… A time of war, and a time of peace. — Ecclesiastes 3:8
Believers, in case you have not noticed, a war looms on the horizon. Indeed, we are already in it. The conflict might seem complicated with side issues and questions, but really it boils down to being about truth and the gospel of Jesus.
Up until now, many of us have felt we had the option of spectating, rather than engaging in battle. “Let Dr. Dobson do it. … Let Franklin Graham do it. … Let my pastor do it.” Like it or not, sideline-sitting isn’t going to be available much longer.
Years ago, the Lord showed me a vision, illustrating the condition of His Church in America. I saw people in a medieval army camp, leisurely handling their armor, casually looking it over, and admiring it. They did not seem to sense the urgency of putting it on and getting into the battle. They were merely playing at being soldiers.
Because the Church did not go to the front lines back in the day, the front lines have now come to our own doorstep. But too many of us are still merely gawking at the armor and talking about it. It’s time to suit up and start swinging the weapons.
We need to listen to the spiritual perceptions Holy Spirit is giving to us, and take action as He reveals it to us. But what kind of action am I speaking of? Much of our warfare takes place in the arena of prayer. We contend for the souls of men through mighty intercession, coupled with fasting and devoted worship.
But we have come to the place where we must also contend for truth publicly. It is time to speak. We can no longer be silent while those around us march over the cliff to their destruction. Even in the Church, many are so concerned about showing a humanistic compassion which makes people feel good about themselves no matter what they are doing, that we have forgotten to care for their eternal well-being. Genuine love does not pat people on the back and tell them they are A-OK, when the Bible clearly says the road they are on leads to a horrible eternity in hell.
Part of the battle is to know how to speak like Jesus would. Colossians 4:5, 6 tells us, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside [the family of God], redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every man.” We must be able to listen carefully and calmly before engaging, and not angrily tear people to pieces in the name of truth. We are not effective when we lose track of who the enemy (Satan) is, and start attacking people. “We do not wrestle 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). We tend to forget this far too often.
We must also prepare our hearts by understanding the cost of war. Concern for preserving our popularity, our comfort, and even our possessions will no longer be possible.
The war we engage in is not only external. As we approach the end of the age, Satan is raging against the Church with an intensity most of us have never experienced before. A lot of that war is against our mind and emotions, our health, and our spiritual integrity.
Each of us should ask the Lord to give us clarity about what our particular position on the front line is supposed to be, and then stand fast there. We each have a specific role to play. While there are many good causes to champion, none of us is called to fight them all. Choosing our battles wisely is key to successful warfare.
The Lion of the tribe of Judah is not a toothless lion. He has not left us toothless, either. We need to perceive this. He has given us all that we need to come through victoriously — His Word, His blood, His name, His authority, revelation from the Holy Spirit, and even angelic assistance.
In ancient times, spring was the season when kings went forth to war. This is our time to do likewise, for the Lord “has made us kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). We cannot passively watch from the sidelines anymore.