I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.
–2 Timothy 4:7
Why do we need to understand the reality of spiritual warfare? First of all, being aware of spiritual warfare is crucial to your faithfulness in serving God. If you grew up in the church, you may remember this song: “Oh, I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery. I may never fly o’er the enemy, but I’m in the Lord’s army.” Behind that simple children’s song is a profound truth: we are the weapon God uses to attack and defeat the enemy, and constantly reminding ourselves that we are engaged in a very real war helps us stay focused on our mission. It keeps us from the distractions of the enemy. It makes us fight with every inch of strength we have until we have finished our tour of duty and we can say, like the apostle Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Being aware of spiritual warfare is the key to faithfulness in service to Christ.
Understanding spiritual warfare is also crucial for our survival. If you do not know that you are in a war right now, you are destined to become spiritual roadkill. Do you realize Satan has a plan to destroy your faith, your family, and your future? That is why Peter said in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Notice Peter did not say, “God’s adversary, the devil.” No, he called Satan “your adversary.” This part of the Christian life frankly does not get told very often. Here is the good news about becoming a Christian: Colossians 1:13 says when you trust in Christ as your savior, God rescues you out of the domain of darkness and delivers you into the kingdom of His very own Son. Here is the not-so-good news: when you become a part of God’s kingdom, suddenly God’s enemy becomes your enemy. To say, “Well, I am just not going to worry about that” is to ensure your own demise.
You might be thinking, “I am not sure I am up to defeating Satan’s plan to destroy my life.” Guess what? Satan’s power has already been destroyed. His future destruction is ensured. But even though ultimately his power has been destroyed, and sin has no more power over your life than you allow it to have, do not underestimate Satan’s power in your life right now. Somebody has said, “Satan is like a junkyard dog on a very long chain. Even though his power to destroy is limited, it is still considerable.” Satan has the capability of disrupting your marriage, of discouraging you from trusting in God’s faithfulness, of destroying your physical and your mental health, of deceiving your children into following him rather than God, of dividing your church, of damaging your influence for Christ’s kingdom, and of denying you eternal rewards in heaven. His power is considerable. That is why we need to learn how to win our unseen battles.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Winning Your Unseen Battles” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.