Daily Devotionals

Forgotten War: Week 1 - Monday

For we are not fighting 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. Ephesians 6:12

The average person will interact with and encounter thousands of germs every day. We do not see them with our eyes, but with each sneeze, cough, or handshake, they spread from person to person. The majority of the germs we come in contact with will not affect us or disturb our daily lives. But some germs, bacteria, and viruses have the power to put a person in the hospital and even jeopardize their lives. For the most part, unless you are a germaphobe, we don't think much about what is going on under the surface.

Just as there is this constant battle in our bodies to overcome the germs we are exposed to, there is a spiritual war going on both within us and all around us between the forces of good and evil. Paul makes this clear in his letter to the church in Ephesus. He wrote to them to remind them that the real fight for followers of Jesus is against evil rulers and authorities that are in an unseen realm. They lurk in the shadows and may not be evident at first look. Satan, along with his evil spirits, works to frustrate and hold us back from living the abundant life that God promises. It is like a wrestling match between the light and darkness over who will have the victory. Satan is most effective when we don't see him scheming or when we don't recognize his attacks. This Forgotten War is one that can get the best of society and God's church when we misunderstand or disregard our enemy.

In the same way that we prepare for contact with germs, we have to prepare for spiritual battle. Think about it. To make sure we don't contract dangerous pathogens, we wash our hands with anti-bacterial soap, take vitamins that boost our immune systems, and even get vaccinations to keep the really bad illnesses away. To prepare for the spiritual battle, we have set aside the next few weeks at Sagebrush as the opportunity to suit up. We want to make sure that you are ready to stand against the attacks of the evil one. If you commit to coming every weekend, doing this devotional, and making time for a small group, we can help you to be ready to stand against our adversary the Devil. We are praying that God will prepare you for this Forgotten War!

Moving Toward Action

As we begin this new series, we want you to take some time to think and pray through what you want God to teach you. Think through some questions that you might have about Satan and this Forgotten War, and write them out in your notes. You will be surprised that God will begin to bring clarity over these difficult issues as you commit them to Him. As you think through your own needs, pray that God will work in our community to prepare us for the battle!

Going Deeper

Read Ephesians 6:10-20 (NLT)

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting 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.

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. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.