How to Win Your Spiritual War
By Gerald Flurry • February 19
When the Apostle Paul wrote his last epistle, 2 Timothy, he was in prison about to be beheaded for a crime he didn’t commit. This was around a.d. 66–68, just before the a.d. 70 holocaust in Jerusalem. It was a troubling time not just in Paul’s life but for God’s one true Church. Paul wanted to show the Evangelist Timothy and the brethren how to win their spiritual war.
God’s people are always fighting a spiritual war. Eternal lives are at stake. This is a serious subject. In Paul’s day, most of the brethren were losing the war and abandoning God.
Despite this, 2 Timothy isn’t gloomy but astonishingly inspiring. Paul was celebrating his victory! He had fought the good fight and knew God would reward him. He wasn’t going to let anything dampen his spirit at all.
2 Timothy is specifically for this end time, and specifically for three nations: America, Britain and the Jewish nation in the Middle East. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Timothy 3:1). We are living through the last days right now. You can prove this in hundreds of Bible prophecies!
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (verses 2-5). How can you look around and say we’re not in perilous times? People love sports and other pleasures more than God. Religion lacks the power of God, without which overcoming is impossible.
Is God’s power in your life so you can win the ultimate spiritual victory and share King David’s throne with Jesus Christ for all eternity? That reward is something to behold!
“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:1-2). Paul was spreading God’s Word around. He kept right on doing God’s work while in prison!
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (verses 3-4). God has chosen true Christians to be soldiers. Soldiers must endure hardness and be strong. They must always be willing to fight and willing to die. Thankfully, most loyal Christians won’t have to die for God.
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them” (2 Timothy 3:14). Paul is telling the brethren to remember that he taught them God’s truth. It was their responsibility to follow him as he followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Paul exhorted them to continue believing and holding fast to his teachings. They were blessed to be taught by him!
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13). Paul told the brethren, Follow my example! I’ll show you exactly how to win this war!
The French Warrior
Charles de Gaulle was a French Army officer who fought the Nazis in World War ii and became prime minister in 1958 because of his fighting ability and wisdom in warfare. In 1934, he wrote a book titled The Future of War. In the English edition, printed in 1941, Walter Millis wrote the preface, which states, “This is now the famous little book by a French officer on the principles of which the French did not act—while the Germans did.” In essence, de Gaulle was teaching blitzkrieg warfare.
General de Gaulle was the only man in France who understood how to win a war! At the time, France had the greatest military in the world, but the nations leaders wouldn’t listen to him. They were stuck in the fighting tactics of World War i, which were outdated. The Germans applied de Gaulle’s strategy; the French didn’t. Germany conquered France in six weeks.
De Gaulle knew that wars would always come. Think about this spiritually. There will always be wars; they are endless and incessant! De Gaulle tried to get the French to see and fight the whole war. The people didn’t read his book. The media didn’t help matters.
“A soldier is formed by the trials he has to undergo,” de Gaulle wrote. God says the same about a spiritual soldier. You must endure trials and fight human nature to become a heroic soldier.
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee …” (2 Timothy 1:5). Timothy had real faith. He wasn’t faking it. Real faith equals real power. This is the key to enduring trials.
General de Gaulle wrote about “shaping ourselves for heroic feats.” He said our young men ought to think about playing great roles in defending their country and people. We must prepare for battle during peacetime, rather than becoming lackadaisical.
More 2 Timothy Inspiration
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Who today really has a sound mind? We see the opposite of this all around the world, shamefully.
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord …” (verse 8). Believe the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). Never be ashamed of believing God’s Word, which proves correct every time. Being ashamed isn’t power, but weakness.
Paul goes on to say there will be “afflictions of the gospel” that we must endure by “the power of God” (2 Timothy 1:8). We need God’s power to win this spiritual war!
2 Timothy has to be one of the most astounding books in the Bible. Paul was about to be beheaded, yet he was celebrating victory instead of getting discouraged! That’s how inspiring this message is!
Is this real to you? Have you made this real to yourself through prayer, study, meditation and occasional fasting? This hope was certainly real to Paul. All of 2 Timothy is filled with hope.
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (verse 12). Paul knew God the Father and Jesus Christ. He knew they would keep their promises all the way up to Christ’s return at “that day” and beyond.
“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me …” (verse 15). Could this be accurate? Did all the brethren in Asia really turn away from Paul? He spread the true gospel message pretty far, but not everyone who committed to God remained loyal.
“The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day …” (verses 16-18). Some, like Onesiphorus, searched for and followed Paul. God put Paul in the spotlight and gave him great power to teach the truth.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). You must know how to “rightly divid[e] the word of truth” to win your spiritual war! You have to know the Bible and know God, studying, praying and seeking Him with all your heart! What a blessing it is to live this way.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. …” (2 Timothy 2:19). God intervenes on the behalf of His loyal people.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. … For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:1-4, 6-8). Paul exhorted the brethren to hold fast to sound doctrine. He was ready to be a martyr for God! He was excited to receive his crown and to rule on King David’s throne alongside Christ forever.
Who in the world today loves Christ’s appearing, or is eager for Christ to return? Most don’t want to turn to God unless they’re in dire straits and desperately need help. We all need a lot more faith, vision and power like Paul had.
“For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world …” (verse 10). There’s the problem: People love the world. They can’t give it up! Lot’s wife just couldn’t leave Sodom. She turned back, and God turned her into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). She preferred a spiritually filthy city over God’s blessings and guidance.
“At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (2 Timothy 4:16-18). Paul was abandoned by many but didn’t want to get revenge. He kept preaching God’s Word, and God kept working miracles to protect him.
“The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen” (verse 22). What a book of the Bible! Powerful and wonderful! We need to deeply understand this inspiring message.Read More