For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. – Romans 8:22-23
When we think of war, we usually think of nations engaged in physical combat, involving a variety of destructive weapons. But, the concept of war also can be viewed more broadly, to include a conflict based on a variety of non-material components as well. I have lived during WWII, the Korean War, the War in Vietnam, and more recent wars involving our troops. These wars were highly visible, and extremely costly in terms of lives lost, and the destruction of property.
But, in 2017, I find myself greatly concerned about the direction the people of this country are taking internally. We are engaged in a more subtle conflict that tears away at the very fabric of our republic; it is being fought internally, on spiritual grounds, with broad implications for our social, economic, and political systems. Too many people are not even aware that it is taking place, as well as the roles they are playing.
We must be able to think the right thoughts in order to do the right things Proverbs 23:7 tells us that, “as a man thinks, so he is.” We may think we are keeping keep our thoughts to ourselves, but God knows our thoughts, and they are futile (Ps. 94:11). His thoughts are so far above our thoughts that there is no comparison (Is. 55: 8-9). If we harbor bad thoughts that go against God’s standards, then we will likely express them in our daily walk. We are called to be both hearers and doers of God’s Word, not giving in to Satan’s ways (Jas. 1:22). There is a fierce battle taking place within us; it is a battle for our very souls. We need to prepare and commit ourselves to winning this war.
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. – 1 Cor. 16:13-14
As mentioned previously, we are faced with an inner conflict that has great bearing on the direction this country is taking. It is a battle between what is right and wrong, good and bad, truth and lies; and we are called to walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16; Col. 2:6), not to sit idly on the sidelines while the forces of Satan prevail.
In Ephesians 6:10-18, we are instructed to put on the whole armor of God in order to be effective participants in this spiritual warfare. It tells us that we are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but with Satan and the powers of spiritual evil. Our personal protection includes the truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace, the Word of God, prayer and supplication, and perseverance.
The resources at our disposal are adequate in our spiritual battles. With all of this we are called to stand; in standing we are defending our position, not retreating from the forces of evil. Christians and the Church are minorities in this worldwide conflict, but as long as we have God with us, who can overcome us? (Rom. 8:31)
We can do whatever needs to be done when we are in Christ. Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We must remember that whatever we do is to be done in love.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – Jesus of Nazareth (John 13:35)