For our struggle is not against flesh and blood … Ephesians 6:12
It’s been a while since I’ve written about spiritual warfare, possibly because of all the distractions from other kinds of warfare going on in the world today. But the enemy is as real as ever, the battle as intense as ever, and our position as warriors for the kingdom of God unchanged. We may not particularly like the idea of being in a war, but as Christ-followers we have no choice.
I can already sense some readers getting uneasy, even fashionably “offended” by yet another “conspiracy theory,” so I will let Scripture speak for itself. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, read these verses, no matter how familiar they are, and be encouraged. If you are not yet a believer, consider what the most enduring book in the world has to say about the struggles we face in life.
THE ENEMY IS REAL.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith … “ – I Peter 5:8-9
GOD IS GREATER THAN THE ENEMY
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. – I John 4:4
THE BATTLE IS REAL, IT IS A SPIRITUAL BATTLE, AND WE ARE IN IT.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 6:12
JESUS HAS GIVEN HIS FOLLOWERS AUTHORITY OVER THE ENEMY.
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy.” – Luke 10:19 [JESUS speaking to His disciples]
THAT AUTHORITY EXTENDS TO ALL BELIEVERS.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” [emphasis mine] – Matthew 28:19-20 [Jesus speaking to His disciples regarding future disciples – us!]
WE HAVE SPIRITUAL ARMOR TO PROTECT US.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. – Ephesians 6:11
WE ARE SHIELDED BY OUR FAITH AND GOD’S FAITHFULNES.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. – Ephesians 6:16
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. – Psalm 91:4
THE WORD OF GOD IS OUR SWORD.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. – Ephesians 6:17
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. – II Corinthians 10:4
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil … The tempter came to him … Jesus answered, “it is written …” [after the second temptation] “It is also written …” [after the third temptation] Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written …” Then the devil left him – Matthew 4: 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11
For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12-13
THE BATTLE IS GOD’S, NOT OURS.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 [Moses speaking to the children of Israel just before God parted the Red Sea]
“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours but God’s.'” – II Chronicles 20:15
NOTHING CAN HARM US, IF WE REMAIN IN HIM.
“Nothing will harm you.” Luke 10:19b [Jesus speaking to His disciples]
“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 54:17 [emphasis mine]
If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the LORD who is my refuge — then no harm, will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. – Psalm 91:9-10
NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM HIM. WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-39
For the believer these passages are incredibly encouraging.
But if you are not yet a committed believer in Jesus Christ, none of these promises pertain to you – yet. If you sense the battle heating up around you, I strongly urge you to check out Jesus’ claims as recorded in the Bible by eye witnesses to His life, and consider that this Man, who has impacted history more than any other, was either who He claimed to be or a fraud or a crazy man. His well-documented death and resurrection convince me that He was and is the Son of God and greater than any enemy – human or otherwise – that can come against us.
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Prayer: Lord Jesus, our Commanding Officer, we acknowledge the spiritual battles that are being waged around us. Thank You for giving us everything we need to be good soldiers, covered with the armor of God, holding fast to the shield of faith, and wielding the sword of the Spirit. Help us to hide Your Word in our hearts, to stand fast in the Truth, and to know without a doubt that the battle is Yours, and the victory is ours, in Jesus Christ, Amen.