The strength of Christ and the spiritual battle.

The strength of Christ and the spiritual battle.

Read Ephesians 6:10-17

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might."

In a world of electronics, science, and empiricism, it is easy to forget that we live in not only a physical world but a spiritual world as well. When we look at the news and see the conflicts occurring in Israel and Africa, when we see the personal strife on the streets of major cities as ideologies clash, we are made aware that we live in a world of conflict. However, we often fail to realize that the physical struggles we see in the news serve as a reminder that there is a spiritual battle raging about us. Unlike the physical actions we see that are driven by politics and ideology, this battle is caused by Satan's desire to destroy God's purpose and usurp God's reign over the universe. Furthermore, it is this battle that is what drives the current assault upon biblical truth and morality. Thus, Paul points out that "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the world forces of this darkness" (verse 12).

In the struggle and conflict of truth and worldviews today, we need to remember that people are not the enemy. Instead, the enemy is found in the spiritual realm where Satan captures people through lies and the distortion of the truth (1 Peter 5:8). As a result, he deceives people distorting their thinking. "In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel" (2 Corinthians 4:4). IN the distorted and deceptive world of Satan, wrong becomes right, and right becomes wrong. It is no wonder then that the world that rejects Christ and rejects the message of Scripture runs hellbent to embrace a distorted and pleasure-driven morality.

In the physical world, we understand the strategies and equipment necessary to win a battle of armies. But how do we engage and succeed in a spiritual struggle of values, beliefs, and worldviews? Where do we get the strength to resist the temptations of sin and win the victory of the deception of Satan and his lackeys? Paul answers these questions by first pointing to the source of our empowerment and then drawing our attention to the weapons and protective equipment for the battle. The source of our enablement is found in our relationship with Christ. In our strength, we are indeed powerless in the face of our enemy. He is a formidable foe whose strength far exceeds ours.

Nevertheless, we must first recognize that he is powerless in the face of the strength and might of the living God. We have the power for victory when we place ourselves in the realm of God's protective hand. "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). Second, we need to put on the protection that God has provided. A battlefield is never a safe place. To become complacent and careless is to face certain death. Thus we need to be alert and put on the total protective armaments of God (Ephesians 6:13-17). This begins with the knowledge and application of the power of his word.

We do not need to fear the spiritual battle or even the spiritual forces. Nor should we take them lightly either. Instead, we must remain steadfast in our relationship with Christ and grounded in the knowledge of his word. Ask God to give you victory over the struggles you have with temptation and spend time in His word to gain strength and perspective in a confused and troubled world.

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