All members of the Lord’s body are involved in a spiritual war. The reality of this daily war between God and Satan is undeniable. However, there are aspects of the war that are very challenging because of the nature of the battles.
Satan’s forces attack us daily. We cannot avoid them and our position on the battlefield will not prevent continued assaults. We should be on the offensive rather than awaiting the bullets and “fiery darts” of the great deceiver (Ephesians 6:16; John 8:44).
The most fearful aspect of this war is that losing results in an eternity separated from God. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NKJV).
There are neither innocent bystanders nor retirees in the Lord’s army. To pretend to be one is to be easy prey for the “roaring lion.”
Gladly, though, we do not have to fight with our own strength and wisdom because Christ is with us (Ephesians 3:14-21).
Another sobering aspect of this battle is that we fight an enemy without a face.
“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” (Ephesians 6:12).
Satan does not wear dog tags or a uniform. He fights in disguise so his enemies cannot see him coming.
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
The face we see of Satan and his forces will appear friendly and safe so we will be unprepared for attacks. By using our friends, family, work associates, heroes, role models and neighbors against us, he destroys billions of souls. We trust those whom we respect and love and we therefore feel comfortable with them. We will be more receptive to their ideas and words and will do things with them that we normally would not do. Accordingly, we are primed for defeat with our defenses relaxed.
The manner in which we determine the identity of the enemy will be one the most important determinants in whether we will survive the war and enter heaven (Revelation 2:10; 1 Corinthians 9:25). We must have allies in the war against evil. They are encouragers as we see them remain faithful against great odds (Hebrews 10:25). They assist us daily in our struggles.
How do we determine these allies? People often use faulty standards that lead them away from truth. First, if we have a strong relationship with someone we often see them as an ally. Their words and guidance are seen as wise and righteous and we adhere to their standards of truth and morality.
Second, we see the extensive use of Scripture as indicative of someone fighting in the Lord’s army. Third, someone’s good works lead many to secure them a place in the forces of God. Fourth, if someone is active in church, they are called Christians.
Scripture, though, paints a much different picture. We are told to “test the spirits” to determine whether they are false teachers. Satan quotes Scripture, attend worship and will do good works, if that is required to win the war. /1 So this criterion cannot be the standard that we employ.
If someone is a Christian, by God’s standards, they live by and proclaim the truth and bear fruits of righteousness. Otherwise, they are fighting for Satan, whether they realize it or not.