By Steve Simms
People who try to avoid morally wrong thoughts, words, and behaviors, soon discover that they have an invisible enemy that strongly resists their attempts to live morally. They get continually ambushed by anxiety, accusation, temptation, torment, depression, and many other negative emotions.
The Bible identifies this invisible enemy as, Satan or the devil (aka "the prince of darkness") and his hordes of demons. Fortunately, we humans aren't defenseless against our evil foe.
God has given us weapons. However, these weapons are not physical weapons, but spiritual. (You can't overcome an invisible, supernatural enemy with natural weapons.)
The Bible teaches us about many spiritual weapons, such as, prayer, fasting, blessing others, speaking the truth in love, showing love to people who speak against us or hurt us, forgiveness, thinking on good things, inner resistance to wrong, surrender to Christ, Christ in you, and many more. However, one of the most neglected weapons, that increases the power of all the other spiritual weapons, is heart-felt unity and genuine community in the body of Christ.
Jesus said that the oneness of His followers would demonstrate to the world that He is really from God. In the Roman world, one of the most noticed characteristics of the early Christians was their deep love for one another.
However, at some point in church history, the enemy injected divisiveness into the body of Christ and we dropped our weapons of flowing and rejoicing together in the loving unity of the Spirit. Today we Christians are split into innumerable groups, tribes, sects, denominations, organizations, churches etc.; that are frequently hostile to one another (and at the best, mostly ignore each other). We are also, unbiblically divided by race, nationality, politics, religious opinions, socio-economic level, etc.
Perhaps that explains why Christianity is in decline in the Western world. That also may explain why many Christians seem to have little power to live godly lives -- why so many of us are under the influence and control of the same self-destructive spirits that control the world around us. We have laid down our weapons.
It's hard to maintain a fight, to battle on, as a lone, solitary soldier. But when masses of individual soldiers come together as an army, united around common dreams and goals, and submitted to the same leadership, they become almost invincible.
Perhaps it's time for us struggling, straggling Christians to take up the weapon of oneness by uniting under the direct leadership of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. But how can we do that? If all of us individually begin listening to the living Jesus, and then doing what He says (not what our particular group, tribe, religious opinions, traditions, or nation dictate), we will find ourselves, supernaturally united into the literally invincible army of God! ("The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.")
"To arms! To arms!" Take up the spiritual weapon of heart-to-heart oneness in Christ. Don't wait for others to come and unite with you. Reach out with God's love to all the Christians you know. Accept and embrace them as sisters and brothers in the Lord. Share an encouraging Scripture with them. Give them an edifying prophetic word. Pray with them and pray for them. As you encourage and strengthen them, God will do the same for you. Try it and see. Don't drop your weapons!