Today’s Scrip-Bit   24 June 2022 Ephesians 6:12.

Ephesians 6:12.       For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.

So friends, we’ve come to the end of another work week, another Friday, with a host of people, good, bad and indifferent joyfully shouting: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday!’ Yes, even the ones who don’t believe in God, or don’t even know Him, shout it. It’s like a universal mantra, where a great load is unburdened and the supposed weary slaves, many of whom are thoroughly lazy and do as little work as possible, (smile) are set free for a couple of days. And believe me, that also applies to Christians, for we do talk a good talk, but can be rather unchristian in our walk. And that’s why so many unbelievers refuse to listen to us, we don’t practice what we preach, as much as we ought to. 

All over the globe, Christians have a reputation for being hypocrites, and in a lot of cases the name is well-deserved. So, unfortunately, the many are tainted by the deeds of the few, and that is definitely not the character trait Christ wants the world to have of His church, of those who profess faith in His name and all that He’s done for mankind. And we all know how difficult it is to correct a bad reputation, even one that is untrue. Therefore, those of us who try to do the right thing are often faced with an uphill battle, not of our making. 

But let’s remember that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is omnipotent, and gives us the tools to do whatever He desires of us. So, if He desires us to evangelize the world, then there’s nothing the world can do to stop us. We just have to faithfully believe and get up the gumption to do Christ’s work, because we have all the necessary tools to otherwise do it, backed up all the way by the awesome power of the Holy Spirit! That means fear of failure should be a no-brainer. Remember what Bruh Paul told Timothy about fear? ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound (disciplined) mind.’ (2 Tim. 1:7) 

Consequently, Christ’s followers ought to be positive, optimistic, powerful and fearless. Yes, it’s a lot to ask in this scary, turbulent and deceitful world. And though none of us will ever be perfect, because it’s not in our DNA, for only Jesus is perfect, I know that we can all come up higher than the level we are currently at. It all depends on our state of mind, our state of maturity, and if we truly want to be good soldiers for Christ. The battle is not easy, and is not one we can see, for it’s being fought in the spiritual realm, but believe me, it is still as real as if we could see it. 

Bruh Paul explained it thus to the Ephesians. ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (age), against spiritual (hosts of) wickedness in high places.’ (Eph. 6:12) So we really are in a battle, and one to the death, for the forces of evil will not give up, and neither should we. 

Meanwhile, here’s how the scholars explain that verse. ‘6:12. Wrestle, used of hand to hand combat, emphasizes the personal and individual nature of spiritual warfare waged against each local church and Christian. Flesh and blood refers to humanity. Such is not the church’s adversary. Instead, she opposes principalities (rulers), powers (authorities), rulers (world-rulers), spiritual wickedness (wicked spiritual beings), that is, fallen angels, demons, and Lucifer (Satan) himself.’ 

It is therefore an all-encompassing war that will not end until Jesus comes back and sets up his kingdom. These words of Bruh Paul to the church at Corinth also highlight the kind of warfare in which we are continually engaged. ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to) the flesh. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.’ (2 Cor. 10:3-5)  

Yes my brethren, the scholars tell us that ‘Though we walk (live) in the flesh (in a body), we do not war (fight) after (according to) the flesh (human standards): The first phrase of verse 5 looks back to verse 3 and expresses the manner in which believers conduct spiritual warfare. It is by casting down (destroying) imaginations (false arguments) such as Paul’s opponents have raised.’ 

Oh my people, please remember that it’s in our minds that spiritual warfare is being fought; the devil tries to invade our minds with evil, ungodly thoughts, but we need to fight him mano-a-mano, taking every thought into captivity, that’s checking it out, using the Holy Spirit to make sure that it lines up with the word and desires of Christ. And if it doesn’t, then kicking it out! 

That’s why James warns us to ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded….Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.’ (James 4:7-8, 10). 

And Peter strongly advises, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in (experienced by) your brethren that are in the world.’ (1 Pet. 5:8-9) 

Oh my fellow saints, it’s time for us to truly get serious about the battle in which we are engaged. Once you call yourself a believer in Christ Jesus, there’s no getting away from it. So please, let’s raise our level of passion, of faith and sincerity and thus put up a better fight in Jesus’ name nuh. He’s depending on us. There’s no one else to fight for Him and His church and kingdom but us. Now let’s take the first step in that direction, prayer, and through our Friday Chant, approach the throne of grace with confident humility. 

As one voice: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. 

And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

And, as always, after prayer, you keep whatever promises you’ve made, then wait patiently, with expectant faith for God to answer…in His own time. (smile) Much LOVE!

…the battlefield of the spiritual world is our mind…so please ensure we have on our spiritual armour… 

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