Thursday, April 28, 2022
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Just so we don’t get confused, let me make sure we all understand this issue of spiritual warfare. First, there is a spiritual war going on. It is being fought in the spiritual realm, and we are under the influence of that war. We are participants in that war. We are constantly wrestling with the enemy. The issues of finances, family, and even faith are constant points of attack to distract us from Christ and destroy our impact for Christ. In our own strength we are powerless to resist. But according to James, when we submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us. Notice that submission to God – “in the power of His might” – is the key to standing against the enemy.
Second, the real battle is not against finances, health, or status. If we keep those things as the focus, we are losing the war. We will surrender to discouragement and will end up in the defeat of depression. We cannot change flesh and blood. We have no power over it. The priority of the power of God at work in us is not to heal the flesh, but to restore the spirit. When the spirit of a person is at peace with God, the flesh of a person loses its power to dampen the spirit. Hope is found not in the solution to fleshly ailments, but in the security of the Father’s arms. God’s power in us assures us of victory over the rulers, the authorities, the powers of the dark side, and the spiritual forces of evil. Jesus has already defeated them. Hallelujah! When we stand strong in the power of the Lord in the right arena, we win! The flesh is the wrong arena.
Imagine how ridiculous it would be for a member of the United States swim team to show up for competition at the Olympic arena for fencing. Not only are they not trained, but they’re also not properly equipped. They would be seriously injured because they have no skills and no armor. Yet that is how many Christians attempt to compete in the spiritual war. They fight it in the wrong arena. They learn more and more skills for conquering the problems of the flesh, and don’t understand why the battle never gets any better. More books are bought. More programs are subscribed to. More counsel is sought. More techniques are applied. More frustration develops. Why? Because they are fighting in the wrong arena. The key to enduring life’s problems is to engage the Spirit of God. When we stand strong in the spiritual power of the Savior, we will be able to stand against all of the schemes of the devil. Those schemes may continue to have fleshly effects on us, but they cannot change our spiritual status.
You see, Satan’s only arena is the flesh. The only way he can attempt to manifest any power is in the flesh. He has already been defeated in the spiritual realm. He has no authority over the spirit of a Christian. All he can do is hope to keep us fighting in the wrong arena.
The Bible does not describe a life of freedom from hardship. Nor does it describe a life that is free from the flesh. We are not promised that we can be perfect, prosperous, or healed. However, the Bible does tell us that we can be strong, enduring anything in the flesh, and filled with hope, because we stand in the power of God by faith. The power of our spiritual position in Christ always overwhelms the condition of our flesh. Regardless of the fleshly flaws, we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. Hallelujah!
So stand strong in the power of God’s might. Commit every fleshly battle to the spiritual King. Put every issue of your physical life into the perspective of your position in Christ. Then you will be able to stand.