Let’s talk about our General Synod meeting. This isn’t some sort of “call to arms” over a particular issue we’ll be facing. And I’m not trying to “stir the pot,” as it were, over any particular subject. That being said, we do face many serious issues that have the potential to greatly impact the way our denomination moves forward. This article is an invitation to engage in active spiritual warfare in light of the issues we face as a denomination and the issues you face in your daily life, not to mention the state of the world around you and the problems it faces. From the war in Ukraine to what seems to be the imminent collapse of Western Civilization, trouble abounds!
You face the reality of spiritual warfare daily. The enemy is always on the attack, and battles are always being fought. If you are trusting in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation, that means Satan knows he can’t have you. Satan will accuse, discourage, distract, tempt, and do whatever else necessary to hinder your relationship with Christ and render you ineffective on the battlefield. Whether you realize it or not, and whether you want to be or not, you are in the fight. The question remains, however, if you are in the battle for the Lord? Not sure? You answer this question not with your words or intentions, but with your actions. What you do points to your level of engagement and commitment as you face spiritual warfare.
Consider that great passage on the Armor of God in Ephesians 6. God’s people are commanded in verses 10-12 to “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 the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Verses 14-17 then go on to list the different pieces that make up the full armor of God, beginning with “the belt of truth” and ending with the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I have no doubt that this passage is at least somewhat familiar to you, if not quite familiar. Whether it’s the theme of a Vacation Bible School, the subject material of a Sunday School class, or in a song you learned as a child and might have even taught your own children, we know about the armor of God. But just as the battle doesn’t end once the soldier has taken up arms, so also spiritual warfare doesn’t cease as soon as the believer puts on the full armor of God. That’s when the battle begins! So, how do we fight?
While each Christian faces different circumstances and has different opportunities to engage in warfare, Ephesians 6:18 reveals where the battle is most often fought, saying that God’s people should continue “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” How do we fight? With prayer. There is a direct correlation between your prayer life and your willingness to be in the battle for the Lord, so much so, that if you aren’t willing to pray, you won’t be willing to fight. If prayer isn’t important to you, then standing up for the Lord won’t be important to you, either. If you feel this sort of statement is too simple or harsh, then I present to you as “Exhibit A” the state of the church in America.
Now let’s talk about our General Synod meeting. Are you praying for our coming meeting? Are you aware of the current issues our General Synod faces? Will you commit to praying for your pastor and whoever represents your church as its elder representative? Pastors, as a side note, will you read the Synod packet and all reports and be ready to vote? (Sorry, not sorry, I had to ask.) Do you take the time to pray for the ARP Church as a whole? Do you remember to pray for fellow believers who are facing spiritual warfare of their own? Will you not only put on the full armor of God but will you use it as you seek God’s will in prayer? I think that’s enough questions. Certainly, more could be asked. I hope that this article prompts you to ask more questions of yourself as you evaluate your relationship with the Lord and your prayer life.
This article was originally printed in the May/June 2022 ARP Magazine.