Summary: We are in a spiritual battle, knowing how to fight and use our spiritual weapons in this war is vital for winning.
We are people who enjoy our stories and movies about battles. Countless
movies and books have been written about the famous and sometimes not so
famous battles in history. And out of those stories we have raised up the heroes
we have today. Let’s face it. As much as we talk about being peaceful, loving
and kind, there is just something is us that wants to glorify the strong, warrior
type we see in our movies and on TV. Take for example Arnold Swartzenegger,
Clint Eastwood, Steven Segal, and of course the Duke, John Wayne. We relate
to that warrior type, that Rambo personality. The person who, single handed
takes on an entire division of evil doers, freeing the prisoners and wiping out all
the bad guys. And we like to see ourselves that way as well. Strong, confident.
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, ready to go into battle.
In his letter to the Ephesains, Paul describes a battle that takes place all
the time. It is a spiritual battle against what Paul describes as “..the
principalities, the powers and world rulers of this present darkness, the spiritual
hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. This battle takes places
constantly, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day and year after
year. And we are on the front line of this battle. We are the soldiers that are
fighting in this war. We will be looking at this spiritual war that takes place and
what it means to us as soldiers in this war.
The first thing to look at are the soldiers in this war. On one side we have
Satan and his legions of demons. They are armed to the teeth with the weapons
of this spiritual warfare. Prepared to destroy everything in their path. And on the
other side we have those who are being attacked by this demonic army,
ourselves. Now we like to see ourselves like Arnold, brandishing 2 sub-machine
guns, blazing away, killing everything in sight and promising that “I’ll be back”.
Or perhaps we see ourselves as more of the Steven Segal type. Ruthless,
trained in every form of combat. Able to construct bombs from cooking oil,
baking soda and a microwave. Or maybe we are more like the Duke. Good old
John Wayne. Rallying the troops. Proclaiming “-----------------------”. That’s how
we like to see ourselves, but lets take a look at how the Bible describes us.
Psalm 100 verse 3 says “...we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
Jesus had compassion on the crowd because the were like sheep without a
shepherd. And in Luke 10:3 Jesus says “I am sending you out as lambs in the
midst of wolves”. Sheep, Lambs. That’s what the Bible says we are. Now being
described as a sheep or lamb isn’t exactly the greatest thing in the world. Sheep
are dumb. They are perhaps one of the dumbest animals on the earth. They
wander off, get into trouble, can fall into rivers and streams and drown and they
are completely defenseless. Throw a wolf, or other predatory animal into a
bunch of sheep and it’s basically a smorgasbord for that animal. Not exactly
how we want to see ourselves in this spiritual battle. We want to see ourselves
as strong, able to fight off any enemy, able to defend ourselves against any foe.
But we aren’t like that at all in this battle of the unseen world. We are sheep.
And as sheep we are totally defenseless. When Satan and his demons attack,
we have nothing to protect us. See we are sheep, lambs. And in 1 Peter 5:8
Satan is described as “...a hungry, roaring lion who prowls around looking for
someone to devour. Sheep and lions don’t mix.
So how are we going to fight this battle? How are we possible going to
defend ourselves against the attacks that Satan launches at us? Paul gives us
the answers in this passage of scripture. Paul says “....be strong in the Lord and
in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able
to stand against the wiles of the devil. The Living Bible says, “put on all of God’s
armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of
Satan”. Open up your Bibles and look at this with me. Read along with me and
underline this. Verses 10 and 11 says be strong; be strong how? In ourselves, in
others, in our power? NO it says; “Be strong in the Lord “. And verse 11 says
“Put on the whole armor of........” help me out here.....God. Not our armor. Not