. No charge for this.

It's a PDF download. You can find it by going to forward slash offers. Again, forward slash offers and download Three Biblical Ways to Fight Depression. Of course, you can always call us for that resource or any one of our resources at 833-THE-CORE. We do receive emails here at Core Christianity. You can email us anytime.

Here's our address. It's questions at Rudy wrote to us and he says this, this summer, I heard a famous pastor say that the devil cannot attack our minds. But in the Gospels, when Jesus was tempted by Satan, he was, quote, taken up to see visions about the kingdoms of men. Doesn't this prove that the devil can attack and mentally manipulate us?

Yeah. I'm not sure what this pastor was trying to communicate, but I do think that there is a battle. Our minds are a battlefield, really, when it comes to the spiritual warfare. When Satan tempts us, the mind is a part of that.

Now, in terms of preparation and being on guard, I love, I think it was C.S. Lewis in his book, The Screwtape Letters, which is all about spiritual warfare, really. He says, you know, it's not so much what Satan puts into our minds.

It's the stuff that he tries to keep out of our minds. That's where the spiritual battle takes place. And so in terms of being proactive, I think, and using our minds for good, Philippians 4 verses 8 and following, you know, where it talks about meditating on that, which is good and true and just. We need to focus on the Lord, on his word, on filling our minds with those things that are honoring to God. Mainly, filling our minds with Holy Scripture so that we'll be equipped for the battle.

I mean, that's the sword of the Spirit. But our minds are very much a part of, you know, the spiritual war that's taking place. And so I would say, you know, it sounds to me like I would disagree with this pastor, whoever it was that you were listening to. And I would say we need to fill our minds with that which is true so that we can be engaged in the fight and victorious in that fight against the evil one when he comes against us twisting Scripture or seeking to tempt us and to lead us astray that we could respond rightly with the word of God, even as Jesus did when he was tempted there in the Gospels. You know, I'm constantly reminded of how important it is to write Scripture on our hearts, to commit it to memory. And I know in my own life, there are times where I really wish I had more Scripture memorized. I was talking to a Christian artist recently who, she's pretty amazing. She's memorized so much Scripture that she brings it to mind every time she has any type of a struggle or issue in her life. And she has that verse right there in the tip of her tongue, and I thought, I want to do that. Yeah, no, what an encouragement.

I mean, it's so important for us to know the word of God and to be able to use the word of God to apply it to the specific issues that are raised day to day in our lives. And so I think that that's wonderful, Bill. Well, let's go back to the phones. Tracy is on the line from Minnesota. Tracy, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, good morning.

Thank you for taking my call. I am studying in the book of John in the first chapter, and when John is baptizing, he, the Pharisees, show up on the scene and they say, who are you to be baptizing? Are you Elijah? Are you the prophet? And I'm wondering if there is some expectation from the Jews when Elijah returns, which they keep looking for, for him to be baptizing. Why did they ask him that specific question there? Yeah, can you just really quickly, Tracy, in John chapter 1, are you talking about verse 25?

It is in chapter 1. I'm driving, so I'm not on the exact verse, but it is the Pharisees show up and they start questioning him about who he is. Are you Elijah? And they ask him first, why are you baptizing? And I know this baptizing is the Greek word, which is for a thing that Jesus has not yet accomplished yet, so baptism into Jesus is not happening yet. But I'm wondering what the Jews were expecting. Did they have some expectation of Elijah to baptize?

Okay, thank you. Yeah, so love to hear that you're studying the Gospel of John, and yes, there was this expectation for Elijah to come. Now, what that meant and how that would look, there was a lot of confusion, but that expectation came from the minor prophets, in particular, Malachi, in Malachi chapter 4, verses 5 and 6, and that's why you have the Pharisees and the religious leaders saying what they're saying here.

So I'm going to just read John chapter 1, verse 24. Now, they had been sent from the Pharisees and they asked him, why are you baptizing if you are neither the Christ nor Elijah nor the prophet? Now, of course, John was a prophet.

They don't understand that, and many of them rejected him as a prophet. And John answered them, I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. Now, you also have another discussion, Tracy, in Matthew chapter 11, where Jesus himself brings this up in verse 11. Truly, I say to you, among those born of women, there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist, yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and the violent take it by force, for all the prophets and the law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear. And that is, John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah.

This isn't Elijah reincarnated, but he is the fulfillment of those prophecies that we see in the Old Testament, like in Malachi chapter 4 that I already referenced. The expectation that the Hebrew people, the Pharisees there in particular, had, the problem was they missed it. They had misinterpreted those verses. They were unwilling to receive John's testimony, and they were unwilling to receive the testimony of Jesus Christ. And so there's your answer, sister.

Appreciate that question, but you may want to look at that text in Malachi 4 and then that parallel passage in Matthew chapter 11 as well. Hey, Tracy, thanks so much for calling in. We appreciate you.

This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We still are taking your calls. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, theology, you name it, we would love to hear from you. We'll be taking calls for about 10 minutes or so.

Here's the number, 833-THE-CORE, 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Becca calling in from Iowa. Becca, what's your question for Adriel? The question I have is how far is too far for a pastor to be talking about the marriage bag? We're talking about the Book of Solomon. I've been in church all my life. I never heard a pastor be more descriptive. By the time I left, I felt like you kind of violated an area you should not have gone too far. And there were children there as well. It was a four-week sermon.

We missed the first three. I don't want to sit here and accuse them. I understand that's a very important part of marriage. My husband and I have been in marriage seminars.

Nothing ever covered it to the extent that they broke it down. I thought it was very inappropriate. I didn't think the jokes were funny. Becca, thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you had a really difficult experience. I don't know exactly what this pastor was saying or how he was approaching the Book of the Song of Solomon.

But I know that there are ways that are unhelpful. They can be very crass in the way in which they communicate these things. What we need to understand is that this book in particular does contain erotic love poetry. It celebrates human love. I think it is okay and important for us within the church to be able to talk about these things in a manner that is God-honoring. Not just joking about it or treating it like the world treats it, but talking about it in a way that is pure and right and honoring to the Lord. In the Song of Solomon you do have discussions about marital intimacy.

Again, it's poetry. Some of the language is very vivid, but I think that we have to be very careful as pastors how we talk about these things. You mentioned that there were children in the room.

I'm sure that raises a lot of questions. I know in my church, for example, there are a lot of young kids. If I was going to talk about the details of what's taking place in the Song of Solomon, I probably wouldn't do it on a Sunday morning with all the children. There may be more of a Sunday school. Or if I was preaching on it, I would be very careful with how I approached some of the language and some of the concepts because I think it's important for us to be able to talk to our kids about these things as well.

Maybe just a couple of things. One, even though the Song of Solomon does contain erotic poetry, you do have that there, it's not done in a way that our culture today treats sex and sexuality. We treat it not in a way that's honoring to the Lord. We don't treasure or cherish it.

It's just unhelpful. That's not what the Song of Solomon does. Anybody who takes this book and uses it in that way, talks about sexuality in a crass manner and jokes about it, we've got to be really careful.

That would be a misapplication of scripture. At the same time, I do want to say, Becca, and you mentioned this, this is an important part of healthy marriages. We do want to be able to have these kinds of conversations, but in the appropriate place and in the appropriate way. We don't want to treat these topics like taboo, like, oh, that's just yucky or evil or bad or whatnot.

No. The culture doesn't get to take sexuality and twist it and define it. We want God and His Word to shape our thinking about marital intimacy and love. It sounds to me like maybe the approach that this pastor took was not the best and the most appropriate, and I can understand why you would be frustrated. Maybe this is an opportunity for you, as you reflect on the series, as you have conversations with your husband, to have a conversation with your pastor or for your husband to have a conversation with the pastor and say, hey, look, as a family, we didn't appreciate the jokes that were being made. We felt like that was not helpful. We felt like that it was inappropriate.

We felt like it didn't honor the marriage bed in the way that it should be honored. I think hopefully an opportunity there to have a bigger discussion, maybe to help him out a little bit as well, as he thinks about wisely approaching these books of the Bible. At the end of the day, the Song of Solomon isn't just erotic love poetry. It is this picture of intimacy, marital intimacy. I think even more broadly speaking, it ought to be a picture, a type, if you will, a parable of the love that God has for His people, that Christ Jesus has for His church.

If you're just stopping, if your pastor is just stopping short of that and he's preaching a sermon on these sort of erotic poems, and that's the focus, but he's not getting to really the meat, if you will, of what this book is about, which is the love that God has for His people, then there's another issue, I would say. And so, Becca, I just want to give you an opportunity, because I can tell that this is something that is weighing on your heart. Is that helpful? Did you want some more clarification somewhere? No, I do think it was helpful. I would agree with what you have said.

I listened a lot to Dr. David Jeremiah. I think all it is, the pastor said one thing, and not just one thing, but I won't even say it on the air. And when he said that, that's probably enough for me to know you went way too far. Yeah, was this in the context of like a Sunday morning sermon? It was. It was a series, and he was interpreting it, and where maybe I understand what he was saying, but it was not. I don't believe that's something you bring up sitting in church the way he did it. And the jokes were not funny, and not to mention, as I told the other guy, I just found out I had breast cancer.

I had a lumpectomy. There was just nothing ever mentioned that there's times of restraint. Yeah. And to understand that people go through things. But no, this sounded more like a how to get more.

Yeah. Well, Becca, I'm so sorry. Let me just take a moment to pray for you, and let me just also say, yeah, there are seasons, and when we're talking about this in particular intimacy, we are wanting to serve each other.

This is not about taking from your spouse. So if that was what was coming across, I mean, that's another issue, but I do want to pray for you, sister, and with this breast cancer diagnosis. Let's pray for Becca, brothers and sisters.

Lord, we come before you right now. We want to lift our sister up to you, and we ask Jesus for your gracious hand of healing to be on her. Lord, would you fill her with your Holy Spirit? In these days, would you give her a sense of your presence, a sense of your love? Would you be with her family, with her husband? Would you give them all patience and strength and perseverance, Lord, as they deal with this diagnosis?

They seek to get the help that they need from doctors. I just pray for wisdom for the doctors, and we do pray, Lord God in heaven, for your healing in her life, and Lord, for strength in her body. Would you be with her, Lord, and through this, would you sanctify her more and more, filling her with your love, with your grace, and molding her more and more into the image of Jesus, your son, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Amen. You know, Adriel, my heart breaks for this listener, and I'm so saddened. I mean, I know pastors do their best to make their sermons applicable and sometimes to make them entertaining, but when we depart from God's intent, and again, I wasn't there in this service, but I'm troubled by what I heard.

Yeah. Yeah, well, Bill, so am I, and it just goes to show, I mean, as we have conversations, just even as believers, and we talk about things, you never know what an individual is going through, the kinds of suffering that they're experiencing, and so we want to be sensitive to that. We want to seek to be able to come alongside of those who are in need, and everybody's in a different place, and so you hear a sermon, and it's going to strike you one way, depending on where you're at in your life, the things that you're wrestling with, the struggles that you have in your own body, and this is where I think it's so important for us to be able to have those follow-up conversations, to make sure that we are, as pastors when we're preaching, that we're being mindful of our congregation, the things that people are wrestling through, so that we can apply the Word of God faithfully, and so we pray that the Lord continues to be with Becca, and to bless her, and to heal her, and so thank you, brothers and sisters. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-27 22:23:25 / 2022-12-27 22:33:47 / 10

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