The Bible says that we, as Christians, will inevitably take part in spiritual battles. Just because we decide to follow Jesus, life doesn’t magically start going our way. After all, who was the greatest Christian that ever lived? Jesus! And, as He walked in the Spirit, doing God’s will, He was crucified! So, if He encountered such strife, what makes you or me any different? Now, when tough times come, you can have the peace that comes from God that will assure you that you are being who God wants you to be.
Ephesians 6:10-11 talks about the battle that lies ahead of us, and what we can do to arm ourselves for it:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
When I played football, one of the most important elements that helped us prepare to win was the scouting report. This report contained the tendencies, strengths and weaknesses of each of our opponents, and allowed us to predict and exploit their moves with our countermoves.
I remember one time that I received such a tremendous scouting report that I knew when a certain player entered the game and lined up on the left side of the quarterback they would run just a few plays, or if he lined up on the right side, there would be just a few different plays they would run. Then, if he put his hand in a certain position on the ground, that narrowed down the possibilities to only one single play. As a defensive linebacker, it made predicting their move and stopping their offense incredibly easy that day. As soon as he set himself, we knew exactly what he was going to do and I was able to lay him out in the backfield, bringing the crowd to its feet. But, it wasn’t because I was so great that day, but simply because our scouts gave me such an accurate and helpful scouting report.
The same goes against our spiritual opponent – the devil. When Ephesians 6:11 talks about the devil’s schemes, the Scripture is referring to the devil’s scouting report. He’s been at the temptation game for a long, long time. And he knows our tendencies, strengths and weaknesses.
Ephesians 6 goes on to say –
12 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.
This verse goes against what most of us think that we struggle with each day. We assume that most of our temptations or struggles are against other people, or even ourselves. The devil’s scouting report is so good, he knows that we too often fall back on thinking that people (ourselves included) cause the issues of our lives. But in reality, our battle is against the devil and his armies who are working overtime to deceive us, accuse us, and lead us down the wrong paths of life that do not lead to Christ.
But, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, as we discussed in our last episode, we will be enabled by God to fulfill His will for our lives more fully and accurately. We win when we yield ourselves to the Spirit of God and let Him move us as He rules and reigns in our lives.