By Barbara Henderson
When I was in school a history teacher showed a documentary film of Ethiopians using spears to go out and fight tanks. Ethiopia lost. Her warriors were brave and valiant, but they never had a chance. Obviously, the Ethiopians fought with spears because they had no better weapon. There was never any question regarding who would actually win that war.
Christians today seem to be losing the war to maintain a form of Christian civilization. Now why do you suppose that is? I think we are told what is wrong in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:1-5
Verses 3-5 should hold our undivided attention. If you want to know why Christianity seems to be on the losing end of almost every battle then pay strict attention to verse 3. Christians are obviously living people just like anyone else on the planet. We definitely do walk in the flesh because we are living human beings. However, we are not supposed to war after the flesh meaning we aren’t supposed to use normal weapons of war in our battles. (Not speaking of national warfare arms. Christians and nations are allowed self-defense.) Our weapons are supposed to be those provided for Believers through Christ and His word. If the Ethiopians I mentioned at the beginning of this article had had weapons by which they could have won the war, don’t you think they would have used them? Today Christians have jumped into the middle of political and social injustice with the weapons used by people of the world. They are fighting with protests, and law suits, and marches, and whatever they can get away with. All they are succeeding in doing is degrading society and civilization as a whole. Isn’t it about time Christians brought out the weapons that have power to win? Some earthly battles can be directly won now, and ultimately the war between our Perfect God and evil will be won. What are the weapons available for the use of Believers by which we may win great and small battles? Actually Ephesians chapter six gives us the rules by which we are to live. Don’t trivialize God’s blueprint for facing the trials of life. Be obedient to the Lord and set your heart to do the things He tells us to do.
Ephesians begins by telling us how to get our minds ready to face the challenges ahead. Our actions follow our minds. Once a mind is set to obey the Lord, then doing the things He says to do becomes more automatic.
Ephesians chapter 6:
Verse 1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. OBEY – as children we are to obey our parents. As adults Christians are to obey the rules God gives us. They are for our own good. Also, they are not a heavy burden to bear. They are to keep us from harm. God didn’t randomly write a bunch of rules that are just busy work. His instructions are for our personal good.
Verse 2 – Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Honor – giving moral allegiance to the Biblical principles taught by parents – while giving outward and inward respect to parents.
Verse 3 – That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
The life a committed believer may have effects that live on after them for generations.
Verse 4 – And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Parents – be consistent in teaching your children the things of the Lord. Let them see you practice what you teach. This goes for your children and those over whom you have any authority. Be as gentle and kind as circumstances will allow. Discipline may be required, but do what you can first with love and gentle persuasion.
Verse 5 – Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Pay attention to your own task masters. Do with care what is required of you. It is shameful to the Lord to see so called Christians spending more of their time trying to get out of work than actually doing work. Christians should go about their daily chores with a mind that is set on doing a good job.
Verse 6 – Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
This means that you are doing your best to do a good job whether the boss is watching you or not! You are working to please God and acknowledge that He sees what you are doing whether the boss is watching or not!
Verse 7 – With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
You are cheerfully seeking to please God.
Verse 8 – Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Ultimately, people do reap what they sow. If you are doing good according to God’s definition of good, you will receive good treatment from the Lord.
Verse 9 – And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
I you have authority over others, treat them with gentleness and kindness. Don’t ‘lord it over them’, but remember that you have a great responsibility to represent the God you serve.
Verse 10 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, be strong through God’s power. All people are beset by ills and woes. But no matter our weakness or strength, the Lord has power beyond what we can imagine. Plead for His strength to carry you through whatever is happening.
Verse 11 – Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Christians are to put on the complete suit of armor provided by God. No soldier would go to battle only wearing half a suit of armor providing he had an entire suit of armor available. How foolish of Christians to only make use of only part of the armor God provides.
12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
This verse reminds Christians of exactly who the enemy really is, and why they need the armor of God.
The chief fight of Christians is not chiefly with the living men and women we see in politics and society or even the fleshly things of this earth. It is against the powers and rulers of darkness – or the angels who fell from heaven with Lucifer. These evil beings, though unseen, are very powerful and have armies of fallen angels at their command. How ridiculous is it for Christians to not take this seriously?
Verse 13 – Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
This verse tells us how to face warfare with these fallen angels. No, I don’t mean some sort of face to face combat. But there will be combat with those who are tools of the devil. It is imperative that the Christian always remember that while the weapons of the devil are often people who serve him, the enemy is the devil and his followers. To forget this something like thinking a military tank is the enemy instead of the powers that are manning and driving the tank. Evil days are scary days. You do not want to face them without God. Then just stand still, and keep standing.
Verse 14 – Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Entangle your thoughts with the truth given to you in the Bible. Think Biblically. Ask yourself what the Bible has to say about EVERYTHING. And ask yourself what the bible says to do in all situations. You KNOW what the commandments are including the new commandment to love others as Christ loved us. To a large part it is simply determine what the commandments are in your situation. If all else fails go by the rule ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’. Knowing and doing what is right according to God gives you the breastplate of righteousness.
Verse 15 – And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
The gospel is the ultimate gospel of peace because it brings makes available peace between God and man. The shoes have a grip on the soles as though you are crossing an ice field. The shoes are tough enough to take you through whatever rough terrain you must cross in order to get where God is leading you. You cannot overstate the importance of proper shoes either spiritually or physically.
Verse 16 – Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
More than anything else, you need the shield of faith. Faith ignores circumstances and knows God is with you whatever mess you might be in at the moment. When the devil throws a fiery dart of doubt at you regarding prayers not yet answered, or wicked temptations, or fear of the future, the shield of faith bounces them off.
Verse 17 – And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Well – you need to guard your head because if the devil knocks you coco then you are not able to function well anywhere else. Don’t let things of this world capture your mind. Don’t let the love of money, or the material world, or the fleshly world, or the world of power capture your mind. Christians are saved by grace to enter the kingdom of heaven. They are safe from worldly lusts by guarding their minds from evil.
Now the sword of the spirit is the word of God. It is a mighty tool. An excellent companion verse to this one is Psalm 149:6 which says, ‘Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;’. The word of God is a mighty two edged sword.
Verse 18 – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
THEN, when you are all decked out for battle it is time to start to pray continually with perseverance and pleading for all the Christian brothers and sisters. Pray continually, urgently as need arises, and with eyes watching for answers from God and to guard against the enemy. Be steadfast to the end of your days. You will not regret for one second of eternity living for Christ today.
Verse 19 – And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
When you are ready for battle, the Lord gives you a word to speak. He opens your mouth to tell others about Jesus Christ. THAT is the real battle, and you are ready to join in.
Verse 20 – For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul was compelled to tell the Gospel. He wasn’t as an ambassador of one country to a different country. He was a heavenly ambassador to the entire world. Christians today are heavenly ambassadors to every person with whom we have contact.
I think we have all heard terrible stories of ambassadors to different nations who are disrespectful to the laws of their host nations? They have diplomatic immunity, and they certainly use it. Christians are not so. We are subject to obey the laws of the land and the laws of God. The exception is that no rule or law of man breaks a law of God, Christians are to obey God above all earthly rules.
Verse 21 – But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
Verse 22 – Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
Verse 23 – Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 24 – Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Sincerely and obediently follow the instructions in this book of the Bible. Do not forsake weapons that work for weapons that the world has designed. Christians who choose weapons of the world over weapons provided by God are choosing defeat and disgrace. It is time to get ready for the real battle using the powerful weapons that God has provided.
Obedience and faith are crucial, so I put in links to two songs.
Trust and Obey/On Christ the Solid Rock
Faith is the Victory