War in the Heavens
Distraction is the most common tactical move by our enemy. The more we are focused on the diversion the less we are prepared to defend our position. At no other time in history has the powers of evil been amassed in such a front against us. But victory is at hand.
Note from Kip…
It’s far too easy for us to become distracted amid the political and social upheaval that exists today. Our vernacular has through the ages been in a constant state of change and revision, but what we see in today’s world is a whirlwind of revision that seeks to turn truth to a lie and promote deception as the truth.
The battle cry of the forces mounted against the good and just declare that if anyone challenges the establishment of self-worship, it must be crushed beneath the feet of millions, using lies, deceit, and deception of whatever kind possible.
I want to keep today’s discussion away from politics as much as possible because what I saw yesterday had nothing to do with the Democrat and Republican sides in the lines that were being drawn.
No, what I witnessed was far more sinister, corrupt and evil than any political assembly could proffer. People are not the enemy.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.
Ephesians 6:12 (CSB)
People are being used as the instruments of evil in every corner of society today. The only vestige of hope is the Lord our God.
We are engaged in battle every single day. Unless we are alert to the enemy, we leave our position undefended. It’s not flesh and blood that is at war with us. Behind those implements of evil is a force whose only objective is to tare down and corrupt that which God has established as good and worthy.
That demonic force will stop at nothing to consume all who would stand against it, but greater is He that is is in us than he who is in the world!
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 (CSB)
The powers of Satan have no vantage point in our struggle. Literally, the outcome has been determined and what is at play in this struggle is nothing more than us acting out our role as soldiers in the battle.
Anyone that has been impacted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, has been told about the Armor of God. So much so, that perhaps we find it all too easy to glaze over it without full consideration of what we are being given.
Just as our enemy has a tactical playbook from which he devises the strategy by which he seeks to destroy that which God has put in place, God has provided us with the countermeasures to overcome those tactics.
We all are conscripted into this battle. We are conscripted by the forces of evil or by God. If then we are enlisted to God’s forces we position ourselves on the front lines or find ourselves deserting the cause and fleeing from the conflict.
Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 (CSB)
In order for us to be properly prepared for this conflict, we have to equip ourselves with the appropriate instruments of our faith so as to guard ourselves against injury and repel the force we are embattled against.
The Armor of God
Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:10-11 (CSB)
For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit — which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:13-18 (CSB)
Six elements are outlined to complete our armor for these battles in Ephesians.
Truth like a belt around your waist –
Truth is constantly being challenged today. The return of the Lord is drawing near, this is a key attack point of the enemy. We can see this playing out everywhere we turn, as truth is subjugated and being replaced with false premises of every kind.
The entirety of your word is truth, each of your righteous judgments endures forever.
Psalms 119:160 (CSB)
These are the things you must do: Speak truth to one another; make true and sound decisions within your city gates. Do not plot evil in your hearts against your neighbor, and do not love perjury, for I hate all this” — this is the Lord’s declaration.
Zechariah 8:16-17 (CSB)
A word study of the ‘Truth’ in this context reveals that his the indisputable testament, to which God attests. This is precisely why we are seeing the redefinition of common terms. It is a means of subjugating truth with evil falsehood.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy — dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8 (CSB)
Righteousness like armor on your chest –
We simply cannot maintain sufficient righteousness to battle with the devil. We are flesh and bone and therefore corrupt by nature, the only way we are able to attain righteousness isn’t through our own ability, it is done by putting the righteousness of Christ on us.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t make plans to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Romans 13:14 (CSB)
Your feet sandaled with the gospel –
Before Jesus ascended into Heaven He said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth“. Then he charged us with His orders for us to spread His Gospel to every nation and to ‘Make Disciples.’
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20 (CSB)
The shield of faith –
For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.
1 John 5:3-4 (CSB)
Jesus told us, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments“. James declares, “Faith without works is dead“. And our salvation is secured by nothing but our faith.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (CSB)
Take the helmet of salvation –
The assurance of our salvation is imparted by that Grace noted in Ephesians 2:8 above. It is not dependent on our ability to perform to perfection. We are made perfect by the Grace of Christ imparted to us by that faith.
The sword of the Spirit –
The most underutilized resource we have as believers is the Spirit that lives in us. This is a consequence of our willingness to allow the world to define our norms. As a result, we become callous to sin in our lives and increasingly deaf to the Spirit speaking to us.
We can reestablish these lines of communication with the Spirit by immersing ourselves in the Word of God and being obedient to it.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8 (CSB)
The Spirit living in us IS God! He lives in us. He is a part of us. We become dysfunctional Christians when we ignore the instruction of the Spirit and it only requires that we draw close to Him for that direction to return to us.
We are to take captives. We are to conquer. Our victory is secured. The battle rages.
For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (CSB)
The Lord’s Day grows ever closer with each passing day. We must prepare the way. Taking up our cross and following Jesus recruits each and every believer to the cause. Let us not shirk from the front lines of the battle, but let us fully engage. Because our Faith is the victory that overcomes the world!