AH that’s better! Fully dressed and ready for battle!
“Great! Where are we going?” Pippin from The Fellowship of the Ring
See I chose this quote for two reasons 1) I LOVE Lord of the Rings 2) it so fully encompasses how some Christians approach spiritual warfare
Pippin is a clueless character, a loosey-goosey soul who has no idea of what he is in getting into. Later on he is quite vital to many other people’s lives but at this point when he says this…he’s utterly clueless. Not only is he clueless of where they’re going, but he is also clueless about what they’re doing when they get there as well as the gravity of the situation he has just joyfully and naively volunteered himself for.
As much as I love Pippin’s character and the important man/hobbit he becomes and as much as I love y’all I do NOT want you to remain as Pippin – naïve, clueless, and looks upon as basically an idiot.
I do not see you as that nor does God see you as that but the Bible encourages us to have an answer for everything so that we both may take pride in the Lord, the unseen and not just the seen (2 Corinthians 5:11-13). Now granted, sometimes that answer is “I don’t know, but God does so I trust in him” but in this case – we do have answers!
But what are the questions? Just like Pippin’s spoken and unspoken questions
“Where are we going?
“What are we doing when we get there?”
“Who are we ‘fighting’ or going against?”
“What is going to happen to us on our journey?”
1) We are going into the Devil’s ‘territory’ – what he calls as strongholds. We are going to that which he has stolen from our father. Romans 8:16-18 states that we are co-heirs with Christ which means we are children to our Heavenly Father. Think about if someone stole from your earthly father and how you would react. I know that between us three – my brother’s military connections, my forensic science fascination and my sister’s pitbull tenacity when someone threatens her family – that the thief would be brought to justice. The enemy stole from our Father! And not just jewels or replaceable items, but he stole our own siblings! That is where we are going – to get our brothers and sisters back!!
2) We are not only getting our brothers and sisters back but we are also destroying strongholds. Tearing the down so that no more stolen siblings can reside there and neither can the devil. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 informs us that we don’t wage war as the world does. We use weapons that are not from this world and yet we have divine power to tear down strongholds. Not just tear them down, demolish them! Demolish means to throw or pull down, to raze, to destroy, as a heap of structure, leave no connected part. We have that authority! We have that power! Mark 16:17-18
3) We already know who we fight – Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rules of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
4) Much like Pippin and the others did not know exactly what would happen on their journey but of one thing we can be absolutely sure – Jesus has already won! And anything that happens is for our tempering, a refining fire to burn out that which is displeasing to God so that we can become more like him.
Psalm 66:10 “For you, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.”
Isaiah 48:10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
Zechariah 13:9 “I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
Malachi 3:2-3 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like launders’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord and offering in righteousness.”