1Chronicles 20:6: And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the giants.
This chapter in the book of 1Chronicles mentioned a series of wars waged by David and his men. Why did God not allow David to fight only one war (if any at all), since he liked him so much? No. From the time he cut down Goliath almost till the time of his death, it was battle after battle.
For us too, Paul said we wrestle (on a continuous basis) not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power, against spiritual wickedness in the high places (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Peter said that the devil goes around like a roaring lion looking for whom to devour, adding that we should resist him standing firm in our faith, since he is an ever present threat (1Peter 5:8-9), someone we cannot wish away (till he is bound for a thousand years in the Millennial reign of Christ [Revelation 20:1-4]) but have to contend with along our lives’ path.
Right from the Garden of Eden the battle-line was drawn; it was the battle for truth. God has laid down his truth to guide and protect them, but the devil stepped in to fight that truth, with the mind of Eve as his battle ground (Genesis 3). When he took that outpost, it proved strategic in influencing Adam against the word of God, and while Adam and Eve hid behind excuses, the judgement of God was inevitable, and the devil became the god of this world.
In a parable of the sower, what we learn was that when the word was sown (Mark 4:1-20), the devil comes immediately to pick it up, so that it will not bear fruit, reminiscent of what he did in the Garden of Eden. We also know that persecution arises as a result of the word, all to make sure that they word does not bear fruit as it should.
“Take heed!” That was the charge of the writer of the book of Hebrews to his audience (Hebrew 2:1-2). He wanted them to hold fast to the word which they have heard lest it slips away, because either way there is repercussion.
He warned them of the example of the children of Israel who rejected the word of God in the wilderness, and they died there, not getting the place of promise (Hebrews 3:15-19, 4:1). He encouraged them to follow the example of those who through faith and patience/endurance (regardless of the opposition) obtained what they were promised, the reality of the word of God to them, which the devil would want to contest against (Hebrews 6:12). (Paul told Timothy to fight the fight of faith, which is towards realising the fullness of Gods promise to us [1Timothy 6:12].)
He doesn’t want them to abandon faith which is the shield with which to quench the fiery darts of the enemy who wants nothing more but to have the word of God of no effect in our lives (Mark 7:13) and when he succeeds in fighting us away from our stand of faith, he has succeed in making the word of no effect in our lives. The bible said the word needs to be planted in a heart of faith to grow and bring forth fruit (Hebrews 4:2).
Paul lamented that the Galatians had been bewitched to leave their stand of faith (Galatians 3:1), and now he has to travail again so that Christ be formed in them (Galatians 4:19). His work among them had suffered a setback when certain people came with another gospel preaching another Christ, a gospel with a generous serving of the works of the law, which was threatening to make a mess of the word of the gospel in their lives, reversing their spiritual gains. Jude in his writing said we should contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).
Paul reminded Timothy that he was a soldier of Jesus Christ and that he should pay attention to his task (2Timothy 2:1-4). A soldier is put in an outpost, and can be deployed at any time to take care of things for the nation/kingdom for a period.
The soldier needs to keep the assignment upmost in his mind and not be carried away with non military activities. A soldier is not his own man; decisions about where to stay, where to go and how to behave are made for him, he is trained for the job at no cost to him and carries out his assignment at no cost to him, as Paul said that no one wages a war on his own bill (1Corinthians 9:7).
We have our commanding officer, the captain of our host, Jesus Christ. When Jesus was at the palace of Pilate, after he was bitten and battered by the soldiers there, they put on him a purple robe and bowed the knee to him. They thought they were mocking him but in actuality there were indirectly acknowledging his spiritual identity as the Lord of hosts (Revelation 19:11-16, Joshua 5:13-14), comprising of the angelic soldiers and the Christians, cooperating together.
As the captain of the host of heaven, we serve to the glory of his name, as he deployed us to conquer the territories of human minds.
Jesus told the people, when he wanted to ascend on to heaven, that the people should go into all the world as soldiers to depopulate the camp of the devil (through the preaching of the gospel), and afterwards disciple them through teaching what he has taught them (Matthew 28:18-20).
Paul said that the weapon of our warfare is not ordinary but mighty for the pulling down of strongholds in the mind (2Corinthians 10:1-5). That is warfare by the preaching of the gospel and teaching the word of God, which is also called the sword of the spirit.
In the upper room the second chapter of the book of Acts, Peter did warfare-preaching and taking captive the mind of three thousand souls to the truth of the gospel (Acts 2).
Paul said that he has been given an apostleship to enforce the obedience of the faith among all nations (Romans 1:5). The eye of our Lord is on the ends of the earth, all tribes and all nations and peoples. In the book of revelation we see that people of all races and of all nations and tongues were before the throne of God singing the praises to God that they have been redeemed, taking from the devil’s grasp, mediated by warfare-preachers (Romans 10:9-17).
Our mandate is to reach the ends of the earth and bring people to the light of Christ (Colossians 1:13). That is the ongoing warfare, and the devil’s mandate is to defend his territory, by setting up the systems of this world in a way that blocks the free flow of the ministration of the gospel.
- LISTEN: LL Cool J on Why We All Need the ‘Power, Wisdom, and Discernment of the Word of God’ in Our Lives (blackchristiannews.com)
- Ask the Lord God to bless you for 2014 (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
- Prologue of John – John 1: 1-18 (vatikos.wordpress.com)
- ARMOR OF GOD FOR PROTECTION IN A SPIRITUAL BATTLE: Ephesians 6:10-20 (johnwarren.wordpress.com)
- Christian Warfare By Ron Boatwright (braggschurchofchrist.com)
- The Truth of Eternal Salvation (theeyesoffaith.wordpress.com)
- Simplicity and Purity of Devotion to Christ (chrisreimersblog.com)