What we are up against and what we must be willing to do to win.
The month of June is full of some of the most wonderful events of my life. I was saved on the 1st, baptized on the 8th, twenty-seven years ago, with my wife Sherry. On June 19th, daughter Lauren Faith (crown of faith) was born. On this day my late father was born. C.H. Spurgeon was also born on this day. These are just some of the things I think of when we come to the month of June.
Interestingly the month of June is named after a Roman goddess (Juno, Latin Luno) who was considered the protector of marriage and special counselor of the state. Juno was counterpart to the Greek Hera who was goddess of love and marriage. Juno was the patron goddess of the Roman Empire. All this is not to take us down the road of mythology, but to make us see something that is going on in our times.
In recent years two events have been focused upon June. The first is Juneteenth, that at one time was a celebration of emancipation of slaves in Texas. Since the woke ideology in our nation this day was taken and placed on June 19th as a national observance and turned into a political weapon against those who oppose its idolatry. The second is the so called “pride month” that has become a worldwide celebration of sexual immorality of every sort.
Why is June under attack? The Bible says this:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV)
Before there was ever a thing called June, there was a battle to displace God’s glory over the nations in regards to marriage, childbirth, and Babylon itself. So, if you want to know what we are up against as God-fearing believers in these times, don’t think it is simply flesh and blood, we are up against demons and the Satan-breathed ideology.
In Principles of War, Jim Wilson describes the battle well saying,
Our combatants are not flesh and blood but “principalities,” “powers,” “rulers of the darkness of this world,” “spiritual wickedness in high places” (v. 12), and they are masterminded by the devil himself (v. 11). Like any wise general, Satan will not attack a strong point if weak points are available for a breakthrough. He is a good strategist. We need not fear his strength so much as his “wiles” (v. 11). The Scripture tells us twice to put on the whole armor of God so there will be no weak points. A wall around a city may be strictly defensive, but armor by definition is not. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary says of armor: “that conceived of as an offensive or defensive weapon.” A soldier does not cover himself with armor because he intends to read a good book in front of his fireplace. He is going off to battle. He has every intention of going into harm’s way. He is looking for and expecting a fight.
So what should we do? Jim argues that putting on the armor of God is surrounding yourself with the truth:
This soldier employs the various parts of the armor to put himself beyond the possibility of defeat. He surrounds himself with truth, he puts on the breast plate of righteousness, he takes the shield of faith, and he dons his helmet of salvation. Then with the power of the Lord, the preparation of the gospel of peace, and the sword of the Spirit, he defeats the enemy.
But there is one thing more I want to highlight, namely that there is need for a defensive-offensive to win. If one takes the above alone as the strategy that person may get the false idea that the solution to the battle were are in is to simply stay away from the enemy and just insulate one’s self from any conflict. Surely, the coward says, “If I don’t get on the battle field then I won’t get hurt.” This is not the solution. The battle must be won. And for it to be won, there must be a defensive-offensive. Wilson is again helpful here:
In physical war, if a nation were continually under attack and on the defensive, we could prophesy ultimate defeat, surrender, or destruction. To prevent this, there must be a final stand. The initiative and the offensive must change hands before victory can come to the defenders. This stand is called the defensive-offensive. In World War II there were four main turning points that gave the offensive to the Allies. All of these were great defensive-offensive battles where the defenders won and afterward took the initiative. Two of them have already been described in brief. The first battle of Alamein at the Alam Halfa ridge turned the tide in North Africa (as briefly described in chapter three). The Battle of Midway mentioned earlier was the defensive-offensive battle that reversed the positions in the Central Pacific. In Europe, the crown for defensive-offensive strategy goes to the Russians in the Battle of Stalingrad. When it became clear that the city would not fall, the Germans should have called a retreat. This was not done, and the German Sixth Army was annihilated. The fourth was the defense of Port Moresby in New Guinea that resulted in the annihilation of the Japanese detachment at Buna. If there is no turning point, the defender will be defeated. There will be no turning unless a stand is made in a defensive-offensive battle. Yet, seemingly, in the minds of many Christians, a defensive position in the spiritual life is considered a virtue and an offensive position a sin. Defense is associated with the innocent party, as though we expect only the wicked to take up the offense. For this reason the virtuous pride themselves on being defenders, instead of taking up the offensive for truth, justice, holiness, and a powerful personal witness. This sometimes results in the pathetic situation of the virtuous enjoying defeat. Let us never forget that without an eventual offensive, defense only anticipates ultimate defeat. The defensive-offensive applies to both individuals and groups of believers. Have you been only a defender against sin and sinners? Perhaps it is time for a stand, a defensive-offensive. “Therefore stand,” and thus make your security sure.
There is no exact command other than the great commission to cling to as far as what Jesus calls us to here. The point of this post is not the detail that yet. The point is to call us to a willingness to take a stand for Jesus. If we are misled into thinking that our place in this world at this time is simply to insulate ourselves from danger with the truth, then we are on the way to losing. However, because God is who He is, He will not let us cower. He has no pleasure in the one who shrinks back! We must identify our enemies in this world, realizing we are up against a force that only God can conquer; but God has ordained that these forces will be conquered on earth by Christ-bought disciples.
What are we up against? The whole unseen demonic world. What must we do to win? We must surround ourselves with truth while at the same time evangelizing the world for the sake of Christ. Put on the truth and wield it wherever you are.