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10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. – Ephesians 6:10-20

If you have toddlers or teenagers in your house you’ve received this advice, “pick your battles.” And if you don’t have kids, it can also apply to your spouse, or housemates, or coworkers. The cultural battle for the hearts and minds of people rages ruthlessly. The truth is we’re all in a battle, all the time, and for all time. Ephesians 6 outlines the ultimate battle we experience in the spiritual “heavenly places.”

The battle we find Jonathan and his armor bearer fighting in 1 Samuel 14 is not just for a piece of land. In this story, Jonathan choses the hill he’s going to die on, it’s a battle for the one, true, living God whom he loves and serves. It’s a battle in the name of God’s people Israel against idol worshippers. Jonathan’s best friend, David, chose his hill to die on when he faced Goliath and shouted to him, “I come to you in the name of the living God, who delivered me from the paw of the bear, and the paw of the lion and he will deliver me from you!” And, Jesus climbed the Hill of all hills, Mount Calvary, to die once and for all as the final sacrifice for man’s sin. His death on that hill gives us forgiveness and eternal life.

We didn’t chose the spiritual battle, but we need to acknowledge it in order to be very intentional in fighting it. The armor Paul describes is not some wearables to wave at windmills like a Don Quixote. These pieces strategically equip us for the intensity of battle between life and death in the spiritual realm. In our everyday battle, we look to Jesus for his strength, suit up with the armor he’s already given us, let him disarm the enemy, and fight with the unconditional love and grace he demonstrated for us. Jesus’ example spurs us on to charge up the hill, take it for God, for his glory, for the growing of his church and for the spread of the Gospel. Allow yourself to reflect on the real spiritual battle as you watch this Letter from the People of the Cross.

 

Let us all join the battle cry of Revelation 12:10-11.
“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
‘Now the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ have come,
for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
And they have conquered him by the blood
of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,
for they loved not their lives even unto death.’”

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By Donna Burns  

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