By Pastor Jerry Donovan
The real enemy of Christians is not physical torment, but spiritual treachery. Christians do not struggle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, and powers that are merely representative of the spiritual forces of evil in “the ‘unseen universe,’ which lies behind the world of common sense where great forces are at work” that oppose and wrestle against God’s people.
Paul writes to the Church in Ephesus, “11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand”- Ephesians 6:11-13
A single soldier who has died in battle while performing a heroic deed is not a great loss to the army, however he may instead be an object of pride to his country. The soldier who cannot or will not fight but turns and runs away at the first encounter with the enemy or merely the sound of gun fire is a shame to his family and a disgrace to his country. The death of a faithful Christian does not cause an irreparable loss to the forces of righteousness on earth and certainly no victory for the devil.
But when entire regiments of professed believers are too timid to fight and too self-righteous to be ashamed, it surely brings a caustic smile to the face of the enemy; and it should bring a blush of embarrassment to the cheeks of the whole Church of Christ. The devil’s master plan is not to kill individual Christians physically (though there may be some special situations where physical death fits into his plan better), but to destroy our power to wage spiritual warfare. He is successfully using the age-old military tactic of divide and conquer.
Two thousand years ago God descended from heaven walking, talking and showing human beings how he expects them to live their lives. The sacrifice of his blood was the ransom paid for every persons’ sins enabling them to have life eternal. God created humans in his image and gave them free will; the ability to choose to follow his will and inherit eternal life or reject it for the ways of this world.
The Devil is as sly as a fox. He is playing what is known as the long game. “And how well he has succeeded. The average Christian these days is a harmless enough thing. He is a child wearing with considerable self-consciousness the harness of the warrior; he is a sick eaglet that can never mount up with wings; he is a spent pilgrim who has given up the journey and sits with a waxy smile trying to get what pleasure he can from sniffing the wilted flowers he has plucked by the way “A. W. Tozer That Incredible Christian, 72.
“Oh God, may I never be ‘a harmless enough thing,’ ‘a child wearing…the harness of the warrior,’ ‘a sick eaglet,’ ‘a spent pilgrim.’ Give me grace to fight valiantly. Amen.”