“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4)
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The continued battle to push the agenda of gay marriage, the outright murder of unborn children, the pursuit of everything that seems to right to each person’s own eyes, the effort to remove God from all aspects of society – These are common headlines that adorn the front pages of newspapers, news websites, and the 24 hour news cycle seemingly every time we turn around. This certainly appears to be a time when an all out assault is under way against anything remotely related to biblical truth. What are we to do? Throw in the proverbial towel? Shrug our shoulders under the guise of “well if someone marries another person of the same sex, what is it of my business. It does not impact me.” Is the church to be doing anything in age when godlessness and lawlessness seems to reign supreme.
In order to answer these questions, we have to begin with a foundational truth, namely that if we peek to the back of the Book, we know Satan and those who seek to pursue wickedness will endure a sounding and everlasting defeat. Moreover, we can have confidence that in spite of what appears to be a surge in the pursuit of all things immoral in our society today, the efforts of the wicked will ultimately be in vain. How do we know this to be true? I John 4:4 declares greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. This passage means far more than just the reality that Christ is victorious. It also connotes the reality that believers in Christ will be able to discern truth from error in an age when false teaching and wickedness at times seems to bear some element of truth. Overcoming the world means far more than just passively sitting by on the sidelines. It involves the effort of digging into the word of God to bathe yourself in its truth allowing the Holy Spirit to write God’s law on your heart. In doing so, you will be able to effectively shine the light of truth which is God’s word as well as swing the sword that is part of the full armor of God, the sword also being God’s word.
The command to don the full armor of God in and of itself reveals the reality that we are in a battle. Ephesians 6:12 clearly demonstrates the focus of the warfare. While it may seem as if we are fighting against a particular political machine, against the so-called liberal establishment, or against even social movements, the truth is the fight is in the spiritual realm. This is a battle between good and evil, not the good and evil portrayed in the Star Wars movies, but rather a cosmic conflagration between an almighty God and one who just so happens to think he can outsmart and out-maneuver God. So we are waging war in the heavenly places, against a spiritual realm that seeks to destroy that which God loves. This enemy is a deceiver, a portrayer of truth, and a charlatan. Thus, it is vital for believers to be able to first recognize the nature of this battle, to engage the enemy, to understand truth from lies, and to ultimately know that even when the going seems tough or it appears in the natural realm that we are losing valuable battleground, the war has actually been won.
This provides us great assurance as war fighters. The victory is not within reach. No my friends, the victory has been won. This should cause us to realize two important facts: 1) The need to reject a pompous or lazy attitude that results in the believer not engaging in the battle, and 2) great confidence in the midst of what may appear to be a losing battle at times. It should not surprise us that the world is spinning out of control, embracing all sorts of wickedness and all things anti-God. After all, Jesus did declare in Matthew 24:27-39:
“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Whether or not this is a sign of the end of days or not is to a large degree irrelevant to whether we need to be engaged in the battle. If it is the end, then we should recognize the fight will become only more intense. If it is not the end, then we should still be about the Father’s business, spreading the message of truth in the face of lies, shining the light of God’s Word in the midst of darkness, and constantly donning the full armor of God. This is not an every now and then battle we are in. This is a constant pursuit by Satan to seek and destroy. This requires us to not approach the Christian walk as a when I feel interested I will pursue it type existence. The Christian walk requires constant vigilance, the need to keep our lamps constantly lit with oil, being the faithful bride who is looking for the return of the bridegroom. We are a warring bride, a people who are involved in the battle of the ages.
So will you join the fight or will you be comfortable sitting in the pew on the sidelines? Will you recognize the nature of the battle we are in or will you incorrectly see this as nothing more than political gamesmanship, blaming the politicians for all of society’s ills? Will you help your neighbor in need, regardless of whether that is someone literally next door or someone across the world? Most importantly, will you heed the command to go into all the world, to your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and uttermost parts of the world with the glorious saving message of the gospel? There really is no other answer than what Isaiah said so many years ago: “Here am I. Send me!” God is calling all of us asking the same question He asked Isaiah, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” There is no other answer than to get into the fight and to constantly train yourself as a soldier in the army of the Lord by reading His word, being in prayer, fellowshipping with fellow believers, and pursuing holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The hour has come for the body of Christ to gird their loins. The enemy has sounded their trumpets and is rallying their troops to wage war against all that is godly and true. Will you answer the call of God’s trumpet in an age when the world sorely needs to hear that which is true and holy? I pray you heed the call to arms for the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Remember the battle is not against abortion, gay marriage, or a political agenda. These are merely symptoms of a larger disease. Whacking off one of those arms will not sever the beast. We must thrust the truth of God’s word into the heart of the enemy knowing the battle has been won.