Did you know that when you first came to Christ, and were born into God's family, that you were enlisted into a war? There is a war going on, which has been going on since the beginning of time. It is a war between good and evil, light and darkness, truth and error, and right and wrong.
The captain of the side of truth and light is Jesus Christ. The captain of the side of darkness and evil is the devil. The end of the battle is foretold in the book of Revelation and God's side will completely conquer all evil, one day.
Yet, we are living in the midst of this battle while we are on earth. When we are born physically, we are automatically born into the side of darkness. This is revealed as soon as we start to show our colors! Even little toddlers don't like people telling them what to do, or having authority over them. They want to call the shots! This is called, autonomy. Our 'autonomy' is against God's authority.
When we come to Christ, when we are convicted of sin, and turn away from our sin and self-centeredness, and trust in Jesus Christ as our only Savior, the Bible says we are 'born again'. We are 'new creatures' in Christ. We have a 'new heart' that can now truly love God and other people. We have the power to say 'no' to sin and 'yes' to righteousness. After we are born into God's family, we have a relationship with God. When God sees such a person who trusts in Him this way, He sees that person through Jesus Christ, and that person is completely cleansed from all sin, and now is wearing robes of righteousness, in God's eyes. But something else is there, for every person who has trusted in Christ.
When we are born into God's family, we are enlisted in this spiritual battle that is going on, only now, we are on the side of light and truth, whereas before, we were on the side of darkness and evil (by default).
I think a lot of people don't know this though. Many come to Christ in order to have their sins forgiven so they can go to heaven after they die, but they are ignorant of the rest of the package of this precious gift we call 'salvation'.
No one asked to be born. No one wanted to be born into a sinful world. No one asked to be delivered out of this kingdom of darkness until one realizes that there is a kingdom of light that he or she can be part of. And, no one who is 'born again' asked to be part of this battle. But whether we like it or not, the battle will continue to rage, and we will be participants in it, even if we are weak and ignorant ones.
If we are not born again, we remain in the kingdom of darkness, even if we don't want to be part of that kingdom.
According to Ephesians 6, there are spiritual weapons listed that we must use in this spiritual battle. Some of the weapons are:
*Loins girt about with truth
*Breastplate of Righteousness
*Readiness given for the Gospel of Peace (shoes)
*The Shield of Faith
*The Sword of the Spirit (God's word)
*Praying in the Spirit
*Watching with all perseverance
According to Ephesians 6, here is who we are fighting against:
* Cosmic Powers of this present darkness
* Spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places
(all of these powers are in the spiritual realm)
The devil's weapons are lies of this age, discouragement, distractions, temptations to sin. Whatever the devil can do to trick us into not trusting God, he will do. If he can't get us to not trust God, he will get us distracted with the cares of this life. He will get us so entangled, that we will forget about God, and then we will remember God when difficulties come, but we will not trust God because we haven't spent time getting to know Him. The less we know about God's character, the less we will trust Him. That's why so many people complain about Christianity and the God of Christianity. They don't understand Who the God is that is defined in the Bible. The only understanding of God that they have is from their own reasoning combined with doubts from the devil. They will never trust a God that they do not know about. They are running away from a false god that they have been tricked into believing is the true God because they are ignorant of the Bible's description of God's character.
If the devil can keep us distracted from learning about spiritual warfare, then he is happy because we will be ineffective in this battle, if we are true believers in Jesus Christ. We will also bring dishonor to God's name because we are in ignorance of the truth's God has for us. By default, we will believe the lies of the devil and will fall for his schemes.
Another verse tells us to be sober and vigilant, for the devil is out like a prowling lion, seeking whoever he can devour. It is not like the devil is just on the back burner, and just sitting back wishing he could do more. He is fighting aggressively today, against all the powers of light and truth. We know from the book of Job, that Satan does ask permission from God to attack true believers in Christ. We also know that God grants permission for him to do that, at times. We also know that God will tell the Powers of Darkness when to stop. While God allows all this to go on, we must pick up the spiritual weapons and use them.
A big trick of the devil is to get us to put our weapons down. Now he doesn't come to us and tell us to put them down. He tricks us by getting us distracted or keeping us ignorant. He may twist Scripture around to make it sound like we don't have to fight anymore. He may tell us some half truths, but with a twist to make us believe in something that is not true. For example, he may tell us that the battle is already won, so we don't have to do anything anymore. Or, the devil may say that since God is all-powerful and all-knowling and caring for His own, then God will not allow the devil to bother us any more. But if that were true, then why would there be so much talk of spiritual warfare in the Bible, especially in the New Testament?
The Enemy of our souls keeps us from growing spiritual so we stay like helpless babies, unable to see our need to grow up spiritually. Then we would be like the Corinthians, whom Paul addressed as 'carnal' and not spiritual.
We don't want to be unaware of the devil's schemes, and he has many of them. They are custom made to keep us away from God and to keep us from trusting in God. The devil plays the same trick on us that he played on Eve in the Garden, the trick that put the whole human race into bondage to sin. He still plays those tricks on us today, not because he doesn't have anything else to do, but because he hates God with a passion and he hates human beings and can trick us so easily.
So, it's time to pick up our weapons and fight. God promises to give us the weaponry we need to have to fight against the powers of darkness. We need to be faithful in using them so we do not become casualties in the kingdom of Light.