In the world’s armed forces today, only soldiers who are properly-fed and properly-trained are placed on the battlefield. No commander-in-chief in his right mind will give clueless and hungry people, who just got off the streets to be put in harm’s way and be expected to survive; much less fight. The quality of welfare and training of soliders are critical before they can be considered an effective and victorious fighting force.
However, why do we see genuine Christ believing Christians walking in defeat, depression or distress, chewed up by the roaring lion in this world?
An overview on the Book of Ephesians may give us an answer. Very often, when we read this book, we read in a very micro manner; we go right into the details on each section or chapter without relating to the one before or after. But if we now study it in a macro manner; a wide angle view, we can see a new dramatic picture: Believing Right > Living Right > Fighting Right!
Apostle Paul devoted a big portion of the book, in the first three chapters, to relate the right believing. To show us the spiritual blessings and inheritance we have in Christ; who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Paul also highlighted the importance of spiritual wisdom and insight to understand and grow in knowledge of God, to understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. And to understand the tremendous power of God avaliable to us who believe in Him. We are also remindered that we are made alive in Christ with onesness and peace with Christ, made us into the temple of God where He dwells in Spirit.
In addition, Paul revealed God’s grand plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. And we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. And to ultimately experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
These are the foundational basis every believer must come back to, whether a seasoned general or a new recruit in the faith. These basics are life-lines and life-savers especially in situations when fiery-darts starts shooting overhead.
Subsequently, in chapters four and five, the emphasis then is on right living; Living as Children of Light, Living in the Light, Living by the Spirit’s Power, Spirit Guided Relationships: Wives and Husbands, Children and Parents, Slaves and Master.
And finally, in the later section of chapter 6, to be fighting right by putting on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
You see, we need to understand foundational basics clearly first to see ourselves in a position with Christ so that our faith will not tossed and blown about by every wind. And before we can live right and fight right, we must first and forthmost, believe right. Living right and fighting right stems from believing right, that is, all emcompassing in Christ.
Many people wants to live right. Their concern with right living makes them focus on themselves and the things they struggle with. But it is right believing that produces right living. If you are trying to break free from an addiction that has bound you for many years, believe that Jesus loves you so much that at the cross, He paid the price for you to be completely free from any addiction. Believe that by His stripes you are healed and delivered.
A good example is Zacchaeus, a tax collector. He was despised because he was a deceitful man, cheating his fellow Jews of their money and resorting to false accusations for what he wanted.
One day, Jesus visited him. The Bible makes no mention of Jesus rebuking him for his dishonest lifestyle the whole time they were together. Instead, Jesus showed him grace and honor by spending time with him. Before long, Zacchaeus stood up and declared to Jesus that he would restore fourfold to anyone he had taken from illegally, and would even give half of his goods to the poor.
A meal with Jesus completely changed Zacchaeus’ heart. A moment with grace in person — without accusations, condemnation or judgment — caused such an inward transformation that in a short time, Zacchaeus was doing outwardly what was right and in a measure no man would have expected of him.
God wants you to know that He is not the kind of Father who wants you sick and defeated, keeps you poor and wanting, refuses to provide for your needs and denies you your blessings. He wants you to know that you can win, in your fight and in your life, if you believe in Him because He say so Himself!