“Take up the whole armor of God . . be able to withstand.” Ephesians 6:13 NKJV
“Life is a battlefield where good and evil struggle for hearts and souls.”
My thoughts today are about “dressed for battle.”
When I see our soldiers in Iraq on the evening news, it is nothing like their everyday or dress uniforms when safely at home or base. They are dressed for battle. They know that the stakes are high – desperately so for themselves and others – and their safety and effectiveness directly relates to how they are dressed and equipped. Everything they wear is to better equip them for battle and protect them while doing so. No single piece is unnecessary. Wouldn’t it look preposterous, and extremely foolhardy, for a soldier in battle conditions to dress for comfort rather than conflict?
There are spiritual realities that impact your situations every day, therefore impact your life. You must learn to look beyond the obvious and see the actual, beyond the readily seen to recognize the unseen. You ignore those realities, often to your own hurt. The Bible teaches that you and I and are on the battlefield where good and evil struggle for the hearts and souls of many.
If you are not aware and engaged in this struggle, you risk the danger of becoming a casualty or collateral damage. The battle is not directly against you; it is in opposition to God and His purposes – those divine intentions in your circumstances, your life, and the world that surrounds. The devil belligerently intends to destroy those possibilities; make no naïve mistake about that.
Everyday you are either withstanding your enemy’s encroachment or recovering some measure of territory allowed him. The Apostle Paul sounds the alarm and gives your call to battle, “For your 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 you may be able to stand your ground . .” Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV. The Bible’s instruction is not merely for your self-defense or safety alone, but for your victory.
Paul elaborates on the assurance of your victory, when you are dressed for battle. Don’t be afraid, but courageous. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, (your weapons) have divine power to demolish strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NIV.
It is pointless to blame the devil for all your problems – some of those are the result of living in a fallen world, some are the product of mistakes or poor choices you or others have made that touch your life, but some are also the aftermath of a spiritual confrontation – but it is also naïve and dangerous to deny his evil intent in your life and circumstance. See 1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT/James 4:7 NIV.
“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV. Be alert; stay focused, battle ready. This is not a practice, military exercise nor a holiday parade down Main Street; this is serious, Kingdom business of immediate and eternal consequence, and you must be dressed and ready. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might!” Ephesians 6:10. That always is the final word – the power of His might!
My prayer for you is: having done all to stand, stand therefore dressed for battle!