A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.Ephesians 6:10-11 (NLT)
There is a very real war raging all around us. Though we can’t see it, we can see the effects of it. This war is between a kingdom of absolute love, mercy, grace, and integrity, and a kingdom how is all about coercion, manipulation, hatred, and deceit. It’s the war between Satan’s dominion (here on earth) and the Kingdom of God. And, earth is ground zero for it.
To belong to Satan’s kingdom, it’s actually quite simple: Live only for yourself. Do whatever feels good to you. In other words, Satan’s kingdom embraces ego. The only love that is required is a love of self, concepts, or organizations. If anyone gets in your way of your enjoyment, or disagrees with your philosophy on life, they are the enemy. Tell me. Do you see this type of behavior playing out in the world? I know I do. And, it’s everywhere.
On the opposing side is God’s Kingdom. To belong to this kingdom means that you live for others. Ego isn’t the focus, love is. In this kingdom, you are called to live a life of integrity, surrendered to God’s moral code, forgiving, helping, loving others. In this kingdom, God gets to call the shots in life. The results are people finding healing, peace, hope, joy, love, and restoration. Do you see this type of behavior? Yes. But it seems in shorter and shorter supply.
With these two sides diametrically opposed, there is always going to be conflict.
As members of the Kingdom of God, Christians, we are called to not just sit back idly while Satan’s minions wreck the world in which we have been entrusted. We aren’t supposed to hunker down in our churches. We are supposed to be warriors on behalf of God’s kingdom. This means getting out into our communities and loving people. Oppose hate; instill love.
As the apostle Paul put it in our verses today, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” We aren’t called to cower and hide. We are called to stand and fight! And, here’s the best part: We already know who wins this war. So, when we fight, we fight from a place of victory, not defeat. There is no doubt of the outcome. Jesus wins.
So, today, and every day, suit up for battle. Put on the full armor of God. ‘Cuz Christianity is a battleground, not a playground.