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. 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 6,10-13 ~
I assume that the above Bible passage is familiar to most of you and you have probably heard that you are in a spiritual war. However, do you really consider yourself in a war? If you don’t, you are already disarmed by the Enemy.
I don’t mean that you consider yourself in a war by fighting demons on a daily basis. We aren’t even able to ‘kill’ demons (whatever that would mean), even though we have the authority in Jesus Christ to set people free from demons. Casting out demons means that we set someone free from the bondage of a demon or demons, but they are not killed, only ‘removed’. The point is that there is a war going on between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness. Man was created to rule over the earth. However, since the fall of man, the Power of Darkness is at work in all men (See Ephesians 2,2). That is why Jesus came to earth, to found the Kingdom of God and overthrow the Kingdom of Darkness.
The Good News is, long before Jesus came, it was already determined that the Kingdom of God will eventually rule over all the earth and this Kingdom will endure forever (See Daniel 2,44). Only, the war is a spiritual war and we are the battle field. We are the bride for Jesus and the prey for Satan and his demons. We are not able to defeat the spiritual powers, but we can defend ourselves. That is what Paul’s warning is about in Ephesians 6,10-13. Paul is warning to be prepared for the moment that evil will try to deceive you. Also Peter gives this same warning in 1 Peter 5,8-9.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. ~ 1 Peter 5,8-9 ~
How, then, should we live in this spiritual war? According to the warning from Peter and Paul, we should be aware that the Enemy wants us to fall. He wants to tempt us to sin. He wants to discourage us, so we will not proclaim Jesus. He wants us to destroy our relationship with each other and, above all, our relationship with God. The Enemy does not want us to follow Jesus’ example, but wants us to be like the world in whatever way.
How do we defend ourselves? Of course we should be prepared. Imagine a very talented soccer player. If he would spend all summer laying on the beach and playing video games. When he does this till his first soccer match of the new season, he will not be able to perform well. It is not because he isn’t able, but it is because he is not prepared. He was busy doing all kind of things, except training and preparing for the new soccer match. The same holds for us in the spiritual war we are part of. We may have a kind of summer break in our spiritual war, in the sense that there are not a lot of attacks from the Enemy. Despite this peaceful time, it is not the time to be busy with all kind of unimportant and less relevant things. It is time to prepare for the day the Enemy will try to devour you.
We should be prepared by renewing our mind as is written in Ephesians 4,22-24. Then we know that we are forgiven and that we are a new creation. We will be able to resist the Enemy’s temptations and deceptions. If our relationship with God is strong through a good prayer life and being filled with the Truth, we will be able to withstand the Enemy. When we do this, we will not be deceived, but will grow in faith and live more and more for Jesus. On the other hand, if we try to start a prayer life and reading the Bible at the moment the Enemy already attacks us, we are too late and the Enemy will easily make us fall away from God. Therefore, pray and be watchful! Do not become an easy prey for the Enemy.
I don’t write this to scare you. My goal is to wake you up and to encourage you to focus on Christ in your life. Be courageous, God is with you!
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. ~ Colossians 4,2 ~