20th October 2015

A Cosmic Battle

The outstanding, consistent characteristic of those who are sharing Truth effectively is that they recognise the seriousness of the cosmic battle that is going on between Truth and lies. In the second of his letters to the Corinthians recorded in the New Testament, Paul writes specifically about the preaching of the Good News which can be hidden, veiled, obscured by the lies…and that’s the reason, he says, people are perishing (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). A little later he says that when he and his co-workers are faithfully preaching Truth they are operating in God’s power. They are using “weapons of righteousness” for both attack and defence (2 Corinthians 6:7). And further on, still in the language of warfare, he describes them using those mighty weapons of God “to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments”…to “destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God,” and to “capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).

Writing to the Ephesian believers, Paul says they had better be well armed and well protected because they are in a fight that is light years beyond a physical, human level. It is 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). It’s a life or death battle for the souls of human beings. And people are not just hanging around eager to submit to the authority of whatever we tell them, no matter how well intentioned or passionate we might be. There is another authority, Satan, who has usurped God’s rule in this world, who has blinded their minds. He has effectively created a web of lies and an entire system of allegiances that are in direct opposition to God’s authority.

When we share truth with an individual or group still under Satan’s control we are joining in the battle that is going on for control of their hearts and minds. We are contributing to God calling them “out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). This is a dramatic rescue effort in which God uses His Truth to break down the formidable defences of the kingdom of darkness so He can rescue people and bring them under the loving reign of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 1:13). But even after that paradigm shift takes place and people are saved, it’s not like the habits of those past allegiances disappear overnight; allegiances to self and to sinful desires, to a world system at odds with God’s authority. It is the careful, intentional sharing of Truth that gradually washes away those lingering loyalties and allows God’s people to live out of their true identity as His Temple, His Body, and His Bride (Ephesians 5:26,27).

In light of the sobering reality that every Truth-sharing opportunity represents a skirmish in this war being fought between Light and Darkness, we can ask ourselves these questions as we become involved:

  • Do we understand the life and death significance of what we are doing?
  • Are we very consciously dependent on God for wisdom, grace and protection in the battle?
  • Are we humbly putting ourselves under the authority of God’s Word and His Spirit and other authorities within the Body that God has provided for our guidance and encouragement?
  • And are we taking every opportunity to equip ourselves well for the battle?

Paul Mac

Paul and his wife Linda worked 11 years in Papua New Guinea doing pioneering church planting work and Bible translation among a previously unreached people group. They have since been involved in church planting consultancy giving guidance to teams all around the world. They are passionate about seeing churches planted that are well equipped to carry on for future generations.