Now that we are believers we are called to defend the faith. As we engage in this spiritual battle and travel down this path we see a road sign that reads “Danger Ahead”. Shortly after that we see another sign that reads “Truth Under Attack”. Finally we run across a sign reading “Beware of Compromise, Corruption of the Word, and False Teaching!”
Satan wants to thwart God’s purpose and is waging a spiritual battle for the control of man’s mind. In this spiritual battle Satan is doing all in his power to not only corrupt the Word of God but to get believers to compromise the truth.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)
Satan: “god of this Age”
Since the curse, Satan has had influence on the workings of the world. He is referred to as the “god of this age” and looks for every opportunity to be a cog in the purposes of God.
“whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NKJV)
The devil will be looking for every opportunity to use his influence to tear down anything that points people to Christ. The believer is a prime target in this spiritual battle. Even though he can not take away your salvation, he will do what he can to prevent you from be an effective minister for Christ. He will try to pull you away from the Word of God and attempt to have you compromise the truths it teaches. In this spiritual battle, the Lord has appealed to us to defend the faith.
Defend the Faith
Being His ambassadors on earth we need to take the role of defenders of the faith seriously. As a believer it is important we have the proper mental state as we wade into the spiritual battle. We need to develop self discipline to make Christ the center of our thoughts and to be nourished by Scripture.
We need the strength of the Lord to avoid the spiritual pitfalls Satan will throw in our path. Two of the devil’s favorite tools are compromise and corruption of God’s Word. He is constantly looking to weaken the believer. The more he can get the believer to compromise the truth, it makes it that much easier for him to deceive both believers and the lost with false teachings. If we don’t defend the faith, we are giving Satan free reign to introduce false teachings.
The devil can not control you. He can not make you do or not do something. However, he can be very subtle and has many tricks up his sleeve to try to influence your thoughts. He loves to try to take your focus off of God.
When we neglect the Scriptures or go astray of God’s teachings, it may just be our natural mind at work or it may be the influence of Satan leading us away. We may not know the source but both have the danger of opening us up to compromise and false teaching. Be on the lookout for these subtle warning signs:
- Do you notice how easy daily life keeps you busy? Do distractions of life keep you from regularly picking up the Bible?
- At times do you feel unprepared to stand firm in the word of God?
- Do you feel ill prepared to be able to defend your faith?
- Do you find it a struggle to study the Scriptures?
- Are you hesitant to share your thoughts with God in prayer?
- Are you tentative about sharing Christ with others?
No matter what form the wiles of the devil may take and to help endure the hard road ahead of us it is necessary to be strengthened in Christ and learn to avoid foolish endeavors.
Instead of living for the temporary we need to discipline ourselves to live for the eternal. Our goal should be to boldly live for Christ. If we live for the accolades of men and worship the material things of life, we have lived foolishly. All of this will fade away to nothing the moment death claims you. These things have absolutely no value. This is why we need self discipline to make the eternal things our priority. Instead of accumulating for yourself we need to be cultivating for Christ by sharing the good news of salvation and being prepared to defend the faith.
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:12 NKJV)
We serve Christ and must be prepared to endure hardships associated with this role. As an ambassador of Christ we will be under attack and can expect to be ill treated. It will not be easy and we will face many struggles. Our mission as Christians is not to live a smooth life avoiding sufferings but to serve Him faithfully. In order to be successful we need to understand our priority. Just as Christ has an eternal outlook so must we. Instead of making earthly things our priority we need to make His Word and teachings our priority.
“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:3–4 NKJV)
Strong in the Lord
We are encouraged by the Lord to take up the whole armor of God so that we may be able “to stand against the wiles of the devil”. Without God, left to our own abilities, we will remain weak, and in this spiritual battle we will have no effect on the enemy.
Thankfully God has fully equipped us. He has enlisted us to serve Him and has provided us with all the tools we need. We will draw our spiritual strength and courage to fight this good fight from God.
We are fighting a mighty enemy and we need the strength of the Lord to be victorious. It is imperative just as a soldier trains for battle that we train ourselves through the study of Scripture and prayer. We need to make make Christ and Scripture the focus of our lives. God has called you to put on the armor of God. Are you ready to defend the faith?
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
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.” (Ephesians 6:10–13 NKJV)