The kingdom of God continues to be under attack, and the Bible gives us instructions on how God’s people can fight and advance His kingdom under adverse circumstances.
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12
Advance the Kingdom while it is under Attack
While in prison, John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the One coming or if they should look for another (See Matthew 11:2-3). John the Baptist was the very one who had baptized Jesus in the Jordan river and saw the spirit of God descending upon Him. However, now he wondered if Jesus was the Messiah and whether He was the one to establish God’s kingdom on the earth.
Jesus taught His disciples that there would be an onslaught of attacks on the kingdom of God and God’s people need to be aggressive against those attacks. Not only the enemy wants the people of God to be discouraged and ineffective, but he also wants to thwart the advancement of the kingdom of God. So how do we fight the right way!?
Commit to Spiritual Growth
We need to be committed to growing in our relationship with Christ. The scripture tells us not to just be hearers of the word but to be doers of the word. The quality of the fruit of the spirit in our lives is a good measure of our maturity. This is especially true in times of pressure and opposition and our response to it. In the current cultural climate, I see some Christians being disrespectful and curt because of their convictions and views. That’s not how we fight the spiritual battle.
Exercise Your Spiritual Senses
We also need to exercise our spiritual senses by discerning between good and evil (See Hebrews 5:14). This requires us to evaluate the voices around us based on the Bible rather than what we have learned or grown up with. Exercising our spiritual senses is not just about parking on our favorite scriptures. God cares about many issues in the church and in society. We need to be open to hearing God on various matters. In addition, today’s humanistic theology, has created new definition for many terms such as compassion, justice, love, acceptance, etc. We need to allow the word of God to wash our minds from the pollution of the educational system and let the word of God define those terms according to the mind of the Lord. When the church is confused about moral matters and what is good or evil, it cannot be light or salt in society, and neither can it advance the kingdom of God.
The Battle is not against Flesh and Blood
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 6:12-13
Nowadays, there is so much strife all around us, that it is easy to forget who is the real enemy. People are tempted to act foolishly, but we have to rise above it and recognize that regardless of whose ideas win today, ultimately, every person is marching forward towards an eternity. They will either spend an eternity with God or without God, and we can’t forget about that reality. People need to know the truth about the kingdom of God, and it takes God’s people making every effort to be peaceful, loving, and patient rather than being rude or offensive. This is how we take the kingdom of God by force.
Protect the Body of Christ
Jesus told Peter and the other disciples that He was going to build His church and that the gates of Hades would not prevail against it (See Matthew 16:18). Since the kingdom of God is continually under attack, we all need to do our part to ensure that the body of Christ is strong and healthy. That starts by us not participating in backbiting and strife in the body of Christ. The devil is going to make every attempt to cause division in the church to show the world that we are not any different than anyone else. When we recognize the real enemy, continue to grow in maturity, discern between good and evil, and remain loving and peaceful, we are doing our part in thwarting the attacks of the enemy. We are not called to be violent against the kingdom of God but rather fight against the forces that attack the church and the body of Christ.
How are you doing as a kingdom fighter? Are there areas that you can grow and do better? We need to continue to pray that we can all do our part in the body of Christ to remain steadfast and true in the face of opposition and adverse circumstances.