“Finally, be strong in the Lord”.
Eph 6:10 NIV
We are not always aware of it, but around us there is warfare, spiritual warfare. When political conflict breaks out it shows on our television screens. When workers go on strike we hear talk of “class struggle”. Then we sometimes refer to “the battle of the sexes”. Then there is a commercial contest described as a “price war”. Most of us wish there could be more of those.
After his long plea for peace and reconciliation in the church between Jew and Gentile, his appeal for peace in the home between husbands and wives, parents and children, and the need for industrial harmony, Paul reminds his Ephesian readers that there is a cosmic conflict. The ancient people believed in a host of spiritual realities, all of which were enemies of the people. And the believing Christians needed to be on their guard against them. The word “finally” could have been translated “henceforth”. That implies “for the remaining time”. This points us to the common New Testament idea that we are living in an interim period between the first coming of Christ and his final coming and that therefore the future is not endless time. This whole period, Paul is saying, is to be characterized by conflict.
Nothing has changed. Today there is a permanent tension between truth and falsehood, between right and wrong, between light and darkness, between good and evil, between God and Satan, between faith and doubt. It was there in the days of Jesus and it will be here “for the remaining time”. Never think that the Christian way of life will be easier, nor that it just means “being nice to each other”. It means warfare – always!
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, keep me ever watchful and awake.