We often forget we are in a war, a war with the devil. It is a war for our souls, waged even before we were born. Although it is a spiritual war, it is as brutal as any fought on earth; perhaps more so. And like in any war, we get wounded, sometimes severely. When this happens, we can be tempted to roll over and act like we’re dead. That’s a no-no. We are warriors who never should give up because although the devil might knock us down, he can’t knock us out! Hey, haven’t you seen Rocky?
So, if he got a blow in and sent us sprawling to the ground, let us reach out for that hand that is stretched out toward us, grasp it, get to our feet, revive ourselves, and then get set to do battle again! The hand, of course, belongs to Jesus. And he says, “C’mon kid; you got this. Be strong in me and in my mighty power. He got one blow in, so what? Now you get in ten of your own! See, I have given you authority over snakes and scorpions. You can overcome all the power of the enemy.”
We lose our battles when we forget who our enemy is. As Paul said, our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. We often forget this and end up fighting with each other. The devil laughs his head off because then we aren’t bothered about fighting him, and he wins without having to do anything.
And we lose our battles when we use the wrong weapons. To quote Paul again, the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. There are so many strongholds the enemy has constructed in our minds over the years. Prejudices, addictions, thought patterns, cultural paradigms, so many things that lock us up like prisoners!
But these cannot be broken if we try to use human strength. We have to get the Holy Spirit of God into the mix and, through him, shatter the strongholds to dust. He will not let us do this all at once because it can create another more dangerous stronghold — that of pride — but he will enable us to smash them, one thing at a time, until we walk free.
If you have fallen, get up to your feet, shake the dust off, and get ready to face the enemy again. This time knock him down. And knock him out! He’s already a defeated enemy.
C’mon, kid, you got this!
[see 1 Peter 5:8-9, Colossians 1:13-14, Ephesians 6:10-18, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, John 10:10, Luke 10:19, Colossians 2:10]