Perfectly Armored, Part 9

Christ died for all. No matter the sin, even those of the most depraved, He died for them just as much as He died for us. The difference between us and them comes down to the knowledge of that truth, and who can see the reality of it. Don’t hate those who are not like us. Pray for them…

In the book of Acts, we read of when Jesus sent Paul to the gentiles. It tells us  in Chapter 26, verse 18 that the reason Paul was sent was “ open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God…”

This verse is supported by 2 Corinthians 4:4, which, talking about Satan, says “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

By Gustave Doré (Paradise Lost or James Donahue) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsYou see, we tend to forget that the reason people do not believe the gospel is that Satan has blinded their eyes to keep them from seeing. No matter what we say to them, no matter what logic or arguments we make, it ultimately takes the power of the Holy Spirit to open their eyes. We cannot battle to make better. But we can pray for them. We, dawning the whole armor of God, can do battle for those who do not even know they are in the midst of spiritual warfare.

I want to close with a fantastic little story.

The great apologist Ravi Zacharias has told of an experience he had while in Lebanon many years ago, traveling with his friend, Sami Dagher. At that time, when Lebanon was being destroyed by warfare and occupation, Ravi tells of something Sami said to him. He said that, for years, he was angry about what was happening in that country, about how far it had fallen from its former glory because of the Syrian forces that have come in and overtaken the place. Sami told Ravi of one night, as he was on his knees by the bedside, of how angry he was, pounding his fists as he for a moment questioned the Lord.

“Why,” he said to the Lord, “have you allowed these fifty-thousand Syrian soldier to come into my country, my beautiful country, and now dictate to us citizens how we are to live here, telling us of what we can and cannot do in our own country!”

Sami told Ravi that in that moment, clear as could be, it was as though he heard the voice of the Lord speaking to him. The Spirit said to him, “Sami, for years you have prayed for the Syrians, lamenting how their borders were closed to missionary efforts. Now, because they have not opened their borders to you, I have brought fifty thousand missionaries from their country to yours.”

We so easily forget that the Lord often works things out in His own way, not ours. Could it be we too are in the midst of such a moment? Friends, our enemies are not simply foreign pagans or domestic non-believers. Our enemies are the forces that keep so many blind to the truth. Every moment we are alive and in prayer is an opportunity that they could be moved by the Spirit, their hearts softened and their eyes opened. Every moment we yet have breath in our lungs is a moment we can use to try and reach them for the Lord.

We must be bold, friends, and prayerful, full of the Spirit, just as Paul asks to be in verses 18 through 20. We must proclaim the truth of the Gospel no matter the situation, no matter the risk. We must do it diligently, deliberately, and with dedication in every level of our lives.

Standing boldly in the full armor of God, our hearts filled with fervent and unyielding prayers, and the Sword of the Spirit in hand, we must strike at the heart of those spiritual forces, for our sakes and the sakes of all. We don’t need steel swords, blasting cannons, or rattling machine guns to face the real threat; we need expectant hearts, willing knees, and a knowledge of the unyielding Word of God!

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