What’re You Fighting For?
by C.A. Phillips
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
I just completed a Netflix documentary about 9/11 and the War on Terror. It was fascinating – not only to catch a different glimpse of the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001 – but to see what these attacks led to, in terms of the U.S. response. In short, our country was ticked off and wanted those responsible to pay dearly. But, at what cost?
The days and months (and even years) following the 9/11 attacks were highly emotional, as no expense was spared to hunt down, detain, and in some cases kill members of al-Qaeda who were involved. Along the way, however, there were mighty struggles for U.S. and Allied Forces. Perhaps the greatest challenge our troops faced was answering this question: Why are we in Afghanistan?
Our troops understood they were trying to beat the “bad guys.” But, several of them who were interviewed said there was no clear mission that was communicated to them. One soldier said they were all highly trained and prepared for battle. And he added that they had some effective tactics in place. However, nobody could articulate exactly what the strategy was. What was the end game? Essentially, this one Marine said it became self-preservation, and to “do it for the guy on your left, and the one on your right.”
In the spiritual realm, we are also in a war. One we didn’t choose. And, if we don’t have a strategy, we can just employ tactics but never get anywhere. Throughout scripture, we are told to wear the Armor of God to combat the evil attacks that come against us:
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:13-18 (NLT)
And, what’s our mission? It’s to make Jesus known and to glorify him through all we do.
So, gear up and keep your mission in front of you at all times! Our enemy is on the attack, but we have a Mighty God and some effective weaponry to defend ourselves and make our Savior known!
C.A. Phillips is a lifelong sports enthusiast and youth baseball coach, and currently serves as the Communications Pastor and Director of Men’s Groups at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, Ga. He lives in Kennesaw with his wife, Amy, and his two sons, Chaz and Chandler.
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