A Spiritual War is All Around Us, so Get in the FightBy Dan Hammer
April 22, 2022
There is no escaping war. Our church has the privilege of being strategically located with one of the largest joint military bases in the United States in our front yard and the United States Naval Academy in our backyard. Members of our church work in every branch of the armed forces, at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill, in the FBI, for the NSA, and for just about every other alphabet soup government agency you can think of. Half of our church serves in the military, and another significant portion of our church serves as defense contractors for the military. One thing I have learned very quickly is that war is everywhere, and its consequences are deadly and devastating. Whether it is cultures that are clashing, a nation that is invading, an insurrection that is occurring, or genocide that is happening, war is a part of our lives and our worlds whenever we turn on the television, scroll through social media, or just open our front door.
However, the greatest battle with the most significant consequences doesn’t happen “out there” (in the world), but “in here” (in our own hearts). As believers, pastors, staff members, elders, and church planters, we have found ourselves the last few years walking through a perpetual mine field where issues such as COVID-19, masking, vaccines, racial tensions, political hostilities, and so much more threaten to explode with our every step injuring many with sin’s shrapnel. Reality is though, the ultimate spiritual battlefield as believers is in our hearts and our minds and not on the streets of our community or the seats in our churches.
Paul teaches us in Ephesians 6 that we must understand and embrace the reality that life is war. Whether we want to or not, we all find ourselves on the battlefield of everyday life. The battlefield of how we treat our spouse when we are offended, how we respond to conflict at work, how we respond to adversity, what we choose as our source of satisfaction, how we steward our resources, what we pursue with our lives, where we seek our peace, where we source our hope, and so much more. Since life is war, what are we to do? God’s Word teaches that we are not called to run from the fight, but rather stand firm in the fight. We are not called to flee from the battlefield, but to fight faithfully on the battlefield empowered and emboldened by the reality that we do not fight for victory but fight confidently from victory. Jesus has won the war (1 Corinthians 15:54b-58), but we need to get in the fight of our daily spiritual battles. Embracing the battle begins with choosing to get off the sidelines. Here are three ways that the Bible teaches us to fight from victory.
Identify Your True Enemy
Paul declares, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”