From Paul’s letter to the churches in Asia Minor, we read of an awareness we Christians need to have,
- “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 – NASB)
I think it is very common, especially in this day of creature comforts and the such, in this day of warm and fuzzy messages from so many pulpits by those who seek to convey that the Christian life is nothing but a wonderful frolic through the tulips, that we can be lulled into a false sense of thinking everything is just hunky-dory, that everything is just wonderful. We can be swept into a euphoric state of bliss! We say to ourselves, “Why this commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior, to being His disciple, why there’s nothing to it, it’s a breeze. No conflicts! No hassles!”
Well, that might be a desired state, but God’s Word makes it vividly clear that that is not the state of the Christian. He or she is at war, is in a very real “struggle!” This word “struggle” is probably better known to us as, “wrestle.” The Greek word means, “a wrestling, struggle, or hand-to-hand combat” (Zodhiates). It speaks of close-in fighting!
After three chapters of great doctrinal truths to the church at Ephesus, and to other churches in Asia Minor, the apostle Paul delves into practical instruction that is meant to order one’s behavior based on that doctrine; in other words, knowing what you now know, this is how you should “walk” (Ephesians 4:1). He concludes his practical teaching by calling the disciple of Christ to be aware that they are at war! They are in a constant combat zone, with real close-in “wrestling,” a very real “struggle” with organized forces of evil . . .
- “against the rulers”
- “against the powers”
- “against the world forces of this darkness”
- “against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”
When the whole counsel of God is proclaimed, the result is not a warm and fuzzy message. The wonderful frolic through the tulips all of sudden is more like a very cautious, step-by-step advance through a mine field. A state of euphoria, that all is well, is not reality, rather reality is that the Christian is to be in a state of soberness, alertness, of preparedness, of equipping oneself with being,
- “strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might,” (Ephesians 6:10 – NASB)
. . . and with having on,
- “the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11 – NASB)
Brethren . . . be reminded, you need to “be able to stand firm against” the forces of evil, against “the schemes of the devil,” you need to have “the full armor of God” on, you need to . . . . . .
- “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8 – NASB)
Have a good day brethren . . . a day in which your walk is characterized by a soberness of spirit and an alertness of mind to the very real war that rages all around us.
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