Our Revelation Bible study on Wednesday nights has awakened us to an ongoing reality that is not front page news in most churches of this age—that we are engaged in a great war with evil, (Eph. 6:12)! Our fight is not with each other and the evil is not when bad things happen to us it is the war that rails against our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we are not careful our ability to fight will be lost due to concessions that have lessened our faith. Failure to keep our weapons prepared and ready for battle will be costly in the end.
The recklessness of Saul in 1 Samuel 13-15 demonstrated how he came up against the evil of his day, which was in the form of the Philistine army. The concession or decay in Saul’s character through pride, unbelief, impatience, and deception should be example enough for the church today and Christ-followers who become foolish in thinking all we have to do is show up and evil will flee. It was bad enough that Saul lacked men, but it was even worse that his men were not properly equipped. When the Philistines moved in and subjected the land of Israel to their rule, they deported all the iron-workers so that the Jews couldn't make weapons or even repair their farm implements. They even had to pay exorbitant prices to have their implements sharpened. “So whenever the Israelites needed to sharpen their plowshares, picks, axes, or sickles, they had to take them to a Philistine blacksmith.” (1 Samuel 13:20)
Christ-followers, we must not neglect the weapons we have at our disposal, for every weapon within our reach must be used. Preaching, teaching, praying, giving, all must be brought into good working condition being battle ready for immediate service. Most of our tools need sharpening. We need to quicken our perception of the enemy and be prompt in killing its strongholds. It doesn’t have to be pretty as long as it is effective. Each opportunity, in season or out of season, favorable or unfavorable must be taken because our army is smaller than theirs. Practical common sense seems to be missing from the leaders in the kingdom these days. Maybe we should learn from our enemies and turn the tables and have them sharpen our weapons. Observe what Satan has been doing for centuries. In all his evil endeavors he continues to persevere with daring plans and strategic plots to energetically entice the world to follow him. All his followers are united in carrying out this infamous rebellion against the Kingdom of God. And at the same time Christ-followers are divided in just how we should go about our service to God and rarely every work together in unity. By the aid of the Holy Spirit in our lives may we learn how to be the good Samaritans we need to be to bring the blessings of the gospel to this world.