He is ready to fight for what is right at a moment’s notice, and clearly, he has the outfit! So what if he’s wearing flip flops. And, who cares if his storm trooper uniform is from a century light years ahead of his gladiator mask. Oh, and the gun… plastic… it doesn’t even shoot nerf bullets. Nevertheless, he’s ready to defend his cause – whatever that cause might be!
When it comes to spiritual things, many of us wish we were as brave as this little guy is. But we aren’t. We are afraid to enter into the battle against evil — we’re afraid our ammunition is insufficient to mount an offense, and our armor isn’t a strong enough defense.
Maybe we’re afraid to fight because we’re focusing on what we think we’re lacking instead of what we actually have. Therefore, we construct barricades behind which we can safely hide. We hide behind political correctness. We hide behind tolerance. We hide behind ignorance. We hide behind relationships. We hide behind anything that will keep us from having to step out and be vulnerable.
Yet, how can we win the war if we are not engaging in the battle? I guess, first of all, we need to acknowledge there is a war. If we are Christians, we are at war against a powerful and evil enemy who is actively at work to destroy us – not just as a corporate body of believers, but as individuals.
It is so easy to think that a war with evil is a thing of the past – something that the early church had to deal with – something that Jesus dealt with and defeated. And he did. However, while Satan is a defeated foe, he still has some freedom to wreak havoc and destruction in our lives.
Satan is filled with fury because he knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12). The appointed time for his end has not yet come (Matthew 8:29), so he fights bitterly, like a wounded animal, to prove he is still viable. He is ultimately defeated, but until the end he is like a prowling lion, looking for someone to destroy.
The war is real and it is a war for the hearts, minds, and souls of people. It is a war of deception. It is a war of words. It is a war of ideas. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT).
If this were a war like the wars we have fought in the past, one where we could fight with weapons we are used to – bombs, guns, knives, swords – we might be more willing to engage, but it isn’t and we can’t. We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 NLT).
So, if we agree, there is a very real war against a very real enemy who is purely evil, how do we overcome our fear and engage the battle? Can we? Would we rather hide? Would we rather pretend our lives are fine just as they are and not even acknowledge that evil that exists, and hope that we aren’t affected by it… at least not majorly.
I think that we don’t want to enter the battles that loom around us because we are afraid of losing. We are afraid we will lose our friends, our reputation, our comfort, our income, our standing in our spheres of influence. Are we so afraid of losing that we choose not to fight?
When we step into the battle, yes, we risk the possibility of defeat, but we also risk the possibility of victory. When we choose to hide, defeat is assured – we hand the victory to evil. Isn’t it better to be defeated in battle than defeated in hiding?
When we think of the people who are at risk of falling to the enemy – people whom we love, people who are weak, people who are suffering – isn’t it better to step up and risk failure, than to forfeit any hope of victory.
My little grandson outfitted himself as well as he can for the battles he expects to fight. You and I don’t have to outfit ourselves, God has given us everything we need to fight – and defeat – the enemy, even on the enemy’s turf!
Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV
There is a war. We are warriors. We hear the call to battle. Who needs you to fight for them and with them? You can step up with strength, bravery, and courage because the God of Heaven’s Army is fighting with you. Will you step up? Or will you hide?
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