Life, for Christians, is often described as a battle.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6:12
I think our metaphor’s a little twisted.
Life isn’t a battle: adrenaline pumping, sword blazing, hand-to-hand life or death combat. Battle ends.
Life is a siege.
There are moments of hand-to-hand life-or-death decisions, but on the whole, life is a siege.
We are constantly bombarded with temptation, doubt, fear, and trying situations, but in order to survive, we have to maintain some semblance of normality. In a walled city when a siege went on for months, even years, people still had to find and prepare meals, do the laundry, do some sort of work, etc. Life went on.
That’s how I feel Christianity goes. We live in a world that’s not our own–we’re walled up in a little city-haven with fellow believers while the devil* and his minions wage war outside.
his tempting of me doesn’t stop after one battle; I must keep the Shield up at all times.
After one late night with a suicidal friend, the battle doesn’t stop. She must stand strong for the long months and years ahead.
Maybe that’s part of the reason the Ephesians passage doesn’t ask us to fight: it asks us to stand.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me…
Stand. Let Him do the fighting, while we withstand the siege upon our hearts and minds.