Introduction : The Spiritual War Of Christians

This was a notes from a sermon I heard recently, which I also shared with my friends

“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,” – Paul (2 Cor 10:3-5)

Here Paul was talking about a spiritual war that all believers of Christ must fight. It is a war against falsehood, between God and the Devil. The weapons used in this war is not of this world.

During the time of the apostles, war is fought on land, soldier against soldier. It was fought using spears , bows and arrows, and in order to protect themselves, soldier put on armor to protect themselves. So as Paul talks about the spiritual war, he exhort everyone to put on the armor of God.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood,
  but against principalities, against powers,
  against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
  against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the
  heavenly places. Therefore take up the 
  whole armor of God, that you may be
  able to withstand in the evil day, and having
  done all, to stand.” – Paul (Eph 6:12-13)

Here Paul talks about our enemy, as well as how the war would be fought. He reminded the believers to put on the armor of God, for it is a spiritual better. In Eph 6:10, he reminded believers to be strong in the Lord and to rely on his might.

Introduction : The Strategies Used, And The Battle Plan

Indeed, we cannot rely on ourselves and our human strategy to win, for our enemy is not flesh and blood. That is why we need the armor of God, and it could help us withstand the wiles of the devil.

The devil is always cunning, he lured Eve to sin in the beginning, she was unaware of her own temptation and she believed in the words of Satan, she did all that the devils instructed her. It serves as a reminder to us that the Devil can disguise himself as an angel before us, he may even take the form of the person we like, he will speak the words we like to hear, for he knows our weakness. That is how he overcame many carnally minded Christians.

We know of good Christian who were strong in faith initially, they appear as if they are willing to suffer and die for Christ. they believed in the truth of God but were unable to persist to the very end. They fell, becoming covetous and sexually immoral, some became arrogant and were unable to stay in the grace of God.  

This is why it is important for Christians to put on this armor and fight this battle. Eph 6:14-18 describes the individual items in the armor or God.  It also reminds us to pray earnestly in the spirit. Prayer here does not refers simply to praying for ourselves, we must pray for all the saints and the church. For only by having spiritual wisdom and strength can one put on the armor of God.

Only by putting on the armor can we withstand the attacks from the devil, and remain in the grace of God. Let us look at the components of this armor

To Grid The Waist With Truth

The first piece of the armor of God is to gird the waist with truth. The truth here is more than just the words of God. The Truth here also refers to how sincere we are and how truthful we are towards ourselves, and to others.

It also encompass how sincere and truthful we are to God himself. For this would determine if we have the strength to continue fighting this war. In the past, there are many who followed Christ after they witness his miracles, but these people did not remain in the Lord, for they lack sincerity and truthfulness in their faith.

they have not girded their waist with truth, even though they heard the teaching of Jesus, they were unable to fully learn the words of truth. They were more interested in seeing whether Jesus  had spoken against God. As the result Jesus rebuke them saying

“You are of your father the devil,
  and the desires of your father you
  want to do. He was a murderer from
  the beginning, and does not stand in
  the truth, because there is no truth
  in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks
  from his own resources, for he is a liar
  and the father of it.”- Jesus (Jn 8:44)

These Jews are people who followed and believed in Jesus, yet there are some who had the devil as their father. Jesus spoke harshly to them, for they lack the truth girded on their waist. This entire transcript is recorded in Jn 8:37-41

Jesus : “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants,
               but you seek to kill Me, because My word has
               no place in you. I speak what I have seen with
               My Father, and you do what you have seen
              with your father.”
People:“Abraham is our father.”
Jesus :“If you were Abraham’s children, you would 
               do the works of Abraham.  But now you seek to 
               kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth
               which I heard from God. Abraham did not do
               this. You do the deeds of your father.”

From here we see that these people were not sincere in their belief in God, though they appear to be devoted outwardly, they do not have the words of God within them. They did not have the truth girded on their waist 

The Example Of Judas Iscariot

Another example of someone not having truth girded on the waste is Judas the betrayer of Jesus. Have we wondered how did the Devil gain a foothold in his heart? that was because he did not have truth girded on is waist. This is evidently seen in last supper.

During the last supper, (Jn 13:26-27) John records

“Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give
  a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And
  having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas
  Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece
  of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him,
  “What you do, do quickly.””- John (Jn 13:26-27)

Over here Jesus had already indicated Judas intention to betray him, the reason for Jesus actions is so that Judas will repent and turn back. In fact Jesus even washed the feet of Judas. But sadly Judas was being deceitful, and he did not grid his waist with truth. In a parallel record (Matt 26:20-25)

“Then Judas, who was betraying Him,
  answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?”He
  said to him, “You have said it.””- Matthew (Matt 26:25)

Judas heard the words of Jesus, and yet he continues in his hypocrisy and asked Jesus even though he knew the answer clearly.  Since there is no truth and sincerity found within him, it is not surprising that he was the one who betrayed Jesus.

Judas led a life of deceit and guile, and he lack truthfulness in all that he said, recall an incident where Mary anointed Jesus with the ointment, he instigated the disciples saying

“Why was this fragrant oil not sold
   for three hundred denarii and given 
   to the poor?” – Judas (Jn 12:5)

John explained that Judas did not care for the poor, but he is in fact a thief who stole from the money box.

Very much latter he betrayed Jesus with a kiss in Matt 26:48-49. A kiss was suppose to be a beautiful display of love yet Judas decide to use it as a sign to arrest Jesus. The Lord tried very hard to call him back but he refuses to repent.

When Jesus gave him the bread, he is giving him up to Satan, he could do whatever he wants with him, for Judas had left a foothold for the devil to work, he does not have truth girded to his waist

The Importance Of Truthfulness

The above examples tells us the importance of having sincerity in our faith, for it determines how much we believe in the Lord. Our sincerity to our faith also determines the amount of effort we take to build up our faith. We need to have truthfulness girded around our waist.

Sometimes when we read of disciples who could sacrifice for the Lord to the end, some of them are even willing to be crucified as a martyr for their belief, and we wonder what is the secret of their strength? Their secret lies in the fact that they are true to their faith, that is why they could endure to the end.

Today as Christian, the difficulty we encounter are much lesser compared to the saints in the past, yet many of us find it hard to remain in the grace of God. If we want to remain faithful in our heavenly journey, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit

Let us continue to have the truth girded on our waist.

I would be sharing about the other items in the next entry.