I’m not much of a fighter, at least not physically. In one of my favorite movies about Martin Luther, one of his scholar friends tells the Prince, “Luther doesn’t fight with his hands. He fights with his words.” This has always defined me as well.
But there are times when fighting is the only option. I don’t mean this physically. I mean it spiritually. There are key truths in the Bible that no one can escape. As much as we don’t think of ourselves as soldiers, we fight for Christ.
Someone might ask what this has to do with holy living. It’s true that some Christians are in the fight for their life against sin and desires. I have discussed in other posts why this should not be the only fighting a Christian does. God has made us victorious against sin and desire.
That battle is already won. The moment we trusted Jesus the war against sin was complete. But this is a different kind of fight. When we approach the positive side of holiness we are looking at how to please and serve God.
One of the ways that we serve him is by fighting evil spiritual forces in our world. We are surrounded by wickedness of many types. We stand for Christ against all of his enemies. Spiritual warfare is one of the chief duties of God’s saints, his holy ones.
Behind Enemy Lines
The Bible describes a spiritual realm that influences the physical realm we know. Although we can’t see what is happening in the spiritual realm, there is a war going on for the soul of every human being on this planet.
The Holy Spirit who dwells within us is directly opposed to the desires that wickedness proposes (Galatians 5:17). God’s Spirit cannot be understood or accepted by natural people (1 Corinthians 2:14). These two are diametrically opposed to one another. You are either on one side or the other.
Every Christian needs not only to know this information but be ready to fight as one of Jesus’ soldiers. Along with these two realms are two rulers, God and Satan. At this moment in time, this world is ruled by Satan (Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 5:19).
So we’re fighting a war behind enemy lines. Every person that we influence for Jesus has an opportunity to see the light even though they live in darkness. Paul describes unbelievers as those whose minds have been blinded by the enemy (2 Corinthians 4:4). It’s an uphill battle to be in the enemy’s territory and proclaim the good news of Jesus’ kingdom of light to those living in darkness and blinded by the devil.
James makes it clearer than anyone else when he tells his congregation that friendship with the world is enmity toward God (James 4:4). Everyone is either a friend of the world were a friend of God (James 4:5). We can’t have it both ways.
Jesus enlists every Christian to fight in the army of his kingdom. He provides us with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Each of us must find the most effective ways to influence our world with the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Everyone has a destiny and we are each on a path toward that destiny. The world is passing away (Matthew 24:35; 1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:17). But the kingdom of God lasts forever. Jesus has promised eternal life to all who follow and trust in him.
There’s no problem with working within the world now. God has left us time to spread the good news of God’s kingdom. But this grace period will not last forever. In the near distant future God is coming to bring the end of the world. He will finally release his judgment.
The Bible book of Revelation shows us that with every choice we make and every action we take, we are choosing a side. Every action demonstrates which side each of us is on. You may not think this way but this is how the Bible portrays this reality. If you haven’t chosen a side yet, the time is running out.
Riding on the fence or watching from the sidelines makes me feel more comfortable, but it is not part of my calling. As a Christian each of us must stand for Christ and be ready to do battle with the enemy. We must be prepared for spiritual warfare wherever we find it.
God gives us the tools through the armor of God to fight these battles. But he also prepares us for every battle we will face. We walk in his victory and he makes us overcomers. And the best part is that he has not left us alone.
God does before us and he knows the terrain. He knows what we will face. But he doesn’t only walk before us. He walks alongside us as well. We need not fear anything because God is with us. Like David, the great warrior of the Old Testament, God is our Defender and Fortress!
Leave a comment and tell me how you fight spiritual battles. How does God help you win the battles that please him and to show you are victorious?