At the beginning of the war in Iraq, when our troops stormed into the capital. I was struck by the contrast between those who were civilians and those who were soldiers. They all found themselves on the same battlefield, but their response to the conflict was quite different.
At times the Iraqi people and the U.S. soldiers would be mingling together in the streets. Then suddenly gunfire would ring out, and the civilians would dash for cover. The soldiers, on the other hand, would zero in on where the attack was coming from, and charge straight after the enemy.
I remember being amazed at how fearless and focused our troops seemed to be. As civilians would scatter like roaches in a dozen directions, the “boys in green” would move as a cohesive force toward the source of the attack. Instead of self-preservation, their mantra was, “seek and destroy.” Even when they seemed to just be “hanging out” on the streets, their vigilance was obvious. They knew it was a battle, and they were ready for it.
What about you? Trapped in the middle of a spiritual war. On the one hand, God is trying to reach out and bless, while the devil is hard at work to destroy. People all around you are being attacked by fear, temptation, sin, and disease. They are captive to the deceptions of the world, the flesh, and the devil. You are surrounded by suffering and darkness. The battle is universal and unavoidable. The only question is, “Are you a soldier or a civilian?”
The main difference is that civilians seek to escape these attacks, while soldiers seek to subdue them. What spiritual battles are you avoiding? Is the devil after someone in your family? Does temptation stalk you all day long? Is fear, bitterness, self-pity, or depression tearing you down? Do these attacks make you fighting mad, or make you run for cover? Are you under attack, or on the hunt?
Paul said the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful. He talked a lot about soldiers, weapons and fighting the good fight. The scripture is pretty clear about our role in this life. We are not civilians. Wherever there is suffering or evil, you are called to stand and fight through prayer and intercession. Jesus came to destroy the works of evil. That mission, is still yours today. Grab your helmet and let’s go.
Take the quiz
As the spiritual battles rage around you, how do you respond?
-Runs from the battle
-Is not prepared to fight
-Is not looking for the enemy
-Is focused on his own affairs
-Expects the good life
-Seeks to protect what is his
-Runs to the battle
-Is prepared and ready to fight
-Is alert and aware of enemy tactics
-Fights for the good of others
-Expects to make sacrifices
-Seeks to liberate what has been captured
Be prepared with God’s Word:
Mon -Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Tues -Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
Wed -2 Corinthians 10:4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
Thu -Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Fri -1 John 3:8 …The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
Sat -Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Sun -1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.