In the Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers, Theodin, King of Rohan, has been released from the spell which has held him captive for years. He has come to his senses, and now realizes the precarious position his people are in, as an army of Urukai come toward them.
He is counseled by Gandalf and Aragorn to ride out and meet his enemy, head-on. There are other men out there who are loyal to him, and will return to fight along-side of him.
Instead of going to war, Theodin elects to escape and hide at Helm’s Deep–a fortress that has protected them in the past.
But Theodin does not understand the threat. This is not the same thing he’s faced in the past. He cannot escape this war.
Theodin says “I will not risk open war.”, to which Aragorn replies, “Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not.”
In his excellent book, Waking the Dead, John Eldredge that “The primary reason most people do not know the freedom and life Christ promised is that they won’t fight for it, or they have been told not to fight for it. Friends, we are now in the midst of an epic battle and vicious war against an Enemy who knows his time is short.” (p. 181)
“Satan and his emissaries bank an awful lot of their work on the fact that Christians don’t know the power and authority we now have In Christ.” (p. 179)
This, I believe, is a big part of the reason that many followers of Jesus do not experience the Full Life that Jesus promised (John 10:10)–because they don’t realize that there IS an enemy of our souls, and he (and his followers) are constantly fighting against us. We need not fear this–we’ve been given “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) through our union with Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
…but we need to engage in the battle!
Part of the reason the Apostle Paul illustrated the ‘weapons of our warfare’ in Ephesians 6:10-18 is that he was making the point that We need to ‘take up’ the armor! We need to fight, in the power of the Spirit. We need to use the weapons we’ve been given! We need to remember that our enemy is not the flesh-and-blood person opposing us, but rather, satan…evil.
We will receive the victory in completion, eventually.
In the meantime, we FIGHT, in His power.
Open war is upon you…whether you would risk it or not!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”