With the news coverage of fighting in the Middle East, it doesn’t take much to imagine a battle scene. Perhaps you see soldiers marching behind their leader or the dust and blood carrying weighty stories across a soldier’s face.
As I read through Ephesians recently, I couldn’t help but imagine a battle scene, but not the kind where innocent lives were lost; it was of the supernatural kind.
Ephesians 2, written by Paul, a used-to-be murderer of Christians turned follower of Jesus, wrote these words:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
At one time, we were all soldiers fighting behind the Enemy’s lines. And while now I, and perhaps you too, have given your life to Christ, there was a time when we marched along behind the prince of the power of the air-which is Satan-God’s enemy. It may seem harsh to you, but the truth is, until you bow your knee to Christ, you are on the Enemy’s side.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get over how God calls us out of our mess. In fact, I hope I never do! We were marching along, destined to hell and dead in so many ways and then, our marching orders changed. Because of Christ’s death and blood shed for the payment of our sins, we were summoned out of the darkness, like a soldier receiving new orders. The question is, will you accept?
This is one of the things I most love about the Lord. He takes us from being a soldier who was fighting for the Enemy, to being a part of the tight-knit brotherhood, we would call the “family of God”. And he teaches his new army how to care for one another through the example of his own Son, who laid down his life for yours and mine. Not just so that his army could be bigger, but because he loves and cares for each soldier. By grace you have been saved! Amen?!
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10