I love this picture, and especially the scripture that accompanies it. It’s how I want to be; it’s the way I hope God sees me. Because every day is a battle. A battle against the spiritual forces who are dedicated to our destruction, yours and mine. We only have two choices in the matter: surrender, or fight. It’s a fight against an enemy who has already lost the war but refuses to quit fighting, and each day is a skirmish, a firefight to keep from being ambushed and a rescue mission of those caught behind enemy lines.
It’s not as heroic as it might seem. Some days you may lose ground; other days you may win incredible victories. The victories you celebrate. You go to the Commander on the days you lose, not to be reprimanded but to receive forgiveness and the power to overcome the next time. It seems as though it will never end. But what keeps you going is the knowledge that holding out to the end means you share in the victory celebration that’s already planned. That, and thinking of those who need rescue from the enemy.
Most of the time you may not even know what the mission is for the day until the battle starts, then you plan on the fly. Most of the battles are fought on your knees in prayer. Not just for yourself, but for your fellow soldiers and those who are casualties or prisoners. Because even though we’re dressed out for the battle, someone else is along side and doing most of the fighting. Our job is to stand fast and hold the line. If we do that, we win.
We can’t fight these battles without the proper equipment. The enemy is cunning. If he can find a chink or hole in our protective equipment he’ll exploit that and kill us. God gives us the list of equipment we’ll need:
Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:11–18).
It’s a battle we all must fight if we hope to survive and enjoy victory. But keep in mind-we aren’t fighting this alone. Jesus Christ has already won the war against Satan and his forces. Satan can’t take away that victory, but he can wound us and convince us to surrender. God provides our spiritual armor to protect us during the ongoing battle. But there’s more. You have brothers and sisters in arms who fight along side you. We have each other’s backs. We work to protect one another, and we hate losing soldiers. We don’t leave a man behind if we have anything to say about it.
If you don’t belong to Christ you’re a prisoner of the evil forces, or worse. You may be actively serving Satan whether you realize it or not. What you need to know is this: we are not your enemy, Satan is. We are fighting for your life and your freedom as well as our own. We are the foot soldiers sent to tell you about the One who has already won the war. Service to Satan is slavery which leads to spiritual death. Our mission is to show you how to win the battle each day. There’s only one way to do it: surrender yourself to Jesus, claim him as Savior, choose him to be your Lord, and let him give you the equipment to fight back. You also get us, and we will have your back. You have my promise on that.