Diversity and acceptance are the standard of the day. Everyone from the Pope to Morgan Freeman in The Story of God is encouraging us to look past our differences and come together as one big happy family. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” is a great motto, especially since it’s in the Bible (Matthew 7:1). The Bible also says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Yes, we “are all one,” but only if we are “in Christ Jesus.” You see, God does make a distinction. There are two camps: those who are his people, and those who aren’t. There are two sides of the battle, those who fight for God and those who fight against him. When you became a Christian by accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior, you became a child of God. You also switched sides in the great battle between Satan and God.
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21–22).
Satan’s great hatred toward God now extends to you as well, and he would like nothing better than to stop you from being an effective soldier in God’s army (Luke 22:31). That makes each one of us a target for his evil schemes (Ephesians 6:11–12). The objective of our enemy is two-fold: to keep us from enjoying our relationship with God and to keep us from living lives that bring God glory.
So who is this enemy? His name is Satan, which is the Greek word for a false witness or a slanderer. Jesus called him “the evil one,” “the father of lies,” and a “murderer” (Matthew 13:38–39; John 8:44). He is also called “the prince of this world,” “the god of this age,” and “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (John 12:31, 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2). That means we’re not only engaged in a spiritual battle—we’re fighting behind enemy lines!
Our job is not to destroy Satan or to defeat him. We have been called to do other things, like taking the gospel into the world, making disciples of Jesus, and living a life that brings glory to God. In relation to Satan, we have only one mission: Stand Firm
The Bible tells us: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8–9).
And, in the words of Jesus: “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:12–13).
The good news is that we are not in this battle alone. The psalmist said: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies” (Psalm 18:2–3).
[Most of this post was excerpted from Chapter 2 of my book Standing Firm: Are You Ready for the Battle?]
Come back next Tuesday for Civil War: Part 3: Why We Fight.