Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
Perhaps it was because Paul spent many weeks in Roman prisons, and many hours chained to Roman soldiers, that he wrote about the Christian life using terms of military warfare. The guards gave him picture understanding. He could grasp the Christian life in terms that he could see lived out before his own eyes day after day.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour 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”. Ephesians 6:10-12.
Three simple rules were uppermost in Paul’s mind as he tried to pass on to free Christians the principles he had learned for Christian living:
Know your enemy. Satan is described as a schemer with a dark authority, able to contest with any Christian – and especially successful against those who forget to protect themselves or who arm themselves without proper diligence.
Understand your weaponry. Non-Christian people try to use worldly ways to fight for their cause. These ways are not open to the Christian because of the evil consequences. The apparently easier ways to win are actually only short cuts to a much longer, intractable struggle.
Honour your God. Strength comes from being in the right. Strength comes from being on the same side as God. Strength comes from bringing heaven’s rule into your earthly disputes. Strength comes from living a holy life. A holy life will triumph, especially while those around you merely live as any other human being would.
God’s mighty power is given to those with whom God can share it.