“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
In my early years, I was a rough and rowdy tomboy who climbed trees, skipped rocks, and made skid marks on the asphalt with my glittery pink banana seat bike.
My backyard was the envy of every kid in the neighborhood. It came equipped with a drainage ditch across the back border that separated us from a vacant, thickly wooded lot.
The ditch tunneled beneath six city blocks through concrete pipes large enough to stand up in and walk through, and culminated in a very large crater we dubbed “The Canyon.” How do I know you could stand up in them? You guessed. We did it.
To the kids in the neighborhood, the ditch was a virtual wonderland filled with all kinds of creepy, crawly critters to be discovered. I felt like the luckiest kid around to have such an attraction right in my own backyard.
On the other side of “The Canyon” lived another neighborhood that was a bit rougher than ours. We dubbed the boys who lived there the “Canyon Boys.” Great animosity existed between the Canyon Boys and the boys in our neighborhood (of which I thought I was one).
One day the warring factions decided there was going to be a big rumble between the two. The time: 2:00 p.m. The place: the drainage ditch bordering my backyard. The weapon of choice: dirt clods.
We boys gathered in my yard on the east side of the ditch as the enemy gathered in the vacant lot on the west. We piled up our ammo, hunkered down behind mounds of dirt and trees, and waited for the first shot to be fired. Then it began.
Clods of hardened mud flew left and right. At some point during this heated battle, I peeked out from behind a tree to throw a grenade, and something hit me square in the forehead. I wasn’t sure what it was, but it didn’t feel like dirt. As blood poured down my brow, I looked on the ground and saw the culprit. A brick.
“You cheated!” I yelled at the enemy forces.
Fearing I had suffered a fatal blow, the enemies ran for their lives. My buds ran to get my mom, and I was whisked away to the hospital. The doctor shaved a patch of hair from the top of my forehead, sewed my skin back together, and placed a patch over the wound. Oh, it wasn’t as nifty as a broken arm or a broken leg, but having your head spit open by a rival was pretty cool. The picture in today’s post is me proudly sporting my patch.
Some of my hair never grew back in that spot and I have a scar to remind me of a few facts about fighting foes.
1. The enemy cheats.
2. The enemy slings more than just dirt.
3. The enemy has great aim.
4. The enemy’s attacks sometimes leave scars.
5. The enemy is not playing a game.
I don’t fight with bullies anymore—at least, not the human kind. But I do have one nemesis that challenges me regularly. The Bible calls him the “great deceiver,” “the accuser,” “the devil,” “the evil one.” Interestingly, the same lessons I learned from that dirt clod fight apply to him today.
What about you? Do you know how to fight the spiritual battles in your life? Ephesians 6:10-20 is a great place to start.
If you are ready and willing to take your stand against the enemy today, leave a comment and say, “According to Ephesians 6, I’m taking my stand!”
Dear Lord, today I put on the full armor of God to stand against the enemy’s schemes: the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the sandals of the gospel of peace. I also take up the shield of faith in one hand and the sword of the Spirit in the other. Now I’m ready to take my stand. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What do You Think?
Go back to the list of 5 things I learned about the enemy during my dirt clod fight. Now, consider how each one of those principles applies to spiritual warfare.
Read Ephesians 6:10-20 and list the pieces of the armor of God. Envision putting on each piece as you write them down.
Notice there is only 1 offense weapon. What is it? How do you take up the Sword of the Spirit?
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