Vol.XI No.X Pg.1
December 1974

Spiritual Warfare

Robert F. Turner

Ask me about the needs among our brethren, and you may get an answer that seems contradictory. We need to stiffen up, take a more firm stand against error, fight the good fight of faith; and we need to develop more compassion, humility, a greater respect for others, including enemies.

To some this is like recommending a soft, musical battle cry; like trying to teach a dog to fight another dog without growling, bristling, or showing the teeth. As a battle tactic the soft approach is difficult to maintain— heap coals of fire so we can enjoy watching him squirm — but we have nothing like this in mind. We are talking about really loving our enemies— treating them fairly as we would that men should do to us. It seems a contradiction of nature does it not? And it is that— a paradox.

How can one be GREAT in the role of a slave (Matt. 20:25-28)? Or Lord and Master as a washer of feet (Jn. 13:12-17)? How can one save his life by losing it (Matt. 10:39)? Tell me how one could become Savior and King by hanging upon a cruel cross??

It is not difficult for me to comprehend the bewilderment and frustration of the apostle Peter. His confidence that Jesus would not be slain was rebuked as Satan and thou savourest not the things that be of God but those that be of men. (Matt. 16:) Peter was willing to fight for the Lord, but it was hard to grasp the nature of the battle to be fought. We have much the same problem today.

Undoubtedly, genuine strength begets confidence, poise, and a certain magnanimity of soul. A man rarely barks back at a dog. When the argument is weak we pound the pulpit; but a solid grasp of truth makes its own emphasis when directly presented. If we could only believe in the power of the gospel to the extent we claim!!

What seems, and probably is a contradiction of fleshly nature, is wholly in accord with the spiritual nature which God would develop within us (2 Cor. 10:3-f). Some of us need to stand more firmly; some need to trim their volume and their spirits; but all need to rely more upon God than upon horse and carnal armor.