Thursday, January 4, 2018

If you're a child of God you're fighting the biggest giants of the earth and heaven whether you know it or not.

I have been musing on the greatest battle of the Christian soul (you can find them at the end of the posts). What is the utmost struggle of the Follower of Jesus? Some say there is no struggle since Jesus Finished it all on the cross. They say we need only rest in Him (Mat 11:28). In a way they are right but the reality of the Christian life is that it is rife with paradoxes and it is quite frankly far from a monolithic and unidimensional way of thinking.

We rest, but we also fight. Jesus accomplished our full redemption yet we still are called to take up our cross. He fulfilled (not abolished) the Law and yet now the Full Essence of the Law is now written in our hearts. We don't need to strive for righteousness and a good standing before God, but instead we cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit as we walk in Him, knowing Jesus has bequeathed unto us His righteousness and standing before the Father. We may go through fire, but we are not burned. We may walk in the valleys of the shadow of death, yet we live in the power of His Resurrection. And though we are under God's divine protection, we are called to take up the armor of God.

This is series the first post of several about the last bit - the armor of God. Paul described our struggle this way:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. (Eph 6:10-12)
As I was reading that the other day it struck me how epic our battle really is. Do you see what Paul here is writing to a small assembly of followers of Christ, 2000 years ago in what is now Western Turkey? He is telling these guys that they all are directly and personally fighting giants - ALL of them and not only a few of their leaders, the men and women, the young and old, those in every kind of service in the church, the slaves, the masters, the farmers, the merchants, the craftsmen, the nobles, the poor, the rich, the rulers, all who would be in this assembly without exception to each child of God who has God's Spirit.

Here you are doing whatever it is you are doing... studying, working, raising a family (the most important thing you'll ever do), ministry, church, friends, travel, retirement, missions, adventure, or the most boring doldrums of suburban life - banal, routine and where nothing happens - and here comes Paul, "Hey wake up! You're a SOMEBODY in God's Kingdom, a son and daughter of the Most High, one of the precious born again followers of Yeshua AND your fight is not just against little demons of no importance but you're in direct combat with "the WORLD RULERS of the darkness of this Age!" (see YLT Eph 6:12)

Hey, I read this just like you and I'm scratching my head. Really!? World rulers of darkness? Yeah, world rulers of darkness!

You know, I'll tell you something, have you watched some of the UFO videos on YouTube? I don't mean, those 1970's weird photographs, but like looking at evidence of ancient civilizations on Mars or accounts of astronauts encountering angels or some of the things spotted on the international space station. Not to digress and not to lend credence to the host of fakes out there, but - and this is important - the increased awareness of these strange phenomenon may really be about angels and the very dark powers somehow being seen in the visible realm. It's just a thought.

We are in this battle and against this foe and Paul tells us exactly how you sitting wherever you are can fight and win this war. By simply taking up the armor of God.

As you will see in the series about the Armor of God, we fight these (mostly) unseen and powerful enemies not by focusing on them, but rather strengthening our selves in the Lord, in the "secret place" (see Psalm 91:1) of quality time with Jesus, in the proverbial prayer closet, in the secret and in the dark, praying to our Father.

You are about to see that this war is fought with heaven-supplied stuff. And you're probably already using them! But we need to more intentional and focused especially in these times.

Here are the rest of the posts:

Armor of God: What it means to wrap Truth around your waist like a Belt

Armor of God: The Breastplate of Righteousness Guards what has been Given

Armor of God: Talking Boots or Mindset of Peace?

Armor of God: The Shield of Faith is about firmly knowing and absorbing God's Word

A spiritual dream about the armor of God (not really part of this series, since I didn't ask for the dream!)

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