Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Every day we have to make the choice of how we will fight through our day and our lives. Will we choose the tools our flesh offers us or the armor God does? One of my favorite hobbies is target shooting. My dad taught me gun safety and responsibility when I was a kid. We started with a BB gun (sometimes inside the house!) and grew to shoot rifles, shotguns, and handguns at the outdoor range. As I got older, my church started to have some fellowships where clay pigeons were thrown as targets. I very much enjoyed it!
Young people where I grew up took hunter safety courses as early as they could to go hunting. Even if they did not enjoy hunting it was a good experience and excuse for parents to teach gun responsibility to young people so they would know how to handle a firearm. As those young people grow up, they develop a sense of who they are and, importantly, what caliber they prefer. (I myself appreciate a 9mm S&W) Hunters must know what season for what gun it is before going hunting. Understanding the make and model of what fire arm you carry is key to responsibility with it! Those who have chosen to bear arms for protection choose carefully what they carry so as to be both comfortable and accurate with the use of it.
Now you may not have a gun at home or even have ever shot one, but the fact of the matter is we are soldiers in the Lord’s army. Paul tells young Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:3 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” That war we wage is against a great enemy who seeks to do us harm. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” My question for you, young person, is what weapons will you choose?
Paul points out in Ephesians 6 that we are fighting a battle. This battle is spiritual. Trials will come our way, people will hurt us, and people will be hurt. As we live life, we will be fighting no matter what path we choose, but the effectiveness of our fight will be determined by the weapons we use to wage this warfare. Paul encourages us to wrestle not in the flesh but to adorn ourselves with the armor of God. The old adage used to be “don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” That’s because only a fool would knowingly bring the wrong weapon to a fight. Fighting is about life and death. It is about our well being. We are going to fight no matter what. I grew up out of church, chose church at 16, and have been working in church ministries for 10 years. What I have seen is Christians fight. They fight cancer, they fight sickness, they fight persecution, they fight finances, they fight decisions, and sadly they even fight each other. Let me tell you today that I have seen during this time lost people fight as well. They fight the same things in this life as Christians do. The difference between a Christian and a lost person is only this: one is saved and has the Holy Spirit, and the other does not and is not. This being said, Christians still have to make a choice: what weapon will you choose? You and I will either choose the same weapons as we did when we were lost or choose a new weapon made available at salvation. We can fight with anger, lust, concupiscence, envy, and many other works of the flesh mentioned in Galatians 5. Being saved doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of wielding those weapons anymore! It only means we have a choice. Paul exhorts us, and I encourage you as well, to pick up the armor of God, to choose the fruits of the spirit instead, and walk in them. Not only does the Word of God and the Spirit of God enable us to have victory, but they enable us to have appropriate victory in our Christian Living.
Pastor Jesse McCammon
Flora Calvary Baptist Church | Flora, IL