One of the biggest challenges we have with the church in America today is that so many Christians forget they’re in a war. D.L. Moody, the great evangelist, made this observation as well. In fact, he wouldn’t even allow the great hymn Onward, Christian Soldiers to be sung at any of his evangelistic crusades because he said, “Can you imagine anything less like an army than the church?!” It’s a sad indictment. But as a Christian, God has called you into a battle.
[Pull Quote] As a Christian, God has called you into a battle.
It’s true. Every man and every woman who is a follower of Christ is a soldier in the war against the enemy. And you know what? This is a winnable war! But if you and I are to experience the victory God wants for us in the new year, it’s crucial that we first understand the nature of this battle, which is outlined in Ephesians 6:10-12,
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
What does it mean to “stand against the schemes of the devil”? It’s important to first realize that to “stand against” is not to stand still! Rather, it is to stand strong in resistance. In the same way that a linebacker on a football team would take the proper stance and be prepared for action to defend his territory, we’re to resist the devil and stand firmly against his schemes.
But it’s not enough just to fight defensively. You have to throw some punches as well! And the only way you can adequately fight the offensive and defensive battle and defeat the devil is to put on the full armor of God.
When the Scripture says, “Put on the full armor of God,” it’s telling us that this is something you and I do, not something God does for us. Yes, He enables us to put on the armor and He gives us the armor, but when it comes to taking the step of suiting up, that’s our responsibility. And this armor is not for style, it’s for protection.
[Pull Quote] When the Scripture says, “Put on the full armor of God,” it’s telling us that this is something you and I do, not something God does for us.
As you continue reading in Ephesians 6, you find out just what these pieces of armor are: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. So God gives you and me spiritual armor, and each piece is equally important. None of them should be lacking in the spiritual battle.
So as you do battle with the enemy in 2012, remember that in Christ, you have every piece of weaponry you need to fight and win. But first, you have to put on the full armor of God. When you do that, you’ll be able to stand stronger against any spiritual attack that comes your way.