Life is a battle. It’s like D-Day and the opening scene from “Saving Private Ryan”. The sounds of bombs exploding, machine guns firing and men screaming. Carnage, devastation and death; in a word–WAR! Many describe those first few minutes of the movie as traumatic. Combat veterans say it is as real as it gets. The Bible declares that a similar scene is being played out every day in the unseen spiritual world. Ephesians 6:12 states,
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Every believer is in a battle. It is a struggle for life and death. It is a fight for our very souls.
The Bible describes the Christian life as a spiritual battle. The language of the New Testament pictures a conflict both within and without. Romans 12:2 says, “Stop being conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” In Galatians 5:17 it says, “The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do as you please.” 1 Peter 5:8 warns, “Be of sober spirit, be on alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 counsels us that, “…though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” Ephesians 6:10-13 exhorts us:
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.
These scriptures conclusively prove that the Christian is involved in a spiritual struggle. The world, the flesh and the devil are constantly in conflict with our new identity in Christ. Spiritual growth and victory can only be achieved as we correctly perceive the spiritual context in which we live. We don’t live our lives on the playground but on the battleground!
Spiritual warfare is a reality. The Bible clearly defines it and human experience backs it up. Spiritually, it’s D-Day and we are storming the beach at Normandy. Bombs are exploding, bullets are flying and people are dying. The first step to victory is to recognize we are in a battle. Are you aware of the battle you are in?
Ignorance is not bliss and spiritual ignorance is only an invitation to be a casualty in the spiritual war. Jesus said it is the truth that sets us free. When we realize that we have an enemy and that we are in a battle, then we can develop strategies and tactics to not only fight but to fight and win. Victory is our goal. 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, who give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” For those who have been sideliners, it is time to suit up and get in the fight. For those who are weary of the battle, it’s time to put our focus and trust in Christ and remember, “The battle belongs to the Lord!”
(Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Life is a battle”)