Dear Fellow Christians:
Every day we face a battle. Every day we are fighting in a war. This war is not focused on ISIL but it does include those identified with ISIL. This war is not focused on the person next door that we love, dislike or hate but it does involve them.
For us, there is absolutely no greater war that you or I can fight in. There is no war on this earth more worthy of our participation. This war is supernatural. It is spiritual in nature. It has eternal implications.
Every soul (friend and foe) faces a bleak eternity if we do not participate in this war and fight. Not every person wants to hear the message we bring them. Not every person who hears will embrace the Gospel and repent. Many, in fact, will flat out reject it. BUT, their response is not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to ensure every person, even our enemies, have the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel, no matter what it costs us. In light of this, it is important that we remember an important truth. People like ISIL do not deserve hell any more than you or I do and we do not deserve heaven with God anymore than they do. We ALL deserve death. We ALL deserve hell. We ALL deserve God’s wrath for all eternity because we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The difference between them and us is the grace and mercy of God in our lives. Beyond this, we are no better than they are, especially in the eyes of God.
This war is not just about reaching the lost but how also we interact with one another, as the body of Christ. This war has every potential to tear us apart. Satan’s aim is to divide and conquer us. He desires to weaken us to the point where we will not walk in obedience to Christ. To not walk in obedience to Christ is to not love Christ. Also, if Satan can convince us that we are superior to any living person on this earth (even in comparison to one another), Satan has won a battle that weakens our ability to live out the two Greatest Commandments and fulfill the Great Commission.
In this war, we must recognize that we do not have the ability, in and of ourselves, to be victorious on our own. We are 100% dependent on God to work in us to be victorious. Otherwise, we will eventually fail……and fail miserably. To be victorious, God has given us a tool found in Ephesians chapter 6.
The Armor of God is critical for every believer to wear. Without it, we might as well paint a bright red target on us and ask Satan to shoot away, take us out and destroy us. We should never attempt to fight in this war without it. This armor is vital because this war is ugly, intense at time and possibly bloody…literally.
This war may require your life or mine. It may demand the life of our children, spouse, family and friends who are like-minded. Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also”. Because of this, we need to constantly wear this armor while also constantly sharpening our ability to use it. Whether we like it or not, think about it or pass it off as a good bible story, we are in this war until the end.
The GREAT NEWS about this war is that there is an end. It is also a war that God has already WON! Jesus told His disciples, which apply to us, that He will be with us until the very end. These three points are all GREAT NEWS and we can rest in the hope that God gives us through Christ, that we are already victorious!
In light of this subject, I want to single out Ephesians 6:12, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.
Our fight is not with each other or with any human being for that matter. We may get spiteful at one another or desire ill will against our enemies but our real fight is not human to human. Our real fight is against the kingdom of darkness. Satan is the one who really seeks to kill, steal and destroy each one of us. If we can wrap our heart around this truth, we will have the ability to see people differently.
We will have the ability to love those who hurt us, even our most heinous enemies. We will be burdened for our lost friends, family and enemies and petition God to send the Gospel to them. We will care more about someone’s eternity than we do our own safety and comfort. To think like this, we must wear the armor and rely solely on Christ to work in us. Otherwise, it is not possible for us to win in these spiritual battles and be obedient to Christ who called us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
This armor is vital. May we wear this armor always. May we wear this armor well. May we constantly train ourselves in how to use it.
The question I leave you with is this. IS JESUS WORTH IT TO YOU?
Steve Schirmer, President of Silk Road Catalyst and co-Host of Missions Talk. Least Reached Advocate. Dedicated to No Place Left.