Will you advance or retreat?
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
—1 Peter 5:8
Some Christians are surprised to find that life as a follower of Jesus Christ is not a playground; rather, it’s actually a battleground. It’s interesting that on more than one occasion, the Bible compares the Christian life to a conflict on a battlefield.
In this particular battle, you cannot choose to be a pacifist, or you will die on the battlefield. You have to stand up and fight. The day you committed your life to Jesus Christ, the day your spiritual eyes were opened, the day you turned “from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18 NLT) was the day the devil declared war on you.
The devil had you where he wanted you before. He was quite happy with that arrangement. But you weren’t. Nor was I. That is why we turned to Christ. The Bible, speaking of Satan, says that the god of this age had blinded our eyes (see 2 Corinthians 4:4). Scripture tells us that we were taken captive by him to do his will (see 2 Timothy 2:26). We got sick and tired of being ripped off, so we put our faith in Christ.
The devil is not happy about this, and he will do everything he can to trip you up or to defeat you on this battlefield. It has been said that conversion has made our hearts a battlefield. Anyone who chooses to be on the side of the Lord Jesus Christ will face severe opposition from Satan and his followers.
The question is not whether we will be in a spiritual war. The question is whether we will win or lose in this spiritual war. Will we advance, or will we retreat? Will we gain ground, or will we lose ground? There are no other alternatives.