She was excited. A fun evening lay ahead. Slipping into her jeans, she glanced in the mirror and decided tomorrow she’d get serious about dropping ten pounds.
Lip gloss on, she grabbed her ticket to the concert and texted her friend she was on her way. “Be there in 5.” Little did she know, she wouldn’t be dropping ten pounds; she’d be dropped to the ground by a ruthless killer in a few short hours; along with 58 unsuspecting concert goers.
Evil is Armed and Ready for Battle
About an hour before gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Las Vegas country music concert, country stars Big and Rich led the crowd in singing “God Bless America.” Was it too much for the devil to hear? Did the evil in Paddock know that the stars routinely led concert goers in “God Bless America”? Was his timing to kill as intentional as his intent to kill?
The Bible is a Book of War and Peace
Christians love sharing the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus. It’s our theme. It’s our song. We teach charity and good will. We try to live lives that follow after Christ; ones of forgiveness and love. However, are we failing ourselves and children if we don’t also teach war? Do we actually believe we’re in a battle against a very real enemy? Are we daily arming for the fight against temptation? Are we standing Christ’s ground in our generation or giving into it?
In the Bible, war is mentioned 228 times. Peace is mentioned 356 times. Battle is mentioned 184. Fight 88 times. Victory 20 times.
Christians Are Soldiers in A Battle
There are numerous ways Christians are described in the Bible: believers, followers of Jesus, saved, redeemed, anointed, baptized in the Holy Spirit, ambassadors, salt, and light. Each of those conveys important facets of who we are in Christ. But have we forgotten that we’re also described as soldiers?
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:3) The Greek word for soldier in this verse is a metaphor for being a champion of the cause of Christ; a warrior.
It should cause us to pause and ask ourselves the following questions in light of the evil in our day:
- Am I a “good” soldier? “Good,” in this verse means competent, praiseworthy, noble. When the shooting began, there were people who ran toward the fire and those who ran away. What kind of soldier are we?
- Is the fact that I’m a soldier under Christ’s authority on my mind every day? Paul clearly states that we’re “soldiers of Christ Jesus.” In Ephesians 6:10-17, he lays out the facts. We’re soldiers in a battle against world forces of darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. He tells us to armor up. Are we bemoaning the evil shootings and watching television newscasters ask, “What can we do?” Or, are we doing something?
What Can We Do in the Battle Against Evil
- Daily meet with our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ, in prayer. Mark 1:35
- Know the manual, the Bible. Daily review it. Know the enemy. Know Christ’s tactics for overcoming evil and follow them. John 8:32
- Daily armor up. Know the armor. Put it on. Ephesians 6:11
- Stand firm. Ephesians 6:14
Lead by Example
Our kids, grandkids, family, and neighbors want to know how to fight the evil that surrounds us. We can lead by example. We must be honest with ourselves. Are we fit soldiers – physically, emotionally, spiritually? If not, we can begin today to do our part to be more fit and engaged in the battle. If not now, when? Every killer is someone’s child, grandchild, sister, brother, or parent. It’s time for us to do our part.
Lord Jesus Christ, You modeled doing nothing on Your own initiative, but rather, following Your Father’s commands. Help us be better soldiers in the battle against evil and lead by example.