As a kid I wasn’t much of a fighter. Looking back, I’m not that hard on myself as I grew up in an area and went to a school known for its tougher characters. It never seemed to fail either that those seeking to fight me were always bigger, older or just plain tougher than I was and I was never one for taking a beating for the sake of taking a beating. As I grew into my teen years I signed up for martial arts at the local YMCA and by the time I got into grade 8, the odds started to even out. Over time I even grew found of fighting but not in the sense one might think.
Fighting is a part of our makeup and that is something I feel was intentional on the part of our Creator. Craig Groeschel in his book “Fight” says we as men are willing to fight “Because that’s is how we are wired”. I’d be inclined to agree and say it’s a guy thing were it not for the few women I know who would welcome a fight just for the fun of it. Everything from illness to injustice has us either in a fight or encouraging others to fight in the face of trying circumstances. I feel it to be a part of who we are in that it is something we are meant to do or even called to do when the circumstance warrants it. I look no further than the truth of scripture as my source of reference.
All through both the Old and New Testaments we see and learn of battles in both the physical and spiritual realms. With Jesus’s victory on the cross, the physical battles are for the most part, over. As Christians we are known and should be known for our love; how we show it (John 13 v 35), for peacemaking (Matthew 5 v 9) and for serving (James 2 v 18). That said the spiritual battle is far from over and we need to participate. If your parenting is similar to mine, you are raising our children to not fight. We teach them to reason and to seek help where needed. But as was the case in World War II, in the face of an enemy bent on destruction, the call to arms is necessary and I point to 4 keys found in God’s word that will lead us in the fight.
The first key is to know who or what we are fighting and what his tactics will be. 1 Peter 5 v 8 and Ephesians 6 v 11 – 12 outline who the enemy is in stating:
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil (Satan) prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” “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.”
The enemy is revealed and as far as his tactics go, it is a game of deception. The scriptures warn over and over that we are to be careful that we are not deceived. John 8 v 44 states:
“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
There is no mystery or global game of clue leaving one wondering whose behind it all. The scriptures are clear.
The second key is one of preparation. What training will we need and what are we to fight with? 1 Timothy 4 v 7 indicates that we should be trained up in godliness. This is seen in the person who prays, loves, serves and has a deep knowledge of scripture while at the same time equipped with the armor of God as described in Ephesians 6 v 14 – 17:
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
This, more than anything, shows that we all have a role to play.
The 3rd key is where the battle is taking place. As a Christian I’ve grown to know that when the Lord has your heart, your hands and feet will follow. When Satan has your mind, your hands and feet will follow. A relationship with God is not one of head knowledge but that of his reign in our hearts. Even though the battle is against the evils of this dark world and in the heavenly realms, it starts with the mind, as that is what Satan attacks.
1 Peter 1 v 13 speaks of a mind ready for action, ready for the attack that looks something like what is illustrated in James 1 v 14 – 16:
“But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.”
Many a song has been sung about that which was so wrong but felt so right. It effects the entirety of our flesh and our success can feel much like a pendulum. We have every reason to have hope and I refer you to the Apostle Paul’s description of the struggle found in Ephesians 5 v 16 – 26 & the entire chapter of Romans 8.
The fourth, final and most important key is that of what it’s all about; what we are fighting for. This is not a complicated issue. The salvation of our souls is at stake. Jesus sanctifies, justifies and makes us right before God. He is the way and while still here guides us in the fight by the power of his Spirit in us. I love how James 5 v 19 – 20 describes the victory we have in Christ when it states:
“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
It is about salvation from an eternal death. Eternally separated from the love and presence of our Father; our Creator.
To close, I feel the need to state, even to implore you to take the battle for the souls, maybe yours in particular, seriously. 2 Peter 3 v 9 says that God is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Jonathan Cahn states in his book “The Mystery of the Shemitah” that, “The sound of an alarm cannot, by nature, be pleasant. It can’t be. Otherwise it wouldn’t serve its purpose to awaken and to warn.”
We are warned and the worst mistake we can make is to underestimate our enemy. Yeshua is the Hebrew word for Jesus and translated means safety. I pray that all would hear and heed the warning. That we would be ready and willing to fight knowing that we are forever safe in Jesus.
God Bless – Sean Bosse