If you search in the “Books” section of Amazon.com using this term—“video games”—you will be shown thousands of books covering every conceivable aspect of the subject: history of video games, catalogs of games, music in video games, video game computer programming, graphic arts, and, most importantly, “how to” books written about individual games.
If I had to guess, I would say the “how to” books are the most popular. Why? Because human beings like to win! We love the thrill of victory and hate the agony of defeat. We want to know all the secret strategies and tricks of our favorite video game without spending thousands of hours discovering them ourselves. So, we look for a guide to our favorite game. Search for a book about your favorite popular video game and you will find more than one from which to choose. Even better—every major game has an online community of rabid fans. Join the conversation and you will learn from hundreds of players instead of just the one who authored the beginner’s guidebook you bought.
The point is this: It is more than possible to be victorious in the world of gaming entertainment. And it is more than possible to be victorious in spiritual warfare. To be sure, spiritual warfare is no game. But the same principles of victory apply—offense, defense, strategy, and determination. And all four can be seen when Paul describes the Christian’s spiritual armor in Ephesians 6:10-18.
•Offense: Some people think it odd that Paul mentions only one offensive weapon in his description of the Christian’s armor—“the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (verse 17b). But think about it: Satan has one primary weapon which is lies, the distortion of the Word of God (John 8:44). Therefore, the believer needs only one weapon to counter Satan’s lies—the truth of God’s Word. That is the only weapon Jesus used to defeat Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).
•Defense: The rest of the believer’s armor is defensive: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation. We have all five of those realities when we put on Jesus Christ by faith. Our armor is Christ Himself (Romans 13:14). Satan’s “fiery darts” cannot penetrate the armor that is Christ.
•Strategy: Paul refers to “the wiles of the devil”—that is, the devil’s schemes and strategies. Scripture is filled with examples of the devil in action: lying (Genesis 3:4-5), masquerading (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), attacking (2 Corinthians 12:7), influencing (Acts 5:3), and tempting (Matthew 4:1-11). Our strategy is to be alert (1 Peter 5:8), resist the devil (James 4:7), stand strong and firm (Ephesians 6:10-11), and take the ways of escape God provides (1 Corinthians 10:13).
•Determination: Offense, defense, and strategy are only useful when there is a determination to be victorious. That applies to every arena of life and to spiritual warfare as well. It is important to remember that spiritual warfare is war, and war is not easy. The will to win is necessary for offensive and defensive weapons and strategy to be effective. Revelation 12:11, describing martyrs for Christ in the Tribulation period, says those martyrs “overcame [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” “Overcame” suggests a battle in which they were the ultimate victors. They would not recant “the word of their testimony” under the Antichrist’s persecution. They were determined to remain faithful, and they were victorious. Paul says that we who are in Christ are “more than conquerors” regardless of what happens to us in this world (Romans 8:37). That is our battle cry. With Christ we are the victors through the One who ransomed us from our sin—through His sacrifice on the cross we ae “more than conquerors.”
David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and the founder and host of Turning Point for God broadcast ministry. For more information about Turning Point and Dr. Jeremiah, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.
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