In what form of battle do you find yourself in today, not the battles of the world, or the battles of self, but those that have been brought upon you by Satan and his legions. The strife and envy of the world surround us each and every day, they cannot be laid aside, missed, or run from, they will be there until the day that we go home.
Many of these of course are brought upon us by Satan, but not all of them are of his making, we are quite adept as human beings at making our own lives miserable by spending to much time working for, worrying about, and seeking the things of the world. How will we make the bills that month, will there be enough food for today, should I be concerned with what the news media says I should be concerned about are just a few examples. In other areas, we can for a period of time be consumed by thoughts we should not have, by temptations that have been there for years, by our fears of not being accepted by those that populate our daily lives. We hold onto or fear those things that are not brought about by our adversary, but by our lack of trust in the provisions and care of our loving, heavenly Father, things that we have been promised but for some reason still overly concern ourselves with.
But we must remember that we have been promised other things, things in this life that we do not necessarily look forward to. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Heb. 12:11) Our Father has promised to chasten all that He loves, a discipline not meant to inflict pain for the sake of pain, but for the sake of love, to draw us closer in our reliance towards Him. No father would allow their children to play out in the busy street, and so our Father looks at the world as a place that calls to His children, a busy street that will cause them harm, yet we draw ourselves into this world nearly every day.
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1st Peter 5:10) We will suffer here my friends, if you are a child of God, saved by His grace, you will suffer, but I am not speaking here today of the suffering of the flesh or the spirit that is either self-inflicted or brought upon by the Lord, but of those that He allows Satan to press upon us. This is the battle that can bring havoc upon us in the most drastic and dramatic fashion, for Satan does not pull any punches, when he hits, he hits hard, and his intention is to cause the most possible damage that he can. He is of course only allowed to do a certain amount to us by the Lord, recall the account of Job, but he will inflict as much pain and suffering as he possibly can, and he will come at you with a vengeance.
“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.” (Eph. 6:12) We are in a fight against all the demonic horde that has fallen from their first estate, and I will assure you of this, they hate you with a hate you cannot begin to imagine, and they will do all that is in their power to divert you from the path that you are to be on. They will do all that they can, right up to the very point that the Lord has said they can go, and the question is, are you prepared for this battle. Not only are we to have on the entire armor of God, (Eph. 6:10-18) but we are to study on the proper use of it. The believer who has studied to show himself approved, who can rightly divide the word of truth, and can give an account for the reason for his faith, is a follower of Christ that can be useful to the service of the Lord, as well as ready to stand against the wiles of the devil.
The rulers of the darkness of this world will not only come against us in a spiritual manner, but in the guise of humans, do not deceive yourselves here, not every one that you meet is a human being, so to speak, there are still demon possessions happening in this world, for do we not sometimes entertain angels unaware? (Heb. 13:2) Rest assured, if we can meet Holy angels, we can meet fallen angels. What I am speaking of here my friends is that far too many Christians believe today that those principalities and powers, that spiritual wickedness in high places is not the battle we are to be engaged in, that the battle of the inner man is the only battle that they are to be concerned with, and in those they are incorrect. Satan has vey little motive to bother with any child of God whose only concern is one of self, when that person’s greatest threats, in a sense, are those of his own personal walk with Christ, when he still concerns himself with what the world may think of him, when they believe that their service starts and ends at the church doors. But there are those that he is concerned with.
Those that have set their face like a flint, (Isa. 50:7) those who will not stop along the path to dawdle and seek out the things of the world on their journey to the kingdom of God, those who have learned by faith, by trust, that the one they serve is worth serving, and that service will not stop until He calls them home, no matter the call that He places on them. For these Satan’s lower echelon, if you please, will not suffice, the rulers of the darkness of this world on a higher level in his army must be sent in, and the man of God can in no way stand against them. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit will he be able to engage in the battle, and he knows full well that there will be pain and suffering, there will be moments of doubt, but he has committed himself to the end, his life has no meaning unless it is service to the Lord Jesus Christ.
This servant of the Most High God knows fear, terror, and loss, yet he still serves, he understands full well what it means to lose, for he has been in the battle for a long time, but he knows more than many what it means to rest in the Lord. The path to the understanding of the sovereignty of God is found in great humility, and to be asked to serve in the battle against these enemies found in Ephesians 6:12 is not for the one who does not realize this. Here is the path that they know. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11) and “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) They know that this path will probably lead them to their death.
The battle against the ways of Satan and all his forces is not for one who is not prepared to die for the Lord, is not for the one who knows only about the armor of God, but for the one who never removes it, it is for the follower of Jesus Christ who seeks to know the fellowship of His suffering, (Phil. 3:10) for these will most assuredly be noticed by Satan, and he will indeed ask permission from the Lord to do all that he can to stop them in that service to Him.
The battle is not just against our old sinful nature, it is not just against the world and in all the ways that it continuously calls us to, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. How far you desire to go into this battle, how far towards the front line you decide to go has been completely left up to you, but know this, that is where your commander is, at the front of the battle, and by his side at all times is where we should desire to be.