The Christian life is a war. In all of its entirety, from the moment of salvation to the day God calls us home we are in an all out war. Ephesians 6:10-20 as well as 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 makes it clear that we have signed up for war. 1 Peter 5:8 defines our adversary which is Satan as a roaring lion who seeks to devour us. Yet, despite scripture that speaks to the Christian life as a war many Christians are still blind to it. Many come to believe that Christianity is place of peace, abundant blessings and easy living. That the only hardships that come about are those that make it difficult for us to obtain worldly things like a new car or a job, or possibly the endurance of bad relationships. And that these types of things can all be attributed to Satan as some sort of attack under the umbrella of spiritual warfare on the believer. Nothing could be further from the truth. The stark reality is there is no such thing as an easy Christian life and Satan is certainly not concerned with Christians that are nowhere near the battlefield to begin with.
What do we mean by the battlefield? The battlefield is where Satan and his dominion press against all of God’s children while simultaneously blinding the world to God’s truth, keeping those without God in bondage. In war there are two opposing sides. Each side is in a constant battle against their opposing foe. The goal is to kill or be killed, pushing an opponent into a place of submission. Here on earth, there is an ongoing battle that is spiritual. The Christian fights a spiritual war, negating his physical strength which is useless, solely relying on the strength and armor of the Lord. While Satan continues to work evil and defile God’s truth in an effort to separate people from God, the Christian works to share God’s truth to bring people to God. This is where the war is and it ultimately consists of many battles scattered all over the earth. There is a battle for the minds of those in the world, a battle for information, a battle for morality, a battle over God’s truth which all ultimately leads to the battle for the souls of men and women. With the Christian out of the battle Satan’s work becomes much easier to accomplish and many, many more souls will forge themselves past the gates of Hell minus the Savior, Christ Jesus.
Out of the battle is where many Christians are at. This complacency may be due to the fact that as Christians we know that the war has ultimately been won at the cross. Satan was dealt a mighty blow by Christ who is the triumphant King. However, this doesn’t imply that there is nothing left to fight for. People are still going to hell. Satan is still pressing and buffeting against Christians. Many are being persecuted at this very moment. Satan is still ruler of this world and present age. How do we know? Because Ephesians 6:12 makes it clear as well as 1 John 5:19. Because Christ has not returned. Because one simply has to just look around to see that the world is still fallen, full of sin, death and depravity. Christ does not rule the earth yet.
The Great Commission calls every Christian to share the Gospel. We fight against Satan and his army with the spirit of the Lord in order to do just that. A Christian who does not recognize the great war that is taking place has not even stepped onto the battlefield. A Christian who is not on the battlefield is not a threat to Satan, they are no help to their fellow brethren and are of no use to someone on their way to Hell. A Christian who comes to Christ is called to give up their temporal life in order to gain life eternal. Coming to Christ is effectively joining an army that is in the midst of a war. In fact, Christ Himself speaks of counting the cost of following Him in Luke 14:28-33.
The Christian life is not meant to be easy. We’re called to expect persecution (2 Timothy 3:12) and hardships. The more we press against Satan’s dominion, the more resistance, friction, hardships, trials and persecution we will face. If you’re not facing this kind of resistance it is most likely due to the fact that you’re playing it safe in your Christian walk. In the midst of battle you’ve made the choice to lay your weapon down to avoid conflict. Perhaps you’ve thought salvation was about you and not Christ. The problem, is that our adversary’s demons will still sift you like wheat and you will be ill-prepared when it happens.
Our enemy doesn’t fight fair and the Christian walk is not taken through a field of lilies. It is hard and heart wrenching. Yet we live it full of joy in the one who saved us. Soldiers in an army fight for what they believe in. They’re willing to give up their lives for a common cause. They’re willing to sacrifice their lives for others. They do what is uncomfortable and unpopular by the faith instilled within them. If you’ve been out of the battlefield, pray that God gives you a desire to stand firm and fight for His glory. Not because God needs help. But because you love God, recognize what Christ did for you and desire for God’s truth to continue saving lost souls.