By Pastor Dennis Yim
New Testament Passage: Ephesians 6:10-12
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
The Reality of Spiritual Warfare
Have you noticed that once you’ve become a disciple of Christ your life doesn’t necessarily get easier, but it in a sense it gets a bit more difficult and complex? Have you noticed that you’ve become aware of the deceptive forces that are vying for your allegiance and love? If you have, then good, because that’s exactly what Jesus wants us to realize. At the heart of the Christian life is spiritual warfare. We face a threefold moral enemy: the world, the flesh, and the devil. These enemies are ruled by Satan, who is the prince of this world. However, we don’t face the enemy on our own, we face him with Christ!
As you and I participate in spiritual warfare, we need to acknowledge that the reason why we struggle and wrestle is because we are on God’s side of this epic battle between Him and His enemies. Our aim as Christians is to always be protecting the children of light from being tempted back into the darkness and to protect all of humanity by graciously winning them over into the light. But there’s more, spiritual warfare is a moral struggle. It’s a conflict over who you are, what you believe, and how you live. Another way to say this is: it’s a battle over your ultimate loves because who or what you love is who or what you worship. Your ultimate love dictates who you are, what you believe, and how you live. But I must also add that your ultimate love dictates who you will serve; it is a matter of lordship as well. Satan knows this extremely well, that’s why he does all that he can to cause suffering and turmoil in your life so that he can tempt you to love someone or something else besides God. The best way for the devil to cause you to stumble is by luring your ultimate love away from God to something or someone else.
It’s strange to admit this, but Scripture treats spiritual warfare as a normal and daily part of the Christian life. But don’t be afraid. Spiritual warfare is about how we think, feel, love, live, desire, and act in the presence of our enemies; it's about performing exorcism or something that you see in horror movies. You’re not doing this alone, Jesus the Good Shepherd is with you. Jesus will be guiding you, protecting you and even deliver you when you fall. Jesus will be walking side-by-side with you, so there’s no need to fret, but trust and walk with Him in His grace and love.
Reflection and Prayer
Take some time with your family and friends on how you are participating in spiritual warfare daily? What are some things that you’ve noticed the enemy has been using to tempt you or cause a rift in your relationship with Christ? Take some time to pray and ask the Lord for protection and wisdom in His Word. Pray that the Lord will walk with you daily so that you may rely upon His grace to overcome the evil one.
Father, I am seeking: I am hesitant and uncertain, but will you, O God, watch over each step of mine and guide me? Prayer for Guidance by St. Augustine