Late this afternoon I was sitting on my front porch relaxing and just viewing all the beauty around me. As I sat there I could see Redbuds and Dogwoods blooming, other trees beginning to place the leaves of another year, and birds in the distance singing and chirping. The tree across the road from my house was no longer the stark skeleton of a tree as it had been throughout the winter but now it too was fleshing out with brilliantly green tender leaves.
In the sky, though mainly very clear, I watched a few puffy collections of water vapor-clouds float lazily across the range of my sight. What a beautiful world! Then I began to notice the peacefulness and serenity of the entire scene in front of me. I guess it was a rather crazy thought but I even wondered how nearly like what I was experiencing was the original garden. How much different was the Garden of Eden when God place Adam there with all the rest of His creation? As I said, maybe this was a silly thought but it was so pretty and peaceful to me that I would have trouble thinking of anything better.
As I sat there and enjoyed my thoughts and had a chat with God, expressing my thanks to Him for making such a beautiful world it began to dawn on me that I was sitting square dab in the middle of a battle field. No, my area of this world is not involved in a physical war with its bomb, artillery shells exploding and small arms fire interrupting the stillness of all around me. Even if I didn’t hear a bomb explode or aircraft make airstrike I was just as assuredly in the middle of a great battle. All around me two sides were in the heat of battle not just on my little dot of the big ball we call earth but on every other dot that makes this big ball.
This is the battle between the side of good and the side of evil. This is the battle between the forces of God and the rebellious forces of Satan. This war began years ago and didn’t even start here on earth but in heaven when Satan rebelled against God and decided he would usurp all God had created and make it his. God’s loyal angels won that battle and threw Satan and those angels that aligned with him to earth. After God created man and woman and placed them in the garden to have fellowship with Him, Satan decided to up the ante and moved his attack away from God directly but moved the focus of his attack to God’s creation-man.
Man, even though he knew what he should do chose to listen to the lie of Satan and by so doing disobeyed God and that led to mankind’s spiritual death and a break in the fellowship between the Creator and the created. God didn’t give up on mankind because of His love for His creation and to return man to his original fellowship with God, God introduce a plan to redeem mankind from their sin. It started with Adam and Eve and continues to each man and woman that inhabits this big ball called earth.
As I looked out on the small dot I inhabit I didn’t see a battle happening but I know for sure there were many very close to me. There is often a battle on the battlefield of my life. Yes, I accepted God’s plan of salvation many years ago but even today I sometimes become a traitor and accept the enticement of Satan and his hoard of demons around me. I know I should never even listen to his temptation but I must admit I do. I immediately realize I was wrong and have to seek forgiveness for my disobedience and sin. There may be a battle going on in the house across the road or maybe in one of the vehicles that were traveling up and down the road in front of my house. I am not sure house close I was to an actual battle but I know within a short distance there were many heated battles raging.
Not only on my little dot but on each of the dots that make up this big ball that floats through space under the control and guidance of the Creator is the battle being fought for the lives and souls of God’s highest creation-man. The outcome of the war has been set but there are many battles happening continually. God is the winner of the war and that was finalized when Jesus paid mankind’s debt for sin and won over death. Even with the winner establish many may be lost in these battles. Satan is determined to destroy as many of God’s creatures as possible and cause them to reject their only hope for the renewal of fellowship God desire. The Bible tells us that it isn’t God’s will that any should perish but all come to repentance.
God has a large army; all those of us that have given our allegiance to Him and have accepted His Son as Lord and Savior. We may be his army but at times it appears that we are poorly trained and poorly equipped for the battle before us. It seems that many of the troops are just happy to be enlisted on the winning side and have decided to leave the actual warfare to others to fight. It is ashamed that we who are warriors in God’s army are unwilling or so afraid to march into the heat of battle but had rather set back and watch others be swept away by the forces of evil and then if never rescued will spend eternity with Satan and all his followers in hell.
Yes there is a worldwide battle happening as I type this and many may have been eternally lost. Many of these could have been saved if God’s forces were willing to suffer the hardship of war and charge directly at the enemy with the desire to snatch any and all possible from the grips of Satan. Someday our general will evaluate our performance on the battlefield. Will we receive awards for bravery and conduct above and beyond what we now think to be is appropriate. Remember you will one day get to march down the street of heaven and celebrate the end of the war and the final victory but for now there is a battle going on.