“My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge is in God (Psalm 62:5-7).”
Understanding we are part of an epic, generational, spiritual war it is critical that the Christian knows how to fight the good fight of faith. We don’t fight evil with force as “weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2 Cor. 10:3-5).” There are entrenched positions held by our enemy that stand against the knowledge of God in this world. Fortified positions of thought such as atheistic evolution, moral relativism, false religions, or any worldview that is not aligned with New Testament Christianity (Jn. 14:6). So how then are Christians to engage the culture in this war?
Firstly, we are called to resist and hold our position. As we face our enemy’s certain attacks we are commanded to resist (Jas. 4:7). And repeatedly we are commanded to hold our position as though we’re given strategic ground that must be defended. Having put on the whole armor of God we are to take our stand (Eph. 6:14). Paul charged Christians to “watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong (1 Cor. 6:13).” As the nation of Judah faced a multination assault from Syria the Lord reminded them; “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s (2 Chr. 20:15).” And so it is for us. If we firmly stand with both feet in His kingdom He will battle for us (1 Chr. 11:12-14). But if we have only one foot in the kingdom and one foot in this world we cannot stand (Josh. 7:13).
God has stationed us as forward operatives deployed in enemy held territory (Jn. 17:15-21). As such, there will be times when one soldier, or even an entire unit, may be pinned down by an enemy assault. The prayer of one saint is as one calling for divine air power for rescue (Heb. 4:16, Jas. 5:16).1 A picture is given in Revelation; “Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake (Rev. 8:3-5).” By our prayers, God may give us the strength to withstand and hold our ground while the siege rages about us. Or, perhaps, as one pinned down radios for air support, our calls may be answered with fiery ordnance raining down upon the earth. The effective power of prayer is not in the righteous one who prays but in Him to whom the prayer ascends to.
And finally, there is ground to be taken and a commission to go forth and declare our King’s terms of pardon to the rebellious (Mark 16:15-16). Yes the gospel is a scandalous offense (1 Cor. 1:23) but we are not to be. Christians are not to be quarrelsome but patient and able to reason with those captive to Satan’s will (2 Tim. 2:24-26) so that they might know the truth and be saved (1Tim. 2:4). Satan has bound men by ignorance and lies. It is only in understanding and obeying God’s revelation that men may be saved (Mt. 7:24, James 1:22). Jesus commissioned us to make disciples, to baptize them and to teach them to obey Him (Mt. 28:18-20).
Today there are billions who stand in the valley of decision (Joel 3:14). Some in ignorance choose not to decide unaware that they have decided their eternal destiny in surrender. Others have been deceived into enlisting in rebel forces of Satan. God is patient and stands ready to receive those who have stood as enemies (Rom. 5:10) should they choose to pledge allegiance serve as good soldiers in the faith (Phil. 2:25). The Greek word “huptasso” is used 49 times in the New Testament. It is derived from a military term that means to subordinate one’s self, in a military fashion, under a leader. That’s how Christians continue to fight the good fight of faith.
“No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier (2 Tim. 2:4).”
R. Dean Jr. & T. Ice, What the Bible Teaches about Spiritual Warfare, p.180, Grand Rapids MI, 2000