Sunday, April 3, 2016
UV 1716/10000 Spiritual Wrestling
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 v 12
Our struggle is not against our our own human kind but it is with spiritual powers of darkness, the prince of this world and his agents who rule the world, against evil in high places. We cannot come against such as these by our own power or strength. We need to cover ourselves with the spiritual armour of protection that the Lord provides. We should guard against developing chinks in this armour that the enemies’ weapons can penetrate. We are to be clothed in the clothes of salvation by faith in Jesus and we need to wear righteousness we obtain by grace as a breastplate to guard our spiritual chest and heart. It implies that we should be always spiritually aware and acutely conscious that we have been saved by grace, justified by blood of the blemishless Jesus for all eternity, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. This breastplate would then defend us against the accusations of the enemy, guilt and fear. We should in addition carry the shield of faith in the promises of the Lord to defend ourselves effectively against every doubt, every lethal assault and missile of the evil one. We position ourselves for victory by affirming our faith in the promises of God. We position ourselves for victory by modelling ourselves on the heroes of faith: Moses, David, Samuel, Gideon, Noah, Elijah, Jonah, Ruth, Paul, Peter and the commander in chief of our faith and of the armies of God - Jesus. Their faith breakthroughs become our source of inspiration. A faith that inspires is one that overcomes and endures. They had setbacks but all of them finished well. Everything happens twice- once in the spiritual world and then in the physical world.
Jacob wrestled all night till the break of dawn with the angel of the Lord. He never gave up till the angel blessed him and he derived a new identity by virtue of his struggle. We too need to persist in wrestling and never give up till the enemy is defeated. The trouble with spiritual wrestling is that the enemy or opponent is invisible. His weapons too are invisible. To fight an invisible and powerful enemy we too need to use invisible weapons like prayer and the Word of God. We do not win this battle in a day but need to fight it lifelong as long as we breathe. We need to use a tough belt to hold up our body armour and the clothes of salvation below it. This belt is a commitment to the truth of the Word.
A soldier needs strong shoes to stand, to walk and to fight. Our willingness to take a stand of faith in the gospel, to go places for the Lord is our shoes. We need to be armed and equipped from teeth to toe, head to foot. For our heads, we need to guard ourselves with a spiritual helmet- our assurance of our own salvation. Our faith in Jesus should be unshakable and strong as steel. The visor of the helmet should protect our eyes from lust of the eye. The helmet of grace should protect us from spiritual pride and lust of the flesh. Unlike other battle helmets, our spiritual helmet should protect us from external weapons as well as internal ones- our own thoughts and desires. The mouthpiece of the spiritual helmet should keep us from speaking what is unnecessary, negative, unwholesome or demotivating. Our ears should be kept free to hear the Word and our inner ears to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit. Our grip on the sword of the Word should be firm. The double edged blade of the spiritual sword should be always kept sharp and shining, one edge to cut our own spirits and the other to fend off any spiritual attacks. Our focus should not be on the foot soldiers of the enemy but the commanders, the strategic heights that the rulers take. We cannot let our guard down for a moment for we are under constant watch and spiritual attack. When we praise and worship, spiritual fetters break and spiritual strongholds crumble. Jesus warned us to “watch and pray”. We need to watch out if the attack comes from within us, behind us or from ahead of us, or below us. We need to use our spiritual authority as all the power of the enemy is placed under our feet to crush. We need to use our spiritual power as all the power of the Lord is placed at our disposal. We will never be found short of weapons or ammunition or spiritual reinforcements of the kingdom of God.
Prateep V Philip