As I was growing up in my local Baptist church in a conservative small farming town I was fascinated and captured by ‘Boys Own’ type adventures. Therefore, it was no surprize that the passage in Ephesians concerning the armour of God had my full attention and imagination. In Sunday School we often sang the rousing chorus “I am in the Lords Army’ including the actions Although I cannot hold a tune to save myself, even to this day, I sang with an up market tempo in my child like enthusiasm.
‘Put on your full armour so that you may take your stand.’ Ephesians 6:11. I would imagine myself being that soldier dressed in the armour weaving my sword with gusto and bravery. But like a date dressed up to go to the party yet having no invitation, this was my teaching experience from my spiritual leaders. All dressed up ready for battle but who was my enemy? Who was my foe? Whom was I meant to wrestle against?
I know it is difficult to comprehend but I had no instruction or teaching on the schemes of the Devil. I did not know my enemy! Satan had been hidden from me. My spiritual leaders meant well but the work of the enemy did not figure highly on their teaching agenda. Even more surprising, looking back now, not even my professors during my ministerial training had no lectures on ‘Satan 101,’ in fact he was ignored, and we were ill prepared as pastors for spiritual warfare.
Thankfully one of my training churches who were into the ‘charismatic movement’ unwittingly introduced me to the enemy as I ministered in the gifts at each Sundays alter call.
Sadly, there are many believers even today who do not acknowledge that we are in a spiritual battle, either, like me, through poor inadequate teaching or a misplaced Christology. I pray that you may not be like me and be in ignorance for so long. Again let no one teach that because Christ won the victory over Satan on the cross we have therefore no battle to fight.
Brother and sisters, we are in the midst of the greatest spiritual battle for the souls and minds of the world; for the Bible clearly, teaches that the devil knows that his time is short, and experience, coupled with the world nightly news confirms and reinforces this life/death struggle.
The Kingdom of Heaven is up against the Kingdom of Evil, but many in the church are ignorant of the Devils schemes, despite being warned against such arrogance and ignorance. 2 Corinthians 2:11. I have recently purchased on my computer’s Kindle Jennifer LeClair’s book ‘101 Tactics for Spiritual Warfare,’ which will become my handbook for I am taking this call to ‘fight the good fight of faith’ seriously.
Since the Lord has in his longsuffering love recalled me back to the battle front I have been involved in numerous skirmishes, spiritual battles and the enemies’ ambushes. There are too many biblical references to the fight, struggle, plus wrestling matches that we have with our adversary, who is out to kill steal and destroy. John 10:10. We cannot overlook there scriptural passages and call ourselves believers/disciples of Christ.
We cannot ignore the truth that we are wrestling not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual powers and wickedness in the high places; let us not be ignorant of this truth and like David in all of his battles, which by the way mirror our battles; run to the battle lines with sober minds and a resolute heart with our armour on, wielding our sword. If not, we will see the light of the glory of God grow dimmer in our life, family, finances, health and commerce until we become an in-effective witness to Christ, who is the light of the world. Satan will have muzzled us.
‘ I hear the Spirit of God weeping over us with a compassion and deeply heartbroken love as Jesus our intercessor stands in the face of the enemy crying “You cannot touch my beloved for they belong to me, they are redeemed brought and paid for – be gone Satan.”’
Let us not be counted as those who did not rise up and face the enemy for Christ has our back. Remember, the armour does not protect our back.
I too grew up in a Baptist church and was never taught about the Enemy. Never even believed in him until college when I was finally taught that, not only does he exist, but we are in a spiritual battle. My eyes were opened, and as Paul (Saul) in Acts, it was as if scales fell from my eyes. Yes, absolutely way way too many Christians are completely ignorant of the spiritual battle surrounding us at all times.
Oh yes. We are in a battle and I was made well-aware of that at a fairly early age. I was about 11 or 12 years old when I first knowingly encountered someone with a demonic spirit. It happened at a youth camp actually and as was later discovered, unknown to the parents the older teen had been dabbling in the occult to which they had been introduced by friends who had assured them it was "just a game". It wasn't. Fortunately, we had some adults present who did know exactly what was going on and handled the situation not just for the individual but the group, extremely well. What I remember most was the utter peace that came upon the person afterwards as well as a complete transformation not just in their face but in their behavior. Something truly had happened!
However, I also came to understand there is not just demon possession, there is also demonic oppression. We all face things in life but this is at a different level. The enemy truly does go about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour but oh, it is also true that greater is He who is within us! Jesus is victor and we need not be afraid but at the same time, we must be where He is and use the weapons God has given us if we are to live victoriously. To live, is one thing but to live victoriously is another!