Been doing a lot of reading lately. That is pretty much my habit to read, but I have been particularly focused on reading about the spiritual. Not just random spirituality but Christian spirituality. And one thing that intrigues me in my reading is Jonathan Welton’s view on spiritual warfare. I have grown up through the 1960’s and 70’s heading about the Devil this and the Devil that. People talked about and wrote about spiritual warfare as if Christians needed to walk around with our guns (spiritual) drawn and ready to shoot at the first hint of evil. But is the really the position Christians should take? Welton says no!
His point is that we face the enemy in victory! Christ has already defeated Satan and we do not need to “battle” him at all! Instead, the Apostle Paul tells us to “triumph” over Satan. This term is not a battle term but a victory term. In the ancient Roman world, after a general had defeated his enemies, he was allowed to parade his army through Rome with his enemies, the kings and officers,in chains behind him. These enemies would be paraded through the street bound, naked, and humiliated behind the army of those who had already been victorious over them!
In missions, I have often been tempted to see the task ahead of me as a battle that must be won. Whether raising money for the mission or overcoming an obstacle in my plans, I have always seen it as a struggle. But the fact is, Jesus has already been victorious, over the need, over the circumstances, and over the obstacles. I need to walk in and believe in the victory that is already mine in Christ Jesus. The battle was (notice the past tense here) his to win. Now it is my place to march in triumph with him and show the world his victory!