Then why are we losing so many battles? Many of us want to blame the devil, but Christ tells us that “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). So, we have no excuse. We can blame only ourselves. We aren’t recruiting more soldiers by telling others about Christ. We aren’t giving weary, fellow soldiers hope to keep fighting. If we aren’t fighting the battle that rages in the hearts of men and women, what are we doing? We’re playing — playing church, preaching social and money gospels, and more concerned about what God is doing for us than what we’re doing for Him. When we watch trash on TV, listen to trash on the radio, and read trash in cheap novels and magazines, we fight for the enemy. When we know more about the life of a celebrity than the life of Christ, we fight for the enemy. When we read the latest bestseller instead of the Bible, we fight for the enemy. When we don’t recognize that a spiritual war is taking place around us, we fight for the enemy. When we disobey God, we fight for the enemy. When we sin–in body, mind, or spirit–we fight for the enemy. When we “play church,” we fight for the enemy. When we keep our minds on ourselves–our jobs and our interests–instead of on Christ and heaven, we fight for the enemy. When we perpetually don’t read our Bibles or pray, we fight for the enemy. When we worry about our problems instead of trusting God, we fight for the enemy. When we’re given a chance to preach Christ but don’t, we fight for the enemy. When we preach anything other than Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected, we fight for the enemy.
The book of Revelation tells us the outcome of this great war: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever” (20:10). Although we may not know the outcomes of individual battles, shouldn’t knowing the greater outcome spur us to fight?
The Lord Jesus Christ is returning very soon, probably in the next 3-5 years. You won’t see your children grow up! Turn off the TV and Internet. Put away your magazines and novels. Whatever your temptations are, do whatever it takes to wean yourself from the world. Get down on your knees and repent of selfishness and worldliness. Confess your sins to Jesus and receive His forgiveness. Then go out and preach Christ. Spread the seed of God’s Word. There’s a war taking place–fight! The victory is ours. Through Christ’s victory over death and hell, the battle has been won. All we have to do is claim it.
The devil has been fighting Adam’s race since before the fall and he will continue to fight the servants of God until the end. In the book of Revelation, John the beloved disciple describes “war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels” (12:7). The dragon then “make[s] war with the remnant of [the woman’s] seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (12:17). Later the “ten horns” that represent “ten kings”–those who align themselves with the beast–will also “make war with the Lamb” (17:12, 14).
In the Garden of Eden, the devil deceived Eve with lies and lust so she would eat the fruit of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17, 3:1-5). The devil’s methods of deception have not changed. He is the prince of this world (John 12:31, 14:30) and “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). Peter tells us to “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11). The devil and his angels are fighting us with all their might! Are we fighting them? Do we feel war in our spirit when we’re tempted to sin or doubt God? Do we feel war in our spirit when we see others revel in sin? If not, wake up and fight!
If we try to fight the devil and his angels in the flesh (in our own strength), we’ve lost before the battle is even begun, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, we must “put on the whole armor of God” (6:10). We must fight in the spirit, “for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). What are these weapons? First, our waist must be “girt about with truth” (Ephesians 6:14). Jesus Christ is the “truth” (John 14:6) we must proclaim; we should also not “lie . . . one to another” (Colossians 3:9). We must wear “the breastplate of [the] righteousness” (Ephesians 6:14) of Christ in order to protect our hearts from the wicked one. Our feet must be “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (6:15); we must “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh [us] a reason of the hope that is in [us] with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 4:15). We must wear “the shield of faith” in Christ in order to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16). And we must wear “the helmet of salvation” in Christ in order to protect our minds from Satan‘s deceptions. Finally, we must wear “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (6:17).
NOTE: All Bible references are to the King James Version.