The distance between the spiritual dimension and our earthly-material dimension is a lot thinner than most people realise! This means that there is a direct correlation between the state of your emotional, spiritual, intellectual, health and your physical health. As part of my ongoing PhD research into aspects of this phenomena I have been struck by how disconnected many people view these realms, and even more so by how many ancients saw it clearly! The forces of darkness who have, in the words of Jesus the Christ, “come to steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10) often do so literally—that is, physically and materially. Perhaps I am even more struck by how many today fail to recognise that they way to deal with such spiritual attacks often requires very physical and material solutions. When Jerusalem laid in ruins a hundred years or so after the Babylonians destroyed it, Nehemiah was charged with the rebuilding project. Almost immediately upon his arrival in ruins of Jerusalem he as confronted by three evil men who deceptively did everything they could to hinder him. Nehemiah knew these men were under the evil influence of dark powers. And while he certainly prayed to God for divine help to overcome these forces, he also set about to do something very physical involving much material interaction. Six hundred years before Nehemiah engaged in spiritual warfare in this manner, the young military leader, David, also employed a similar strategy. The result of David’s spiritual warfare was a very physical interaction with evil forces – so much so that he was forbidden by GOD to oversee the construction of the Temple because of it (1Chron. 28:3). But without David’s role in that spiritual war the Jerusalem Temple could never have been built. David was an expert in spiritual warfare and we today can learn much from him about how we should engage in spiritual warfare.

¶ And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD
delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said,
“The LORD is my rock and
my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold and my refuge,
my Saviour; you save me from violence.
Second Samuel 22:1-3

This portion of Scripture (2Sam. 22:1-3) occurred at a time after he had been delivered from an impossible situation where the army of the then king (King Saul) had brought his army out to capture David and execute him. After David had been delivered from this threat he recounted what he had prayed to God. In Second Samuel we get a glimpse of what he had been praying. But later, after David had become king, he wrote out his prayer in more detail in Psalm 18. Here’s a summary of Psalm 18 and why it is a great insight into how we should undertake spiritual warfare as well.

Some scholars have wondered why there is so little references to demons in the Old Testament—especially compared with Christ’s ministry described in the Gospels. There are three references to demons in the Old Testament (Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:17; Ps. 106:37) and one reference to an evil spirit (Judg. 9:23) and three references to a harmful spirit (1Sam. 16:14; 18:10; 19:9). In regard to the references to a harmful spirit they each have a context to David as an exorcist – that is, David had the spiritual power to cast out demons! Thus, when David was violently pursued by King Saul and his murderous agenda, he of all people had every reason to understand that there were demons fuelling Saul’s hatred. With this in mind, consider how Psalm 18 reveals how David engaged with this spiritual warfare:

  1. Psalm 18:1-6 ~ David wrote a poetic prayer celebrating God’s faithfulness. 
  2. Psalm 18:7-15 ~ David’s poetically praises GOD.
  3. Psalm 18:16-24 ~ David’s poetically declares his testimony to those looking to him for leadership.
  4. Psalm 18:25-30 ~ David utters worship of God poetically.
  5. Psalm 18:31-39 ~ David continues to share his testimony poetically.
  6. Psalm 18:40-50 ~ David poetically praised God for his goodness.   

You’ll notice that I have emphasised that David wrote poetically. This is deeply significant. Poetry requires thoughtfulness. Poetry involves the careful selection of choice words. It is almost impossible for good poetry to be produced spontaneously. It would take an infinite intelligence to utter such great poetry spontaneously (which only God has and repeated is recorded as having done so according to the Scriptures).

He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of Your salvation
Psalm 18:34-35a


Psalm 18 provides some shocking insights into how spiritual warfare was conducted by David. While Second Samuel 22 describes David’s near-to-the-event poetic response, Psalm 18 was obviously written much later and with greater reflection. The insights that we can gain from a consideration of David’s method of dealing with spiritual attack are pertinent for believers today – who all-too-often have been misled into impotent methods of spiritual fancy rather than the truth prescribed in God’s Word.

For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
You made my enemies turn their backs to me
Psalm 18:39-40a

Firstly, when David was under attack, he worshiped GOD. Many Christians too easily abandon their duty to come together and worship GOD when they perceive that are under spiritual attack. If this is you, you are playing into our enemy’s hands!

Secondly, David was considerate of those he influenced and led and he reminded them about the times of GOD’s faithfulness and rescue. The enemy wants you to not recall GOD’s faithfulness and displays of greatness in your life because if you do you are more likely to exercise victorious faith!

Thirdly, David prayed to GOD, not against the enemy or even addressing the enemy! Too many believers are deceived into thinking that true spiritual warfare is simply shouting (loudly) at the devil!

Fourthly, David recognised that spiritual battles involved fighting with natural efforts. Believers today often fail to understand how susceptible our minds are to spiritual malnutrition and poisoning from such things as social media. Similarly we often fail to recognise that physical effort/discipline/exercise is also integral to genuine spiritual warfare. We need to learn from David the spiritual warfare expert and simultaneously heed what the apostle Paul taught about this:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God,
and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Second Corinthians 10:3-6


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The Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing FruitThe Vine and the Umbilical Cord: Life, Abiding and Bearing Fruit

Jesus’ allegory in John 15:1-17 of the vine and the branches provides a beautiful picture of the intimate and living relationship available to those who would abide in Him, the true Vine; and it illustrates how naturally the Holy Spirit is able to produce fruit in the lives of those who are willing to be branches abiding in the vine.

Knowing God Through The Fruit Of The Spirit

I’m sure you can picture an occasion where food delicacies are served and someone is there who has lost all sense of decorum to the point of being rude to get to the food before others and is unable or unwilling to engage in any level of conversation for the sake of finding the choicest of foods. Maybe that was you or me on occasions. Or an All You Can Eat challenge restaurant. It is a picture of complete lack of self-restraint (especially if Homer Simpson is involved). Whilst we are away, I am looking forward to visiting a town (Kenilworth) with a bakery tourist attraction that sells 1kg doughnuts. I’m not sure what will happen there, but I can imagine many have risen to a challenge.


Australia is now grappling with a national crisis — the violent abuse of women by men. Every four days in Australia a woman is being murdered [Source]. The sad probability is that she was murdered by “a current or former intimate partner” [Source]. But added to this alarming statistic is the even greater and more horrifying statistic of number of women who are experiencing abuse – physical; sexual; verbal; financial; psychological – daily. In fact, it is so prevalent that most people working in this arena know that most domestic abuse incidents in Australia are not reported. Abuse is oppression. And since the Bible is so clear and consistent in its condemnation of oppression of the vulnerable you would naturally assume that this national crisis was being thundered and denounced as a great evil from the majority of pulpits around our country at the moment. This assumption is further reinforced by the guesstimate that one-in-four women in every Australian church is regularly abused in some way by a man. But I suspect that it is not.


My cat, Lola, had a beautiful, fluffy, soft coat. I had her for 13 years so I knew her very well. She loved a cuddle and snuggling at night sleeping in the crook of my arm. She loved me but with others she could be a rascal, hissing or swiping her claws. She never scoffed her food but was a grazer. It was common to hear her crunching her biscuits for a midnight snack and she loved ice cream. She loved hiding in cardboard boxes or in the pantry. She particularly hated the car evidenced by her continual mournful meowing til she got out. As I knew her, she also knew me. She knew I would feed her and give her pats or cuddles. When I called her she knew my soft voice, my touch, my smell. She knew my growly voice when she had done the wrong thing. When I’d take her to the vet she would be still in my arms as the vet examined her and vaccinated her. If she was injured or sick I would look after her.


The Bible is an amazing book. As we look through the book of Psalms we can so unbelievably clearly see God at work. And also most poignantly, this Psalm – Psalm 22 – prophetically points to, and closely mirrors Jesus and the events of the cross mentioned in the New Testament. This Psalm is well over 1000 years prior to Jesus.There are some well known passages of Scripture that stand out as being prophetic promises of the Messiah. These prophetic words show us that God is Omniscient; He knows everything. The first Messianic prophecy shows that the seed of the woman would eventually defeat the devil.


So many thriller movies are just funny. Of course they are not meant to be and many people would find them more like nightmare material. The producers would be horrified to see me giggling at some of their ‘scary’ bits, but it’s just the way I’m wired. I see more of the special effects than the story line and I see the absurdity of the scenes that lack the necessary rules of consistency instead of the fear factor they hope. I once watched a movie where the victim lay dead bleeding from the mouth but the make-up blood had not dripped to the ground with gravity, but rather, accidentally dripped up. The whole movie just became hilarious from that point on.


home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > 30th March > THE NOTHING OF EASTER SATURDAY‘Nothing’ is often something. How many times has God been accused of “doing nothing”? Even Christ’s disciples seemed to accuse Jesus of this when He was asleep in the boat in the...


home > Pastor's Desk > 2024 > March 22ndr > He was a kind and charitable man.WHO WAS KENNETH TYNAN? You’ve probably never heard of Kenneth Tynan. I hadn’t. I was introduced to him while conducting some research for my current PhD program on C.S. Lewis. In...


The first time I heard the song “From Little Things, Big Things Grow” was in early 2008. I was trying to get my head around superannuation funds. I never knew of its writers – Paul Kelly and Carmody. Neither did I know it was originally a protest song. In my opinion, the original lyrics and melody bears no semblance to what we may consider protest today. Many will agree with me that it is now synonymous with Industry Super Funds. But its principles remain true in nearly every aspect of life.


For several reasons I am qualified to help people deal with acute and chronic pain. Some acute and chronic pain can be resolved medically. Some pains can go a long way to being resolved with the help of a psychologist. Some pains can be resolved with a hug from mum. But there is a pain that a doctor cannot cure, a psychologist cannot counsel, a mother’s hug cannot alleviate. It is a pain that goes deep – beyond the defences of our integumentary system, our neurological system (including our para-sympathetic nervous system), our muscular system, our skeletal system, our lymphatic system, our renal system, gastro-intestinal system, our respiratory system, our cardio-vascular system, our hormonal system, and our half-share of a reproductive system. It is a pain that wounds: our memory, our sense of self, our estimation of our worth, our confidence, and our ability to connect meaningfully with others (our ability to love and be loved). It is the pain of rejection. It not only effects who we are (our identity) but it also leaches symptomatically into each of these ten-and-a-half biological systems which every human being possesses. I am going to offer all those who have experienced the pain of rejection how they can be healed from its wound, and actually become stronger, wiser, more confident, as a result.