Lately I’ve been in conversations with other pastors discussing the current spiritual temperature of the Church. We concur that many people who fill the pews on Sundays struggle with their identity in Christ. Many have received the Lord, and believed on him for salvation, but are losing the battle with the Enemy. The Church has denied the reality of spiritual warfare for too long and it’s time to wake up, suit up, and step up.
If you are reading this and you don’t believe in supernatural warfare. Then what follows will likely seem absurd. However, for those of you who want to learn to be victorious in the battle then I would encourage you to make this a starting point where you dedicate to a deeper level of engagement with God. If you don’t remember anything else I write, remember this:
You can’t take ground from the Enemy as long as the Enemy has ground in you.
Often when someone begins to articulate ways in which Satan is actively trying to destroy lives, people look at you funny with their head turned sideways and blank look of disbelief. People think that those who speak of “the Devil” have been watching too much late night television. However, I’m here to tell you that there is an Enemy and he is alive and well on planet earth.
The Bible says he’s the prince of the power of the air, and that he is out to kill, steal, and destroy. Believe this: he is actively destroying the work of Jesus Christ wherever he can. I hear people claim to be ‘Christians,’ yet they say that they do not believe in the reality of Satan. I find this difficult to understand. If someone is a Believer and yet they claim not to believe in Satan, they certainly do not read the Bible, because the Bible speaks of Satan at every turn.
Usually there are one of two things I find among Christians concerning the Enemy’s influence in their lives and society at large: (1) Ignorance (they don’t know); or (2) Indifference (they don’t care). Consequently, the Enemy continues to succeed at his agenda, because so many people don’t know, or perhaps worse they just don’t care. Even worse is that many are collaborating with him in passivity and complacency because they haven’t taken time to equip themselves.
The Enemy has three primary goals: (1) Destroy every individual Christian; (2) Attack every Christian home; (3) Divide the Church of Jesus Christ and embarrass it publically, destroy it nationally, erode its ministry, discredit its leaders, and wipe out its financial base so that it can no longer have a presence in the world. Those of us in pastoral ministry know what an advantage Satan has in all three of these categories.
Too often the Christian thinks of the world, not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight, but to frolic on the playground of life. We often think the best thing we need to do is rid ourselves of inhibitions and frustrations in life. We’ve lost the sense of spiritual warfare. It’s not that Christians don’t want to win; it’s that many don’t even realize there is a war going on.
Too many Believers walk around with bullets flying over their heads and landmines blowing up at their feet. They have no protection, no knowledge, and no desire to do anything except play in the sun and give God and nod and a wink when it’s convenient.
The Scripture teaches that it is the Christian’s responsibility to appropriate the armor of God: Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Faith, Salvation, and the Word (Ephesians 6). This is not something God wants to do for you. To the contrary, it is something God has told you to do for yourself. God has commanded you to get the armor and “put it on.” He wants you to be prepared: to learn to effectively engage the Enemy and be more effective in the world for the sake of the kingdom.
So, if you get wounded because you’re not prepared for a situation that the Enemy brings into your life, it isn’t God’s fault, don’t blame God. It’s your fault. The armor is sitting there waiting for you to apply. God has requested you to do it. It is therefore your personal and paramount duty to equip yourself. The call of spiritual warfare is to wake up, suit up, and step up!