The Apostle Paul saw himself as a spiritual warrior. He recognized that he was locked in deadly combat with demonic forces who were doing everything possible to stop him from taking the Gospel of Christ to the world. He was a man of peace, but also a man of war, understanding that God had equipped him with powerful weapons to fight off demonic hordes and push forward with the Light of Christ setting captives free.
In 2 Corinthians, he writes about battling false teachers in the Corinthian church that were being used by Satan to try and steal grace from the believers by establishing a legalistic devotion to the Law.
2Co 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
He wasn’t going to put on boxing gloves and bust them in the jaw – but he did have powerful weapons that would knock down strongholds.
In chapter 6 there is a passage that fills my mind with the imagery of Spiritual war. Paul writes with such a rhythm and cadence that I can almost see him moving through the battlefield, bombs to the right and bullets to the left, explosions, and smoke, as he walks out of the haze and dust of battle.
Ok, maybe in the first century Paul couldn’t have envisioned bombs or bullets – but maybe the clank of swords and spray of sparks as metal clashed with metal – read the passage below with this thought, that Paul is describing spiritual warfare.
2Co 6:4 … in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed;
I especially love verse 7 where Paul says, “with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left”. I can see Paul imagining himself as a “spiritual Rambo” as his hands hold the terrifyingly powerful weapons of God and demons flee from the battlefield in horror.
Just as Paul had weapons available to him, we too have access to the same.
Let me mention 4 of these weapons that are available to every believer. Prayer, Scripture, Worship, and Witnessing.
Prayer connects us Spirit to spirit with God and creates an intimate bond with the creator. It increases our faith as we ask for, and see answers from God’s hand – this, in turn, causes us, even more, to want to spend time in His presence seeking His mind and heart and watching Him display His power as he pushes back the darkness
Scripture trains our minds in truth and reveals the heart and mind of Christ removing Satan’s ability to deceive the believer because God’s word serves as an anchor of truth that all other so-called truth is measured against.
Worship is praise and adoration focused so entirely on Him that it takes the focus entirely off of us so that it calls His presence into the room flooding the place with light leaving no darkness for the enemy to hide in.
Witnessing or sharing the Gospel of Christ with people is the act of getting off the sidelines and onto the battlefield pushing across enemy lines with light and chasing the darkness far over the hill.
Very often these four Christian disciplines of prayer, scripture, worship, and witnessing fall into the category of duty, and for many, they may be even a little boring – except for witnessing. The enemy tries to convince us that they have little effect, causing them to be neglected.
As we walk through this fallen world we cannot see what goes on in the realm of glory as we pray, read scripture, worship, or witness. But what if we could see that the effect was enormous and demon shredding? Would we pray, read scripture, worship, and witness more?
As I considered this thought, I began to think about what scripture teaches.
God is light 1 John 1:5, He dwells in unapproachable light 1 Tim 6:16, we are sons and daughter of light 1 Thes 5:5, Christ is the light of the world John 9:5. This light is the power and presence of God and feared by darkness.
Let’s remember Paul was confronted by Christ on the Damascus Way when he was an enemy of God and fighting against Christians, suddenly he was blinded by the light of Christ and knocked to the ground.
Ac 22:4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished. 6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’
Is it possible that what we don’t see on this side, that whenever the believer prays, reads scripture, worships, or witnesses, the power, presence, and light of Christ are called into the situation as a spiritual sonic boom and blast of light that clears the demonic battlefield?
Not only do I believe this is possible, I believe it is an absolute reality. Our weapons are powerful, to the pulling down of strongholds, we move forward with weapons of righteousness in our right hand and left, calling the blinding light of Christ’s glory and righteousness to blast demonic opposition.
If we could see, by faith, how effective our weapons are, would we pray, read, worship, and witness more? Yes.