SERMON: An Introduction to Spiritual Warfare
[audio:http://126.96.36.199/~wesleya5/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Chapel-03-18-11-2.mp3 |titles=021 Jim Lo sermon]
BIO: Dr. Jim Lo has served as the Dean of the Chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University for the past three years. Before that he started and headed up the Intercultural Studies Major for eleven years. As Dean of the Chapel, Jim, known by his students as Umfundisi (African word for mentor), spends most of his time interviewing faculty and administrative candidates seeking employment at IWU, gives leadership to the chapel program, World Impact Global ministries and community outreach programs, adventure learning, and the overall spiritual climate of the university . He has been in ministry for 33 years, serving in a variety of ways including youth pastor, senior pastor, and missionary. When it comes to preaching Jim says, “It is a great privilege to be used by God.”
Lenny: Some would say that spiritual warfare is an odd and risky topic to tackle with a congregation of university students. How did you become convinced that you needed to preach on this often controversial, sometimes overlooked topic?
Jim: The reality is that students were coming to me, asking me to deal with their warfare. Also, having been a missionary I have seen spiritual warfare first hand. As Christians we need our eyes opened to the fact that we are in a war!
Lenny: You have been in ministry within the Wesleyan Church for many years. In your opinion, do we explore the topic of spiritual warfare enough? Also, what guidance would you give to the preacher who wants to explore this topic through preaching?
Jim: I feel we touch lightly on this topic. Perhaps it is because we don’t want others to think we are a bit crazy. When I was preparing the message this thought ran through my mind. I actually share this concern in the body of the message itself. In terms of guidance, I would suggest that we read the Bible as a soldier who understands there is a war raging. Speak to missionaries who deal with spiritual warfare regularly. Read and study.
Lenny: Even preachers experience spiritual warfare, perhaps more so than non-preachers. What are some of the premier ways that Satan attacks preachers? Secondly, what can preachers do to find victory in the face of these attacks?
Jim: Satan makes preachers feel as though they are failures, that what they are doing for God is not all that important. Satan tempts spiritual leaders to become workaholics, to seek to do ministry in human strength and not God’s strength, and to give into sexual sins. Rest upon God’s Word about self-identity. Memorize Scriptures so that when you are being attacked by the evil one, you can quote the Word back to him. This is what Jesus did when the devil came to tempt him.
Lenny: Why do you think it’s important for the Church to recover a healthy theology and practice of spiritual warfare?
Jim: Because we are not just entering into the war, we are already in it. We need to know our enemy and how God wants us to deal with him.