Summary: Spiritual Warfare - God's Armor 1. The Battle is Real 2. God's Defensive Weapons 3. God's Offensive Weapons
Scripture: Ephesians 6:10 - 20
Theme: Spiritual Warfare
Title: The Fog of Spiritual Warfare
Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ, our Savior and LORD who came to take away the sin of the world and grant us Abundant Life!
Have you ever heard of the name - Carl von Causenwitz? Okay, how about the name of a British Colonel by the name of Lonsdale Hale? We I hadn't heard about either one of those men. But I have heard of the phrase - "the fog of war". Carl von Causenwitz has been given credit with having the idea that goes behind the phrase - "fog of war" but Colonel Hale is the person that has been credited with actually using the phrase "fog of war".
It's been reported that Colonel Hale first coined the phrase back in 1896. He used it to describe what he considered to be at that the time the normal conditions on a battle field. "Fog of war" meant "the state of ignorance in which commanders frequently found themselves as regards the real strength and position, not only of their foes, but also of their friends." In other words there are times on the battle field and in the middle of a battle when you simply lack the necessary information concerning your own troops and the oppositions troops. At best you are working in a fog. You do your best to estimate the strength and power of your troops as well as the strength and power of your opposition.
Jesus talks about the importance of having military intelligence in Luke 14. Listen to Jesus' words:
31 “. . . suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. (Luke 14:31-32 NIV)
That is just Common Sense. If you are going into a fight one of the things that you have to know is:
+Who exactly are you fighting - who is your enemy or opposition?
+What is the intelligence and capability of their leadership
+What is the size of their fighting force
+What is the quality of their weapons
+What is their true ability to go to war
Now, of course there are other things that you have to know but those are just some of the more important ones. Remember about 25 years ago when Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein bragged about defeating America? He stated at the time that his country had the military capabilities to launch the "Mother of all battles". He boasted that in a matter of a few months he would defeat America and all its allies. He believed that no one could stop his troops.
We all know today, that the exact opposite happened. Saddam's forces were crushed and they surrendered within a few weeks. The "mother of all battles" proved to be nothing of the kind. Saddam had miscalculated the power, strength and resolve of the forces of the United States and its allies. The Iraqis had blundered into a "fog of war" and it cost them over 100,000 soldiers while the fatalities of the U. S. Army and its allies were under 400.
In our passage, the Apostle Paul is writing so that we don't fall victim to the "fog of war" when it comes to spiritual conflict. While the Apostle Paul was certainly not a professional soldier he knew a great deal about war, about war strategy and especially about dealing with spiritual warfare. Paul knew what it meant to be both victorious on the spiritual battle field and he also knew what it meant to be a victim of a spiritual battle.
The church that Paul is writing to in this letter is a church that was located in one of the places that we believe that the Apostle Paul had to spend some time in prison. Over the last few years there has been some new information concerning Paul's imprisonments. We know for example that he spent time in prison in Rome and Caesarea. We now think that one of the reasons why Paul seems so depressed and out of sorts in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians is that he was writing from the depths of an Ephesian prison. His life was on trial and there was some doubt as to whether he would be acquitted or condemned to die.
If you remember it was in Ephesus that Paul had to deal with this amazing riot. While he was preaching about Jesus a crowd started shouting out the words "GREAT IS ARTEMIS OF THE EPHESIANS". The locals who were devoted disciples of the pagan goddess "Artemis" had gotten quite upset when Paul started telling everyone that there was no such goddess as "Artemis" and that her little idols statues meant nothing. In Paul's mind, Artemis was really powerless. She really didn't exist.