By Guest Writer – Jim Lyons
I had three seconds to put out the call. “H-341! Officers need help! 11-99!”
As those words were spoken, my partner and I were being attacked by a young man who was under the influence of methamphetamine. Through his drug-induced rage and strength, he was trying to push me off the top of a bridge and get my handgun out of my holster.
I knew at that time I was in the fight of my life. So did my partner. We had to fight to survive.
During the struggle, we were able to get the upper hand and wrestle the violent man to the ground. We were now lying in the middle of the road, traffic passing by at 50 mph, with no one stopping to help. While trying to hold the young man down, I could hear sirens in the distance, piercing the darkness around us. Help was on the way! We only had to hold on a minute longer and this encounter would be over.
Training and preparation prepared us for this night. Victory would be ours. I knew we would make it through this shift – only to come back and fight again.
That particular incident in my career as a police officer reminded me that as Christians there is a spiritual enemy out there, much like the young man, that is ready to pounce on us to do us harm. It is important to remember that our enemy, the devil, does not take a vacation. He and his fallen angels are relentless, working tirelessly to discourage and deceive. Attempting to lead us away from our Sovereign King.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)
Victory is already ours in Christ Jesus! We need not be afraid.
Positionally, we are in Christ and delivered from the power of Satan.
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.”
Colossians 1:13 (ESV)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
John 10:27-30 (ESV)
Practically, however, we are called to fight. And fight we must! As ambassadors to Christ, we have a mission. We are called to share God’s saving message – the gospel (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 26:18). We are called to be salt in a decaying world (Matthew 5:13). We are called to be light in the darkness, exposing the evil things (Matthew 5:14-16, Ephesians 5:11-17). And by faithfully living out our calling, we will face spiritual opposition. Why? Because darkness hates light! We can only overcome our enemy by living for Jesus following His will in holiness and godliness and by dressing appropriately for the fight that will come (1 John 1:5-7). Friends – trust me – the fight will come, and it will come when you least expect it!
Are you ready?
Have you prepared for it?
Have you trained yourself for such an encounter?
The Apostle Paul commands us to be ready for the fight.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul then lays out the spiritual armor we are to put on daily.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit.”
Ephesians 6:13-18 (ESV)
Before my shift began each day, I had to dress appropriately. I had to put on the right equipment so I could go out into the city and uphold the law, protect its citizens and their property. To forget one item – one piece of equipment – could prove fatal to not only myself but those whom I worked with.
Friends, dress carefully! Put on the full armor of God daily. Remember, on this side of heaven, we remain in a spiritual battle. Be ready to fight. Know God’s word and live it out (James 1:22-25). Train for the encounters that will come. One day the fight will be over, and we will be able to take off our armor in the presence of our one true Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Until then, we must fight!
Blessings to you,