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Spiritual Warfare and Battle and Weapons

“…the existence of evil necessitates spiritual warfare…I would say that daily life is an immense spiritual warfare, the size of which we can easily underestimate, at our own risk.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 10:34, Albert S. Rossi, PhD)


“The lesson of warfare from the mouth of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ …Our Lord is speaking of spiritual warfare. He demonstrated little interest in the problems that beset and obsess the nation of Israel, an attitude that turned the political and religious leaders of His day against Him. In that sense He wasn’t a “good Jew.” How could He be considered a successor of the mighty Moses if He showed no interest in the chosen people? Is it not His business to form an opinion, at least, over the scandal of occupancy by the empire of Rome? What sort of savior was He, if He refused to accept the role of messiah in the manner of His mighty ancestor David? What He is claiming throughout the gospels is that there is a far more significant struggle for our souls than any battle or war among the nations of the world.” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)


“…as Christians, we are in spiritual warfare…how are we spiritual soldiers to become strong in grace?...To what extent will we commit ourselves?...With respect to the mother with children at home, the office worker, the doctor making his rounds, the parish Priest at ministry or the salesman with his customers, these all are merely “assigned” to different sectors along a total war-front where the spiritual combat is being waged. In all occupations, the prayer is the same: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Mt 6:10). One must not think that his activities, duties, work and responsibilities are his sole or primary concern or are that which should preoccupy him foremost. Our Commander will hold us accountable for how we behave, think, feel, care, react and choose amidst our duties and work, as well as for how we meet our given responsibilities. Consider: in the positions we occupy: are we consistently functioning as Christ’s hands, eyes, and mouth? Are we speaking His truth through our words? This is not a matter of acting piously, but of being faithful to the Lord. We are to apply the grace we have in daily life.” (Dynamis 10/26/2021)


“…our warfare is spiritual and won’t be fought with guns and ammo but rather consists of bringing hearts and minds into obedience to Christ, the Prince of Peace. It is a war of ideas and thoughts. There is to be a struggle, but it is a spiritual warfare for our hearts and minds…the struggle of the spiritual warfare most often doesn’t seem very promising and certainly isn’t a life of trouble-free bliss. The burdens of the spiritual person are great, for they clearly see what the world is like and feel the pain of sin and death in this world…The spiritual struggle is wearisome because it takes a lot of energy on our part to continually seek God’s will and then do it. St Maria said the demands of spiritual warfare are inescapable for those choosing to take up the cross and to follow Christ.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)


“Temptation and spiritual struggle, however, mark every day of our life. And the way we face and, by the grace of God, overcome those forces (demonic powers), is precisely through the “spiritual warfare,” the ascetic struggle that enables us to confront those forces day by day and overcome their destructive influence.” (Fr. John Breck)


“All people are called to holiness, all people are called to an unceasing battle with sin, and all people are called to unseen warfare…One cannot wage a battle if one does not acknowledge the existence of an enemy; and the Church’s testimony is clear, that whether or not one acknowledges that foe, whether or not one elects to fight in the battle, the foe remains real and never ceases in his attacks against us. So our choice is not “to fight or not to fight,” to acknowledge the demons or not to admit of their reality; our choice is to fight or to be overcome.” (Archbishop Averky (Taushev), Bishop Irenei Steenberg)


“We must remember our battle is not with earthly enemies, but with the principalities and powers of darkness. This is important to remember because the weapons needed to combat the enemy are not found in armies, guns, tanks and missiles, but in prayer. Our combat against the enemy must be centered in the church services, prayer, fasting, spiritual preparedness and repentance. Our enemies are not armies, but demons who would demoralize us and strike fear in our hearts. In Christ Jesus we have all the strength to overcome the powers of darkness that are set upon our destruction. There is no need to panic when we have Jesus Christ by our side. The end days will come when God decides. As for us, we must always be prepared for the end, just as were the disciples. Fear is brought on by the enemy of humankind, the devil himself. In Christ there is no fear.” (Abbot Tryphon)


“…the materialist culture in which we live does not even consider whether or not Christ actually “casts out demons” (Mark 3:22). People around us are plunged into spiritual combat, but they often place the blame for this turmoil on terrorists, rogue nations, or greedy players in the world. Such mistaken views of history ensure our defeat in the conflicts which fill our daily lives. Why? Because we overlook the evil forces that instigate these battles. Materialism rules out any possibility that spiritual struggle undergirds today’s conflicts. If we view life and history only superficially, we can never address the dark powers and evil rulers of this world who constantly warp our contemporary life. We are doomed to go on shadowboxing, remaining victims rather than victors.” (Dynamis 9/2/2020)


“…in matters of faith, as in every struggle, it is imperative that we focus our full attention and energy on the battle. Amartion, the Greek word translated as “sin,” means “missing the mark,” and calls to mind the clumsy toss of a javelin. As contestants, we must allow neither our own thoughts, nor the sounds of conflict, nor the opponents’ jibes, nor any extraneous demand distract us from our focus. A victor remains indifferent to everything except winning the struggle. The Church Fathers call this spiritual state dispassion.” (Dynamis 3/21/2021)


“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word,” says the Lord Jesus, “and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (Jn 14:23). Loving God is the first and great opportunity. When we love God above all else, His commandments, especially to repent and live a life of continual and joyful repentance, become weapons that aid us in our unseen warfare, those incessant battles fought in and for the soul of every Christian. God’s statutes are lifelines from the Lord.” (Dynamis 6/30/2019, Sacramental Living Ministries)


#ArchbishopAverkyTaushev #BishopIreneiSteenberg #AbbotTryphon #Dynamis #SacramentalLivingMinistries #StJohnofKarpathos #OrthodoxStudyBible #AlbertSRossiPhD #FrVladimirBerzonsky #FrTedBobosh #FrJohnBreck

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