Summary: We are engaged in spiritual warfare, not just minor disputes, and so must take on the enemy. God calls not only "Michaels", leaders, but also "ordinary angels". When we engage evil, we create the opportunity for salvation, wholeness, to be done. Victor
Imagine that it’s Sunday afternoon. You are on the turf at FedEx field. You have been assigned to play defense for the Deadskins ... er, I mean, the Redskins. Yes, you. You have been assigned to play defense; why not? Nobody else is doing it! Spurrier says to you, “When one of them gets the ball and starts running, you are to stop him. You are to keep him from scoring. Pick your own strategy, select your own technique, but just stop that guy. You are now our chief defensive player. We are counting on you to stop the enemy!”
So what do you do? What is your plan? You have several choices. When you look up and see 250 pounds of muscle heading your way, you have several options.
You can say to yourself, “That’s more than I want to deal with. I’m not ready yet. Let me go back to the locker room and study some more. Maybe in a few years I’ll be ready for this challenge”. Suppose you did that. What would happen? Touchdown for the opponents!
So you need a different plan. You are the key defensive player, and so what’s another possibility? Aha, I know. There are a bunch of us out here, and so I’ll say to my chums, “You all need to get busy. You all need to take this on. Come on over here.” So all your teammates gather, they huddle and they talk, some whisper and some shout. A few are for doing something, anything, right now; most, however, feel that we should plan carefully and should not do anything that will get our nice uniforms dirty. The debate goes on in the huddle; but meanwhile, what is happening downfield? High-fives and the chicken strut, because the enemy has scored again!
Okay, now we know what the problem is. The problem is that we have focused too much on ourselves. We’ve been dealing with our own issues, and meanwhile the enemy is romping along. We need to forget about ourselves and engage the enemy, don’t we? We need to get in his face and do something to directly. So how about this strategy? Here he comes, trotting downfield; I’m going over there. I’m going to get right in his path. “Excuse me. Uh, excuse me, mister running back? Can I have a word with you? I just wanted you to know that we are kind of unhappy about your scoring so often. Do you think you could keep it down? Would you mind just letting us have a few points too? And by the way, we do care about you, you know. If you ever need us, just give us a call.” Get real! Maybe when the score is about three hundred to nothing, they’ll do that. But the game is not about politeness, it is not about making nice, it is not about sidestepping the challenge, it is not about taking our own sweet time. The game is about winning. It is about the defeat of the enemy. And there is only one strategy that will work; there is only one plan that makes sense. Are you ready for it?
When the enemy is racing toward the goal, tackle him! Throw him down! Do not leave him standing, do not spend time wondering how he feels about it. Tackle him, throw him down, take him out! That is the only way.
You and I have been assigned places on God’s team. You and I have been given the task of confronting the enemy for the Kingdom. And if our thing is to go sit in the prayer room or the classroom and prepare, well, that’s fine. But to spend years and years behind stained glass and never engage the enemy – that’s pointless. Or if our thing is to play church, arguing about what the stadium should look like or what the choir members – er, cheerleaders – should shout, then we are going to put all our energies into the wrong things, and the enemy is going to romp right past us. If we do screw our courage to the sticking place and get out there on the field with a witness, but it’s a half-hearted, apologetic, witness, nobody will pay us any attention, and the day will be lost. More to the point, souls will be lost, the culture will be lost. The world in which we live will be lost to the enemy.