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Monday, July 12, 2010

The Delicate Art of War

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

~2 Corinthians 10:4 (NIV).

We have weaponry and we have weaponry—we fight by the standards of the world, or we fight by this enthralling “divine power”—via the contention of the Holy Spirit we’ve been given. It’s always a choice.

The ‘delicate art’ of war is not a timid mode of attack on any front. It may look that way but it’s a heavenly guise.

Its feather-touch lightness is to the smashing of various incongruous intents, via battles spiritual, and the temporary subsuming of principalities, which are apart from God. These are not people per se, but the darker forces of non-truth we all tend to adopt from time to time—and some deliberately so, to their consummate peril.

The forces of non-truth are therefore the target this delicate art sets itself upon.

We need to always remember, however, that whenever we side with non-truth ourselves we’re not only battling with ourselves, we also open ourselves up to humiliation from those comrades-at-arms who are normally contending from the same trenches we are.

Those who abide with God in truth cannot betray themselves.

The Tools of War

These tools are replete in Ephesians 6:10-18; they’re otherwise known as the Armour of God. We’re advised to study them because we will face off, and regularly. If we don’t know what tools we have, how will we know when and how to use them?

We have, then, the belt of truth that must be buckled firmly in place so our pants don’t fall to our knees, and therefore ourselves into falsity—either of ourselves or others’. The breastplate of righteousness is critical to stop darts wounding the chest, cutting the heart.

Righteousness will stand by us if we stand by it. Recall that righteousness is opposite of self-righteousness and wickedness. It lives by faith. We’re also ready to run with peace, and in the presence of peace, at a moment’s notice.

The shield of faith is exemplary when doubting shows itself in battle—the intending deceiving-one accusing, procuring the doubt in us. Faith always wins, however. The helmet we enter battle with is our assurance—God is with us in our fighting. The Words of God contend as we do, slashing those issues of non-truth down via the sword of the Spirit.

The Tasks of War

Paul most certainly had a fight on his hands with a certain number of the First-Century Corinthians (and others). And so do we, with some of our contemporaries. This, again, is never a fight with or against people. It’s about gently defending—as far as we’re personally liable—the things, the ways and the auguries of God.

The task of war—the objective—is allegiance to the Lord.

The Tactics of War

The tactics we fight with are many and varied. This is how we apply the tools of war.

What use is it having tools if we don’t use them well or, worse, if we don’t maintain them? A blunt knife will require more slicing pressure which heightens our risk of being cut and wounded, which renders us ineffective to fight faithfully. Likewise, if we’re soft on the use or condition of any of our tools, our fight is compromised; and we know who stands to win—the enemy.

There is only one spiritual enemy of God, besides our flesh, which we also contend with. The devil is opposed to God in God’s totality. The war—though it is fought as a delicate art—is hell-bending and calamitous in the heavens. Each battle waged is significant. And though we’re certain to lose some, God contends so that we will eventually win.

The tactics of war, then, are motivated by the longer-term vision; that of sure victory.

The Totality of War

The world of war is constantly a threat though it’s placated still at the slightest touch.

Our fight is one borne through the fruit of the Spirit—in divinely-pressed action—a fight without a fight so long as earthly standards are measured. For whenever ‘fighting’ is discussed we leap to the opposite conclusion.

Fighting in the Lord is estranged to fighting in the world. Ever ‘fought’ with truth-imbued grace, peace and love?—this is what the Lord requires of us.

But one thing we’re clear of, the fight began at the first breath and it won’t conclude truly until the very last one’s dried away. All times between, we fill our cups with glee in fighting this fight of our Majesty.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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