Fighting the good fight of faith
The reality is we will have fights, but how do we overcome?
Paul points out to us that we don’t fight against flesh and blood.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12
So what is really happening then and how do we overcome?
Paul figuratively uses battle armor to express the tools we have to stand firm. This phrase to stand he repeats over and over. This highlights that when we are pressing in, one of the first things the enemy will try and get us to do is give up or change our position from what God is directing us to do.
The tools he outlines to stand firm are:
Readiness that comes from the gospel of peace
The word of God
Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests
Be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people
Some of these were set as protective elements and others were for clearing the way as we go forward.
One of the main tools expressed was the word of God as a sword. Now swords were not just for combating enemies, they were also used to clear the way forward to help with advancing into battle and possessing the land. This can be seen both with truth and the word of God, but with truth it is seen as having integrity and not hiding anything that would trip you up. This will keep us from fighting to keep something hidden. The word of God helps us understand truth but is an offensive tool that makes walking in it more clear and to combat any lies that try to undermine our ability to stay on course with what God has called us to walk in.
Another element that we have been equipped with was a helmet of salvation. Our struggles are going to include elements that undermine your identity of belonging. Our belonging is relational and only He who gave us His son can say if we belong to His family. Now if He gave us His son how much more will He not stand with us? He will always lead us in the victory of belonging. We are His, bought with the price of His son.
There is a dynamic in this battle of movement. This dynamic is one of readiness do to the Gospel of peace. It’s the siring of the reality of what Jesus has done for us and the freedom to live with Him now. Standing firm isn’t just standing about, but it’s not changing your course from following Jesus wholeheartedly.
The biggest tool expressed by Paul was prayer. All these other things support powerful prayer. To pray effectively all the other things must be in place. We need to know we belong, that God loves us and has saved us and that Jesus is with us and leading us in victory.
Overcoming the evil one
So we are not battling flesh and blood, we are battling what changes people and situations into enemies. God wants us to be one, as Him and His son are one. Jesus prayed, “Let them be one as we are one”. We can overcome the true enemy and bring down the strongholds that cause people and societies into the enemies of God.
So when in a battle don’t loose who you are or allow your enemy to say you don’t belong, don’t hide anything, just know His love, show His love, pray and Jesus will lead us into victory.
If the battle you face is spiritual or intellectual God has equipped us with the tools to overcome.
Walking out God’s victory
When we look at Elisha and prophets of baal we see him get in a pickle over Jezebel coming after him. I have to admit it’s heard when God shows up for you and people still refuse to stand with you. You can feel all alone and want to run away or to break ranks and run ahead. The reality is God will refresh us and patently walk with us till we hear His voice. The reality is that God always is building up a body and has loads of others that will stand with you. The reality is you do belong and a harvest is on it’s way.
The harvest is on the way
Before every victory there is the challenge. With every victory there is a harvest of character. Let us partake of His divine nature and see our cities won for Jesus using every tool God has given us.