This Sunday we began a new series titled, Zombie: Are You Really Living? A Bible Study About Your Battles. Over the past few years I have slowly realized more and more people are barely living, struggling to survive, stuck in sin or spiritual deadness. Originally I was planning on doing a series on spiritual warfare, but as I was reading John Piper’s excellent book, Battling Unbelief, I realized that at times we all battle doubt and unbelief in God’s Word. Many Christians don’t doubt God’s Word directly, but in their everyday life, they live like it doesn’t apply or that God won’t fulfill what He says.
I was reminded of Ephesians 2:1-2 where Paul writes, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…” We were “dead” people walking, or to allude to AMC’s new series, we were “The Walking Dead.” Paul is referring to a spiritual deadness. Sin, our moral failures and disobedience to God’s law, caused us to be dead to God, dead to spiritual things. Paul goes on to write that we were “following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:2-3). The “prince of the power of the air” refers to Satan and his control of us. I’m not saying that we were possessed, but we were being controlled, manipulated by Satan for his war against God. Later on in Ephesians Paul picks up the battle and writes, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12). He tells us it is not a physical battle, but it is a battle for control. Satan wants to control you in his war on God. Next Sunday I will go into greater depth on who Satan is, where he came from, where he is going, and his agenda.
The battle of unbelief, the battle over sin, the battles we all face are really battles for control: who will we allow to control us? Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:3 that our desires control us, but Satan is aware of those desires and he uses those desires to conspire against us. Paul recognized his own internal battle in Romans 7:15, 19-20 when he confessed, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” Paul had battles! But from this passage and others, we begin to see that there is an internal battle with sin (we are all born sinners- Psalm 51:5), and there is an external battle with Satan.
In the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, we discover that the pirates on the ship, The Black Pearl, are cursed so that they are, “neither living nor dead.” Only the moonlight reveals them for who they are, rotting corpses that can’t be killed. In the same way, it is only through the illumination of God’s word, do we truly understand our deadened spiritual state. The bible says that we have a body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). When we have a wound or scar on our physical body it is obvious. Even more pronounced are battle wounds were someone loses an eye, arm or a leg. Yet wounds or scars or other “battle wounds” that occur on our soul or spirit go unseen. Only through spiritual eyes and the light of God’s word can we see these areas of pus and rotting flesh, and begin to find the healing we need.
God reveals our true spiritual state through time spent in His Word and through fellowship with other Christians. Are you spending time in the Word daily? Are you spending time in fellowship with other believers weekly? Are you plugged into a growth group or small group bible study? Are you seeking God or coasting on sin? Are you truly awake and alive or are you dead to spiritual things?
Good questions to ask yourself. For more, be sure to check out the podcast http://www.calvarywestboca.org/sermons/?sermon_id=73
God also gives us the zombie illustration in nature. The story of the Emerald Cockroach Wasp is pretty amazing. Check out the story here. It closely parallels how Satan desires to control you and “devour” you (1 Peter 5:8). Thank God that his control over us can be broken. More on that next week.
Are you a zombie? Do you feel controlled? Do you feel dead to spiritual things?