Summary: Spiritual Warfare...What you can’t see, CAN hurt you!
I was working on the roof of a man’s house just outside of Nyack. It was a gorgeous day and the house was up on a hill overlooking the Hudson River. As I stood on that roof, a bald eagle soared a few feet over my head. Its wingspan was immense, I could see the power of that bird, right down to the talons on the end of his feet. I had a whole new respect for eagles. I had seen them before, always in zoos, always sitting peacefully on a tree branch, always at a distance. For the first time I got a true glimpse of the power and majesty of this amazing animal when I witnessed it outside of how I was used to seeing it. So many of us can only picture God in this way, we’ve only seen Him at a distance, We’ve seen Him work and move but its always been within the boundaries, the box we keep Him in, of how we think He should work. When we step out in faith and when we understand the power and majesty of the God that we serve, a God who cannot be tamed or contained, when we get just a glimpse of how big and how powerful God is, we will never think the same again.
Satan is a strong enemy, the thought of spiritual warfare is a scary thing, so the only place our confidence can come from is the strength available to us through God. Paul says know God’s strength and then know the strength that you have in that. It is unlike anything else you can experience. The first, basic, idea of spiritual warfare is to know your strength, everything follows from this because as Paul writes later:
Phil 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Spiritual victory begins with God’s strength.
Then Paul moves to the next principle of spiritual warfare: As a soldier in this war, you’ve got to:
2) Dress the Part
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. And he repeats it 2 verses later.
If you are about to engage an enemy, you want to have every possible scenario covered and be protected from every possible attack. Too many Christians try to enter into the battle without the right weapons and without the right armor and just like trying to fight in your own strength, this is going to leave you frustrated and defeated and frankly, it’s why many people fall away from their faith. They enter the battle underdressed.
CRAIG HERBERGER ILLUSTRATION
For a state trooper, there is a uniform that they put on each and every day. There is not one piece of gear that they would feel comfortable leaving the house not wearing. Each piece is vital. They have something to communicate with and to call for help with. They have something that covers their heart and protects them from bullets. They have a gun if a situation calls for the use of deadly force. They have handcuffs to subdue the enemy. A trooper hopes that he will never have to use some things in the course of duty, for a Christian, the reality is that we will use every piece of this armor on a regular basis as we fight to advance God’s kingdom on Earth. Paul says, put it all on, the whole armor. Each piece is as important as the next because there is one rule that is certain in Spiritual Warfare, if you are making a difference for God and He is using you, you will come under attack. If you are comfortable and unwilling to take spiritual risks and living a life that is having no impact on anyone for the Kingdom of God, Satan is not going to waste his time on you, why would he? You’re already playing into his hands. But if you are growing in Christ, if you are serving, if you are sharing, if you are following where god leads, if you are living the life of one who is set apart by God to accomplish something for his kingdom, whether big or small, you will be noticed. Satan will attack.