“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” — Ephesians 6:12
I recently completed a Netflix documentary about “9/11 and the War on Terror.” It was fascinating not only to catch a different glimpse of the events that unfolded on Sept. 11, 2001, but also to see what these attacks led to, in terms of the U.S. response. In short, our country was ticked off and wanted those responsible to pay dearly. But at what cost?
The days and months (and even years) following the 9/11 attacks were highly emotional, as no expense was spared to hunt down, detain and, in some cases, kill members of al-Qaeda who were involved. Along the way, however, there were mighty struggles for the U.S. and Allied Forces. Perhaps the greatest challenge our troops faced was answering this question: Why are we in Afghanistan?
Our troops understood they were trying to beat the “bad guys.” But, several of them who were interviewed said there was no clear mission that was communicated to them. One soldier said they were all highly trained and prepared for battle, and he added that they had some effective tactics in place. However, nobody could articulate exactly what the strategy was. What was the end game? Essentially, one Marine said, it became self-preservation: “Do it for the guy on your left, and the one on your right.”
In the spiritual realm, we are also in a war — one we didn’t choose. And, if we don’t have a strategy, we can just employ tactics but never get anywhere. Throughout Scripture, we are told to wear the armor of God to combat the evil attacks that come against us:
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” — Ephesians 6:13-18 (NLT)
And what’s our mission? It’s to make Jesus known and to glorify Him through all we do.
So, gear up and keep your mission in front of you at all times! Our enemy is on the attack, but we have a Mighty God and some effective weaponry to defend ourselves and make our Savior known.
— C.A. Phillips, Communications Pastor at NorthStar Church, Kennesaw, Georgia
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