In years gone by Christian hymns would often use the metaphor of a war. Like the old favourite:
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!
Yet, in the modern world people baulk at this idea, especially in a world where physical violence is sadly justified in the name of religion. However, that must not stop us understanding this important Biblical truth – the Christian life is a ‘battle’ or a ‘fight’.
Of course our battle “is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” [Ephesians 6:12] As Christians have often put it – our war is against the world, the flesh and the devil. Our fight is to lead godly lives, despite the temptations online casino we face every day. Our struggle is to trust in God and his faithfulness, despite the temptation to find our security in other places. Our battle is to share Jesus, despite the fact that the enemy seeks to cloud people’s hearts and minds. It is important to remember that there is an enemy. That enemy is evil and hostile to God and his weapons are unbelief, godlessness, pride, sin and greed.
But we must also remember two wonderful things. Firstly, we have all the weapons we need to fight the war. Our weapons are the weapons of righteousness. As the Apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6 -
This is why you must take up the full armour of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armour on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.
Secondly, and more importantly, the most important battle has already been fought and won. In his death and resurrection Jesus has defeated sin, death and the devil. Yes, we struggle now, but we do so knowing that we have a sure and certain hope. Our Lord will return and when he does, we will be with him in a new creation forever. So let’s put on the armour of God and march forward into battle with our Lord!