Christians are presently
engaged in a battle against powerful angelic rulers in
the spirit world. These angels, ruling in the kingdom
of Satan, are striving for the souls of men; and the
outcome of this conflict, like any conflict, is
determined by proper or improper preparation as one
engages the enemy.
A properly prepared
Christian can enter the conflict and consistently win
battle after battle, but an improperly prepared
Christian entering the conflict can only experience
defeat time after time.
is achieved through engaging the enemy within the
framework of the Lord's instructions in Ephesians
6:10ff. A Christian though who engages the enemy
after any other fashion is entering the conflict apart
from the Lord's instructions, leaving himself in a very
vulnerable position, one in which the enemy can
consistently achieve victory.
Thus, in this respect,
victory on the one hand or defeat on
the other is determined by the Christian's preparation
for the conflict at hand. A Christian can either heed
the Lord's instructions or he can ignore the Lord's
instructions. There is no middle ground (Matthew
former will produce readiness for battle and result
in victory, but the latter will leave the Christian
very vulnerable to attack and can only result in
Victory for the Christian
will actually be determined by how badly he wants to
win. The overriding thought in Ephesians has to do with
individuals being saved for a revealed purpose.
Christians have been saved by grace through faith (Ephesians
2:8) in order to realize an inheritance in heavenly
places (1:3, 11, 18; 2:6, 7; 3:1-6). The task of
a pastor-teacher is to lead Christians into a mature
knowledge of this inheritance, a mature knowledge of the
things surrounding the purpose for their salvation (4:11ff),
resulting in their being filled with the Spirit (5:18ff)
and being able to engage the enemy after the fashion
given at the end of this epistle (6:10ff).
How badly do Christians
really want to achieve victory over the enemy and one
day realize the proffered inheritance with God's Son?
That is the question that will determine what a
Christian does about the Lord's instructions concerning
proper preparation for the battle at hand.