8 June – Ben Cornell, Hope Church

A Spiritual Warzone

Thankfully we do not live in a physical warzone. We have every sympathy, of course, for the horror endured by those who have or do. The very idea is terrifying, the danger, chaos and disruption to normal life. We do, however, all of us live in a spiritual warzone, with its own dangers, chaos and disruption. The battle rages around us, through us, in us every day of our lives. Ephesians chapter 6 verse12 tells us ‘our struggle is… against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm’. Unlike a physical warzone with bombs and bullets flying, we can completely ignore the spiritual warzone we inhabit. It will, however, not ignore us.

The point is not to expect to get through life unscathed and not to blame God when we are. We are born into a dangerous world. We stumble through the dark, unable even to see the powers that seek to draw us away from God, as we focus on the ‘happy life’. We mine life for happiness and expect God to deliver it, blaming him when he doesn’t. A view, which sees this life as all there is. Got to get it while I can. But the spiritual warzone is not hinged on the human happiness-mining endeavour. It has an eternal view. Its concern is your eternal destiny, your will, towards God or away from him. The lure is YOUR happiness, YOUR choice, YOUR reality, here and now.

But it is not this transient happiness we really seek. But rather joy, which is far deeper and can exist alongside pain – and found ultimately in God. Then there is contentment – the ability to accept this life as it is, in the knowledge that God is so completely in control that whatever happens, in the end we will have joy everlasting.