Imagine if a bomb was dropped on the house opposite, and you didn’t even notice.
Or what about if the family down the street were wiped out one day, and you didn’t even bat an eyelid.
I figure if I were in the middle of a war, I’d notice. The gunfire, mortars and general grim times would be a pretty decent clue, wouldn’t they? The casualties and suffering would help drive the point home.
But the Bible says I am in the middle of a war. There’s a battle going on and I’m right in the thick of it. We as Christians are at war with God’s enemies. Like any war, it can get pretty unpleasant. We might not get shot at (though that is a danger that many Christians in other parts of the world might face) but we might notice the effects of the war. People might treat us with less respect, they might criticise our beliefs and they might make it clear that they’re not on our side.
That’s not to say that everything that goes wrong in your life is part of a great spiritual fight. The fact you have a cold may not be the work of the devil, it may simply be because you stood near someone who had a cold first. The sad death of your guinea pig may not be an attack of the powers of darkness, it may just be because your brother fed it too much. The fact that people at school or work are being unpleasant to you may not be the demons of hell getting their claws stuck in, it might be simply because people at work or school are tired, or even because you weren’t very nice to them last week.
But this war we’re in, what are we going to do about it?
Well, the Bible says that ‘we do not fight in the same way the world fights. We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places.’
We need to make a stand for God, and we need to stand together. With that in mind, I’m going to be tweeting and blogging for the next little while about living for God. I’ll use the hashtag #standorfall when I do it. My aim is to tweet at the beginning of a week something along the lines of #standorfall #prayer, and then have that as a priority over the next week. Something I’ll grow in over the course of the next seven days. At the end of the week, I’ll tweet #standorfall #prayer #stand if I have done what I set out to do, or #fall if I haven’t. That’s not so that I can beat myself up about it, or so that people can mock me for my complete failure (hopefully my friends are more supportive than that…) It’s so that I’m reminded I’m at war, I’m relying on my friends to support me, and I’m doing what I can to stand strong in the fight.
The amazing thing is, although the battles are still raging, the war has actually already been won. As Christians, we’re following a God who is already victorious over His enemies. When He returns at the end of time as we know it, the battles will be over too. But for now, we are called to stand for Him, with our fellow Christians, put on the armour He gives, and join the battle.
Are you up for it?
January 2013 note. You may have noticed the #standorfall concept has gone a bit quiet of late. This year, I’ll be blogging on Spiritual Disciplines over at http://www.bigbible.org.uk which means that my focus on #standorfall may well shift in that direction. The disciplines posts will be coming on the 19th of each month and you’re more than welcome to join in the journey. If you want a weekly challenge, then I’d recommend http://www.god52.wordpress.com.