Today we have a guest post from my good friend and fellow blogger, Caden, writer of the LIFE blog. I encourage you to head over to his blog and check out how you can “live intently for eternity.” I pray that you are as encouraged by his post today as I was.
There is a war being fought all around us. It not one of the physical realm, but it is taking place in the spiritual realms that exist all around us. It is the war between good and evil; between God and the Devil. And they are fighting for you. The Bible is clear about what the enemy’s motive is. Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”(NIV). He is good at what he does and he is looking to cause you harm.
If you’ve ever felt like a victim to this war, I can relate. I have tried running from and dodging the attacks from the Devil, but dodging is exhausting and it only gets harder and harder. John 10:10 ends with the hope that Jesus offers, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”(NIV). The enemy will not stop until either we are defeated or he is defeated.
Jesus has already won the war! If we choose His side then we will see the Devil defeated from our lives, and the final victory is yet to come. If you want to stop dodging and if you want to live life to the full as Jesus offers, then suit up. Jesus is calling us to fight. He does not want us to be a victim of this world– He wants us to be a soldier in the war that is happening beyond this world.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.” -Eph. 6:10-12, NIV
The battle is of high importance. It is way bigger than our lives of this world; it has eternal impacts beyond what we can see. We are fighting for what lasts. Peter puts it this way:
“you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’” -1 Peter 1:23-25, NIV
How do we fight? By Standing Firm.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground”. -Ephesians 6:13, NIV
Paul goes on to say through the rest of the passage that we must stand firm in each piece of the armor of God. He says that we can “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16, NIV). This is much different than our natural reaction to flinch and dodge. So often, we exhaust ourselves by trying to dodge the arrows but by wearing the armor we can stand still. Dodging avoids, the armor of God extinguishes.
After we have taken up the armor, Paul says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). If you are tired of playing the victim of the war, then claim the salvation that Jesus offers. Declare victory over the enemy and wear it proudly on your head where all will see it. Additionally, we all must take up our Sword daily, renewing ourselves in the Truth of God’s Word, which stands forever. Paul closes by giving us one more weapon to stand with: Prayer. With prayer we are unstoppable because we know that though, “With man this is impossible… with God all things are possible.”
We cannot ignore the battles happening all around us. Life is a war beyond our own control. We cannot escape, we can only choose one of two roles:, soldier or victim. If we choose His side, Jesus gives us peace amidst the war. By wearing the full armor of God we will be ready for whatever comes our way and the gospel of peace will overwhelm us with hope. So then, as all else fades, STAND FIRM in the armor, TAKE HOLD of the Sword, and PRAY in the almighty power of the Spirit.
I pray that the words of Joab to the Israelites of Paul to Timothy will be your call to battle.
“Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in his sight.” -1 Chronicles 19:13, NIV
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” -1 Timothy 6:12
Don’t forget to head over to the LIFE blog for more encouragement. Thanks for the post, Caden!