Friday, February 12, 2010
Prepare For Battle
I keep a sword in my bedroom next to where I sleep so when I wake up, it's the first thing I see. I want to see it. I need to see it. Because the life I want for me, my wife, and my kids is difficult. It's difficult because it is so opposed. This does not mean that I walk through life paranoid, constantly looking over my shoulder. I enjoy life. I enjoy my wife. I enjoy my kids. They are worth fighting for.
The sword is primarily a symbol for me; meant to remind me, "heads up". It is also a reminder of God's strength in me. Now, if you think I'm coming across as a little melodramatic, then the Apostle Paul was over the top. What did he tell us to put on in Ephesians chapter 6? The whole armor of God. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the readiness of the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, and the sword of the spirit. In other words, don't go out unarmed and unprepared for a fight. He reminds us that we are at war with our enemy, and we had better be prepared in order to take him out. "...[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 devil'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," ~Paul, Ephesians 6:10-12.
Is this how you live? Most people, Christians included, do not live as if there is a war raging all around them.
Be careful not to confuse the work of our enemy to be limited to your misery. How often do we hear, "Oh, the devil is really fightin' me today, just makin' my life miserable?" While I don't dare say that the suffering of people is not partly the result of our adversary's work, it's not the only thing he is after. He wants to take you out! Jesus makes that clear when he tells us, "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. He is after something much more valuable than our comfort. Primarily, he is after our heart, and he'll use whatever means to steal from it, kill it's passion, and destroy it's hope.
Every day we wake, we are facing a battlefield full of danger and opportunity. We must be armed and prepared--with sword in hand--to defend what is most precious: the hearts of our wives, our children, our friends, and yes, even our own hearts.