As we saw last week, a knight’s identity as a knight is what gave him the character and ability to win in battle. The same is true of a Christian.
Imagine yourself in a new modern soldier’s uniform with incredible weapons. You are about to board the transport plane for your first ever battle. You see some dirty, tired soldiers disembark and their faces are set, determined, grim even. A shudder goes down your spine. You know you are a solider but yet you experience fear. In what seems an eternity you find yourself jumping from a helicopter in the middle of a battle. Bullets, explosions, noise, and confusion surround and engulf you. You freeze. Your instinct is to move back. Then you hear the yells of your leader and you jump into action. You are a soldier and you go forward into the battle.
Jesus is our leader and although He doesn’t often yell, his voice is the one we must seek and is the one to which we must listen. Our identity comes from him and just like the soldier’s leader, our very survival depends on how quickly we obey his voice.
Of course, with Jesus we are talking about spiritual survival and this is of far more significance than physical survival. It has eternal consequences.
If that’s the case, then how come it takes so long to hear his voice and to listen to it?
In the above scenario, the battle in which you are fighting is external. In spiritual warfare the battle is mostly internal. Much of what I wrote today is based on the book Lane Adams wrote “How Come It’s Taking Me So Long…”
If you don’t have Christ as your Lord, you are under the control of Satan. A part of you wants to be free yet another part of you wants to remain under his control. After all, sin is effective in holding us hostage because we like sin. Fulfilling the desires of our lusts is pleasurable at the moment and sin blinds us to its consequences. This makes it even more inviting.
The cycle of sin is like this: Temptation, then sin, then guilt, then resolve, then temptation, etc. By our own strength, we can not break this cycle. Something outside ourselves must break through. Jesus could simply take it all away, but we have to choose. We have to ask Jesus into our lives. This breaks the sin cycle and for some it is an instantaneous freeing. For many others it takes time.
Most of us are like an island being invaded. Satan controls our minds. We send out an SOS to Jesus. He comes into our minds and our hearts. Because we have free will, we actually can use that freedom to resist the very forces that are liberating us. We might let Jesus have control over those parts of us that are causing us the most grief. Perhaps anger or gluttony are causing you embarrassment or relationship troubles.
So, we give those over to Jesus, but we hang unto bitterness or fear of rejection (two common causes of these things). There are many reasons why we hang on to them including ignorance of their existence, a familiarity with them, and their historical function in protecting us. In effect, it takes us so long to be free from sin and the effects of sin because we are used to sinning, we like to sin, or we see sin as helping us in some way.
The new born again man has all the power and authority for victory in every single battle, yet the old man still lives, and he is pretty stubborn and our freedom to choose is often undermined by his desires.
There is hope and there will be victory. The number one weapon and the most effective weapon in spiritual warfare is who you are in Christ and who Christ is. Knowing who you are and who you serve gives us the confidence to realize our God given authority over the devil and his spiritual helpers.
Victory is only possible when you get Christ, know Christ, and live in Christ. You must trust God in all things. This trust only comes from relationship. I am a child of God, seated in the heavenly realms, and have all power and authority over the evil that once mastered me. It took me a long time before I decided I wanted victory.
Do you want victory?
More in this Spiritual Warfare Series:
- Spiritual Warfare #1: Fear or Freedom
- Spiritual Warfare #2: Guerrilla Warfare
- Spiritual Warfare #3: Mind Meld
- Spiritual Warfare #4: Who am I?
- Spiritual Warfare #5: When Do I Win?
Andy Becker is a retired counselor and author of The Travelers, a fictionalized account of spiritual warfare (available on Amazon) as is, Stupid Thyroid, a book he co-wrote with his wife, Stella. Andy and his wife, Stella, lead Lighthouse Ministry in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest areas. He is a retired counselor, speaker, and writer. Andy Becker is working on his second book about spiritual warfare. His first book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.