War is imminent. The battle between right and wrong goes on every day. As we step out of our bedroom every morning, war is just ahead.
War happens in the moments, and whether I’m aware of it or not, it’s going on around me all the time.
Imagine what it would be like living in a literal war zone but not realizing that you are. It would be dangerous. Incredibly dangerous! When you don’t know that there might be spies around, bullets flying, or bombs dropping, you don’t know to take any precautions or to be very aware of what’s going on around you. You make yourself incredibly vulnerable by simply being unaware.
Not knowing that you’re in a war zone makes being there much more dangerous than if you do know you are in a danger zone.
Yet I believe we do this most days in our spiritual lives. We walk through our days completely unaware that there are spies following us and preying on our vulnerability. Next thing we know, we are blindsided by the consequences that we chose by our absent-minded, foolish choices.
The anxiety we are suddenly groping to get out of is the result of walking into a mental minefield because we ignored the warning signs that were marked along the way.
We are mentally shaken, catapulted and thrown across the street by any kind of circumstance that doesn’t fall neatly into the box of our expectations of what a Christian life in the Western world should look like.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil walks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
He’s looking for Jesus followers who are unaware, isolated, distracted, believing lies that leave them completely vulnerable-anyone who is oblivious to his agenda in this realm.
“Be alert.” 1 Peter 5:8
“Lay aside every weight and the sin that easily ensnares us…with endurance run the race…look unto Jesus…” Hebrews 12:1-2
“I want to know Christ…I press on…” Philippians 3:10-12
These verses all speak of determination, intentionality, and purpose. The opposite of distracted and unaware. If we are going to stay strong and healthy in this realm, we’ve got to keep our eyes on Jesus, live each day as He guides it, move with clarity, intentionality, and purpose. Most of all, we have to know who we are in Jesus. We have to believe everything that He says about us.
We have to know who is talking to us. If we think Our Commander is speaking but it’s actually a spy for the enemy, we will be following the wrong orders.
If we have no idea why there’s a war going on and what the purpose of fighting the war is, we will have no direction or understanding of how to fight or what to fight for.
Being in the Word of God brings a lot of truth and clarity for the battle. It, along with being in constant prayer and relationship with God through His Holy Spirit, give us the battle plan as we go through our daily battles.
He will guide us so that we miss the stray bullets that get fired.
He will bring us truth to keep us from the booby traps.
He will encourage us to stand firm when it feels like defeat is imminent.
He strengthens us when it feels like we can’t fight anymore.
He brings peace and rest when the battle abates for a moment or two.
The battle is real; we’re in a war whether we are aware of it or not.
Victory is already ours when we partner with Our Commander In Chief, Jesus Christ. He won the war about 2,000 years ago. To be on His team is the best decision we can ever make. He is the most encouraging, loving, truth-filled Commander we will ever encounter. He knows exactly where we will be the most effective fighter in this battle, and He’s made every provision that we need to be victorious in the spot He has placed us in this war.
I’ll leave you with this passage in Ephesians 6 that tell us all about the armor we need in this war.
“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 enemy’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. 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 Lord’s people.”
Fight well today!