When we fight the real battle, we will use different weapons

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Christians are losing battles in our culture.  If we’re going to win, we have to fight the war of ideas.  
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The radicalized American citizens that brought the War on Terror to our doorstep forced us to admit something the Bible has been teaching for ages:  the real fight is bigger than flesh and blood.  We are fighting a war of ideas.  This is terrifyingunless you are a Christian.  We’ve always believed that we have the best ideas.  We have beliefs that can defeat the vilest enemy and lead us to unspeakable victory.

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.
-  1 John 5:4

Our ideas say that a broken person can be healed by a gracious God.  They say we can inherent eternal life, overcoming death and hell by faith in Jesus.  Our ideas say that everyone matters, everyone has worth, and that there is a life worth dying for.  If the fight is happening in the minds and hearts of individuals, then evil people are like pawns.  To say this another way: if a bad idea (like radical jihadist Islam) is the disease, then sick people are not the problem.  

So how do we win?  We have to advance our ideas.  That’s the only hope.  We’d be foolish if we never took time to discuss guns, foreign policy, and strategy.  HOWEVER, none of those measures will touch the real, underlying issue.  I grow weary of Christians losing hope, expecting the government to fix the issues that can only be changed by the Gospel.

Is it naive to believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do more than fill sanctuaries, offering plates, and Facebook news feeds?  I hope not.  Is it possible to believe that the Gospel can turn the enemies of God into His followers? Jesus certainly thought so.

You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body.
-  Colossians 1:21-22

Emmanuel came and gave His life, praying to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.  He also called his followers to war.  What have we been waiting for?  The real mission, and as far as I’m concerned, the only question worth asking is, “how do we advance our ideas?“

Here’s a start–


1. FIGHT THE REAL ENEMY.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
-  1 Peter 5:8


Satan hates you as much as he hates jihadists, vandals, thieves, and killers.  When you turn your attention to destroying dangerous people, you run the risk of falling into the enemy’s plan.  Satan feeds on hate and destruction.  The only way to destroy his plan is to see people rescued from his grips.


2.  FIGHT YOUR OWN FLESH.

“The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”
-  Romans 13:12-14


Lots of Christians don’t believe they aren’t ready for spiritual battle because of what’s going on in their own lives.  Jesus has provided everything you need for purity and wholeness.  Start living for Him today.


3.  FIGHT WITH REAL WEAPONS

Satan began winning the battle of this age when he convinced Christians that their prayers do not matter.  Don’t be fooled.  When you pray, the darkness trembles.  When you fast and seek God, mountains can move.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
-  Matthew 5:43-44

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
-  2 Corinthians 10:4


4.  SACRIFICE.

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
-  Philippians 1:21


We’re in a battle.  We cannot expect to win without being willing to give it all - and I mean ALL.  Jesus never intended for Christianity to be the means by which the privileged classes lived a nicer life.  Christianity has always been a declaration of war against sin, brokenness, evil, and death.  If you are a Christian, it’s because someone, generations ago, shed blood to advance the cause. 

Stop fighting the meaningless battles of rhetoric.  It’s easy to say something online.  Opinions are easy to spew.  On the other hand, your life is a difficult thing to give away.  But that’s exactly what you will do if you want to make a real difference.  I am praying for you as I hope you are praying for me.  Don’t forget that in the end, we win this thing.  Let’s act like it.

Aaron is the pastor of Spring of Life, a new church in Portland, Oregon. He's the owner of Amplify Creative.