During World War II, my dad fought in the South Pacific. When the war ended there was a treaty signed to cease all gunfire … yet, the battle still raged. On multiple islands, guerrilla warfare broke out and my dad, along with hundreds of other marines, continued to fight for their lives.
Did you know that as Christians we’re in a similar type of guerrilla warfare? Only, ours is an invisible battle — a cosmic conflict with eternal implications – in which souls of people of all over the planet are at stake.
God has already won the war when Jesus broke the power of sin and disarmed Satan at the cross. Our position, which is secured with Christ in heaven, proves this. But the battle we fight against Satan and his demons still rages here on Earth.
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul uses warfare imagery to illustrate this reality:
“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.” (Eph. 6:10-12)
In this passage, Paul commands us to equip and prepare ourselves in the strength and mighty power of the Lord. This preparation will help us to stand firm against the enemy’s schemes, repel his multi-faced attacks (which are also often unexpected), and engage and defeat him in specific battles.
So, how do we do this?
1. Become aware of the battle.
When was the last time that you honestly considered some struggle or relational conflict in your life that could be rooted in Satanic opposition? In order to be successful at standing our ground in the battle, we must acknowledge that there is a spiritual battle going on.
Although we don’t have to fear our foe or be overly preoccupied, we should have a healthy level of respect for our enemy. In addition, we must be acutely aware of his “methods” of attack. Our adversary’s sinister strategy is to hurt us when we’re most vulnerable in order to afflict the most damage. He wants to deceive, discredit, discourage and ruin our lives.
2. Appropriate God’s protection for daily living.
We must learn how to put on the “full armor of God” to experience the victory we were meant to possess. This is a metaphor for how we are to live out a relationship with Christ, allowing him to continually strengthen us by the power of the Holy Spirit. God has already provided spiritual protection for us, but we just need to learn how to access it. Part of this means getting honest with our own stuff and getting honest with God. It also means understanding our position in Christ and relying on Him through prayer and standing upon the truth of His Word.
Maybe you’re reading about this subject for the first time and you’re feeling a bit scared. Or, maybe you’ve heard about spiritual warfare dozens of times, yet you’ve never been convinced – until now — that this stuff is for real. It can seem overwhelming at first. But here’s the good news:
As believers we do not fight “for” victory because we fight “from” victory. In Christ’s power we are invincible. Remember: Satan’s power is limited and God has given us a way to resist him! The One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
This week we start a series called The Invisible War. In it, we’ll uncover more of Satan’s schemes in this spiritual battle. We’ll also go more in depth about how to prepare for the battle so we can resist the enemy and win. My prayer is that this week you’ll be encouraged with God’s truth about this subject and confident of your certain victory.
Keep Pressin’ Ahead,
Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip