20
Mar
08

To arms

armor-of-god01.jpgWe’re at war. And I’m not talking about Iraq, folks.

Satan is alive and well and still pissing in God’s general direction, and he isn’t interested in taking prisoners.

If you don’t have Christ as your lord and savior, Satan wants you to stay that way and die that way and never find salvation. If you do have Christ, he wants to render you impotent to bring another single soul to God. Spiritual though it may be, it is war all the same.

I believe in seeking God’s blessings and graces. I believe in the fact that God comforts us and strengthens us. I believe many good things can come to us. But I worry when churches and individuals lead people to Jesus simply by talking about all the good stuff. They promise a bed of roses and tell people to roll around in it, but they forget to mention all the thorns.

My Shit List post ranted a bit about the Word of Faith movement and that should tell you how much I value ministries that focus only on prosperity or health.  The cool-sounding stuff. No ministry, either within the church walls or without, should ever get tunnel vision. And that means the other side of the debate needs to watch out, too. Preaching only salvation, for example, is nearly as bad as going the Word of Faith route because it means you may prepare people poorly to deal with the challenges of being born again. You may lose them before they accept Christ or you may get them to salvation only to have them go limping into Heaven.

Giving your soul to God pisses Satan off to no end. And he’s not going to let your ass get away with that and not hurt you for it. And he’ll hurt you not only out of revenge but to wear you down so that you either seem so pathetic that no one will want to give your path of Jesus a try or so that you are too damned tired to do anything for God.

As a Christian, if you know you are at war, though, you can prepare yourself. If you know you have an enemy who’s out to get you, you can keep an eye out for him. And if you’re going to be going into battle, you need to do so with intelligence. That means in prayer. Lean on God to give you strength and give you victory. You’ll have challenges, but you cannot be utterly torn down unless you leave God out of the equation.

Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. 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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:10-18

So, what’s the message if you haven’t accepted Jesus as lord and savior?

Wake the hell up.

Look at this world and see what a mess we’ve made of it. Look inside yourselves and realize there is something more in there than viscera and bones. You have more even than a complex mind. You have a soul. You aren’t a random collection of atoms and molecules. You aren’t an accident.

There is a war on for your soul, and the sooner you realize it, the sooner you can decide to choose a side or simply give up and hope for the best. But wandering through the battleground and being ignorant of what is going on is even worse than accepting God’s way and thinking it will all be sunshine and good times.

War isn’t just hell, folks. Hell is at war with us.

(Image from Hellgate: London video game from Flagship Studios)

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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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