It has become clear to me over the years that Chrisitans do not like the idea of the Christian life being a struggle. Even more than that, many like less the idea that the Christian life is a spiritual battle. In America today, we seem to have become lulled into an easy, path of least resistance “Christianity”. At this point many Christians would be happy singing the Edwin Starr song, “War”. I bet, even now some of you had those lyrics jump into your head….go ahead, admit it….you’re singing right now:
War, huh yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, oh hoh, oh
War huh yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, say it again y’all.
When it comes to the Christian life though, this sentiment is simply not true. A call to Christian discipleship is a call to spiritual war. Allow me to be extremely careful and clear at this point, the Scripture (and I am simply emphasizing what the Scriptures say) is speaking of Spiritual Warfare. What does the Bible mean by spiritual warfare? The Dictionary Of Bible Themes defines spiritual warfare in this way, “The struggle against the forces of evil, which is a constant feature of the life of faith. Scripture locates the origins of spiritual warfare in the rebellion of Satan and his angels against God and affirms the hope of God’s final victory over such forces through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.” While I think this is an adequete definition, I would also include our fight against indwelling sin and the influence of the World.
The Christian lives with the reality that the battle against Satan, the Flesh and the World surround us; however, these things cannot overcome the Believer in Jesus Christ. So, be encouraged believer that our God has overcome and has given us the victory in Jesus Christ our Lord. We then fight daily in the power of God having been given His provision, as God says in 2 Corinthians 10:4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” What does that mean? In Ephesians 6:14-18 we are told what our, “weapons” are:
- The Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18)
- Truth (Eph. 6:14)
- Righteousness (Eph. 6:14)
- The Gospel (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:15)
- Faith (Eph 6:16)
- Salvation (Eph 6:17)
- Word of God (Eph. 6:17)
- Prayer (Eph. 6:18)
These, “weapons” may not seem like much; however, we must remember the promise of 2 Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” We do not fight with weapons of this world because our fight is not against flesh and blood (other human beings). Instead, it is a daily battle to fight for our joy in Christ. As a believer in Jesus Christ, here is my encouragement for you.
- Realize that we are engaged in real spiritual conflict. As a result, we aren’t powerful enough to fight against the world, the flesh or the devil in our own strength, instead, we need to stand in the power of God.
- Pray for your friends and family members, coworkers, etc. as you share the gospel with them and others.
- Fill your mind and heart with God’s word. It, along with prayer are the only offensive weapons in the Christian’s aresenal.
- We are victorious in Christ over our spiritual enemies because on the cross Jesus Christ destroyed the works of the Devil.
As you think on these things today may you know the peace of Christ and the comfort of Christ as we together fight for our joy in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Word of God!
Soli Deo Gloria