The Daily Word of Righteousness

Spiritual Survival in the Coming Days, #20

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:12,13—NIV)

Perhaps some Christians are led of the Lord to fight in the political realm. But the emphasis in Ephesians is on standing against spiritual powers, and this can be done only by the blood of the Lamb, by conforming our testimony to the Word of God, and by loving not our own life to the point of death.

Notice that Paul speaks of defense, of standing, not of attacking. Christians of today are being urged to attack the enemy. The time to attack the enemy will be when the Lord descends from Heaven. Our military posture in the present hour is to be one of defense. It is our carnal nature that desires to charge off and defeat the enemy. When we do this we often are deceived and overcome because the Lord has not blown the trumpet of attack.

Of course our red-blooded carnal nature wants to attack. But the General is telling us to build our defenses, and this sometimes requires many years of the most boring waiting and patience.

Anyone with military experience will tell you that one of the most difficult features of life in the armed services is the periods of waiting and boredom—especially during wartime.

A soldier who disobeys orders and acts on his own may bring other soldiers to harm and may be punished.

The first issue is that of the belt of truth. Much of what is being preached in Christianity today is not Bible truth but tradition. Therefore it is not the sword of the Spirit and the Spirit does not honor or use it. We must abandon our notions and buy the truth today, and sometimes we have to buy it with self-denial.

We can't just go out and "use" the Word of God. The Spirit must be working in and with us if something of eternal worth is to be accomplished.

Truth is not learned in a seminary. Necessary knowledge may be gained, but not truth. Truth is a Person. It is only as we possess the living Lord Jesus Christ that we possess truth.

The breastplate of righteousness covers our heart. Almost all of the current Christian doctrines of today, from the "state of grace" error to the "prosperity message" work against the actual righteousness that the Spirit of God desires to create in us.

Every new idea that sweeps across the Christian churches seems to be a thought that distracts us from the pursuit of actual righteousness of behavior.

Imputed (ascribed) righteousness is not meant to represent a departure from God's goal of having friends who practice righteousness, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Rather, imputed righteousness is a legal device, we might say, that enables us to start on the way of righteousness with a clean slate. God hears us because of the atonement made by Christ on the cross of Calvary, and helps us as we begin to turn aside from the sinful nature and seek to walk in the Spirit of God.

To be continued.