Ephesians 6:12 (NIV 1984)
12 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.
Each of us struggles from time to time: Some of us find our health can be challenging. Some fight a battle with cancer. Others, grapple with the biggest killer of all, heart disease. Some spar with diabetes. We simply compete with ill health to maintain our physical well being. Worry can cause us to strive with experiencing the strife of taking on things that exceed our ability to cope. Some things are just emotionally challenging. Relationships can appear to be a daily scuffle, as many of us attempt to relate to people who make relationships more than a little difficult. Contending with immediate or extended family might be, for some, a daily losing endeavor. Or we have relational issues simply because of a difference in geographical location. In other words, we sincerely miss people we love because they are so far away from us in another part of the world. Some people experience a tussle with their financial situation. Money is important to them, and they don’t have enough of it. But the biggest brawl of all is seemingly ignored by most people all together. And this battle has been already won. We can win if we stay prepared.
Don’t get me wrong, most people, here in the United States, tend to believe in both a Heaven and a Hell. Most believe in good and evil. Take a look at the chart provided here on the left, and you will see what I mean; however, when it comes down to facing struggles, I think that very few will believe that daily struggle is actually “against the dark powers of this world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly dimensions.” The problem with eliminating the spiritual dimension, from daily living, is like being in the middle of the war and not knowing you are a target of some sniper’s weapon. This evil one has declared war on your life, on the lives of every single person you love and are growing to love. Needless to say there is a danger when we don’t know the source of all these challenges.
What Jesus Says About This:
Jesus is abundantly clear about what is going on here with all our “flesh and blood” maladies, and so is the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12. There is a spiritual struggle that impacts all of our lives. “The Devil comes to steal kill and destroy. “I have come that they may have life and have life abundantly.” John commented that there is one reason Jesus came: “He came to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8). He actually succeeded because as Colossians 2:15 tells us, He “disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” So, the battle, in all our life fights, has been won, but we have difficulty gaining or having the strength we need to win our personal battles in the war that God already won.
How may we bear up under life’s burdens? Here is how: We follow the spiritual practices of daily giving our lives up to Christ the first thing every morning, and we are then more spiritually strong for overcoming. We present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, as a spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:2 ) We are then able to over come — no matter what ever comes our way. So, why not just surrender? Why not armor up and daily practice the spiritual practice the Apostle Paul shares with you and me? Why not put on the full armor of God each day? Then when physical, emotional, relational and financial turmoil envelops our lives, we can do what is practically practical. We can do what is necessary from this world’s point of view, but we can also be spiritually prepared to be “Strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” We can defeat our invisible enemy and his scheming ways. We can do all this in order that we may be able to be fully alive come what may.
Go on out and be blessed by being a daily over comer.