I live in a place where hot water, instant access to any kind of food or entertainment, ease, and freedom are expected. I live in a place where laggy wifi and cars that drive slow are some of our biggest problems. I live in a place where my outwardly evangelical religious beliefs are mostly accepted and allowed… and even publicly cheered for by many. I live in a place where I work at a “Christian school”, have “Christian friends”, go to a “Christian Church”, and have “Christian family members”.
And because of all of this, I forget.
My eyes and my mind and my heart forget. I’m in the midst of the greatest war there ever was and I’ve grown complacent and comfortable.
Holy Spirit has been reminding me of this often lately. The devil is prowling, sneaking, and destroying. I’m watching myself, and my brothers and sisters around me, be silently seduced by allures of this world. I’m watching our hearts delight in other things and our minds accept lies while rejecting truth. I’m watching complacency and indifference seep in. And it’s almost as if we are all unaware of that jarring reality that has become our lives.
Now, I’m not here to say that there aren’t saints out there who are fighting spiritual battles. I’m not trying to say that we are all just a bunch of losers and don’t really love Jesus. And I’m definitely not trying to say that Satan has won and God’s work isn’t going forth amongst us.
But I do want us to stop and think. I do want us to pause and reflect on the lives we are living. Are we on the battlefield or are we sitting on the sofa with a bag of chips watching the show?
Have we grown so comfortable with our lives that we are content to go Church, read the Bible here and there, and only pray over our meals and major desires?
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we’ve got to put on our armor and FIGHT. He tells us that we’ve got to be equipped in the word (the sword of Spirit), and to be praying in the Spirit on ALL occasions with EVERY kind of prayer.
Just recently I’ve started reading the “Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis and the Lord has used that to awaken me to the devil’s schemes and constant vigilance to destroy. This is an all day, every day, war. And more than ever before, I’m seeing it. You better believe that Satan is looking to steal kill and destroy your heart, your marriage, your purity, your friendships, your purpose, and on and on…
And you better believe that I’m done with passive, shallow, and robotic prayers. You better believe that I’ve been awoken and I will be on my knees battling for my heart, my people, and The Church.
Those that have read scripture know the final story. We need not be afraid. We know who will ultimately be victorious (Isaiah 25:8). We know that as sons & daughters of the King we will also share in that victory (Romans 8:16-17). We know that God has given us the Holy Spirit and His word to fight (Ephesians 6 & 1 John 4:4). We know that God is sovereign (Colossians 1:17). We know that God strengthens and protects his people from the evil one (2 Thes. 3:3). We know that in our weakness he is strong (2 Corinth. 12:10). We know that God is surrounding his people forever (Psalm 125:2). We know that God has given us power and victory right here and right now (1 Corinth. 15:57). We know that there will be a day where sin is finally defeated (Rev. 21), but until that day…we’re at war ladies and gents, and I’m praying that our eyes are awakened.
“10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth fastened around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, divine utterance may be given me, so that I will boldly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:10-20