This Spiritual Warfare stuff has had me thinking for the last week or so and you know me, when I get going on something I beat it to death, or at least research it until I feel comfortable in my spirit that I have found what God was trying to show me. Then of course…………..I write about it.
I am going to warn you right now, this is going to be longer than what I usually write but then again, this is a very important and relevant to our times, subject. I should also apologize in advance if I offend anyone, but once again I am going to say what God is laying on my heart.
Let’s start with an interesting fact I read about this morning. I read that between 3600 B.C. and now there have been over 14,000 wars fought. During that time there were over 5,300 years of war and only 292 years of peace.
It becomes more evident every day that we live in a world where violence, war, disease, and oppression are commonplace and always have been. You would not think that it could happen in a modern world but Open Doors Ministry says that last year alone over 2,000 Christians were killed for their faith. Churches are relentlessly and consistently being attacked and Ebola is savagely rampaging through the land.
Unfortunately this is nothing new and the Bible tells us that Jesus predicted just that. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. … For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Matthew 24:6, 7.
It is a classic and cosmic clash between the forces of good and evil and guess what, like it or not, we as Christians are fighting on the front line. I think that the scary thing for me, and probably most of us if we are honest, is that this is a battle where we usually can’t see the opponent clearly. What or who we think is causing us trouble is only the effect of what is going on in the spiritual realm. According to scripture, our battle is “against the rulers, powers and world forces of wickedness located in the spiritual realm. That is a deadly serious statement.
So like I wrote not too long ago. Whatever is going on in your physical world, in the world you can see, that action is rooted and started in the invisible, spiritual realm. Make no mistake however, the fact that this battle rages in the spiritual realm does not make it any less real or less capable of destruction and calamity.
I think an important point to remember (maybe the only point to consider really) is that this intense spiritual struggle isn’t waged to gain land or diamonds or gold, it is waged to gain human hearts. It is a no holds barred, down and dirty fight for your soul.
It would seem we need extraordinary weapons to fight this epic war, the best money can buy. Weapons that only the brilliant scientists and military experts can come up with. We are quick to go out and buy the latest gadgets, often emptying our bank accounts but more importantly putting our faith in weapons that are not going to win this war for us.
No weapon made on this earth, no matter the cost, is the kind of weapon that the Bible tells us will win this war. There is only one kind of weapon that will gain us victory in a war fought in the spiritual realm and that is armor and weapons that are also spiritual. You might as well be fighting defenseless or with plastic guns if you are fighting the prince of darkness with anything from this world.
But wait a minute, there is more to this. As we are so fond of doing, we can’t pick and choose which armor we put on, scripture tells us it has to be the armor of God. However, if you look at Ephesians 6:10-11 more closely it tells you exactly what you need to clothe yourself in to fight the devil’s schemes. We need to put on the FULL armor of God, or as other versions say, the WHOLE armor of God.
It repeats that directive in verse 13. It doesn’t say, put on the belt and breastplate because that is the most fashionable at the moment or only the shield of faith and helmet of salvation because you happen to look good in helmets, prayer alone doesn’t cut it, nor does wielding only the sword.
Nope, we are to dress in full gear, our war gear is to be comprised of the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, your gospel shoes, the Sword of the Spirit (Word of God) and prayer in the Spirit.
I apologize to you in advance if what I say next offends you or if you find it politically incorrect. But I am going to say it anyway.
I think it is a pretty common thing for us as frail and earthly humans to dance mighty close to enemy lines but still want to reap the spiritual rewards. Judging from world and personal events it is probably time to quit associating with the edges of darkness and start standing for what we believe. You know the old saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”
We can’t win this battle by lowering our standards to earthly standards, God’s standards are never moving, never changing and the only standards that will win this battle we are in.
Maybe it is time to quit discussing the armor that God has given us and start using it. In addition to the promise of giving us all the armor we need to win this battle, God gives us the answer to the question we are all asking ourselves right now…………how in the world can I stand up to the prince of darkness, how can I fight when the devil wouldn’t know a fair fight if it hit him in the face?
John 15:5……………..I am the vine, you are the branches, If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Philippians 4:13 I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME
……………and so I ride