You Should See The Other Guy

The Apostle Paul doesn’t pull any punches in Ephesians 6. He makes it clear we are engaged in spiritual warfare with evil. And Paul instructs us to wear the Armor of God to be prepared for this battle daily:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV)

But there is something Paul doesn’t tell us that is glaring by its omission: What does victory in battle look like? Yes, we know when we haven’t succumbed to attacks by giving into sin and temptation. In other words, we are aware of the potential damage we avoided. But how do we assess the damage the enemy has taken in battle? Author Ed Silvoso addresses this in his book “Prayer Evangelism.” Silvoso was involved in a ministry in Argentina in the 1990s and he was feeling serious battle fatigue:

“…by March 1999, we were being overwhelmed by tremendous challenges, almost to the point of despair. Our team had (some successes) in cities around the world. But the intensity of those efforts had taken its toll and had exposed us to extraordinary spiritual attacks. I was feeling the pain.”

In what Silvoso describes as a moment of “unhealthy self-pity,” he began to tell the Lord how badly wounded he was, how much his family and team had suffered, how brutal the blows had been and how little he felt the spiritual return on the investment in ministry had been when compared with their suffering. Silvoso says the Lord’s reply shocked him:

“Ed, you should see the other guy! You’re on the winning team! If you think you look pathetic, just imagine how awful the loser must look! …Get up and claim the prize! You may be down, but so is the devil. He does not want you to know it, but he is totally spent after such a fight. He has no more strength, and this is why he is so bent on keeping you focused on your own wounds. Both of you are down, but the one who gets up and claims the prize wins. Get up, you…blessed one!”

How might this look in your life?

  • When you refuse to give up on an unbelieving family member, no matter how many arguments and hurt feelings, you leave Satan bloodied and bruised.
  • When you go months without an income but don’t despair, no matter how big the mortgage payment starts looking and no matter how small the checkbook balance looks, you leave a serious mark on the enemy.
  • When you’re going through a trial and still wake up with more faith than you went to bed with the night before, you’ve got the enemy on the canvass.

Paul told us we should continue to be joyful and contented no matter the trials we are enduring. As Ed Silvoso suggests, focus on the enemy’s cost and not your own and you’ll find following Paul’s advice a lot easier.

This post was published with permission from Oakbrook Church, De Pere WI.

The Apostle Paul doesn’t pull any punches in Ephesians 6. He makes it clear we are engaged in spiritual warfare with evil. And Paul instructs us to wear the Armor of God to be prepared for this battle daily:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV)

But there is something Paul doesn’t tell us that is glaring by its omission: What does victory in battle look like? Yes, we know when we haven’t succumbed to attacks by giving into sin and temptation. In other words, we are aware of the potential damage we avoided. But how do we assess the damage the enemy has taken in battle? Author Ed Silvoso addresses this in his book “Prayer Evangelism.” Silvoso was involved in a ministry in Argentina in the 1990s and he was feeling serious battle fatigue:

“…by March 1999, we were being overwhelmed by tremendous challenges, almost to the point of despair. Our team had (some successes) in cities around the world. But the intensity of those efforts had taken its toll and had exposed us to extraordinary spiritual attacks. I was feeling the pain.”

In what Silvoso describes as a moment of “unhealthy self-pity,” he began to tell the Lord how badly wounded he was, how much his family and team had suffered, how brutal the blows had been and how little he felt the spiritual return on the investment in ministry had been when compared with their suffering. Silvoso says the Lord’s reply shocked him:

“Ed, you should see the other guy! You’re on the winning team! If you think you look pathetic, just imagine how awful the loser must look! …Get up and claim the prize! You may be down, but so is the devil. He does not want you to know it, but he is totally spent after such a fight. He has no more strength, and this is why he is so bent on keeping you focused on your own wounds. Both of you are down, but the one who gets up and claims the prize wins. Get up, you…blessed one!”

How might this look in your life?

  • When you refuse to give up on an unbelieving family member, no matter how many arguments and hurt feelings, you leave Satan bloodied and bruised.
  • When you go months without an income but don’t despair, no matter how big the mortgage payment starts looking and no matter how small the checkbook balance looks, you leave a serious mark on the enemy.
  • When you’re going through a trial and still wake up with more faith than you went to bed with the night before, you’ve got the enemy on the canvass.

Paul told us we should continue to be joyful and contented no matter the trials we are enduring. As Ed Silvoso suggests, focus on the enemy’s cost and not your own and you’ll find following Paul’s advice a lot easier.

This post was published with permission from Oakbrook Church, De Pere WI. https://oakbrookgb.org

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