Most of us have never fought in a real war, at least not the kind with guns and bombs and missiles.
But you better believe we’re in a fight.
Ours isn’t over a piece of ground, a political ideology, or a way of life.
But it’s no less real.
In fact, in some ways it’s more real than anything.
All wars bring unbelievable heartache and tragedy, and our fight is no different.
We’re fighting for good over evil, for right over wrong, for righteousness over wickedness, and something invaluable is at stake.
Paul describes it here:
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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm (Ephesians 6:10-13).
Most of our soldiers fought valiantly during World War II, but there were a few exceptions.
During the night before the beginning of the Allied invasion of western Europe, thousands of paratroopers were dropped into France to secure bridges and attack key points in the German defense. What they did was crucial to the success of the troops who would storm the Normandy beaches the next morning.
A handful of these soldiers ran across a wine cellar beneath a French farmhouse. Instead of fulfilling their mission, they enjoyed the bottles of wine and within an hour became oblivious to the war raging around them.*
We might be guilty of the same thing.
Sometimes we forget we’re in a fight, don’t we?
We get busy with work and school and bills and to-do lists, and we ignore the vicious battle that rages around us.
Maybe it’s because we can’t see Satan and his minions, so we forget they’re here.
They’re wreaking havoc all around us.
Your friends’ marriage that broke up a couple of weeks ago?
Satan was in the middle of it.
The kid who rebelled against his parents when he went to college?
The church leader who succumbed to temptation and lost his ministry?
The long-time church member who slipped away from faith?
It’s often subtle, but Satan was working in their lives.
And understand that he’s working in your life right now, and he wants the people you love as well.
He’ll be working today and tomorrow and the day after that.
He’ll slander and lie and discourage and tempt and thwart.
He’ll do everything he can to take your eyes off of Jesus.
In your devotional time today, ask God to help you obey Paul’s words. Ask him to help you “be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.”
Every war has casualties, so pray that God will work in you to bring you and the people you love through the fight safely.
There’s no question about who’s going to win this war, but until God comes to declare his final victory, we’ve got to keep fighting.
There’s too much at stake.
*From Wild at Heart by John Eldredge