Whether we realize it or recognize it we wake every day facing a fight. Theologians would call it Spiritual Warfare, but to me, it’s just a bare-knuckled brawl against a sneaky underhanded opponent who doesn’t even pretend to fight fairly (whatever that means). In fact he is so sneaky and underhanded we often don’t even realize that we are being attacked and that makes the fight very difficult. His “left hook” seems to come from nowhere until it connects with our right jaw and knocks us to the mat. Here are some basic concepts of the fight:
- It is universal and not optional. Paul assures us that we will be attacked in Philippians 1: 30 and he mentions his thorn in the flesh which is a “messenger from Satan” in 2 Cor 12: 7. Heb 4: 14-16 tells us that Jesus Himself was tempted in every way we are, yet was without sin. If these two were tempted how can we possibly think we can somehow be exempt from it?
- It is different (2 Cor 10: 3-5). Paul says we don’t fight like the world does even though we live in it. We “demolish arguments; we use different weapons and they have divine power.”
- It is good. Paul tells his protégé Timothy to, “Fight the good fight of the faith…” in 1 Ti 6:12. And in 2 Ti 4: 7 when Paul realizes he has come to the end of his life he again tells Timothy, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” Sometimes it doesn’t seem like a good fight to me but there is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to the Father when we have faced a big battle and have won. We don’t win those battles on our own but I still feel some satisfaction in seeing God knock Satan to the deck.
- The fight is against Satan (2 Cor 2: 11). That’s obvious, but Paul mentions we should keep Satan from “outwitting us” and refers to his “schemes”. He implies we are a team fighting together. It sounds sinister and sneaky; it is. And the unprepared usually don’t have a chance.
- Even the prepared may not necessarily be successful. We all have vulnerabilities and Satan knows them as well as we do. That is precisely where the attack will come at a time when we are most likely to fail (Ro 7: 14-25)
- It is relentless. (Ro 7: 14-25)
Having completed the basic ideas of our fight I will likely continue the subject tomorrow with “How We Fight “unless I’m pushed in a different direction.