Battlefront – Action shooter video game based on Star Wars series of movies
Our son chooses a character (hero or villain), weapon, planet, and runs around in a battle fighting against the enemy and completing tasks…..and then, when he’s done he turns off the game and moves on.
In life, though, we’re in a real battle with real enemies, real weapons, and real casualties. There is no turning off the battle.
Who is the enemy? Paul tells us
Ephesians 6:11-12 NLT
11 “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategiesof the devil. 12 For we are notfighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Not a physical fightagainst menbut against unseen evil and powerful rulers, authorities, and spirits
What does the enemy want?
John 10:10 NLT
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.”
I typically note “kill and destroy”, but a thief steals first, in secret and without using force. He hides in the shadows and the confusion waiting to question what God is doing in us. We are prepared for the skirmish, hand to hand combat, but we don’t do well with the slow, day to day, and mundane………..But the devil does
Genesis 3:1 NLT
The serpent was the shrewdest (clever– MSG) of all the wild animals the LordGod had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
The devils strategy from the beginning was to plant a seed of unbelief in mankind’s mind and to ultimately destroy him/her. And that’s been his agenda throughout biblical times and still today.
He knows if he can place a seed of unbelief in your mind there’s a good chance you’ll be passive and it will take root.
But God has a strategy too to prepare us as Christians for battle.
Ephesians 6:13-18 NLT
13 “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truthand the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peacethat comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faithto stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
- Belt of Truth(6:14)
- Biblical times – Protected lower area of body/ provided support for all other pieces of armor during battle.
- Today – As Christians we must put on His beltbelieving that God’s Truthkeeps us from giving in to the world’s beliefs and defeats Satan’s lies.
John 8:44 NLT
“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truthin him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liarand the father of lies.”
Devil says – You are sinful, lost and without hope.
Truth– God’s love and salvation has set me free from sin and death.
The world we live in teaches that truth is what we make of it—that good and bad are relative and that there are no absolutes, only equally valid opinions.
There is an ongoing….
- Battle for Truth according to Scripture
- Battle for identity
- Battle for traditional Marriage
- Battle for Family
- Battle for Life
But the Bible teaches that truth is God’s Word—that good and bad are defined by Him and that there are eternal and unchangeable absolutes, uninfluenced by opinions.
2 Timothy 3:16 NLT
All Scripture is inspired by Godand is useful to teach us what is trueand to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right
Romans 12:2 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect
Regardless of the battle, the TRUTH is:
- God is alive, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and in control
- The holy bible is without error and the inspired word of God
- God created all of mankind with an identity
- God created marriage between 1 man and 1 woman and they were commanded to multiply
- God alone determines our days
- Breastplate of Righteousness(6:14)
- Biblical times– Protected the heart along with the other vital organs
- Today– As Christians we must put onHis righteousnessto protect against all of Satan’s accusations and charges.To be righteous is to do what is rightin God’s eyes (Obey God’s laws of love).
Proverbs 4:23 NLT/NKJV
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (out of it springs the issues of life)
Once we have put on the breastplate of righteousness, we must be sure not to remove it. Wearing righteousness is not a one-time event; it requires a lifetime of action.
- Shoes of Peace(6:15)
- Biblical times – Protected feet while marching into battle
- Today –As Christians we must put onHis shoesof peace that allows us to take the good news of Jesus wherever He leads.
1 John 2:6 NKJV
6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Satan will try to place obstacles in our path, but we can take comfort in the good news promised by God that there is nothing from outside ourselves that can trouble our hearts or give us reason to be afraid.
John 16:33 NLT
“I have told you all this so that you may have peacein me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Luke 10:19-20 NLT
“19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”
- Shield of Faith(6:16)
- Biblical times – Protected entire body from enemy’s fiery arrows during battle.
- Today –As Christians we must hold up His shieldto protect against Satan’s fiery arrows of doubt and temptations.
- Believe that God is in control, that He is working everything out for our good, and will keep His promises. Faith turns aside doubt and temptation.
Hebrews 11:1 NLT
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
Romans 12:3 NKJV
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
God gifts each of usa measure of faith. As we walk with Him that faith grows and develops until it becomes a shield, protecting us and making us victorious in Christ.
Our faith in God, can also give Satan a shove backwards. Because God tells us that faith cannot just be in our minds, it must produce actions—works of obedience and service. The temptation of Christ.
- Helmet of Salvation(6:17)
- Biblical times – Protected the head, the most vital body part, during battle
- Today –As Christians we must put on His helmetto protect our mind and thoughts against Satan’s lies. We have been called out of this world. Though we remain in it, we are not of it and remain separate from it. Our way of living and even of thinking should differ from the worlds. We are to develop the mind of Christ.
1 John 5:11-12 NKJV
11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Remember that salvation comes from God, and that God is on our side. If we commit to fully follow and obey Him, it is impossible for us to lose our battle or our salvation.
- Sword of the Spirit (6:17)
- Biblical times – provided offensive and defensive weapon during battle
- Today – As Christians we must pick up His sword (Word) to
- destroy strongholds of temptation, anger, fear, pride, and rebellion
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NLT
4 “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
- discern the truth and thoughts
Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
- Prayer (6:18) at all times, all occasions, all believers
Even with full armor we need continuous prayer for ourselves and other believers. Prayer brings you into communion and fellowship with God so that His armor can protect you.
Romans 13:14 NKJV
“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
American Theologian Albert Barnes comments, “No matter how complete the armour; no matter how skilled we may be in the science of war; no matter how courageous we may be, we may be certain that without prayer we shall be defeated. God alone can give the victory; and when the Christian soldier goes forth armed completely for the spiritual conflict, if he looks to God by prayer, he may be sure of a triumph”.
If we equip ourselves with God’s armor, we must also be determined to keep a steady line of connection with Him. He is the commander of His spiritual army, and He alone knows how to lead it to victory.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NLT
8 “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
S– Standup victorious under God’s power with confidence GOD HAS ALREADY WON;
- Paul encouraged 3 times- Stand up, Stand firm, Stand your ground
- Jesus commanded 2 occasions to lame men “Stand up and pick up your mat”
- We are complacent/ passive (laying down, disengaged) political/ social
T– Take up (put on) God’s full armor – RESIST the devil
A– Always pray in the Spirit at all times, for all occasions, for yourself and other believers – CONNECT to God (praise and petition)
N– Notice danger – STAY ALERT to the devil’s schemes
D– Declare the truth– SPEAK OUT LOUD
- About God…….You are good and loving and faithful and have never left me
- About yourself……I am a child of God, Jesus is my Lord and Savior.
- Speak about the devil……..You’re a liar and you’re defeated
“When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” Billy Graham
A New Year is approaching w/ new resolutions, new ads); get in shape, join a gym, try a new diet – most stop after a few weeks.
I’ve done the same.
Flashback to my annual physical appointment …..“Everything looks good, except you have High LDL cholesterol (Low-Density Lipoprotein)” “that’s not a problem unless someone in your family has died of a heart attack”.
LDL= fragments of cholesterol (plaque) attach to blood stream wall and clogs the arteries causing heart attacks and strokes more likely.
2 options: medication or treat myself (discipline)
Doctor List of foods to eat, not eat
Appointment on same day with a brother to discuss some spiritual areas that I was struggling with & I realized I was both physically and spiritually unhealthy.
I/we want to be HEALTHY, physically and spiritually living and growing and loving.
Ephesians 4:16 – “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
5 healthy habits
- Eat Right (nutrition)– strengthens my body
- Physically eat:
- More whole foods (vegetables, fruits, fish, Drink lots of water)
- Less processed foods (baked goods…)
- In moderation (pork, red fatty meats, eggs)
- Spiritually eat:
John 6:55-58– “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eatsmy flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eatsthis bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”
Matthew 5:6– “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied”
Acts 2:42– “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper, and to prayer”.
Hebrews 5:11-13 – There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.
- Exercise Routinely – conditions my body
- Physically – exercise more by being active:
- aerobic activity that exerts the heart (swimming, running, biking)…sports
- Spiritually – exercise
1 Peter 1:13 –“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control.”
1 Timothy 4:8– “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
1 Corinthians 14:4– “A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church”.
- Eliminate Rot – rids my body
- Physically –eliminate (cut out) the fat; unnecessary clutter, burden, stress, distraction
- Belongings (Spring cleaning)
- Technology (TV, social media, media, talk radio)
- Relationships (toxic)
- Physically –eliminate (cut out) the fat; unnecessary clutter, burden, stress, distraction
Proverbs 16:24 – “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 20:6– “Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?”
- Spiritually – eliminate (cut out)
- Sin –
Job 11:13-15 – “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! 14 Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you.15 Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear.”
- Evil behavior –
1 Peter 2:1 – “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.”
- Expand Rest – recoupes my body
- Physically –expand rest time for the body & soul; (sleep, naps, sit), Sabbath, vacation
- Spiritually –expand rest (spending time with Jesus and knowing him)
Matthew 11:28-30 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Hebrews 4:10 – “For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.”
- Peace (God gives strength)
Psalm 29:11 – The Lordgives his people strength. The Lordblesses them with peace.
John 14:27– “I am leaving you with a gift—peaceof mind and heart. And the peaceI give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
- Examine Regularly – checks my body
- Physically –have your body and your blood examined by a physician (outside and inside)
- Spiritually – have your soul examined by the great physician
Psalm 139:23-24 – “Search me, O God, and know my heart;test meand know my anxious thoughts.Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.“
When I think back about the 2 options: medication or treat myself. I could have easily chosen the easy way out and just take the drugs for the rest of life and accept that as my future.
I also think how I got there & how I’ve been so complacent and comfortable physically and spiritually for a long time.
Movie – WALL-E
Main character (WALL-E) – waste collector droneWaste Allocation Load Lifter,
Space-faring cruise shipfull of obese, infant like consumers (Americans) who are too bloated to walk and too lazy to think,spend their days immobile in hovering lounge chairs, staring at ads on computers screens.
Satire of humanity – Wall-Etells us that if we don’t change the way we live, we’ll all get really fat and destroy the world. The plot begins with the idea that a megacorporation called Buy N Large has essentially taken over the planet and induced so much consumption and waste that humans must escape their dying planet on an enormous, space-faring cruise ship. Once onboard, their self-destructive tendencies only get worse: After 700 years adrift, humans have grown too bloated to walk and too lazy to think.
John 10:10 NKJV “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have I more abundantly”
God did not create us for salvation followed by comfort and complacency as we wait for eternal life. We were created for life abundantly now.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Death and life are in the blood.
Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sinthat so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
How’s your health?
When was the last time you relented and were examined by the Great Physician?