Equipping The Saints For Battle – Stewart Schnur

I want to be a peacemaker (Mt. 5:9). Yet when it comes to souls that our Lord wants us to care about, we must fight the devil as he has multitudes deceived with worldly philosophies and false religion. We need to maximize the strength we have, recognizing that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds (2 Cor. 10:4). Do we really believe God can use us to pull down strongholds in the twenty-first century? If we don’t believe that, what does that say about our faith in God? Many today choose not have a strong faith in God and possess a weak faith. Thus, God cannot use them or work in them to accomplish His will. The weak in faith will not let God speak to them daily from their Bibles and will possess a minimal prayer life. The strong in faith hear God speak to them daily through the Bible and talk with Him daily. Christ needs strong Christians.

The problem that habitually exists among many if not most in the church is that we do NOT want to be equipped for the work of ministry God has called us to do (Eph. 4:12). Too many want to stand back and not get involved. They choose to be afraid. Others in the church still hold on to the denominational idea that the clergy (meaning preachers, elders, and deacons) are expected to work but all I have to do is sit in a pew and made a financial donation. The first century church had committed Christians who would be martyred for the cause of Christ. That is the type of faith they had which turned the world upside down (Ac. 17:6). Our God would like to see that dynamic in His church of today. We must understand that to claim represent the Almighty while representing Him with timidity, awkwardness, and weakness is an insult to our awesome God.

Our spiritual warfare might be called a “Jihad” or a “holy war” in Islamic terms. In our fight for Christ we are not interested in land or material things…but we do care about souls who have never heard of the whole counsel of God (Ac. 20:27). Paul tells us to be self-disciplined soldiers who endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We are engaged in a spiritual warfare and must not let worldly obligations entangle us to the point that we are distracted from our Commander who has enlisted us as His soldier (2 Tim. 2:3-4). Soldiers, our first unquestionable priority must be to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and all our mind (Mt. 22:37).

Soldiers, we also need to understand our enemy. Satan has many deceptions which ensnare people in sin. He deceives by making sin look pleasurable (Heb. 11:25). Islam is something most of us know little about. Their holy book, “the Quran,” does speak of Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, and Jesus as prophets. To them no prophet can compare to Muhammad, whom they say is the last and final prophet. Soldiers, we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated by their aggressiveness evidenced in Islam. Soldiers must be committed and HATE every false way (Ps. 119:104, 128). We are to hate what our commander hates. In doing this we both strengthen our resolve and keep our priorities right with God. We can’t be soft regarding that which is an affront to our God and say we love God. We must be militant, loving God and our fellow man, being strong in the power of His Might.

Into our entrusted hands the gospel is given. It is the good news regarding the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. God so loved us that He intervened in our world to make full payment for all with the blood sacrifice of Jesus. Multitudes today don’t know the Jesus of the Bible. They know the Jesus their sincere religious teachers talk about but they don’t know the real Jesus. Do we care? Shall we give up? Shall we just sit idly by? What would Jesus have us do?

Saints, we must be about our Father and Son’s business. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). Remember that someone sought you, shared the gospel with you, and helped you see how you had a need for forgiveness of your sins on God’s terms.

While in Corinth, Paul had a vision from Christ who told him, “Do not be afraid but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you… for I have many people in this city” (Ac. 18:9-10). Christ has only you and me as His hands and His messengers in our lost and dying world. Let us get back the first love passion we had in times past for our Lord (Rev. 2:4).

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For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.         (2 Cor. 10:3-4)

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