Several years ago, Charles Colson wrote a book entitled “Kingdoms in Conflict,” in which he outlines some of the battlefields laid out between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of spiritual darkness on earth. As ambassadors for the King of Heaven, we should expect to be fully engaged in that conflict on a daily basis. As warriors in this battle, we must keep the following in mind.
Firstly, this battle is invisible to the naked eye. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that we don’t fight against flesh and blood but against rulers of the spiritual darkness. This means that people are not the enemy, no matter how strongly they stand against the kingdom. Those are the people we need to pray for and work to reach with the gospel. The enemy and his forces are spiritual and, though invisible, very real, and it is their influence in the world and people around us that we fight against.
Secondly, we have tremendous weaponry at our disposal:
The Word of God – Later in Ephesians 6, the word of God is referred to as the sword of the Spirit. Jesus used scripture to respond to Satan’s attacks, and so turned him away. We can do the same thing. In addition, Jesus is the living word of God and his spirit lives within us as a spiritual sword to use in battle. How practiced are we at wielding this sword?
Prayer – We often think of prayer as such a simple thing; how could it actually be effective in a spiritual battle? We forget that prayer brings to bear the power of God. Jesus told his disciples that God would do whatever they asked in his name; however, every prayer is not always answered in the way we imagine. That goes beyond what we can understand, but scripture and church history do clearly reveal that prayer is powerful and effective in battle, both physical and spiritual. How much time are we spending each day in prayer for victory in the battle around us?
Love – Self-sacrificing love is what brings about our victory in the end. Jesus laid down his life for us out of love. Love wins the battle. As we love others, we participate in that victory. In what ways are we demonstrating God’s love for others as he demonstrated his love for us?
Obedience – We would all still be enemies of God if Jesus had not obeyed the Father’s plan. Obedience releases God’s power into our circumstances, while rebellion against God’s will plays into the enemy’s hand. As Moses obeyed God and held his hands up to heaven, the armies of Israel were winning on the battlefield; as Moses let his hands fall, the tide of the battle turned against Israel. What is God asking you to do today?
Finally, let’s remember that we are in this battle together and that we should rely on each other. We are Jesus to each other. May the question never be asked, “Where was God when…?” God was and is present in us always.
“Of this be certain, I am always with you…from now until the very end.”