When I was a kid three of my favorite board games were Blitzkrieg, Waterloo, and Battle of the Bulge. These were realistic board games in which we, as kids, re-fought the epic battles of WWII. The American and her allies were the Good Guys while the Germans and their allies were the Bad Guys.
It was Good vs Evil.
I always insisted on being one of the Good Guys, being Evil was not in my blood. Unfortunately, I usually lost every battle because I under estimated the power of the Evil One. My opponents had no qualms about destroying me, even when I was representing America. They wanted to win!
It was a long time before I ever accepted these two realities:
- There is Evil in the world!
- The Evil One wants to destroy you!
It is not an issue of “If Evil will attack you” or “When Evil will attack you.”
Rather the issue you face is “How is The Evil One attacking you!”
As I have grown into this understanding, the words of Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18 have taken on greater significance in my life. In verse 11, Paul writes: Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
While many Christians scoff at the idea of spiritual warfare, they will glibly pray “Deliver us from evil” when they repeat The Lord’s Prayer in worship or at the bedside of their children or ailing parents.
The day will come when you will realize that you are in a fire-fight with the Evil One. If you do not recognize the battle or do not know what to do to protect yourself from the Evil One, you will be destroyed.
This Sunday, July 24, I will begin a four-week sermon series about defending ourselves when engaged in spiritual warfare. The sermon series Spirited D, short for spiritual defense, will be based on Ephesians 6:10-18. This week’s sermon will be A Reality Check.
If you can, join us for worship this Sunday (8:30 and 10:00 AM) at Kishwaukee Community Church, 8195 Kishwaukee Rd, in Stillman Valley, IL (5 miles south of the Rockford International Airport). If you cannot join us for worship, I’ll link you to an audio recording of the sermon next Monday.
The last time I preache dthis lection Rus, I was really intrigued that as you go through the inventory of the armor: girdle(belt), breastplate, battle boots, shield, helmet and sword; the first five are primariy defensive in nature while the sword is wielded offensively. We certainly must always defend urselves against the Evil One and his minions — but that is not a passive behavior. We are called to do battle for righteousness, striking as necessary.