I came across this article today and thought it fitting, as we just finished a week of VBS with our theme being “The Armor of God.” [Originally written in November 2009]
My car’s license plate reads: EVL 5738. Yeah, you can guess the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind. (I’ve already endured much teasing about my ‘evil’ car. ) Admittedly, every time I glance at my car, the word evil comes to my mind as well. So I’ve decided that I’m going to let it remind me of the spiritual battle we are fighting – good versus evil.
I can feel the evil and oppression all around me, as I go to work everyday and interact with people. Some days I stare at myself in the mirror and wonder why it’s me God has entrusted with fighting the battle. Some days I just want to hide under the covers where it’s safe. I often wonder if anyone else cares about the truth. The fight is long and hard. Some days I feel like giving up. As much as I long for a safe, peaceful world, it’s simply not going to happen until Jesus welcomes me to His glorious, heavenly kingdom…
Evil and immorality are grim realities in this world. Murders, child exploitation, high divorce rates, glamorization of sin, pleasure seeking, lying, selfishness, idolatry, gay marriage, witchcraft, and so forth, are running rampant. We’re living in enemy territory, and we must fight to reclaim the ground that has been lost. Satan has claimed the entire world as his own, and we are strangers and pilgrims belonging to a higher Kingdom.
We often forget that we are struggling in a spiritual battle. There is so much more to this world than what the human eye can see. Ephesians 6:10-12 is a potent reminder of the spiritual forces at work all around us. “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.” (emphasis added)
There are two ways of responding to the great battle raging in the earthly realms. One response is to retreat into a shell, cowering away from all the evil around us. The other response is to rise to the challenge, looking to God for our courage. He alone is able to equip and give us strength for the battles ahead. He’s entrusted us with a great task. Fighting is the hardest thing we will ever be called to do. It’s tough, but with God’s help we can fight with courage and might! God is calling godly men to rise up in strength and sound the battle cry. He is calling us to become prayer warriors, fighting against dark powers. He is calling us to stand firmly for truth. He is calling us to raise the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith. He is calling you. He is calling me.
Straight from the Word of God, here is the battle plan:
“Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 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. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:13-18, NIV)
Pick up your sword and FIGHT. Don’t be afraid. Be strong and courageous, for the battle is the Lord’s!