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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Playground or Battlefield?

A.W. Tozer:

Spiritual Warfare and Sin: Irreconcilable Hostility

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the
darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the
heavenly places.
--Ephesians 6:12

In the early days, when Christianity exercised a dominant
influence over American thinking, men and women conceived the
world to be a battleground. Our fathers believed in sin and the
devil and hell as constituting one force, and they believed in
God and righteousness and heaven as the other. By their very
nature, these forces were opposed to each other forever in deep,
grave, irreconcilable hostility. Humans, our fathers held, had to
choose sides-they could not be neutral. For them it must be life
or death, heaven or hell, and if they chose to come out on God's
side they could expect open war with God's enemies. The fight
would be real and deadly and would last as long as life continued
here below. People looked forward to heaven as a return from the
wars, a laying down of the sword to enjoy in peace the home
prepared for them....

How different today. The fact remains the same, but the
interpretation has changed completely. People think of the world,
not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to
fight; we are here to frolic. We are not in a foreign land; we
are at home. We are not getting ready to live, but we are already
living, and the best we can do is rid ourselves of our
inhibitions and our frustrations and live this life to the full.
This World: Playground or Battleground?, 4-5.

"Lord, we've lost too much by becoming friendly with the enemy.
Help me to be willing to take a stand for righteousness, to
choose clearly to be on Your side against the enemy, to pay any
price--and then to look forward to laying down my sword later in
heaven. Amen."