for though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. [2 corinthians 10:3]
close your eyes and imagine you’re standing in the middle of a battlefield. the sound of gunfire, an enemy encroaching, life or death. what do you do?
in this scenario your fight or flight response would likely kick in and you’d be running for the nearest object to get behind or you’d be pulling a weapon, or maybe both. at this point in the battle these are your only options.
your clever rhetoric and physical strength will do you absolutely no good in a war zone. you need an external weapon capable of much more than your physical body and mind. a weapon designed and crafted by a professional. a weapon engineered to defend you and annihilate an enemy.
in war, you are only as good as the people you fight with and the resources you’re given.
so why is our approach to spiritual battle so different? we ignore and minimize the battle going on all around us. we avoid community because doesn’t it seem unnecessary? we maximize the idea that we’re capable of “handling it” without the weapons of the Holy Spirit and the gospel while all around us people are spiritually dropping dead.
yes, we physically walk in the flesh on this side of heaven, but we’ve been given divine tools of warfare designed by god which are actually effective in the battle. consider this verse in ephesians that we’ve probably dismissed as a cute sunday school felt board lesson-
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, [ephesians 6:14-17]
Father, forgive us for glossing over this text or for thinking of us metaphorically. when we are bold in truth, quick to give the gospel, strengthen our faith, and rejoice in our salvation we are putting on literal armor in the spiritual battle going on around us.
but, God help us, insead we often choose manipulation, the image of success, smooth words, the perception of power and authority, and human schemes and plans.
it’s as if we’re trading a military-grade weapon for a bb gun in a fight against a relentless enemy who wants us dead. we have access to the only weaponry which can defeat this enemy and we choose a bb gun of our own design.
we spend so much time designing a useless weapon when it’s actually way easier and more accessible to use what god has given us. why?
because we hate to seem weak.
relying on the armor of God often requires humility, patience, servant hearted submission to others, saying no to things to make more time for Christ in your life. it’s generally not a big flex of power – and isn’t a big flex of power what our flesh wants most?
we walk in the flesh because we have no choice, but we wage war in the Spirit where the real power lies. don’t forget that when you are weak, then you are strong as paul will say just a few chapters later [2 corinthians 12:10].
let me invite you to cast off your useless bb gun, and take up the full armor of God. to stop waging war in the flesh which leaves you exhausted and defeated.
you are in the war. you are not in a safe insulated place until you choose the battle, the battle is all around you. praise God for unlimited access to full armor and that he provides a green pasture for our weary souls when the fight is overwhelming.
~ erin boettge