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Warriors Do This

My friend Dan got up to stretch his legs a bit, walking up the aisle toward the front of the plane before turning around to head back the other way. On the return trip to his seat, he noticed a man reading a Bible. “There’s a warrior,” Dan said to himself. A few paces later, he saw a woman also perusing the pages of Scripture, and he thought, “And there’s a warrior.” Coming upon yet another passenger with an open Bible, he repeated silently, “And there’s a warrior.” As he sat down again, Dan savored the encouraging reminder that “with all the bad news and chaos in the world, there’s still goodness and faith all around us.” Indeed, the church is everywhere. Added Dan, “And these believers were taking time to strengthen themselves in the Word.” Warriors do this.

Praying for Colossian Christians, Paul likewise celebrated the power we gain in maturing in the wisdom of God and in the knowledge of His will. Listen to the passion in the apostle’s petition: “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience . . .”1 We grow in our understanding of truth, so that we may bear fruit and gain strength. We gain strength, in turn, so that we may mature in patience and perseverance. Warriors need this.

Then if we are warriors, there must be a war; and if there is war, there must be an enemy. Indeed, both exist, and it is crucial that we see them clearly. Paul calls us to arms: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand . . .”2 Like it or not, we are in a battle, but who is our foe? Continues Paul, “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.”3 We fight not the people of the world, but “the ways of this world.”4 We stand not against “those who are disobedient”; but against “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in [them].”5 He is our enemy—we stand against him and fight for every person whom he would oppress. We are warriors, and warriors do this.

Father, fill us with wisdom and knowledge of Your will, that we would be productive in Your kingdom, grow in our knowledge of You, and be strengthened with all power for spiritual battle.6 In Christ we pray. Amen.

1 Colossians 1:9b-11
2 Ephesians 6:10-11
3 Ephesians 6:12
4 Ephesians 2:2a
5 Ephesians 2:2b
6 Colossians 1:9-11