Welcome to the War

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. – Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV. 

A man tells the story about his father who shipped out for boot camp on the day after Christmas 1943. By early June, when the allied forces were storming the bloody beaches of Normandy, his dad was on a troop ship crossing the Atlantic. He landed on Omaha beach the first week of July 1944. He was only 21 years old and fresh off the farm. He says what he remembers most about his first days in northern France were seeing the casualties of terrifying engagements on the beaches, in the pillboxes and in the hedgerows. He became a casualty himself just a few days later. 

I had an older friend, who is gone now, whose story was similar, he went ashore on D-Day. He survived that, but then was captured by German forces, and he was fortunate that they didn’t kill him as they did many captives. A video of a young Ukrainian soldier this morning shows him saying, “We are under heavy bombardment, Mom…Dad I love you!” Welcome to the war, young man. In a sense, that is what this passage of Scripture is, it is a welcome to spiritual warfare, a briefing on the battle that has been raging since the beginning of time. 

We can bring all of our troops home from everywhere. We can let Russia and China divide up the rest of the world. But you know what? They will still not like us. They will still come after us. The Nazis and the old Soviets would have gotten us if they could have. 

What we are really talking about here is not physical, opposing armies and nations. The war that we are seeing today and our potential for becoming more involved is an age-old spiritual war. The devil is that kind of enemy. We may decide that we are not going to fight but guess what the enemy has not declared a truce and we are in this spiritual war whether we like it or not. 

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” If you are seeking to live your life according to godly principles. If you are seeking to be obedient to the Lord in all areas of your life. If you are praying for yourself, your family and for others. If you are, you can be sure the devil and his demons are after you. 

So, what are we to do? The apostle Paul then tells us: Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:13-18).”

(Whether we like it or not we are all involved in a spiritual war.)

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