Saturday, December 3, 2011

Spiritual Warfare: Put on the full armor

By Mark Ellis
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

LAGUNA BEACH, CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- The Book of Ecclesiastes contains a very important message: Life is ultimately meaningless without God. When you place God at the center of your life, you find meaning and purpose you never knew before.

Before I became a Christian I had no purpose other than to live for me, myself and I – the unholy trinity. I would never have guessed in my twenties or even my thirties that I would become a pastor and that my life’s great purpose today would be to advance Christian missions around the world.

And I’m sure that many of you have found a whole new purpose in life since you began to follow Jesus.

One of my favorite pastors, Ray Stedman, calls Ecclesiastes “The inspired book of error.” It is unique in the Bible because of its mostly human perspective on life, rather than revealing God’s point of view about life.

Everything in Ecclesiastes is evaluated according to what man can see, “under the sun,” the appearance of things from a human perspective, excluding divine revelation.
In Ecclesiastes, chapter 9, we see an unusual story:

"I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded."

The passage tells us a city was saved by the wisdom of one poor man, but his wisdom was forgotten. Isn’t it true that earthly fame, glory, heroism is quickly forgotten?

How many of us can remember the greatest hero from World War II? Does anybody remember his name? How about the greatest hero from Vietnam or the Gulf Wars? All earthly glory is fleeting, as this poor wise man who saved his city discovered.

But perhaps we can look at this passage in Ecclesiastes in a different light and find a spiritual application for us.

The little city can be compared to your soul. In other words, small and defenseless (in your own strength) against the enemy. The powerful ruler who comes against your soul, who wages war against you, is Satan.

It may surprise you to learn that behind the scenes in this beautiful area of Southern California, there is a deadly war being fought. It’s a war between light and darkness, good and evil, heaven and hell, Jesus and Satan.

Satan is waging war against God, he is trying to mess up God’s creation and disrupt God’s plans. He and his demons wage war against Christian homes, Christian marriages, and against Christian leaders.

Mark Ellis is a senior correspondent for ASSIST News Service and the founder  He is available to speak to groups about the plight of the church in restricted countries, to share stories and testimonies from the mission field, and to preach the gospel.

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