The Battle Belongs to the Lord, Pt. 1
“Listen, O Israel: Today you are about to join battle with your enemies. Do not be faint hearted. Let there be no fear or trembling or alarm as you face them. The Lord, your God, is marching with you, to fight your enemies for you and make you victorious.” (Deut 20: 3-4)
The war one fights is fought on the battlefield of the mind. The prize is the soul, and everyone is part of this war whether they choose to be or not. The enemy is subtle and seductive, and is a professional at what he does. He steals and kills without mercy, and anyone who stands proudly against him will fall. One of the most destructive enemies is the same enemy who was once an ally. Satan once stood in the presence of God, however, he rebelled and was cast from heaven. Now, he fights for the very souls of all the mankind. God gives His people the strength to stand against this enemy, for the Lord fights in our stead. God gives the soldiers of Heaven divine armor and weapons, He never will send His soldiers out into the fray unarmed. The book of Ephesians describes this arsenal to us.
The mind is the battlefield in which this war is fought. To meet the counter attack of Satan and all the powers of evil, God has given the warriors of the faith the full Armor of God. Through many numerous wars, people throughout history are either freed or imprisoned. The Christian fights for the salvation to be one day with the King of Kings in His glory, and to be free from the bondage that Satan has put the earth under. Christ has already conquered death, and all wait for His return. The Church and each of its believers must be prepared for the fight. The body of Christ must unite, they must build each other up to be ready for the inevitable encounter with hell and its minions. Each Christian is to watch out for each other and pray diligently for each other.
The church is an army, however, this army looks toward the glory of death, but while alive to look for the glory of Christ. The army of God is like any other army, it has different positions and has its specialists. The human life is warfare. Some need to be “sentinels” guarding the walls. Some need to be “soldiers” who are on the front lines. Some need to be “spies” who live among the world to report the evil to others. The Lord chooses different soldiers for different tasks according to their talents. Each talent is for Christ and His glory.
The first and most important point that one must know is that Christ has already won the war, and where one stands with Him. As Christians, one is to stand on the Rock called Christ. All throughout the Scriptures it is filled with encouraging words, which God gave to comfort His people.
Can anything stand against God?
No weapon forged against you will succeed. Any voice that speaks against you in court will be refuted. Such is the lot of the servants of the Lord. If one relies on his own strength, a Christian will surely fail. No one can stand against the dark lord of hell or his minions, however, with Christ and armed with the Armor of God one can stand against them all. The Christian will be able to stand strong to the very end if you make it your own. The strength He bestows is power, ability and strength. It will be adequate to its end. The scriptures are full of verses that reassure God’s people that He will never leave them alone. The war that is fought is not only fought for your own soul, but all Christians should pray for the salvation of everyone’s soul. The Church prays for all to come to the revelation that Christ is the way, and that His words and His actions are the truth, and that He is the only one that can bestow everlasting life.
The reason that God gives us what we need to fight is so that we can be strong enough to endure all the evils of the world. We are to be examples to other Christians that falter, and also to the unbelieving world. Ephesians tells us: “That is why you must take up all of God’s armor, or you will not be able to put up any resistance on the evil day, or to stand your ground even though you exert yourselves to the full.” In this letter, Saint Paul refers to the “evil day”. Every Christian will have this evil day where Satan tries to push you over the edge and make you break. He is also talking about the dangers that the Church will have - the internal struggles of the Body of Christ. This is why the Church is to defend itself against the evil and heretical movement, not only outside the walls, but within as well. It is damaging to any kingdom to have an enemy batter the walls, but it is even more devastating to have an enemy do the damage from within the walls.
It is the intents of the heart that one fights against. This internal struggle against the flesh and the fight against man’s natural desire to do evil. The world has corrupted everything that is good, that is why one has to struggle to find the Kingdom of God. Everything that the flesh desires, the flesh seeks. Everything that the spirit desires is fought against by the flesh. The flesh desires to seek glory, honor and riches that the world has to offer. The Spirit scorns and rejects these things and only yearns for external blessings. Thus, the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. The Christian must know how to defend one’s self from the deception of the evil one.
The second most important factor in any war is to know one’s enemy. The book of Ephesians tells the reader that the war we fight is not on earth, nor the enemy flesh, but it states that: “…It is not against human enemies that we have to struggle, but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in his world, the spirits of evil in the heavens.” The spiritual being, Lucifer, is enemy to every man, woman and child that lives was once the most beautiful of God’s Cherubim. And his allies are the world and the flesh. His only aim is to kill, destroy and annihilate everyone who trying to find salvation. One of Satan’s greatest achievements was convincing people that he is not real; therefore those people have no reason to look to God for help. Every Christian must believe that Satan is real, because it is imperative to know the enemies strategy and tactics. He tries to convince us to sin and with every step of progression toward Christ, the enemy besieges the wall even more ferociously than before. Satan is not content to stifle God’s inspiration and to suggest evil in its place. He wants to interject new faults, either of the same or more vicious in nature by supplying greater and more dangerous opportunities to fall into sin. The key word here is “opportunities”, in other words, we must agree to do the actions of the sin because we are not forced into doing anything. God helps us to defend all the enemy puts against us.
It is important to know what God gives a Christian to ward off the attacks of the devil. Ephesians states that our divine protection from God is His full armor. This armor reflects our relationship with the Almighty, and when you are with God no one can stand against you. St. Paul, in this book, tells the reader to put on the whole Armor of God. When Saint Paul was writing this, he was in everyday contact with Roman soldiers, and he saw what they wore to defend against the enemies of Rome. He too knew he was a soldier, but, a soldier of the King of Heaven. He too knew that God gave His people armor and weapons to fight Satan, divine armor given by Christ. All the pieces of the Christian’s armor are the characteristics of Christ Himself, and what all Christians fight to become.
Continued in another post with the Armor of God.