Armies are known to be armed.
They carry weapons into battle. It would be foolish not to. From ancient times until today there have been two kinds of weapons: offensive and defensive—symbolized for all times by the images of the sword and shield.
The Scriptures carry on this imagery:
- The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.
- The Shield is the Shield of Faith.
There is no need to modernize these ancient images or to update them to the digital age for they have no metaphorical counterparts. All the weapons of modern warfare are conceived as either swords or shields.
Spiritual warfare is not a metaphor; it is a reality; we are in a battle! In Scripture, the church is seen as the Army of the Lord and He does not send us into battle without weapons.
Evil is not some impersonal force, like an airborne plague that sickens individuals and society itself. Evil has a face, and a mind, and a plan. If we believe the Bible record, Jesus went toe-to-toe with Satan in the wilderness and defeated him two fantastic weapons: The Truth of God and Obedience to God.
Satan was beaten in the first round. His only counter-punch for Truth is a lie and the better we know the Truth the easier it is to spot a lie. As for Obedience to God, the enemy is outnumbered because he isn’t fighting just us and our will power but the Holy Spirit and a squad of warrior angels sent to help us inside and out.
That desert debate (“turn stones into bread”) wasn’t the only temptation of Jesus—He was tempted in every way we are tempted but never did He disobey. It is this record of purity that enabled Him to take our impurity upon Himself on the cross.
Evil is in this world because it dwells in the hearts of people.
The forces of darkness latch on to a person through thoughts and behavior. Until the Blood of Christ cleanses the heart and the Holy Spirit takes up residence there the evil will only be a matter of degree.
The Blood Bought Church is the Army of the Lord.
We have weapons of warfare that are of the spirit not the flesh. Our faith in Christ is our sure and certain shield. The Word of God is our double sharp sword. One more weapon do we need, it is both a defensive and an offensive one—Obedience. Hell has no defense against our obedience!
Armies are known to be armed—they carry weapons into battle. It would be foolish not to.
Psalm 44:1-8 NIV
We have heard with our ears, O God; our fathers have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our fathers; you crushed the peoples and made our fathers flourish. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.
Psalm 76:1-3 NIV
In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel. His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion. There he broke the flashing arrows, the shields and the swords, the weapons of war.
2 Corinthians 6:4-10 NIV
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJV
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Ephesians 6:16-18 NIV
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Psalms 149:6-9 NIV
May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints.
Romans 12:21 NIV
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Lord Jesus, Captain of the Hosts of the Lord, call me to attention today. I will put on the Gospel Armor; each piece put on with faith. I will sharpen the Sword of Truth and wield the Shield of Faith. I will walk securely in the security of my preparation of the Gospel. With my head covered with salvation and my heart secured with Your righteousness, I will march forth wearing the belt of Truth. I will wage a good warfare today, with spiritual weapons not those of the flesh. And You will triumph through me! Lord Jesus, Captain of the Hosts of the Lord, call me to attention today. Amen.
For the Lord Is Marching On
Words and Music by Bonnie Low
1.For the Lord is marching on
And His army is ever strong
And His glory shall be seen upon our land
Raise the anthem, sing the victor’s song
Praise the Lord for the battle’s won
No weapon formed against us shall stand!
For the Captain of the host is Jesus
We’re following in His footsteps
No foe can stand against us in the fray!
No foe can stand against us in the fray!
2. We are marching in Messiah’s band
The keys of vict’ry in His mighty hand
Let us march on to take our promised land
For the Lord is marching on And His army is ever strong
And His glory shall be seen upon our land.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved