Imagine you are entering a war zone. It is a place where battles are fought and won or lost on a daily basis. There is an unseen enemy which attacks with great cunning and never lets up or retreats. There are allies who are supporting you but you cannot see them and you may or may not know how to mobilise them. You have very effective and powerful weapons but it is your own responsibility to learn to use them. By far the greatest number of battles are fought inside your own head. Sound tough? That is what happened when you signed up to be a Christian. That is the change that occurred when you accepted Jesus as your personal saviour.
You see, you used to be part of the darkness. Your father was the devil. Whether you were a good person or a bad person doesn’t matter at all. If you aren’t 100% sold out to Jesus you are living in the enemy camp. That person that told you that you should give your heart to Jesus to solve all your problems and to live an easy life, was lying though his teeth. When you become a Christian you are joining the army of Christ. There are no guarantees of an easy life and of peace. The only guarantee you have is that when you die you are going to heaven and not to hell. That might be slightly simplified, but that’s the bigger picture.
When we join the holy army we turn our backs on our old life and we become the enemies of the devil. Because he doesn’t really like what we’ve done, he sends his demons out on assignments against us. We are spirit, we have a soul and we are housed in a body. The easiest part of us to attack is our minds. We have between 60 000 and 80 000 thoughts daily. If our enemy pushes a few in here and there we easily accept them as our own and possibly act on them. The stronger the attack the more thoughts are downloaded into our minds, the more likely we are to pay attention to them. If someone does something nasty to us and we have a thought like, “How could he have done that? I have to get him back,” we can be quite sure that the thought comes from the devil. We have to be so discerning. That is where our weapons come into play. We have a very powerful sword and it’s called the Bible.
2 Corintians 10:4-6, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
By taking every though captive, by not entertaining every thought, by rejecting negative thoughts we are using our weapons. We often hear of Christians saying they have to do some warfare, but in fact Christians have to be continually engaged in warfare in order to win the battle. The war has already been won.
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
This is what Jesus said. When He was crucified He went to hell and took the keys of death and hades from the devil.
Revelation 1:18, “I and He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
So why do we have to fight these battles if Jesus have already overcome the devil? The only way we are going to overcome sin in our lives is by beating the devil. The only way we are going to build character and become more like Jesus is by beating the devil. How would you feel about receiving a gold medal in the Olympics without having taken part in any events? God’s love is unconditional and He accepts us as we are. We do not engage in warfare in order to win His love. Nothing we do can earn what He has done for us. We engage in warfare for ourselves so that we can be worthy of our calling and so that we can be the best ambassadors and soldiers that we can be.