The early Church recognized the reality of the spiritual warfare raging around them. They understood everything in life was affected by battles being waged in their midst. While unseen, these battles often manifested themselves into the realities of the day to day lives of early believers.
They were so keenly aware of what was going on they focused on fighting spiritual battles as long as they lived, looking forward to the day they would lay down their swords and join Jesus in Heaven. Here’s a news flash: nothing has changed. The same spiritual warfare encountered by the early Church still surrounds us today.
Our modern day problem is one of recognition. We are oblivious to the spiritual forces swirling around us because we are too caught up in living in the here and now rather than looking forward to our future with Christ. A.W. Tozer put it this way: “People think of the world not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight; we are here to frolic. We are not in a foreign land; we are at home.” Any Christian not stung by his rebuke should ask if they are being honest with themselves.
When we identify with Christ, when we commit to be His disciple, everything changes; we declare ourselves an enemy of Satan and this world. Immediately, we have brought the fight to our front door. The devil cares little about you until you align with Christ. Soldiers of God know this fight is as real and deadly as any fight they will ever encounter in the physical realm. Worse yet, this fight continues until Christ returns and puts an end to it all. In other words, this is not only a fight for your life, but one which continues throughout your life. This battle will rage whether you engage or not. Unless you recognize what’s going on, you are destined to live a defeated life.
Tozer went on to say, “We are not getting ready to live, but we are already living, and the best we can do is rid ourselves of our inhibitions and our frustrations and live this life to the full.” Instead of using this life as preparation for the next, we treat it as if it’s as good as it will ever get. It’s why our culture is so consumed with entertainment and pleasure. If we understood what our mission on earth was, we wouldn’t spend almost all our waking hours on buying into the lies of the world.
This world is not our home; it’s a training ground for spending eternity with Christ. The spiritual warfare going on around us is focused on blinding us from this fact. It wants us to see all the “good “this world has to offer and keep us focused on those things. Satan knows he will ultimately lose, so he is determined to delay the building of God’s Kingdom on earth for as long as possible. When we choose to ignore the battle, we are giving the devil victory in our lives, and allowing him to steal that victory from Christ. We promised to fight, but the reality is we’d rather sleep and ignore the fight.
Spiritual warfare is real. When we elect to disengage from it, we are in effect telling Jesus we don’t want to be part of His mission. We are saying we are comfortable with this world being our home; We’d rather frolic than fight. Do we believe Christ died so we might enjoy everything Satan throws into our path? Jesus paid a price we will never be able to comprehend. It’s a price we can never repay, but our love and thankfulness should compel us to stand and fight with Him every second of our existence. Will you join the battle?