We are at war. Our Easter celebrations should only remind us of this truth. The victory we have in Christ is sure, the promise is sealed in our hearts with the Holy Spirit.
But yet, there are still battles to be fought. Battles that require our active participation. We are called to arm ourselves with the Armor of God to defend ourselves against the schemes of the Devil.
The war we are fighting, it isn’t a physical battle, but one fought on the spiritual plane.
We fight against the cosmos powers of darkness. We fight against the spiritual forces of evil. And we must take these battles seriously.We fight against the cosmos powers of darkness. We fight against the spiritual forces of evil. And we must take these battles seriously. Click To Tweet
There is a tendency in academic circles and denominations to regulate spiritual warfare as a battle for the mind. The mind is important. We need to take captive our thoughts and submit them all to the Lord. Good theology is important and we should know the doctrines of our faith.
It is foolish though to relegate the spiritual battles happening around us to simply battles of the mind. They are battles for our hearts and our very souls.
When I think too much about the war that is going on around me, I am tempted to despair.
I see every day the scars of this war on the souls around me. There is pain on the faces of those who have been betrayed by loved ones who vowed to care for them. The ramifications of sin touch every relationship we have, distorting our views of one another. Addictions, mental illness, compulsions towards evil, they plague each day of our existence.
We are weary and worn down from the crushing ache of the sin around us.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57, ESV
Our victory is assured in Christ. But that doesn’t mean that our battles are over. It does, however, mean that as I walk through my life, I can do so with the confidence of what God will do for me.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-11, ESV
An easy path is not promised to us. But a God who will carry our burdens and transform difficult trials into monuments of His glory is.Our victory is assured in Christ. But that doesn’t mean that our battles are over. It does, however, mean that as I walk through my life, I can do so with the confidence of what God will do for me. Click To Tweet
But we need to prepare for these battles.
Because many of them will be long and difficult. Some of them may even last our entire lifetime.
We will walk dark, difficult paths through valleys that seem unending. Our bodies will face the limitations and attacks of the mortal flesh. Loved ones will abandon and forsake us, they may return or they may maintain their prodigal status. You might face a diagnosis that seems insurmountable and shakes you to the core of who you are. Depression might seep its way into your mind and make you question, as Eve did in the Garden of Eden, if God is trustworthy. You may face the challenge of wondering if faithfulness in the simple, repetitive tasks God has given you matter or might watch those around you crumble and ask God why you are even still standing.
The battles you fight will be different that the ones I am tasked with, but we are fooling ourselves if we try to pretend that spiritual warfare isn’t a reality we all must confront.The battles you fight will be different that the ones I am tasked with, but we are fooling ourselves if we try to pretend that spiritual warfare isn't a reality we all must confront. Click To Tweet
If we are to handle these difficult times, we need to establish ourselves firmly in our faith and prepare for battle. Prayer strengthens our faith. The accountability of other believers keeps us from despairing. Rooting our minds firmly in the Word of God helps shape our worldview around the Truth.
We cannot face our foe unless we are prepared with each and every tool God has placed in our arsenal. He has equipped us with all we need to resist the Devil and to do the good deeds He has prepared for us.
The question we need to ask ourselves today is, are we doing our part to prepare for this spiritual warfare?
So start today. Ask the Holy Spirit to help show you where you need to build up your defenses. Take sin, both public sin and the hidden sin in your life, seriously.
Seek out the counsel of those who can help you identify attacks from the enemy in your personal life and then ask them to come alongside you in prayer.
Gird yourself daily. Prepare each and every morning for the battlefield of life. No longer live passively but recognize the spiritual warfare going on around you and know that you don’t have to choose to get involved, you’re already a participant, either by your action or inaction. Then, make the decision to consciously fight these battles with all of your being for the glory of God.