March 5, 2012

What Price Are You Willing to Pay?

Over the last week, I've been burdened about the reality of spiritual warfare. I think we all are guilty of becoming so submerged in the world and its thinking that we forget that we are engaged in a battle against Satan and sin. There seem to be so few Christians who are actively fighting in the spiritual battle. Many do not even realize there is a battle to be fought. Because of this, Christians seem to be losing the battles. I understand that, ultimately, we win because God is on our side. But how many casualties will there be before that happens? How many families will be split apart? How many sons and daughters will rebel and leave their Christian faith? How many churches will become so worldly that there really is no distinction between the two?

My heart is especially burdened for the family because that is the first institution God created, and it is the heart of everything. The condition of the family will become the condition of the church, the government, and society in general. Anyone can clearly see that the family is suffering in a horribly real way, and now our churches, our government and our society are all taking a plunge! My sister and I were talking about how difficult it has become for sincere Christian parents (by sincere I mean parents who have a personal, real and intimate relationship with Jesus) to capture the hearts of their children and train them to follow after and pursue righteousness with their whole heart. We have fallen into generational sins of selfishness and laziness - and this includes the Christians!

Now that I have totally put you into a state of depression, I ask you: Are you fighting your spiritual battles? Do you even recognize that there is a spiritual realm that truly exists, and there is a constant battle in that realm between good and evil? Are you teaching your children how to fight that battle?

God's Word tells us exactly how to fight these battles, and it also tells us that we have been promised the victory. Now, we Christians need to step up and fight!!! Ephesians 6:10-17 is a well-known passage that gives us all we need to be able to fight and win these raging battles against sin. Here are some ways that you can stand firm against Satan and sin and win the battles that are looming in front of you.

*Be girded with truth. In other words, be truthful and sincere. Do not be a hypocrite. As John MacArthur's study Bible states: "The idea is of sincere commitment to fight and win without hypocrisy. Everything that hinders is tucked away."

*Wear the breastplate of righteousness. BE HOLY!!! Where has the holiness of Christians gone? Where is separation? God has called us to be different - set apart - from the world. The world is searching for something that is different. Why not be the one to help them find what they are looking for? When we Christians are not pursuing holiness and Christ-likeness, we leave ourselves completely vulnerable to attacks from Satan.

*Be shod with Gospel of Peace. If anyone in this world should be able to stand confidently and firmly resting in the knowledge that God is in control and remaining confident in His strength, it should be the Christians. Where are the confident Christians who are at peace with God? I dare say, there are few Christians who can truly say they are at peace with God because they know, in their heart of hearts, that they are not living a holy, set apart life that God has called them to.

*Take up the Shield of Faith. We Christians need to constantly be reminding ourselves of the goodness of our God, of all the promises He has given to us, and of all the promises He has fulfilled. Once again from John MacArthur's Study Bible: "All sin comes when the victim falls to Satan's lies and promises of pleasure, rejecting the better choice of obedience and blessing." Do not listen to Satan's lies! If you have not yet noticed, even good Christian churches are full of good intentioned people who do not realize that Satan has filled their mind full of lies and untruth from the world. I find myself everyday battling Satan's lies because they have so infiltrated every part of our lives.

*Wear the Helmet of Salvation. Obviously, this passage is already speaking to Christians, so what does this mean? I believe Paul is telling the Ephesians not to listen to the doubts Satan throws their way concerning their salvation. Stand firm knowing that God has delivered you from your past - no matter how bad it may have been. Stand confident knowing that you are God's child forever. I will add, however, that one is who is not pursuing holiness is usually the one who doubts his salvation.

*Use the Sword of the Spirit. All of the other pieces listed above are pieces used to defend ourselves against Satan and his attacks. The Sword of the Spirit is the only weapon we are given to attack with, and it is the only weapon we need to win! The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Memorize it and then use it. Psalm 119:11 says, "Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee." God's Word is everything we need to win the battles, and yet sadly, many Christians do not even pick up God's Word until it is time to make their weekly appearance at church.

This is a hard post containing a lot of conviction. I'm talking to myself as I write this. I assure you, I am writing this with a heart full of love, but a heart so heavy because I see so much falling apart around me. I don't want my children to grow up in the society they are growing up in. I don't want my children to struggle to find godliness and holiness in their own churches. I ask you again...What price are you willing to pay? What does the cost need to be before we Christians wake up and start fighting against Satan and all of his ugliness and sin? Tears are streaming down my face as I write this because I pray the cost is not my family, not my children, not my church! I am going to stand and fight! Will anyone fight with me?

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