Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spiritual Warfare

Have you ever wondered why people attack you? Do you feel like you have extra trials? Are you having trouble in your relationships? Do you feel depressed? These issues can all be related together by the issue of spiritual warfare. As the apostle Paul tells us in 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. "
Often times we are attacked because people are attacking God. They do this without knowing the deeper issue. This can especially happen when we seek to step out for God, and in our serving God, or doing the work of God, attack will come our way. And in these times, we can let ourselves feel beaten down and frustrated, or we can walk in the light of God (John 1:9- "The true light, which enlightens everyone...").
We need to understand that Satan is real and trying to disrupt our lives; Satan is trying to keep us from the joy of the Lord. In his book "The Screwtape Letters," C. S. Lewis talks about this attempt to derail our lives from God. It is a wonderful rendering of the deceitful ways in which Satan tries to blind us to the reality of how beneficial it is to live in the love and presence of God, instead of following the ways of the world. As Satan attacked Eve so deceitfully, he seeks to confuse and disorient us into letting the temptations of the world and trials of life overwhelm us.
When we walk in the light, we put ourselves in a place to have the armor of God available to us: "13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
We are called to stand firm in what God gives to us. When we live in this way, we can live in the joy of the Lord as we know that we are strengthened by our faith, our righteousness (which comes to us by Christ), the Bible, our salvation, and prayer. We can indeed overcome the struggles of life, and learn to enjoy life in the midst of life's difficulties.