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Invisible Weapons and Incredible Warriors

“Oh, no, you don’t!” protested our neighbor as she wrested our lawnmower from the grip of a would-be thief. My wife Peggy had walked up the street and, knowing she would return in just a matter of minutes, left our garage door open. He may have been watching, for in that slender sliver of time a man backed up our driveway, strolled into our garage and proceeded to load our mower onto his truck bed. Watching this unfold, our neighbor Janice1 confronted the man. “What are you doing?” she demanded. “They said I could borrow it,” the man replied. Not satisfied, Janice countered wisely, “Who said you could borrow it?” The man had no reply, obviously exposed, so acting on our behalf Janice took authority over him who had none. Armed only with truth and conviction, she seized our mower and wheeled it back to our garage. The man jumped into his truck and sped away.

Jesus taught that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”2 He spoke of the evil one, of course, our “enemy the devil [who] prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”3 He would rob us of understanding, faith, joy, and ultimately life itself. Like the man in the truck, he waits for “an opportune time,”4 yet also like the man in the truck, he has no authority over what is not his. For it is Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father, “far above all rule and authority, power and dominion.”5 And “[we] belong to Christ.”6 Living in Him—and He in us—we have “authority to . . . overcome all the power of the enemy.”7 We are heirs with Christ, so it is crucial that we “know . . . his great power for us who believe.”8

Then we live in His authority to serve His purposes. Grounded in Him, we “stand against the devil’s schemes” and “struggle against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”9 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world,” wrote Paul, “On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”10 For we wield truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer.11 Armed with these weapons and empowered by the authority of Christ, we stand immovably before the evil one and proclaim confidently to this would-be thief, “Oh, no, you don’t!”

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. —James 4:7

Father, You have put us in Christ, and in Him, we are made strong. Embolden us to pick up Your Kingdom weapons and stand confidently against our enemy. In the name of Christ and in the power of the Spirit we pray. Amen.

1 Name has been changed for this post.
2 John 10:10
3 1 Peter 5:8
4 Luke 4:13
5 Ephesians 1:21
6 1 Corinthians 3:23 NASB
7 Luke 10:19
8 Ephesians 1:18-19
9 Ephesians 6:11
10 2 Corinthians 10:4
11 Ephesians 6:14-18

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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