Welcome to the battlefield. Behind the mask of daily routines, warriors are making their cry heard, though they may not always be aware of it.
[Ephesians 6:12] says:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
We have a place in this battle, but we also have a place beyond it.
Our place beyond the battlefield.
In one sense, the battle for earth is already won. For all the debates and crises we witness, there is a victory already known. Christ died on the cross. He took upon Himself the sins of the earth and was raised up to life again. He has given all people the option of receiving His free gift of eternal life, instead of being paid the wages of sin, which are death.
We fight for the kingdom of God in earth but the battle is not our true focus. We are not just warriors set on winning a war, we are children of God, made to love Him in eternity. So then, whatever happens on the battlefield of earth, we can be confident that our Father God has a place beside Him in His victory, and His life, that can never be stolen away from us.
“Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident..
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.”
Our place in the battle.
While we have a place beside the Father already saved for us, we also have a place in the battle that rages on earth in the present time. People are sick, hurting, angry, stuck in unbelief, shaken by doubt. People are longing for freedom, for salvation, for hope, for life. What should we do? Sometimes, the battle seems irrelevant to us. Sometimes, it is so overwhelming we don’t know how to take action. What did Jesus do?
. . .
Firstly, I believe we need to recognise that there is a battle happening in our midst. Jesus warned His disciples about the battles they would face.
[Matthew 24:5-6] – “For many will come in My name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
[Matthew 24:12-13] – “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
On the front lines, we face deceit and lawlessness which destroy love of God in the hearts of man. However, [2 Thessalonians 5:5-6, 9] reminds us of our calling and purpose. This is the reason we fight; because we were made for light and salvation, not darkness or death.
“You are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober… For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…”
. . .
Furthermore, this battle is not just for our own salvation, but also for the salvation of others. When we realise the consequences of the spiritual battle, we realise that it truly is a battle of life versus death. When we see those consequences manifest in the lives of others, we grasp the meaning of true compassion. This is the kind of compassion that does not just shed tears, but also stirs up our hearts to take up arms and “…fight the good fight of faith, [to] lay hold on eternal life…” [2 Timothy 6:12]. This eternal life, a free gift from God, is for every person. [2 Peters 3:9] shows us this heart of God:
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
This is the God who would leave the ninety-nine sheep to find the single lost one [Matthew 18:12-14], the God whose final words on earth were to appoint witnesses to the ends of the earth so that all might know His life and salvation [Acts 1:7-8]. So, in this battle on earth, we are also to fight for the salvation of all people and all nations.
. . .
Finally, we each have a unique place on the battlefield. There are different spiritual gifts, different ministry opportunities, different seasons that we each experience. [Romans 12:3] says this:
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly that he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”
Our place on the battlefield is the calling God gives us on earth, and He will equip us with what we need to fulfil it. Here we are on earth, taking up arms as teachers, pastors, musicians, encouragers, church planters, mentors, friends. Each one of us have people to pray for, situations we can work with God to transform, miracles we can believe for. Faith in Christ is our emblem, the Holy Spirit is our seal, and the banner of God’s love goes before us.
So, we remember that the battle is waging, that people are waiting for salvation and that God has a place beside Him, waiting for all who would come to Him. We fight with hope in the victory already won by God, and we fight with perseverance to live and serve God with our all, through faith, each and every day.
April Article for Christian Today:
He wants us – escaping the grip of the world
Lily of the Valleys Digital Art Update: