It seems to be a recurring theme in Christian living. I’m walking along, minding my own business, and suddenly an enemy invasion sets off a bomb in a corner of my life. I didn’t ask for it, and I likely did not even do anything wrong. But the damage is there, and the question facing my soul is, “How are you going to respond?”
Now, I’m not talking about real bombs and foreign invasions. I am describing the spiritual warfare that sneaks into your life for a surprise attack.
Technically, I Did Sign Up for This
One of the tactics Satan often tries on me is discouragement. If I’m finding the Christian life to be particularly challenging, the voice of resentment whispers, “This isn’t what I signed up for!”
That’s when I need to turn to truth. The fact is, I did sign up for difficulty. Jesus did not mince words in telling His followers that the journey is difficult (Matt. 7:14). Jesus promised persecution if we follow Him (2 Tim. 3:12)!
Even if Jesus had not promised persecution and difficulty, I need to remember a fundamental truth. I am not my own. I gave up the right to my life when I gave myself to Jesus. He gave Himself wholly and eternally for me, and true Christianity means giving my life wholly and eternally to my Creator and Redeemer. I am not my own (1 Cor. 6:19-20). I have yielded myself to God (Rom. 6:13).
Two Possible Views
A key component of living the Christian life well involves realizing that there are two components to life. We are impacted by both earthly realities (natural causes, finances, hunger, etc.) and heavenly realities (spiritual warfare waged on our souls).
What most people do not realize is that heavenly realities trump earthly realities. In other words, spiritual warfare affects tangible aspects of our earthly experience.
As Christians, we need to realize that we are not on a tropical cruise. We are on a battlefield. There is a war going on—for your soul, and for souls around you (Eph. 6:12). The enemy will have a heyday in our lives until we recognize that we are at war and resist him in the strength of Christ (Jam. 4:7).
If we want to be successful in our fight, this is where perspective comes in. We can either see through the natural, earthly lens that bemoans our impossible situation… or we can stand on the fact that our God has put all things under His feet, and we dwell squarely in Him (Eph. 1:20-23).
Do We Know God’s Character?
This is where faith comes in. Our battle is not won by us being a spiritual version of the Hulk because we’re so great. Rather, it is won by believing that our God is Who He says He is.
Do you know who your God is? Do you know that He cannot lie (Tit. 1:2)? Do you know that He is eternally unchanging (Mal. 3:6)? Do you know that He tenderly cares for you (Isa. 66:13)? Do you know that God is your Mighty Redeemer who fights for you (Deut. 20:4)?
You must know the character of your God before you can stand against the enemy. You must know that God is not a capricious judge just waiting for you to mess up; He is a Righteous Judge who has covered you in His righteousness and sees you as His beloved child because of the blood of Jesus.
When you know your God, and you know His truth, then you can stand for battle.
Faith looks at the dark night and responds, “Wonderful! God must want to put on a spectacular fireworks display!”
“Watch What My God Will Do.”
You see, a heavenly perspective is realizing that God is going to take this “impossible” situation and make it a powerful statement of His strength and goodness.
We quote Romans 8:28 all the time. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” But do we actually apply this verse to hard situations in our lives? God does not say that every situation is from Him. What He does say is that He will leverage even the enemy’s attacks for a greater purpose if we are walking with God.
In fact, God will not just leverage situations to make them a little better. If we respond in faith, God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20)!
When Satan takes aim at our lives, let’s get in a position of faith and declare, “Watch what my God will do with this!”
From One Pilgrim to Another
I get excited about this kind of thing because I’ve seen God work this out in my life multiple times. He has taken the enemy’s darkest plans for me and turned them into some of His greatest victories in my life.
We don’t graduate from warfare. We become equipped and skilled to fight better. I’m continuing to walk this road and expect mighty victories from my King.
I invite you to see what God wants to do in your life. I guarantee you that it’ll be better than you could ever imagine.