Summary: Recognizing spiritual conflict in our daily physical world requires spiritual weaponry - We have what it takes to take on the devil with God on our side and the weapons He supplies.
Understanding Spiritual Battle: Our weapons for battle
Text: Eph. 6:14-20
Big Idea: We have what it takes to take on the devil with God on our side and the weapons He supplies
Our culture is much like the man who asked his wife what she’d like for her birthday. "I’d love to be six again," she replied. On the morning of her birthday, he got her up bright and early and off they went to a local theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park: the Death Slide, the Screaming Loop, the Wall of Fear, everything there was. Wow! Five hours later she staggered out of the theme park, her head reeling and her stomach upside down. Right to a McDonald’s they went, where her husband ordered her a Big Mac along with extra fries and a refreshing chocolate shake. Then it was off to a movie - the latest Star Wars epic, and hot dogs, popcorn, Pepsi Cola and M&M’s. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed. He leaned over and lovingly asked, "Well, dear, what was it like being six again?"
One eye opened. "You dope, I meant my dress size."
This is what goes on with many of us. We have selective hearing don’t we? God word’s tells us main problem here with the world is spiritual but most of people seem to be stucked on the physical. Remember the time in which or historical context of Paul when he was writing this letter to the Ephesians.
See 6:20 – “an ambassador in chains.” I.e. He is in prison.
Is it not interesting that in his time of being in jail, he did not issue any command to strike down the evil Roman Empire? He did not incite others to open rebellion, organized terror campaigns, condone suicide attacks, or launch air strikes against the people who threatened him. He did not even go and rally his followers to set up public “peaceful” demonstrations, staged a walkout, or any goon tactics that so often is a prelude to rioting to intimidate the people who put him in jail. He recognizes the conflict goes beyond the earthly sphere; it is fought in the spiritual realm. Hence, no use trying to throw earth bound solutions to our mega problems. What we need is spiritual reformation, no overthrow of human political governments will offer lasting solutions. If it were so, Jesus would have said, my kingdom is of this world and I will see to it y’all die for this travesty of justice for putting me on trial for a crime I did not commit. On the cross he cried “father forgive them” rather than incinerate them, or a menacing “I’ll be back.” Jesus Himself knows the battle is spiritual, to defeat the evil forces of sin and death, darkness of the devil.
Always remember Jesus’ exact words as recorded in John 18:36 were: “Jesus said, "My kingdom IS NOT OF THIS WORLD. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place." So it follows that Paul, looking around at the Roman soldier close by him, drew inspiration from the armor-clad soldier rather than planning overthrow of the Romans or just be down in the dumps, moping around, saying “poor-me” or spitting abuse at the poor guy who is following orders. God used Paul’s experience in jail to illustrate the spiritual conflict all Christians will face.
He looked at his own time in jail IN A REDEMPTIVE WAY and he sees it as a spiritual battle experience calling for prayer rather than a battle with his jailer (v.19-20). He sees that time as an opp for mission, his eyes are set on sp. Goal? What about you? What is your experience of prison? What do you confined by? Do you feel imprisoned by a lousy circumstance like Paul? What is it? Life can be nasty, can be overwhelming, can feel like a prison sentence? Are you overcome by it or have you learn to be an overcomer fuelled by God’s strength and mission?
But so often, in our culture that denies the supernatural, we are tempted to look for a physical solution to everything. Education – it appears, is the favorite answer to everything. It seems that no matter what the problem, whether it is AIDS, gun violence, school violence, teens speeding on the roads, domestic violence, rape, alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, or anything else, the solution, in the mind of our culture, always involves more education. But are we not the most educated generation ever? Has it prevented war, given us peace, stopped bullies, reduced drug-use, led to better less corrupt government?
We also like to throw a lot of money and resources at our problems. We think that if a problem gets enough funding it will go away. Seen any improvement in health care ever since doctors got paid more? Seen any improvement in Quebec’s relationship with the rest of Canada because we are now hearing millions being poured into advertising by the Liberal government in Quebec due to the referendum held in Quebec several years? Our PM getting lot of heat about it, right? Seen any improvement in traffic, buses, because of the raise in prices of transit tickets? Seen any improvement in New York Rangers who threw money at the feet of hockey superstars? Seen any improvement in the quality of the dialogue in the Attack of the Clones because the creator of Star Wars have poured millions into his latest Star Wars adventure? Even the New York Yankees with the most money in baseball could not guarantee a win against the worst paid teams every time they meet, is that not true?