Wrestlers for Christ (continued)
The Assertion of our Position in Christ
Second, our equipment for this warfare is the assertion of our position in Christ. What is our position in Christ? Where is He and where are we? Where is He? "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion." That is where Christ is. Where are we? Turn back to chapter 2.
"And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2};6).
Why, if we had been made to "stand" together with Him, it would have been wonderful. But we are made to "sit" together with Him. And when we sit, we are relaxed; we are resting. And we are seated together with Him in the heavenlies, "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion." Is that divine rhetoric or is it divine reality? It is because this truth is so precious to me that I glory in this privilege of passing it on. We will know constant victory if we will simply take our position in Christ, seated with Him in the heavenlies, "far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion."
It does not tell us in Ephesians 6 to fight.That is the trouble. We are such fighters; we want to do the fighting. But it is Christ who does the fighting. All He asks of you and me is to stand in the victory that He has won and is winning. Are you not tired of fighting? Then stop it and do nothing but stand, unafraid, unmoved, undaunted, even before the devil and his hosts. We do not fight for a position of victory but from one. Therefore we may stand in Christ, reckoning the battle won before it is begun. In the very think of the fight, in the darkest hour, "stand". And what will happen? I like Weymouth's translation: "Stand your ground in the evil day [of attack], and, having fought to the end ... remain victors on the field."
The Acceptance of our Protection in Christ
Our equipment for this warfare demands an acceptance of our protection in Christ.
"Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).
Paul knew much about soldiers; he was chained to one when he wrote this epistle. He probably studied every part of that armor; he knew the value of each part. The armor is for protection; no part of the body must be exposed, for even one vulnerable part might mean defeat.
"The whole armor." We cannot pick and choose with this armor. We must put on the whole armor; it is not intended for comfort or convenience, and we are to wear it all the time.
"Of God." It is the armor of God. What a relief that is! We do not have to make it. How little we know of satan's strength and strategy and of our own cowardice and conceit! But God knows all about him and about us, and He provides the armor and adapts that armor to the nature and the necessity of the warfare.
"Put on"; "Take unto you." We are to put it on. It is not for show; it is for wear; it is for use. And, friends, when once we have put on all this armor it will not be very comfortable to sit down in an easy armchair! If we are not willing to be in the thick of the fight, do not let us put this armor on. Notice that there is only one part of the body that is unprotected: the back. God expects no deserters. There is no protection for the back. I do not want the enemy to be able to hit me in the back because I deserted my God in the time of trial or affliction or some dark hour in my life. God does not expect one of us to retreat but to go steadily on as Spirit-filled overcomers.
God's Call for Wrestlers
We have asked many things of Him this week, and He has granted them so abundantly! We have received so much from Him. Now has He not a right to this last moment? Has He not the right to make a request of you and me now? He is asking you today through this precious bit of His Word if you will give yourself to Him as a spiritual wrestler. He wants you to leave here longing to get back into the very thick of the fight, longing to get back to that difficult situation.
He is going to use you, perhaps, to win that soul that would mean the last one needed to complete the Body of Jesus Christ, and so hasten His return. He is going to use you to go back and help some worldly, dissatisfied, defeated Christian to come into this blessed experience of the fullness of the Holy Spirit, that she too may be prepared for the coming of the Lord, if He should come tomorrow. This is God's call to you and to me tonight. It is the call for spiritual wrestlers, for spiritual warriors, who will go out into this warfare that must grow worse and worse as the time for our Lord's return draws nearer and nearer.
I ask you now if you will, in the silence of this moment, say: "Yes, Lord, I give myself to Thee in some fresh new way! Thou hast asked for spiritual warriors. It is the captain of the host who is asking for spiritual warriors. Lord, I respond! I give myself to Thee. And I ask Thee, if Thou can trust me, to put me right out in the front firing line where the warfare is thickest." Will you say that to God? This is what He ought to have from us a s a glad, joyous response for all that He has given to you and to me.