[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] How can we stand against this enemy of ours? Thankfully God hasn’t left us scratching our heads and wondering. He has given us EVERYTHING that we need to stand in victory.
He has already won the victory for us, but we must now walk it out.
I recently read a book from a friend, Gregory Brown. He is a Navy Chaplain who lives with his family in Korea. God has given him a great gift and he wonderfully wrote a book about the Armor of God. We are given different weapons, as mentioned in Ephesians 6:10-18.
I would like to share just one chapter from Gregory Brown’s book, The Armor of God: Standing Firm in Spiritual Warfare. I would highly recommend the book to anyone interested in doing battle well and knowing what the Lord has given us to win the victory. Here’s the link to the book on amazon: http://amzn.to/28NxH2y (I am not getting anything for putting this information out. I truly just desire for my brothers and sisters to be fully equipped and walking strong in the Lord.)
Enjoy the below chapter, and I will “see” you all again next week for the final part of our spiritual warfare series.
Believers Stand Firm by Fighting
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13
Paul writes of the need to stand firm three times in Ephesians 6; however, it must be remembered that this standing is not a passive, defensive stance. It is, in fact, active and offensive. Ephesians 6:17 and 19 tell us so.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.
The sword was not primarily a defensive weapon, but an offensive one. As we share the Word of God with others, we are on the offensive. In fact, Paul prays for grace in sharing the gospel with others (v. 19).
It has been said that the best defense is a great offense. When the enemy is constantly being attacked, it is hard for him to mount an effective offense. Similarly, when Paul was going throughout the Gentile world spreading the gospel, he was fighting against the darkness. He was setting captives of Satan free by leading them to Christ. He was exposing the Roman world to light so that the darkness began to flee, and it must be the same for us.
We also see this in Christ’s words about building his church in Matthew 16:18. He says, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The gates of Hades not prevailing is a picture of the church on the offensive. Believers are taking the battering ram of the gospel and breaking down the gates of Hades in communities, cities, and nations. This is a proper picture of God’s battle plan for the church in this war.
How can believers fight this spiritual battle?
- We must know what we are fighting for.
In a war, a soldier fights to protect his home, his family, his country, and his freedom. These things motivate him, and it must be the same for believers. If we don’t know what we’re fighting for, our spiritual lives often become dreary and lifeless.
What do believers fight for?
- Believers fight for the souls of the lost.
Jesus says this to Paul about his calling as an apostle in Acts 26:17-18:
“I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
Similarly, Christians must recognize that they are on a rescue mission to save the lost from eternal darkness.
- Believers fight to please God and be rewarded by him.
Consider these verses:
Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 2 John 1:8
No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:27
John calls Christians to be careful to not lose their reward, but rather to seek a full reward from God. Similarly, Paul was not afraid of losing his salvation, but he feared losing his reward and ultimately his usefulness. We fight to please God and to be rewarded by him. Believers with no desire to please God will not fight—they will remain spiritually lethargic.
- Believers fight to glorify God with their lives.
First Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Even our fighting in this war is for the glory of God. When Christ went into the temple and turned over tables, he was consumed with zeal for God’s house (John 2:17), and with the glory of God. Similarly, we fight because we are consumed with the glory of God. A person not consumed with God’s glory—God being exalted throughout the world—will not fight.
How else can believers fight this battle?
- We must know that the war has already been won, and we must fight with Christ’s authority.
Another important reality that every believer must understand when fighting this battle is that the war is already won. Therefore we are not fighting to win, but because we’ve won. We see this taught in many texts, including the following:
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church. Ephesians 1:18-22
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:15
This is important to understand so that we don’t become discouraged and quit. Christ has already won this battle on the cross. Satan—the serpent—bit his heel, but Jesus crushed the serpent’s head by his own death and resurrection (cf. Gen 3:15). He disarmed the evil powers and authorities, and was raised up in authority over them. Christians must remember this.
This is why when Paul encountered those possessed with demons, he cast them out in the “name of Jesus” (Acts 16:18). He declared Christ’s authority over them. We must walk in this reality as well. Christ is seated in authority over the demonic powers; he disarmed them and has placed us in authority over them as well—because we are in Christ (Eph 2:6).
As Paul did, there may be times where you need to rebuke the devil in “the name of Jesus”—declaring Christ’s authority. You may have to pray in authority over people stuck in spiritual depression (cf. 1 Sam 16:15), habitual sin (cf. Eph 4:26-27), or some type of demonic illness (cf. Lk 13:11). You may need to speak and stand on this reality in your own life, as you feel assaulted by the enemy emotionally, physically, and socially. Yes, the flesh and the world tempt and attack us, but we also must recognize this very real evil force—the devil and his demons—and the authority Christ has given us in his name (cf. Matt 28:18-19).
- Why is it important to be on the offensive in spiritual warfare?
- What is your motivation to fight?
- What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?
- In what ways can you pray in response? Take time to pray as the Lord leads.
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Hi, my name is Erica and I am a God-called missionary for Northern Uganda. It is my passion and life-calling to bring God’s word to the people of the world. Each and every one of us can do our part in spreading God’s word to people in need of Jesus’ healing touch and hope. Trying to figure out if God has called you to the mission field? Do you want to learn more about what it’s like to be a missionary? Check out my book, For the Joy Set Before Us – Insights Into the Missionary Journey today.