Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection:
The call to stand firm. It is key to what Paul commends the church toward in Ephesians 6:10-18 and our friend Lynn Baird opened the text with us as a clear reminder of the ongoing spiritual battle we are in the midst of, even with it having been won.
If there is one thing we can wake up to in our day it is this reality of spiritual battle, really the reality of spiritual things. We spend so much time contemplating things from an intellectual perspective and our world hums along focusing on human circumstances and situations, that we can neglect, or grow numb to the pervasive reality of the spiritual realm. And importantly, that we are in a battle with an enemy that wishes for our demise.
The golden nugget though is that the war is won, the battle is over as it is raging. Because of Christ's victory on the cross, we fight united with Christ, secure, assured, and safe. The liar can only lie but we, empowered by the Holy Spirit, can take every thought captive, surrender it to Christ and wage war on the defeated foe.
Do we have eyes to see it all? Can we recognize the influence of the enemy in nearly every circumstance? I pray that we do. Not because we are these awesome champions; since the victory is a gift from Jesus, not because we did anything, we stay humble. But I hope we recognize it; because it is in the battle that once again we taste the goodness of the gospel. The great news that God loves us in Christ and that there is now no condemnation for us; because of what Jesus did as our substitute on the cross changes our eternal situation.
This victory is freeing because it brings us back to the cross, back to Jesus. He is our hero. And we are in him, battling on, living from victory for his glory.
This week keep your eyes open, stand firm in the finished work of Christ for you. Tell someone about it and rejoice that Christ's victory is yours, forever.