Lucia's Blog: 2021-10-31
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Wednesday, November 3, 2021


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing."
2 Timothy 4:7-8

The trials of life are no accident. They knock us down, and we wonder what happened so suddenly, to change everything in our world. The evils that we have confronted this year give us pause and send a chill down our spines. Never forget, our struggles are not against flesh and blood but against spiritual soldiers of wickedness (Ephesians 6). We must be equipped for the battles of this ongoing war between our beloved God and His enemies because we are the targets of invisible evil spirits.

Throughout history, there have been different conflicts and wars among many nations.  Those who have served on the battlefield of military war know who their enemies are.  They must have a strategic plan to defeat the enemy, and, of course,  they must be well-trained for the battle.  However, there is another battle that Christians must wage in the spiritual realm surrounding us.  Sadly, many do not know their enemy and are not very prepared for victory.  They have very little training to win this fight on the battlefield of their souls.  Our battle has been going on since the beginning of mankind, and many are not even aware.  We must understand that we are not here to "wrestle against flesh and blood" but against the darkness of sin.
"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."  (Eph. 6:12)

The Bible describes Christians as soldiers (Phil. 2:25; Philem. 2). In Ephesians 6:10-20, the apostle Paul speaks of the Christian's fight as the fight of soldiers faithful to Christ in the face of Satan and sin.  Christians must wake up and realize that we are at war and must prepare ourselves with the armor God provides to fight and win on the battlefield of our souls (Eph. 6:10-12).  We must put on our armor as soldiers of Christ to be strong in the strength that God provides through His beloved Son.  We must wake up and acknowledge that we are fighting a war against Satan and his evil forces in the heavenly places (Eph. 5:14).  These evil forces are not asleep.  They actively seek to deceive many souls into destruction (2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Pet. 5:8).

Nevertheless, we may be confident in this fight, like God’s people of old who conquered Canaan, because we are on God’s side (Deut. 31:23; Josh. 1:6).  Since our God is on our side in the battle, we must rise and put on our armor to follow Him into the battlefield (2 Cor. 10:3-6; Eph. 6:13-18).  Indeed, our life in Christ is a constant battle!  We war not against flesh and blood but the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.  In Ephesians 6:10-12, the apostle Paul exhorts us to engage in this spiritual warfare. We must take it to heart. 
"Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."  

On the battlefield of right and wrong, there is a "bloody" fight going on. Our very souls are at stake, as well as the future of our families and churches. Think with me about some fundamental truths of faith and promises that the Lord provides for us in this battle.  

I.   SPIRITUAL WARFARE:   Ephesians 6:10-20
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak."

  • Our War Is As Real As The Visible World:
Those things that we can see, hear, touch, smell, or taste are real and not fiction.  We can experience these things with the senses God has given us.  Those invisible things we cannot see, hear, touch, smell, or taste are still as real as the invisible world.  In Ephesians 6:12, we are given further truth.  
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood (contending with physical opponents), but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness (present), against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places."  

You see, while we live in this present visible world, we also live in the unseen world that Paul describes.  The unseen world is described as the place where evil beings dwell.  But it is also the place where Christ and all Christians dwell.  In our text, I believe the spiritual or heavenly realm is much greater than our physical realm.  In Ephesians 1:3, Paul wrote.  
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places"

In Ephesians 1:19-20, Paul also wrote.
"And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places."

Ephesians 2:6,
"And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

Without a doubt, beyond this world of ours, there is an unseen realm where all that is spiritual exists, both good and evil.  In this invisible world, there is a spiritual warfare taking place.  We fight against the principalities and powers that seek to harm us in this invisible world.  Thus, we must be aware that this invisible spiritual realm wages war against our souls, affecting our present lives and eternity.  

We are here, in our tabernacle, constantly fighting the good fight of faith.  Satan is the general of our enemy, trying at all cost to defeat us as well as the Lord's church.  Therefore, we must arise and go to battle, putting on the whole armor of God to be strong in the strength that God supplies through our Lord and Savior.
"Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."  (Ephesians 6:13-18)

Unfortunately, this war has existed since the beginning of time and will continue until the Lord comes. Often when our faith is stretched to the limits, we become weary on the battlefield.  We start longing for peace.  Our biggest desire is for everything to be perfect and peaceful.  However, we must embrace this battleremaining steadfast in our faith and the Word of God as our main source of nourishment for our desperate souls.
"For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,  do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might  which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places."  (Ephesians 1:15-20)
  • A Spiritual Conflict That Affects Our Lives With Eternal Implications:
Daniel, the Prophet, prayed to God but did not receive an answer to his prayer.  When the angel of the LORD came to him and explained the reason for the delay of his answered prayer, I believe such delay involved some invisible spiritual warfare.  Notice what Daniel 10:12-13 tells us.
"Then he said to me (the angel), 'Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia.'"

There is much in these verses that we do not understand.  However, the spiritual conflict that is going on between these spirits and the angels is evident.   It reveals the reality of the unseen world and the conflict between good and evil, light and darkness, God and Satan.  Moreover, it shows the satanic and heavenly forces at work in an invisible world.  It is a reality and not fiction!  And like Daniel, we sometimes are affected by these evil forces.

Do you remember when Elisha and his servant were confronted with the king of Syria’s army as they surrounded the city?  Elisha's servant went into despair when he saw the enemy's chariots and began saying, 
"Alas, my master! What shall we do?' 16 He said, 'Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.' 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, 'O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.' So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.'"  (2 Kings 6:15-17)

God revealed that He was ready to fight on their behalf from a realm difficult to see by human eyes.  Our spiritual war is no less real than that of Daniel's, Elisha's, or any of God's children throughout the ages.  

In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul declared,
"Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God."  

Have you felt close to God once but now you find that you are straying away from Him?  Maybe you are engaged in a spiritual war you're not even aware of.  Maybe you don't realize that Satan is blinding your mind to the Truth.  Perhaps, he is just messing with your life miserably.  We, who are in Christ, are here on this earth to fight, not against non-believers but against Satan and his evil spirits whose primary goal is to keep humanity from understanding what is really going on.   Please, don't be naive. Be strong in the Lord and break Satan's strongholds!
"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."  (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

  • Do Not Underestimate The Power Of Our Enemy:
We Christians must be aware that our foe is fiercely dangerous and seeks to destroy us and Christ's cause.  Since he is powerful, we must not let our guard down, but fight him tooth and nailWe must not give him more power than he already has!  Can't you see that he and his demonic army want to destroy our faith and take away our credibility by making us stumble into sin?  Take heed!  

You see, our weapons of warfare are not of this world, for they are not visible. They are unseen invisible.  The weapons that break Satan's strongholds are our prayers and the Word of God. He has given us many others that I will discuss later in this study.  If we refuse to take up these weapons for warfare, there will be eternal consequences.  We must understand completely that the struggles, relational conflicts, and misunderstandings about God and His Word are caused by satanic opposition and plots.  Please, hear Peter's warning.
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  (1 Peter 5:8)

It is not fiction. Satan is a reality in our lives whether we like it or not!  So, we must be prepared to attack him with all of our might.  We must learn his evil abilities or tactics.  Consider Jude 9 on how we must treat Satan.
"But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you.'"

And though this Scripture doesn't give us much detail, it does make it clear how we must treat Satan.  Satan is a powerful and rebellious spirit.  He is God's enemy.  When Michael, an archangel, was disputing about Moses' body, he would not dare say anything that attacked Satan's dignity.  I would say Michael the archangel respected Satan's position and power.  It is foolish for us to assume anything less.  Do you know what's funny?  Those who rebuke the devil when even Michael the Archangel couldn't do it.  Jesus was the only One who had that power to rebuke Him and no one else.  Thus, we must not minimize his power and ability! 

  • We Must Respect Our Enemy, But Not Fear Him:
Like Paul, we must be aware of Satan's evil tactics to win our war against him.  We must acknowledge that he is our adversary, the slanderer, the evil one, the prince of this world, the Serpent, dragon, pretending to be an angel of light, but the "accuser of the brethren."  
    • Satan wants to dwarf God's plan of salvation by promoting false philosophies (Col. 2:8).
    • False religions (1 Cor. 10:19-20).
    • False teachers or ministers (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
    • False doctrine (1 John 2:18).
    • False disciples (Matt. 13).
    • False morals or principles (2 Thess. 2:7).

We must become vigilant toward Satan's attacks.  He attacks us by:
    • Directing governments (Daniel 10:13).
    • Deceiving men (2 Cor. 4:4).
    • Destroying life (Heb. 2:14).
    • Persecuting the saints (Rev. 2:10).
    • Hindering our service to God (1Thess. 2:18).
    • Promoting schisms (2 Cor. 2:10-11).
    • Planting doubt in our hearts (Gen. 3:1-2).
    • Provoking sin and anger (Eph. 4:26-27).
    • Pride (1Tim. 3:6).
    • Worry and anxiety (Matt. 13:22).
    • Self-sufficiency (1 Chron. 21:1).
    • Discouragement and apathy (1 Pet. 5:6-8).
    • Worldliness and ungodliness (1 John 2:16).
    • Lying (Acts 5:3).
    • Immorality or a seared conscience (1 Cor. 5:1-2) and 
    • Producing sects or cults (1 Tim. 4:1).

Despite all that Satan, our enemy can do to us, we have the assurance that his power is limited.  Since he is a created being, he is not omniscient or infinite like God.  Our Lord has also given us other promises: 
    • We can fight Satan and his evil powers when we equip ourselves with God's armor (Ephesians 6:13-18). 
    • The devil will flee from us when we resist him (James 4:7).  
    • God limits Satan (Job 1:12).  

Thus we must fight not for victory but from victory, for we are invincible in the strength or the power that Christ provides! 

And though our spiritual enemy was defeated at the cross of Christ, he still continues to hurl out lies, insults, and condemnations at us, the saints.  Undoubtedly, we fight a real enemy and a real battle!  It is not fiction, for it is real!  What then must we do?  We must acknowledge that our victory over the devil is assured, for we do not fight for victory but from victory.  Jesus has already won the ultimate war over Satan. So, having this assurance, let us be aware of our weaknesses and Satan's strength as we fight the spiritual warfare that faces us until our last breath.  Remember, God will eventually destroy the devil and his angels in the end, throwing them into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:20).  Evil will forever be gone!  What a great day that will be!!!

Consider how we can prepare to overcome our enemy Satan and his attacks against God's saints.  The apostle Paul referred to our fight as a struggle, for we are battling a powerful enemy.  An enemy who is the devil, the world, the flesh, and false teachers.  So the question is, what are the characteristics of the army of God?


In  Colossians 2:8, Paul urges the saints, 
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ."

The phrase "see to it" implies that we must "beware" and be "careful."  A gullible soldier can indeed fall easily into the enemy's trap.  We Christians can fall easily into the traps of Satan and those who are against God's Word. Paul warns us about the devil's traps he sets before us like false teachers.  He warns us to be careful and not get captured, that is, being taken away from the pure Gospel and our good relationship with God and our brethren. When we are captured and taken away, we become Satan's plunder.  Notice that Paul's warning is present tense which implies it is an ever-present danger!

However, God provides Christians protection and weapons.  In Ephesians 6:3, Paul said,
"Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm."

We are not only warned about our enemy and the spiritual war going on, but we are also urged to put on the full armor of God and the right weapons to fight on the battlefield of our souls to defeat Satan's attack.  The Lord, our Chief Commander, wants us to be valiant soldiers in His army.  
    “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”  (2 Cor. 10:3-6)

  • Christ's Army is Composed of Volunteers:
God does not force anyone to serve Him.  He does not draft us to become one of His troops.  Why?  Because He has given us free will.  He expects us to love and serve Him voluntarily.  God expects us to obey "from the heart that form of doctrine" that was delivered to us (Rom. 6:17). As soldiers of Christ, we are called to serve Him sacrificially and follow Him as our perfect Commander.

  • Christ is Our Perfect Commander: 
The Captain and Commander of our salvation is Jesus Christ (cf. Heb. 2:10). He is our perfect example whom we can confidently follow on the battlefield.  As long as we follow our Commander Jesus, we will make no mistakes.  Paul said,
"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (I Cor. 11:1). 

Paul is saying that if we follow Christ, we are safe.  
    1. Jesus is our perfect Commander, for He is holy, harmless, and undefiled (Heb. 7:26). 
    2. He is our perfect Commander because He can sympathize with our weaknesses and was tempted in all points as we are, yet He did not sin (Heb. 4:15). 
    3. He is our perfect Commander because we can confidently follow His leadership wherever He leads us.  

    • Christ's Army Has Only One Offensive Weapon:
    In I Timothy 6:12, we are commanded to "fight the good fight of faith." 
      • To fight in the Lord's Army, we are given only one weapon, which is plenty to win.  
      • That one weapon is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17). 
      • Our sword is sharper than any two-edged sword, which cuts to the heart (cf. Heb. 4:12).
      • When that weapon is used correctly, it will never fail to defeat the enemy.  
      • Further, we have been given battle attire besides the sword: the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation. 

    This is God's armor, as described in Ephesians 6. All the components of God's armor are for our protection against the "fiery darts of the wicked one." God's armor is our defense.  The Word of God is our only offense.  It is our only weapon of attack, and it is enough. 
    "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."  (II Timothy 3:16, 17)

    What a beautiful picture of Christians fully dressed to fight on the battlefield of their souls!

    You can rest assured that Satan and his demons tremble when they see a child of God ready to fight on the battlefield, using the sword effectively! 

    Sadly, many Christians don't use God's given weapon well, that is, the sword. They don't even know how to handle their swords, not even on a rudimentary level.  Why do I make such charges?  Simply because many don't know their Bible well.  If you ask them to name the books of the Bible, the plan of salvation, sin, and its consequences, they struggle to answer.  It is amazing!  
      1. How on earth can we be soldiers who have mastered their weapon, the Word of God, to win against our enemy?  
      2. Have we forgotten that a good soldier must become proficient with his weapon to survive on the battlefield?!  It is exactly what a good soldier of Christ must do!  

    God is dismayed when He sees our unskillful actions, disinterested passiveness, and lack of fighting spirit.  He is disappointed in us when we can't face and defeat Satan and his wicked devices. We must learn David's attitude of heart and hate every false way!   
    "Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.  You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me.  I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.  I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts.  I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word.  I have not departed from Your judgments, For You Yourself have taught me.  How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way."  (Psalm 119:97-104)

    Do you hate sin and condemn it for what it is? Do you put your sword away, turning your head the other way?  Christians, we must know the Word well to fight back!  Are you not aware that God demands that His soldiers fight sin and ignorance for the sake of others and their own spiritual safety?! 

    Christians, are you not aware that Satan's primary tactics are deception and lies, which he uses to confuse, rob, and destroy us?  

    In John 8:44Jesus declared that Satan was a liar from the beginning.  The only weapon against his deceitful schemes and lies is the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit.  

    • In Christ's Army, There is No Time of Leave:  
    That's right!  In Christ's Army, there is no such thing as a vacation from Him.  
      • Our first-century brethren "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).  
      • These brethren were in the habit of gathering "daily in the temple" (Acts 5:42). 
      • Our Redeemer and the Author of our salvation accepts no excuses. 
      • He doesn't issue Sunday passes. 
      • Soldiers of Christ who purposefully refuse to assemble with other Christians on Sundays are "absent without leave." 
      • And God will judge them, for He sees and knows everything! 
      • Nothing is unknown to our heart-searching King and Lord! 

    There is no room for breaks, for we must fulfill our duties as soldiers of Christ. 
    "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Cor. 15:58). 
    "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Gal. 6:9).

    We must fight the good fight of faith as valiant warriors because God has commanded it.  
    "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."  (I Timothy 6:12)
    So, why is it that so many Christians get "knocked out" early in the fight?  Some are defeated because they have not been careful and watchful (cf. II John 8). Others begin strong but run out of steam, refusing to come out for the last rounds too soon. They are disqualified because they sit on "the stool of do-nothing," becoming neutral (e.g., Rev. 3:15).  Do you know that many losers blame others for their bad choices?  It is never their fault! However, they will be surprised when they hear the Judge's indictment on the day of judgment.  The Word of God will judge them.  We will be judged by our actions.
    "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). 
    "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who 'will render to each one according to his deeds" (Rom. 2:4-6).  

    The question is, Do you want to be a good fighter on the battlefield of your faith? Then consider ten essential qualities of a good fighter.

    • A Good Fighter is Well Managed:  
    Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is our perfect manager.  But for Jesus to be our perfect manager, we must yield ourselves to Him completely.  We must surrender ourselves to Christ as slaves! How do we do this?  Consider the following Scriptures that tell us how to present ourselves to Christ.
    "Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" (Rom. 6:16). 

    We must never forget that we are a "new creation" (II Cor. 5:17)Think of Christians as a restaurant under new management.  

    • A Good Fighter Trains Fervently:  
    Seldom will a boxer win a bout without proper training.  You see, to stay on top in our contest against Satan and sin, we must strive nonstop to stay in shape spiritually. Like Paulwe must discipline our bodies to bring them into subjection, that is, keep it under control (I Cor. 9:27). Even Paul acknowledged that he could fall from Grace and lose his salvation.  Thus, he worked out his salvation with fear and trembling not to be disqualified (cf. Phil. 2:12).  Think about that!

    • A Good Fighter Endures:
    A good fighter endures because he is brave and wants to win.  Those fighters who lose cannot endure any contest beyond the first five rounds. And though they have a flashy beginning, they do not end well and stay on their feet.  They are unable to plan their attack for the next struggles.  They always lose at the final bell. They run out of energy or steam before the battle ends. Jesus calls it a failure to "count the cost" in Luke 14:25-33. As the letter to the Hebrews says, "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1).  Hence, Christ's soldiers must remain focused to grow in His grace and knowledge (cf. II Pet. 3:18). Those who don't build up endurance will remain in the novice bracket all of their days.  Take heed!

    • A Good Fighter Must Develop a Good Offense:
    No boxer has ever won merely with defensive measures. Paul said, "I have fought a good fight" (II Tim. 4:7).  Sadly, many professing soldiers of Jesus depend on what they haven't done to save them. Often their only plea of righteousness is: "I have not done anything wrong." But James 4:17 and II Corinthians 10:4-5 demand that we bring our lives in complete subjection to Christ as good and valiant soldiers who fight to win.

    • A Good Fighter Must Strengthen His Defense:
    Our enemy Satan wants to have us in his clutches (e.g., Luke 22:31). He wants us to surrender to him.  We must resist him!  We must resist his advances of temptation. We must have an impenetrable defense because he will try at any cost to get us where we are weak. Thus, we must have strong protection against sin and its deadly punch (cf. Rom. 6:23).  Good fighters and soldiers develop good defensive weapons to be equipped and prepared for the spiritual battle that intends to destroy them.  Are you well prepared?

    • A Good Fighter Must Be Mentally Prepared:
    Every fighter must have hours of solitude and plenty of time to think things through. A good fighter must plan firmly in his own mind. These are valuable moments that will determine the margin of victory or defeatThe Bible commands Christians to meditate in study and prayer as they face life's struggles (cf. Phil. 4:8; II Tim. 2:15).  Thus each soldier of Christ must devote some time alone with God to have strength and receive help to be mentally prepared for any situation that may arise.

    • A Good Fighter Must Be Willing To Take Blows:  
    Although boxers take tremendous punches or blows, some never make it because they cannot take punishment (they have "glass jaws," so to speak). You see, they are removed from the contest with one or two heavy hits from their opponent.  Jesus said the same thing of those who receive the Word of God, but as soon as "tribulation or persecution arises," they fade away (Mark 4:17).  Good fighters must understand and accept that it takes great "heart" to get up off the canvas in a physical fight as well as a spiritual one.

    • A Good Fighter Must Not Throw The Fight:
    Sadly, many boxers agree to "sell out" for money.  Their professional matches are "fixed." Their greed is worth more than honesty and integrity.  Christians do the same thing when they allow  "the cares, riches, and pleasures of life" to mar their record (Luke 8:14).  Do you remember Judas Iscariot?

    • A Good Fighter Must Fight To Win:
    Good fighters never enter the ring planning to be “good losers.”  They know no champion ever thinks of being defeatedfor there is no substitute for victoryGood soldiers and fighters acknowledge there is no virtue in spending eternity in hell as a "good loser."  As good fighters in the ring, we must put on the gloves and fight against Satan.  Let us finish well, hitting Satan right on the chin like a good boxer, with an uppercut that pops like dynamite!  And though that might sound kind of funny, there is a lot of truth to it!  Romans 1:16 declares that the Gospel is God's power (dynamite) to save us!  Hence, let us fight against our enemy to win!

    • A Good Fighter Must Never Underestimate His Opponent:
    "Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices" (II Cor. 2:7). 

    "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet. 5:8). 
      • We must never underestimate our opponent, especially one as dangerous as Satan. 
      • We must not under any circumstances believe that we've conquered Satan and then become overconfident and careless. 
      • We must not let our guard down! The devil is more powerful and astute than we think. 
      • We must "walk carefully, not as fools but as wise" (Eph. 5:15).  

    Pause for a moment and ask yourself: 
      • What kind of soldier am I in the Lord's army? 
      • What is my value in His service? 
      • Am I capable of wielding the sword of the Spirit acceptably? 
      • Will I serve in such a way that one day I may lay down my armor at Jesus' feet and reign forever with Him?  

    Ponder these questions and start fighting like you should to win on the battlefield of your soul.
      • We must never be satisfied with being mediocre soldiers.  
      • We must improve and thus become better, as good soldiers of Christ.  
      • We must know the Word of God, for it is our only weapon of defense against our enemy. 
      • We must follow our perfect Commander, our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ. 
      • We must never look for a vacation spiritually. 
      • We must never be blind and overlook how dangerous our opponent is, that is, the devil. 
      • We must be well-trained, develop and strengthen our offense. 
      • We must train fervently, building up endurance and fight to win. 
      • We must not throw our fight, getting wrapped up in the cares of this world.  
    Do not let go of your prize!!

    So decide to serve the Lord with your energy and gratefully respond to His matchless love.  Give your best to the Master, for such wondrous love must compel us to be devoted to our Father's business here on earth (II Cor. 5:14). 
    "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19). 

    In response to the riches of His Grace, we must "live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:12).

    Thus, Christianslet us wisely and joyously give ourselves to Him, for no one else has the words of eternal life (cf. II Cor. 8:5; John 6:68).


    So far, we've considered the characteristics of the Lord's army.  His army is composed of volunteers led by a perfect commander.  This army possesses only one weapon.  It is given no time for “leave.”  Christians are Christ's soldiers engaged in a fierce battle against evil (Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 2:3).  We must suffer hardship as good soldiers of Christ Jesus.  We must fight the good fight of our faith (1 Tim. 6:12).  May we never forget such truths.  

     Jesus wants us to join Him in this great battle.  Jesus said,
    "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." (Matt. 12:30)

    Every Christian must be fully armored to be a front-line soldier (Ephesians 6:10ff).  
    “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).
    “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”  (Ephesians 6:16).  

    The devil wants us to believe his lies that we are insignificant, not armed for the battlefield and that we do not matter. Yet the truth is, God has called us to sacrifice, suffer ridicule, and risk everything, even the loss of life and possessions, to gain heaven.  Christians must not be intimidated by Satan's attacks, ridicule, and persecution.  We must wake up and realize we are in a war!  (1 Peter 4:12; Matthew 13:21).  Sadly, we live in a culture that belittles and mocks Christians.  Yet Jesus was never embarrassed or ashamed to proudly proclaim, 
    “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing” (John 5:19).
    “I live because of the Father” (John 6:57).

    “The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (John 14:10).  

    David, proudly proclaimed, centuries earlier, 
    “I love you, O Lord, my strength” (Psalm 18:10).

    Like David, we also have a shield that helps us extinguish the devil's flaming arrows whose primary purpose is to take us out, cripple and destroy our strength (Ephesians 6:16).  We must diligently seek God and His Word to strengthen our faith on the field of battle.  We must learn to love the Psalms.  They strengthen the prayers that we desperately need for the battlefield.  Prayers help us greatly in our spiritual war.  The Psalms strengthen our weaknesses and the fears that sometimes freeze us.  The Psalms quiet our murmuring and complaining and build up our faith.  If we follow the examples of David on the battlefield of his desperate physical war when he wrote down his feelings and emotions in poetic form, we can easily apply his counsel to our spiritual warfare.  Ephesians 1:15-20 describes the strength of God in our lives.
    "For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the boundless greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places."

    Since our Lord gives us strengthwe must accept it to stand firm against the devil's flaming arrows or darts.  We are children of the Almighty!  We are born of the Spirit to conquer!  We subdue, bring into subjection, conquer and keep our enemies under our feet.  How do we accomplish this? 
    • Through our knowledge of the Word of God (v. 17).
    • This knowledge of God's Word, along with our prayers, are great weapons to conquer and subdue all the powers of darkness that subtly creep into every aspect of our lives as Christians.  
    • Through prayer (Ephesians 3:14-19),  Paul’s desire was that God might grant us, according to the riches of His glory, strength in the inner man (vs. 16), so that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith (v. 17), rooted and grounded in love to be able to comprehend His love and be filled with all His fullness (v. 18)
    • Our prayer must not be just a one-time prayer, and that is it!  It must be a constant and fervent prayer.  
    • Our thirst and hunger for the Word of  God is not just a one-time thing, and that is it!  
    • It must be a constant thirst and hunger.  
    • It is the only way to fight and take control of our souls.  And finally.
    • Through our hope in Jesus (v. 18).
    “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.” (2 Cor. 10:3-6)

    On the battlefield of right and wrong, there is a "bloody" fight going on. Our very souls are at stake and the future of our families and churches.  Indeed, there is a war raging over the faith of Christ, and Satan is behind it all! Satan's soldiers fight in subtle and aggressive ways taking advantage of our entertainment arenas, the news media, and our legal system. One of the most powerful channels of attack against our faith is social pressure. When one has strong faith and convictions and takes an open stand against immorality and lawlessnesshe is often viewed as crazy, a weirdo, unloving, narrow-minded, ignorant, judgmental, and hateful. 

    Our culture prohibits us from judging anyone for their wrongdoings and evil works. We are not supposed to tell them they’re wrong because that would make us “judgmental, unkind, and mean-spirited.” But really, who is the only one who decides right and wrong? Who is the one who has set those standards by which we must live? It is God! Isn’t it something how one is put in the minority today for taking a stand for righteousness! Our godless culture gets angry at us for our principles of righteousness, and they show themselves to be shameless. 

    Although our culture elevates sinfulness, we must heed God’s warnings about calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). We must set our minds on things above and not on the earthly things of this world (Col. 3:2). Our culture is sinking deeper into lawlessness and sinfulness. We must not allow social pressure to influence our way of thinking, faith, and influence, for we must be salt and lights that shine brightly amid so much evil. We must not allow Satan to prevail over our faith and influence. Remember, this world will pass away and all its evil works (1 John 2:17). 

    Let us stand against sinfulness, lawlessness, and all forms of evil. We must be the salt of this earth and the illuminating influence, the light (Matt. 5:13-16). We must teach others the Gospel to help them straighten their crooked ways of living (Phil. 2:15). The Gospel has the power to transform men from wickedness to righteousness. But our culture tells us that we cannot tell others that they’re walking in darkness and need to repent. So how then can we help this crooked world of darkness change its sinful way of living? Simply by teaching them the Gospel and by living examples of righteousness. The Gospel and our godly influence are what make us the salt of the earth.  But Satan is determined to wage war on Christians and Christ's kingdom! Christ is our ultimate source of victory. 

    We, the faithful, must thwart the devil’s plan and not allow him to conquer us! 

    We must keep carrying the Lord’s banner and stand against Satan and his wicked ways.  If we let him win, mankind is lost! We are the last line of defense! So we must fight Satan for our souls and the souls of those who are living in darkness and are captive in their prison of condemnation.   We must fight with our most powerful weapon, the Gospel, and we must teach it to everyone if possible! Can’t you see that every time we teach the Gospel, a soul can put on the Lord in the waters of baptism, and Satan is defeated?! God has promised to stand with us, strengthen us, and give us victory over Satan through the Gospel.  So we must fight like good soldiers! Are you willing to live or die in this fight? There is no middle ground or third choice, for we must be wounded in this war.  Are you willing to start fighting for your soul and the souls of men? Are you pleasing our Lord in this battle?  Do you have what it takes to win on the battlefield of your soul against the devil?  The devil tries to convince us that we don't have what it takes.  Yet, God says, 
    “So that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13).

    To survive this fight, we must not rely on our own might but on that which God supplies through Christ (Eph. 6:10).  God, the Lord of Hosts, is the warrior who fights against evil and for His people (Ps. 89:6-8; Jas. 5:4).  Nothing can stand against our Almighty God!  Christians must trust in the strength which God supplies through Christ to fight the good fight of faith and be victorious (2 Tim. 2:1; Eph. 3:14-16; Rom. 8:31, 37; 1 John 4:4).  God has provided everything we need to fight our fight of faith, and we must stand in His great might and fight the enemy (Eph. 6:10-11, 13-14).  A good soldier is focused on the battle he must face.  He is not complacent and distracted by other concerns (2 Tim. 2:3-4).  A good soldier will not turn and flee but will stand firm and fight with all his might when faced with the enemy (1 Cor. 16:13; Phil. 4:1).  God has provided everything we need to fight against our powerful foe (1 Thess. 5:8-9; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).  However, we must take up the whole armor of God to stand and fight the enemy (Eph. 6:11-13).  A good soldier of Christ is always vigilant and does not leave himself vulnerable to our enemy who always seeks to attack (1 Pet. 5:8; Eph. 6:11-13).

    Good soldiers of Christ grow and strengthen their faith and will not allow it, under any circumstances, to grow weak or waver (Eph. 4:11-16; 2 Thess. 1:3).  They are well aware that they must take on every virtue and grace to reflect God and Christ's character (Gal. 5:22; 2 Pet. 1:5-7).  God's armor provides truth, righteousness, readiness, etc. (Eph. 6:14-17).  The Word of God, vigilant prayer, study, and application in our lives fortifies our souls and will prepare us to fight against Satan and his attacks (1 Tim. 4:16; Matt. 26:41).  When we heed God's words, we will overcome Satan and be victorious in Christ ((Eph. 6:13).  

    • We must feed our souls with the Word and prayer to win the fight.  
    • We must be on the alert because our enemy, Satan, will attack us without mercy.  
    • We must be in the middle of this battlefield fighting with all of our strength and might.  
    • We must realize that we cannot win this battle alone.  We need our God to fight for us.  He is our Helper, who will help us conquer the land and subdue the kingdom of darkness in a spiritual sense.  
    • We must arm ourselves with the weapons of war, fighting the enemy on the home front.  
    • Let us never forget that we must be warriors ready to fight at all times: warriors who purpose in our hearts to have victory.  The Kingdom of heaven is for valiant warriors and not cowardly ones.

    We see this picture portrayed in our Lord and Savior.  He was both the Lamb and the Lion.  As the Lamb, He surrendered Himself to the cruel cross accepting the penalty for our sins.  He was obedient as a sheep that yielded itself to the shearer, never opening his mouth in protest.  But He is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  The Lion to whom every knee shall bow, bringing all of His enemies, kings, and kingdoms into subjection to His Lordship and dominion.

    Let us be encouraged by Nehemiah's exhortation. 
    " When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”  (Nehemiah 4:14)

    Our lives as Christians are a battlefield of the heart, soul, and mind in which we must fight to have victory and receive our Crown.  2 Corinthians 10:3-6 describes this spiritual battle.
    "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete."

    The Word of God continually speaks of the battle and our fight for the right cause.  It is indeed an ugly war!
    • Let us not lose heart!  
    • Let us not give into the desires of our flesh.  
    • Let us crucify Self.  
    • We are children of the Almighty God who have been born of the Spirit through our Lord and Savior, Jesus.    
    • Let us not forget that our Father in heaven dwells in us and is totally opposed to lawlessness and the desires of the flesh.  They repel each other.  

    So my question is, to whom are we going to yield?  ,  
    "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please."   (Galatians 5:16-17)

    Is it not wonderful that we have the Grace of God!

    His Grace teaches us and helps us deny all ungodliness and worldly desires so that we may live righteously and godly and use sound judgment.  His Grace helps us bear good fruit and be zealous in our daily walk with Him.  We could never do it on our own!  Thanks be to God for His indescribable Grace!  We have no excuse since we have all we need to be equipped to fight on the battlefield of our souls.

    The only way we will resist Satan is by overcoming our weaknesses.  Romans 12:21 says not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good.  I John 2:13-14 speaks of those who have overcome the wicked one.
    “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”  (I John 5:4-5)
    "Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."  (I Timothy 6:12)

    Although we Christians face all sorts of conflicts, trials, sufferings, and sorrows in our lives, we have hope.   Paul reminds us of this in 2 Timothy 4:7.
    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."  

    We should be looking toward a time when we will no longer have to fight this war—a time of eternal peace.   One day, our part in this battle will be over! (2 Tim. 4:7; Rev. 14:13).  But we must put our faith in Christ alone to be victorious on the battlefield of our souls (1 Cor. 15:57; 1 John 5:4; Rev. 12:11).

    Christ is our ultimate source of victory.  He will be with us through this life, and He will be with us as we leave this life to stand before the Supreme Judge of all.  As he wrote of our spiritual battle, Paul always looked toward that victory.  
    "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."  (I Corinthians 15:57)
    "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."  (Revelation 12:11)

    With the burden of this battle on our shoulders, let us purpose in our heart, soul, and mind to fight on the battlefield against the flesh and all forms of evil.  Let us remember that we have chosen to fight the good fight of faith.  Let us not forget that one day we must stand before our Lord and King to give an answer for everything we have done (2 Cor. 5:10).  What a day that will be, when we can finally stand before God (in judgment), having done the will of God, passing the test for eternity!
    "... that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."  (Colossians 4:12)

    May the Lord help us to fight the good fight of faith and never give up, even until our last breath, that we may receive the crown of life.  May we be strong in the Lord’s might and fight in such a way to bring Him honor and glory so that He will give us victory.
    "Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  (2 Timothy 4:8)
    "No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.  Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules."   (2 Timothy 2:4-5)  
    "But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.  13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.  I am writing to you, young men,    because you have overcome the evil one.  I write to you, children, because you know the Father.  14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.  I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one."  (1 John 2:11- 14)

    Are you pleasing our Lord in this battle?
    "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."  (II Timothy 4:7-8)

    The following song is a call to battle. It reminds us of our war against Satan. Let us consider this song that we may be motivated and devoted to serving in His army, seeking always to please Him.

    Soldiers of Christ, Arise

    Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
    Strong in the strength which God supplies through His beloved Son.

    Strong in the Lord of hosts, and in His mighty power,
    Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.

    Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
    But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;

    Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul,
    Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole;

    That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
    You may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.