Friday, January 25, 2008

Powerful Weapons from God

Once upon a time, the nation of Homino found itself constantly under attack by the armies of Skotos. Homino’s fighters were armed only with bows and arrows, swords and spears. They fought the best they could, but were no match for the modern army of Skotos, whose soldiers were equipped with machine guns, artillery, even an air force of bombers and fighter planes. No matter how hard Homino fought, they could not stand against the power of Skotos.

One day, an emissary from the great king of Ouranos came to visit Homino. “I can help you,” he promised. “If you will swear your allegiance to our king, he will take you as part of his kingdom. He will protect you and give you weapons more powerful than any your enemies have.” The people of Homino wanted that very badly, so they agreed to swear fealty to the King of Ouranos, and became part of his kingdom. They were excited to see the new weapons they had been promised.

The king was as good as his emissary’s word. Each soldier in Homino received body armor that would protect them from all the weapons of Skotos. The king sent them the most modern weaponry. He supplied them with an air force; with fighters that could evade Skotos’ fighters and shoot them down. The new bombers had the most sophisticated smart bombs which could target the enemy and destroy them. The people of Homino were amazed at the arsenal put at their disposal by the King of Ouranos and were excited to see what a difference they would make in their battle.

The next day, they were attacked by Skotos. The army of Homino quickly gathered its bows and arrow, its swords and spears and went out to battle. They were soundly defeated. Day after day, the same thing happened. They went to battle against the army of Skotos armed with their primitive weapons while the powerful weapons given them by the king sat idle. Day after day, they returned from battle in defeat.

Some of the commanders of Homino’s army gathered to confront the emissary of the king of Ouranos. “Nothing has changed,” they complained. “Since we gave our loyalty to your king, we have not won a single battle. All of your promises are empty. In spite of all you have promised us, we are still defeated.”

The emissary shook his head slowly. “My friends, the king’s weapons do no good unless you use them. He has given you body armor, but still you face the armies of Skotos unprotected. He gave you powerful weapons to fight them, but still you use your swords and spears. You have an Air Force with the most sophisticated warheads in the universe at your disposal, but the only thing that flies is your bows and arrows. The king has given you every weapon you need to defeat the forces of Skotos but you do not use them.”

Suddenly, it clicked. They were supposed to use the king’s weapons in the battle. The next day, when Skotos attacked, the people of Homino took up the weapons of the king. They were shocked at what happened. The armor the king gave them deflected every bullet fired by their enemies. They bounced off harmlessly. Their new weapons overcame the enemy and their bombers strafed them until they fled in terro. For the first time, the forces of Skotos were defeated.

Today, in Homino, the battle still rages but the outcome is very different. Sometimes, the people forget themselves and pick up their old weapons. When they do that, they are defeated. But more and more now, they are remembering to take up the weapons given them by the Great King of Ouranos. And when they do, the bullets fired at them bounce off harmlessly. Their weapons send their enemies fleeing every time.

And every time, they stop to give thanks to the king for the weapons of victory.

I made no attempt at subtlety in the preceding allegory. Just in case anyone missed the point, let me share three facts with you. Homino is built off the Latin word hominem, which means man, or mankind. Skotos and Ouranos are Greek words, meaning darkness and heaven respectively. Mankind, in its fight against the forces of darkness, needs to use the weapons of heaven.

I am afraid that many (perhaps most) Christians live in defeat. They battle with the forces of darkness armed in their own strength and power. They use the weapons of the flesh to battle the power of the enemy, and fail regularly. Perhaps they are doing the best they can, but it is not good enough. Many Christians have just given up and accepted defeat as normal. “We may live in slavery to the power of sin here on earth, but one day we will go to heaven and be delivered.”

How Satan must chuckle when Christians think like that. We need to take up the weapons God has given us and wipe the smirk off his face. The Bible makes it clear that God did not intend for us to live under the dominion of darkness or in slavery to the power of sin.

Romans 6: 12-14 says, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”

We are no longer under the curse of the law but have been freed to walk in grace and in power. We have been given weapons that will free us from the tyranny of sin and the power of darkness. If we will present ourselves to God and take up the weapons He gives, we do not have to fall prey to Satan’s lies or live under the dominion of sin.

Why do we keep picking up the weapons of the flesh to do the work of the Spirit?

2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 speaks clearly. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

May the people of God take the weapons of God and stand strong against the enemies of God. May we stand in the victory of Christ, not the defeat of the flesh. May we finally take the weapons of warfare given to us by God and tear down every stronghold of the devil in our lives. May we destroy his false arguments and bring every thought of our minds captive the grace and wonder of Christ.

I would make three observations about the weapons described in this passage. First, they are not earthly weapons. We do not fight with the weapons of the world. Power politics won’t get the job done. Legalism is pointless. Trying to follow the rules of religion in the power of the flesh is futile. And we don’t do battle with anger and condemnation. These fleshly weapons have no power.

Second, our weapons are spiritual and powerful! When we use the weapons of God, we fight with “divine power.” Did you get that? When I use God’s weapons, I fight Satan with God’s power. Wouldn’t that wipe the smirk off the devil’s face?

Finally, note that the battle here is a battle of the mind. Satan works to spread lies and deceive us into defeat. God speaks truth to our spirits and casts down the strongholds of Satan’s lies. It is not religion that will change us, nor our good works. We cannot try our hardest and succeed. Victory comes when the Word of God casts down the lies of Satan in our minds and we begin to walk in the victory of God.

May that be a reality in your life!

1 comment:

Dee Ann said...

You are correct legalism is pointless. However obedience to the word/Torah, where it applies to our situation, with faith that God will work as we obey is the key. You will notice that a righteous person is defined biblically as one who obeys God's instructions, and therefore faith is walking out righteousness knowing God will use our right actions for His glory and our benefit. It often makes no earthly sense to follow God's instructions/Torah, but watch God as he works. He is amazing!