“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.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Every Christian I have ever met or heard of has faced spiritual battles. The knowledge that the Christian is at war with the flesh, the world, or the devil is nothing new. We are aware that we are under attack when our struggles are right in front of us. Many times we can clearly see the enemy before us and know a fight is coming. Seeing the struggle and knowing to prepare for battle isn’t always the problem.
The servant of Elisha knew without a doubt that trouble was on the horizon:
“And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?” (2 Kings 6:15)
The servant knew he had to fight; he was simply unaware of two very important things. First he was unaware of his true enemy. In the natural, he was surrounded by horses and chariots and a great host of enemies; but the real battle was being waged in the spiritual realm. Satan was seeking an opportunity to destroy the man of God, but God had measures in place to thwart Satan’s attempts.
The second thing the servant was unaware of was his position in the battle. He believed he was on the verge of destruction, surrounded by enemies; while in reality, spiritually speaking, his enemies were the ones surrounded by a far superior force:
“And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)
“And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17)
This scene often plays out in our lives. We are aware of the fight; but, like the servant, unaware of – not two things – but three:
- Our true enemy; it is seldom the thing we fight against physically that is the true problem.
- Our position in the battle; we think we are all alone in the fight.
- The victory is already ours:
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
However, there is another aspect of spiritual warfare that gets neglected in the minds of many Christian. What about when we are at peace and there are no visible troubles before us? Is there no battle in those times? Can we take our ease or relax our guard?
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)
Consider the story of Balaam (Numbers 22-24). Balaam was offered money to curse Israel, by their enemies. He tried to curse them at least three times, but each time was unable to, because God “…hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel…” (Numbers 23:21).
Every time Israel’s enemies sought to curse them, Israel could only be blessed by them; for Israel was under God’s protection. The interesting thing to note is that Israel appears to be completely unaware of the spiritual battle going on around them. They were in their cities, living their lives, seemingly at peace; not knowing their enemies were in the hills trying to curse them. But even while at peace, Israel was focused on living a righteous life. Had they not been right with God, then Balaam would have been allowed to curse them.
What about you? Are you aware of the battle behind the natural, the physical realm, for your soul? Not only the obvious struggles, but also the ones you may never even notice? Could your life be on the verge of either being blessed or cursed, depending on your standing with God? As you go about your life, like Israel make sure you are “…found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (2 Peter 3:14). Who knows what blessings or cursings could be hanging in the balance.