READ : Ephesians 6:10-12
Sometimes the Christian life is quiet and pastoral, one in which God leads us beside the still waters and restores our soul (Ps. 23:2). At other times God sends us on a fatiguing foot race (Heb. 12:1), and at still other times God leads us into a dangerous battle. It is this battle which we will study for the next few days.
One of the important first principles of fighting battles is to fight the right enemy. One of the bloodiest wars in United States history was the Civil War. One of the tragedies of the Gulf War was the number of people killed by “friendly fire” – well-intended, perhaps, but deadly nevertheless.
Unfortunately, far too many of our wars, as Christians, are civil wars; and far too many of our casualties are the result of “friendly fire.”
When we as Christians battle each other, we are not likely to have much energy left for the really important things; and while we’re preoccupied with bashing each other we’re likely to be ambushed by the real enemy.
Our struggle, as Paul said, is against the “cosmic power of this present darkness” (v. 12). Perhaps you are uneasy, as I am, about some Christian portrayals of evil which border on pagan animism, but this should not blind us to the fact that evil is not just error; it is personal, diabolical, and deadly.
Help us, Lord, to be ever alert to the real forces of evil, and help us to prepare for the struggle. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.