“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” This quote comes from the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (6:12). Reading the verse, a couple things stand out. One, we are engaged in some type of wrestling match, or battle, or struggle, whatever works best for you. Two, our opposition is always the same, while at the same time, not the type of foe we might think. Let us take a look at these two things Paul is bringing to light. The wrestling match: I do not see myself as always being in some sort of struggle. Sure, some days are worse than others, but I have never had to cling to an AK-47 to give me a little comfort as bullets fly over my head. That would be the flesh and blood battle, the one that seems a lot more real, but it is not the struggle Paul says we are fighting. Think of a machine you use that needs general maintenance, like a car engine or air conditioner. While these machines are running and producing something we enjoy and really do not want to do without, there is an obvious force trying to stop them. We do not actually see this force, but we know it is there and we take steps to keep our machines of pleasure ahead in the struggle. If the opponent wins, no more cool air and getting to the store has just become its own little struggle. So to keep our team, our machines, ahead of the enemy we replace oil, belts, and filters. We schedule maintenance checkups and pay professionals to peer into the battle and tell us how we can gain an advantage. Why would we do these things if we did not know something was working against our machines? We wouldn’t. But we do know that heat, dirt, and friction (the enemy) are not good for our machines, so we guard against them. We probably do not think of this example as a war being waged, but that is what’s happening, two opposing forces trying to do what they were designed to do. One is working to help with life and the other is trying to stop it, or take away life.
In the battle Paul describes, we are the machines working for God. (Eph 2:10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. We were designed to continue and make pleasurable the life God created through Christ Jesus. The devil and his demons are the heat, dirt and friction trying to stop us. We cannot see them but we should never act like they are not there. They are always at work, and if we do not keep our filters clean and meet with others that can help us look deep into the battle to stay prepared, their forces will overtake ours and the wrestling match will be won by our opponent.