Wednesday night we visited the church in Kalispell, Montana, for a thought-provoking devotional study on the spiritual battle we are currently fighting.
The teacher, Bill Moore, spoke of the current unrest we are experiencing in our country and how the Devil stirs the emotions of people to further foment strife, division, controversy, and confusion.
Think of the negative emotions so many are feeling right now in our country.
There is a human tendency to “fight fire with fire.” But for Christians, our response to the Devil’s devices must be approached and appropriated on a higher plane. The apostle Paul offers this spiritual advice.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor 10:3-4).
So, what are the weapons of our warfare?
Let me suggest three powerful, yet very familiar, “weapons” at our disposal.
Paul’s portrayal of the Christian soldier inEphesians 6 describes our armor in metaphorical terms.
♦The belt of truth that strengthens our core.
♦The breastplate of righteousness to fortify us against Satan’s assaults.
♦The shoes of the gospel to stand firmly and move easily.
♦The shield of faith is a buffer and bulwark to safeguard us from Satan’s fiery darts.
♦The helmet of salvation to protect our thinking.
♦The sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God, to pierce the heart, prick the conscience and penetrate the soul of the Evil One’s emissaries.
All of this armor really relates to our faith. Because faith comes through hearing the Word of God. Faith increases as we learn. It grows stronger as we exercise it. And faith becomes a powerful spiritual weapon that enables us to trust God and believe his cause will be victorious.
Faith overcomes fear. Dispels doubt. And expels worry.
Faith and hope are inextricably linked together. Both in scripture. And in the reality of our Christian lives. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”(Heb 11:1).
The Bible identifies hope as our anchor. The Bible describes this anchor in a way that encourages, fortifies and assures. It is called a “good hope.” A “better hope.” A “blessed hope.” And a “living hope.”
But hope is more than an anchor, it is a weapon against despair, discouragement, and despondency. The hope of the gospel emboldens us. Encourages us. Energizes us. And enlivens us.
A better day is coming. Believe it.
Love is the greatest of all virtues. The two greatest commandments, Jesus said, are to “love God with all your heart, soul and mind. And to love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:36-40).
Love is patient when others are agitated. Kind when others are cruel. Polite when others are crude. And is constructive when others are destructive. Love overcome difficulties. Outlast obstacles. And overpowers feelings of jealousy, anger, and resentment.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Faith. Hope. Love. These three virtuesare your spiritual weapons against distrust, doubt, and hate.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman