Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A,B,C's of spiritual warfare - Confidence in spiritual warfare

Ephesians 6:13 "Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm."

Introduction and review
The last couple of days have served to unpack the A,B,C's of spiritual warfare. In this short series we have noted that when approaching spiritual warfare, we need to be Spirit filled and word filled, per what we looked at in Ephesians 6:11. Carnal weapons of the flesh have no place in spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), and thus God's supplied word and He in the Person of the Holy Spirit is the only way we can approach our daily warfare as Christians. Then we noted yesterday the "B" of the A,B,C's - Believer's three common enemies. In considering 1 John 2:14-17 and Ephesians 6:12, we saw that the Devil (via his demonic network), the world and the flesh are the three main enemies we deal with in spiritual conflict. Today's post aims to show the confidence we have in spiritual warfare.

The Confidence in Spiritual Warfare
Ephesians 6:13 states - "Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." A brief unfolding of this verse, one phrase at a time, will show why it is we as Christians can have confidence in spiritual warfare.

Divine provision of spiritual armor
Paul writes first of all: "Therefore take up the full armor of God...". In the days that Paul wrote this letter, he was chained to a Roman soldier who was likely a member of the elite Roman unite called the "Italian band". When a Roman soldier went into battle, they had behind them the entire Roman Senate and authority of the Emperor. Furthermore, the possessed what was then the finest armor of any army in the world. The word translated "full armor" could just as easily be translated "full array". The Roman soldier had everything he needed, and then some, to defeat his enemy. Christians have at their disposal the entirety of God's provision of the spiritual armor. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit Himself indwells the Christian. No demon, no desire the the flesh and no influence in the world is great than the Spirit of God. (1 John 4:4). We also have the authority of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ Himself, behind and in us. (Colossians 1:27). We have the Father's favor watching over us. (James 1:17) Indeed the Christian as the provision of God when it comes to fighting the good fight of faith. So there is the Divine provision, but notice secondly....

Divine power to fight
Ephesians 6:13 says next - ..."so that you will be able to resist in the evil day...". To know that we as Christians have God's very power available to resist temptations, overcome fear and resist the Devil ought to increase our confidence. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us - "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." Oftentimes I will hear Christians worry about whether or not they would be able to take a stand for Jesus if the situation demanded it. My answer to them is a resounding yes! These texts, and many others (Hebrews 12:3; James 1:3-4; 1 Peter 1:5-7; 1 Peter 4:10-11) speak to the fact that we have the Divine power to win spiritual battles and Divine provision, but notice lastly...

Divine guarantee of victory
Ephesians 6:13 says once more - ..."and having done everything, to stand firm." The verb translated "having done everything" is the same exact verb found in Philippians 2:12 - "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Will the fight of faith be immune from troubles and pain? No. We must literally "work it out" in the exercise of our faith in prayer (Jude 1:20); the scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) and church attendance (Hebrews 10:24-25). We must "work it out" by ways of loving our enemies (Matthew 22:39); watching our speech (James 1:26-27) and enduring hardship (2 Timothy 3:12). Yet we know that God is the One working forth in us His perfect and pleasing will and a glory that cannot compare. (2 Corinthians 4:18; Philippians 2:13). The victory has already been won by Jesus, we are as it were running our victory lap for the King of Kings. (Hebrews 12:1-3) 

Thus Divine provision, power and guarantee comprises the confidence Christians have in spiritual warfare.

Closing thoughts
We have explored the A,B,C's of spiritual warfare these last few days. We have seen that our approach must be as Spirit-filled and word-filled people. Believers have three enemies: the world, the flesh and the Devil. Then the confidence we have in spiritual warfare is the Divine provision of the spiritual armor, Divine power to fight and Divine power to win.