Spiritual warfare is something we ignore at our peril. The Bible shows us every one of our forefathers in the faith fighting spiritual battles against Satan and his kingdom. And yet we often seem to live life as if it is an occasional thing distant from our everyday experience. But as I prepared and preached through Matthew 6 on Sunday I was struck again by the every day nature of our need to pray for God’s protection from the evil one.
Jesus knew what it was to be tempted, he was tempted in every way we were, which means he didn’t just experience temptation in the wilderness and then in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew the daily ongoing battle for spiritual warfare, and he gives us a model prayer that alerts us to the same thing too.
And yet, we find it hard to live as if today we will be on the frontline of another skirmish in that cosmic war until Christ returns and his victory is finally realised. We will fight it in a hundred little decisions, that like a series of paper cuts are often unfelt at the time. Read my bible or catch up on my twitter feed? Lovingly help the person who needs it or put my head down and plough on so it looks like I haven’t seen. Speak the gospel or stay silent. Challenge my colleagues false words about all religions being the same or not? Find my worth in Christ or in my career, family, [fill in your blank]. Have ‘me’ time or serve others. And on and on it goes. Every decision a battle and yet so many of them pass unfought because I don’t recognise their true significance.
Yes there are the big battles, the huge life changing moments when we see something new, repent and resolve to change. But they are not the only battles in the war. Most of our spiritual course in plotted in the thousands of everyday decisions we make. How would seeing your day as spiritual warfare change the way you prepared for it?