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A FRIEND RECENTLY ASKED ME: HOW GOES THE WAR?

HIS WORDS CAUGHT ME BY SURPRISE

AFTERALL - I LIVE IN AMERICA - THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE BRAVE

WAR IS A TERM GENERALLY RESERVED THOSE DISTANT COUNTRIES ON OTHER CONTINENTS LIKE GERMANY, GREAT BRITAIN, CROATIA, IRAQ

BUT I KNEW THIS WASN'T WHAT MY FRIEND WAS REFERRING TO

HE WAS REFERRING TO ANOTHER WAR

A WAR WHICH IS JUST AS REAL AS WORLD WAR 2, VIETNAM, OR THE GULF WAR

IN FACT - THIS WAR HAS BEEN RAGING SINCE MAN WAS CREATED

IT'S A WAR AGAINST AN INVISIBLE ENEMY

WHICH PRODUCES VERY VISIBLE CASUALTIES

AND IT'S TAKING PLACE RIGHT HERE IN OUR HOMELAND

RIGHT HERE IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY

IT'S THE ONGOING WAR BETWEEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS

JUST AS WE CAN NEVER BE TOO PREPARED WHEN IT COMES TO RAISING CHILDREN

WE CAN'T BE TOO PREPARED WHEN IT COMES TO WARFARE

ESPECIALLY SPIRITUAL WARFARE

IF TRAINING IS NECESSARY FOR FIGHTING HUMAN WARS

HOW MUCH MORE IS IT NECESSARY IN FIGHTING AGAINST THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS

IF WE ARE GOING TO SUCCESSFULLY FIGHT THIS SPIRITUAL WAR WE ARE IN

W WILL HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE TACTICS OF OUR ENEMY AND KNOW HOW TO EQUIP OURSELVES AND USE THE WEAPONS GOD SUPPLIES US WITH

IN HIS LETTER TO THOSE LIVING IN EPHESUS

THE APOSTLE PAUL DEBRIEFS US CONCERNING OUR ENEMY AND OUR WEAPONS

Eph 6:10-18

IN THIS PASSAGE

PAUL'S IDENTIFIES OUR ENEMY AND OUR WEAPONS

NOTICE THAT MOST OF OUR WEAPONS ARE DEFENSIVE WEAPONS

THE BELT OF TRUTH,

THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,

THE SHIELD OF FAITH,

THE HELMET OF SALVATION,

WITH OUR ONLY OFFENSIVE WEAPONS BEING THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT - WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD

AND PRAYER

ALL OF THESE WEAPONS PAUL MENTIONS WOULD HAVE BEEN FAMILIAR TO THOSE PAUL WAS ORIGINALLY WRITING TO

THEY COMPRISED THE MILITARY ARMOR WORN BY SOLDIERS PREPARING FOR BATTLE

BEFORE THE CONSCIENTIOUS SOLDIER WOULD GO INTO BATTLE

HE WOULD SHARPEN HIS SWORD AND CHECK HIS ARMOR FOR CHINKS

CHINKS ARE PLACES IN THE ARMOR WHICH HAVE BECOME DAMAGED BECAUSE OF REPEATED ATTACKS OF PAST BATTLES

AND IF NOT REPAIRED - MIGHT NOT HOLD UP IN THE NEXT BATTLE

LEAVING THE SOLDIER VULNERABLE AND UNGUARDED

WHY DOES PAUL USE COMBAT TERMINOLOGY?

BECAUSE THE SAME THING WHICH IS TRUE OF HUMAN BATTLES IS TRUE OF THIS SPIRITUAL BATTLE WE FIGHT

SOMEONE HAS SAID: THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE

THE OFFENSIVE WEAPONS GOD GIVES US ARE HIS WORD AND PRAYER

THREE TIMES - WHEN JESUS IS TEMPTED BY SATAN IN THE WILDERNESS

HE SAYS: IT IS WRITTEN

AND USES GOD WORD TO SILENCE SATAN'S TEMPTATIONS

DAVID SAID IN PSALMS: THY WORD HAVE I HIDDEN IN MY HEART, THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE

GOD'S WORD = WHEN ACCOMPANIED WITH PRAYER - GIVE US ALL THE WISDOM AND OFFENSE WE NEED TO SUCCESSFULLY FIGHT OUR ENEMY

BUT - LIKE THE WARRIORS PAUL IS REFERRING TO

WE ALSO NEED A STRONG DEFENSE

WE NEED GOD'S ARMOR

AND BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN IN THIS BATTLE FOR AWHILE

WE NEED TO CONSTANTLY CHECK THIS ARMOR FOR CHINKS

BECAUSE IF ANYONE IS A MASTER AT EXPLOITING THE WEAKNESSES OF HIS ENEMY

SATAN IS

HE IS DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE RULES OF WARFARE SET FORTH BY THE GENEVA

CONVENTION

HE IS THE ULTIMATE CHEAP SHOT ARTIST


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