Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010 – December 15 – Deadly Spiritual Warfare

Study from God’s Word The entire letter from Paul which we traditionally attribute to him writing as a Roman prisoner to the church at Ephesus, i.e., Ephesians, Chapters 1 – 6 … Passage for Reflection: Ephesians 6: 12 … NIV 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.

My Journal for Today: Isn’t it interesting that today many people, especially young people, can imagine – or even obsessively play games – in “cyberspace,” living as an avatar and trying to overcome the evil warriors they see in the cybernetic world of their computer; YET, they cannot – or don’t choose to – believe that there is a world of truly powerful forces, which we cannot see, but live in the spiritual realm to do battle and to be a force against God in our spiritual lives.

To depict the reality of this spiritual warfare, which goes on even as I type this, Paul exhorted the Ephesian Christians, and you/me by extension, to be ready for and arm ourselves, spiritually, for the warfare which we all face everyday in this life, depicted by today’s highlight text. But then Paul goes on to portray the armament, weapons, and strategies we need in our daily battles with our spiritual enemies, … Satan, the world, and our own flesh, … formidable foes against which we must be prepared.

To help us do that, Paul painted a word picture of the “full armor of God” in Ephesians 6, which are those elements of defensive armament such as the belt of truth (our integrity), the breastplate of righteousness (our purity), the sandals of peace (our surety), the shield of faith (our certainty), and our helmet of salvation (our sanity), all of which, when properly worn, protect us against any/all of our spiritual enemies in the daily battles we’ll face in life.

Then we must take up our only offensive weapon against these spiritual forces and that is the sword of the spirit, which in Eph. 6: 17, we read is the world of God. And just as Jesus used this same weapon as the God-Man (see, Matt. 4 or Luke 4) against His spiritual arch-enemy, Satan, we can – and must – wield a ready, sharpened, and practiced sword, wielding it as God had charged Joshua as His warrior in Joshua 1: 8 or as the author of Psalm 119: 9-11 said he had to use God’s sword – i.e., God’s word – as his weapon against his own sinfulness.

And finally in this passage of Ephesians 6, we read of the primary battle strategy we have as Christian warriors; and that is taking the high ground, which is prayer. If we don’t use our prayer strategy at all times in life (see 1st Thess. 5: 17), we will be fighting the battles from the lowlands with our enemies taking the high ground. BUT … anytime we wear our full armor, and take our sharpened and well-practiced sword to the high ground in prayer, we will be in a position to not only do battle effectively, but to win against our enemies just as Christ did against Satan on that mountaintop in the wilderness (again in Luke 4 or Matt 4).

I hope you’re well versed and well dressed for today’s battle, my dear one. Because to deny that you’re going to be in a battle or to dismiss all of this as biblical fantasy is playing right into the hands of our spiritual enemies, many of whom, as Satan, are far more powerful than are we with our deceitful hearts (see Jer. 17: 9). Everyday I get ready for battle by dressing myself, mentally and spiritually, checking to determine if any of the elements of my armor are weak, being sure that I have my sword sharpened and ready for battle, and going to the high ground in prayer to get myself into the posture and place I need to be for battle.

How about you; are you ready for battle today?

My Prayer for Today: Lord, my armor is in place; and I carry Your mighty sword. Now, I’m here on this pinnacle of prayer, ready to do battle. And I follow You, my Captain, ready to be victorious in Your Name and for Your glory. Amen

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