LET THE BATTLE BEGIN
We hear a lot about the fact that we are in a “spiritual battle”. If this is the case, I have some questions: “Am I really in a life and death battle?” “Am I ready for that battle?” “Do I have the right weapons? ‘Cause I sure don’t want to be out gunned.” “Would I recognize the battle even if I am in the middle of it?” Well my friend, Scripture is quite clear: We are definitely in a battle! And the weapons of our warfare are definitely spiritual-not natural and certainly not those we can wield in our own strength. Scripture also teaches us who our true enemy is. The foe we battle against is not flesh and blood. We are fighting against spiritual wickedness in high places. And one thing is for sure, our enemy does not play fair. It would be wonderful if he would come at us straight on. We would see him coming and hopefully use the “weapons” that are found in Scripture to put him to flight. Unfortunately, the enemy is a master at setting us up. He is the master of deception and definitely does not play fair. Some of his favorite weapons in his arcenal are what I call the 3 Ds: Distance; Disappointment; Distraction
- Distance: If the enemy can distance us through such things as unresolved sin; restricting our heavenly fellowship – the fellowship we receive through His Word and Worship; and by isolating us from other believers; he is on his way to winning the battle. In our relationship with the Lord, distance definitely does not make the heart grow fonder-it makes the heart grow colder! When we choose to distance ourselves from the Lord, we become easy pick-ins. Just like the lamb that strays from the flock and is picked off by the wolves, so we too become dinner – dinner for the imps in Satan’s army!
- Disappointment: Anyone who says that living a Christian life is always “sunshine and lollipops”, certainly hasn’t lived my life. Hard things happen in this life – disappointing things. There are many things that happen that we will just never understand: a bad medical report; a sudden death; a betrayal by someone close; the loss of a career; and the list goes on. Sometimes we can feel like our entire world is crashing in. People will tell us to “buck-up” or “just leave it at the altar”. Well, maybe you are so hurt that you just want to put your head in the sand for a while and let the world go by. So what do we do? If we try to figure it out in the futility of our finite minds – we will just become depressed and fall into a state of confusion. If we try to work it out in our own strength, we will soon find out we are just not strong enough. If we try to manipulate our way out of the situation or take a short cut, we will only find ourselves deeper in the pit of despair and right where the enemy of our soul wants us.
- Distraction: Sometimes I feel like I suffer from spiritual A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder). The Lord is telling me to keep my gaze on Him, on His purpose; and I find myself distracted by the circus going on in my head! The clowns come in telling me I need to just focus on mindless entertainment and pointless activities. The lion tamers tell me I need to get out the whip and chair and tame all my problems in my own strength. The trapeze artists want to show me how to live high above the rest of the crowd. The horse trainers want me to hop on the back of one of the horses that gallop around and around in the ring – never going anywhere. As this is going on, the evil Ring Master laughs at my confusion as his minions applauds from the stands! I personally feel distraction is one of Satan’s biggest weapons.
So how do I fight this battle? I like the way King Jehoshaphat fought his battle. He was surrounded – greatly out numbered by extremely powerful foes. The first thing he did was what we should do. He called on God, and God sent the answer. The answer is recorded in 2 Chronicles 20:17: He was told by Jahaziel that, 17 “You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”
He was to take up his position. So should we. Our position should be one of humility; one of total dependence on God… He is to be the first we seek – not the last! The battle is won on our knees – not by our intellect or our own way of doing things. Prayer is the key! The Word says it quite simply in I Thess. 5:17: Pray without ceasing. Every decision should be birthed in prayer; developed through prayer; and carried out as you are led by prayer!
Next we are to stand firm. We need to stand firm in the knowledge that your God is greater than any problem we have! God is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine and our needs will be met through His power – not our own. The enemy wants us to run… he wants to distract us or get us to run from our problems and disappointments. God says: Stand firm! Stand firm in the knowledge that God keeps His promises.
Lastly, See the Deliverance of the Lord. I mean really see it… if you cannot see it in the natural right now, see it by faith! Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding, but in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He WILL direct your paths. Prov. 3:5&6 Know that in God’s timing, He will bring what He has promised to pass. I don’t care what is going on around us…. We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and rest in the knowledge of His everlasting love. Isa. 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Whether we want to fight or not, as Christians, we are in a battle. I know I can’t battle it in my own strength. BUT… with the power of the Lord; with the Lord as my deliverer… BRING IT!