Why the church should fight
One of the principle metaphors used to describe the Lord’s church is an army. Every local church must assume characteristics of an Army and every Christian must assume the characteristics of a soldier. In the same way that God’s word identifies Christians as the light of the world and the salt of the earth he also identifies them as soldiers in God’s spiritual Army each local church taking on the characteristics of a spiritual military outpost.
The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it? (Jonah 2:11)
The day of the Lord is near. He has deployed His army as a powerful invading force to devastate the forces of the enemy. There are several reasons why we must never neglect the implications of this divinely conceived metaphor called God’s Army.
Four reasons for the Church to engage in spiritual warfare
Spiritual plunder of enemy territory
One of the historical motives for war was to plunder and pillage (1 Chronicles 20:1, 2). In spiritual warfare, there is precious pillage for us to take: lives created in the image of God. Jesus alluded to this plunder in Matthew.
Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. (Matthew 12:29)
Satan has taken lives as prisoners to his kingdom. For Jesus, each life snatched from the hands of the enemy is a stone in His crown. The army of the Lord needs to enter the house of the strongman, bind him and plunder his kingdom, delivering the precious lives therein to Jesus the King.
Execution of God’s vengeance
Many wars are fought because of old disputes. An army strengthens itself to take revenge upon past hurts. The Army of God has a dispute against Satan who entered the Garden of Eden when man was innocent and through deceit led him to the fall. Satan set the trap and imprisoned man. Today every sin, sickness, pain, affliction, desperation, shame, suffering, prison and death are results of man falling into this trap. God declared war between the seed of the woman and Satan. We will never forget what he did in the garden. There is a debt to be paid. We will not rest until we take vengeance upon him and his hosts for the damage he has caused us.
The story of Amalek is a good illustration of this type of vengeance. Amalek fought against Israel in the desert, attacking and wounding the weak. As a result, God ordered Moses to write a memorial so that no one forgot what he had done (Exodus 17:8-14). Generations later, God chose Saul to take vengeance upon this act (1 Samuel 15:2, 3). Saul was supposed to destroy Amalek completely.
Why did God command such revenge? Deuteronomy 25:17-19 gives us an answer. It was because he acted in such a treacherous manner. We cannot spare him. Amalek is a type of Satan. We should not be satisfied until he is completely destroyed. Saul failed to take proper vengeance. The Lord had to set him aside. However, we as the church must not fail.
Conquest of enemy territory
One of the main historical motives for war is to enlarge the borders of the country. The army of the Lord must reconquer all of the territory that the enemy has invaded. Our territory has no limits we must reconquer the whole world.
I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.’ (Psalm 2:7:8)
The invading forces of the army raised up by God will subject the enemy. We will not lay down our weapons until all of the nations of the earth surrender to the Lord Jesus (Acts 1:8).
Glorify & honor the Lord Jesus
When David heard the foolish threats of Goliath against the people of Israel, he declared:
So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.” Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:25, 26)
David understood that by destroying Goliath he would vanquish the dishonor of the armies of the living God. The honor and glory of God were at play. He needed to show all of those pagans who the God of Israel was. God’s name deserves all honor and glory. Therefore, the Army of God must remove Satan’s insults, shaming him and bringing honor and glory to the one for whom it fights, the Lord of Hosts, our banner Jehovah-Nissi. The dominion, the power, the majesty and the glory belong to Jesus. We as His army will overcome Goliath and as a result, we will honor and glorify the great name of the Lord.