As political correctness runs amok over society, some ideas have become taboo — areas even Christians don’t venture to discuss much for fear of “offending”; the new morality doesn’t bother with truth, but what is non-offensive. While popular movies and TV shows involve vampires and the occult, the one subject we aren’t allowed to speak of: spiritual warfare. That’s only the realm of crazy people, right? We’ve grown beyond thinking Satan exists, right?
Sadly, many in the church aren’t ready for combat, and if they do find themselves in a “serious social occasion,” their encounter won’t end well (read that: slaughtered like a pig) as they look down in their toolbox and discover … nothing.
God provides complete weaponry, however, money, fame, fortune, and IQ won’t help. Misunderstanding of reality causes people to make two mistakes regarding spiritual warfare.
- Satan is behind every door.
- Satan doesn’t exist.
The first looks like the old Saturday Night Live “Church Lady” skits with Dana Carvey. Remember the tag line? Sooner or later the Church Lady says “could it be … SATAN?”. When you stub your toe, it’s Satan.
That’s a bit over the edge, and you can rest assured if you drink too much and crash your car into a telephone pole, it’s your own stupidity — not Satan — causing it.
The second error is just as bad, denying the truth and reality of Satan.
He exists. He’s real. He’s against you. He plots. He waits.
You need balance. Yes, Satan exists. Yes, he’s plotting against you. But no, he’s not behind every door. Those not accepting the balanced truth choose to live in The Matrix of deception.
Don’t be one of those.
The classic list of God’s armor appears in Ephesians 6, as Paul has a bit of free time to write while chained to a Roman soldier, as he finds himself once again in prison.
Before you continue, you’ve got a choice to make. Do you want to be comfortable in deception, or engage and make a difference?
Sure, that question is easy while sitting comfortably. But once the fur begins to fly, it’s easy to forget, and desire to go back to delusion. Becoming a sheepdog isn’t a part-time job, not something you turn on and then off.
You either are — or are not — combat-ready.
Ready are you? What know you of ready? … A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. – Yoda
I hope you’re ready; let’s begin with Paul’s introduction.
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)
Paul states why you need God’s armor — to make your stand, as in a military stand. Yes, spiritual warfare is real. Yes, it’s a battle. Yes, if you’re not prepared you’ll be a casualty.
However, even among those who understand reality, you’ll hear them when things go sideways — Oh, I’m just so under attack right now.
That’s an excuse for a pathetic or non-existent response. Remember when Jesus told Peter on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it?
What is a gate used for? It’s a defensive item. It’s designed to keep the other offense out.
Are you on offense or defense? It’s time to switch, and understand Wile E. Coyote’s guide to offense.
In a word: Nuts!.
General Paul will detail your equipment, but in his introduction reminds us we need the whole armor, and must depend on nothing else.
- If you’re missing a piece or two you won’t be very successful (read that: you’ll be slaughtered like a pig).
- If you’re untrained in its use you won’t prosper (read that: you’ll be slaughtered like a pig).
- If you’re counting on someone else to join the battle you’ll fail (read that: you’ll be slaughtered like a pig).
… unless you want to be the pig.