“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12)
The Korean war has often been referred to as the “Forgotten War”. I submit another conflict in the annals of history which has gone largely unnoticed: the “Clark War”. The Clark war was fought a little over four decades ago. The family down in the hollow, that’d be the Clarks, had a whole pack of kids. Mean kids. Some of them had red hair which made em even meaner, although I don’t know why. Well, us hill kids got in a disagreement with the Clark brood, though I haven’t a clue about what, and it escalated into a prearranged confrontation to be held in the middle of town. When the day arrived us hill troops gathered at a neighbor’s garage. I was full of bravado while awaiting the skirmish. “We’ll get em!” I assured everyone. Then we waited and stared down the road, and here came the Clarks. They had sticks. We didn’t have sticks. My heart began to pitter-patter, my knees shook, butterflies were doing cartwheels in my stomach, and my mouth went straight-line shut. I did not want to get hit over the head with a stick! The brave gathered to ascend the hill and then our leaders told me to stay at the garage with the littler kids to guard them. Why I was picked to stay behind, I do not know, perhaps it was the shade of yellow I had turned.
I watched nervously as the two sides advanced toward one another. I kept thinking, hold the line boys, cause if them Clarks break through, these poor little kids are going to have a hard time keeping up with me running in the other direction. The lines stopped ten feet apart. Words were exchanged, a couple sticks did a threatening swoosh through the air, more verbiage flew…and then…both foes turned and walked back to the hollow and up the hill. The Clark war had ended. It took longer to get to the war then it took to fight. Maybe that is why the history books fail to mention the Clark war. Our side congratulated each other, and even I received some pats on the back for bravely watching over the little ones.
I miss the Clark war. It was short and done. Unlike the spiritual war we face every second of every day. And look who we’re fighting – principalities, powers, rulers of the dark and hosts of wickedness for crying out loud! I’d rather get hit by a stick swung in anger by a redhead than fight the devil!
Spiritual warfare requires us to line up for battle all the time. But we would just as soon make it another forgotten war. We like to act as through this world is a playground rather than a battleground. Meanwhile, the spiritual realities of our lives tend to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the flesh life. We also get sidetracked believing it is flesh and blood we must overcome. It’s a bit hard to win a war when you do not know who your real enemy happens to be. Then there is the fact that we attempt to fight in our own strength and that is a losing proposition every time.
In light of all this, the Bible commands us to, “…take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” (Eph 6:13-18a)
We must stand therefore and fight the good fight. Eternal destinies and consequences hang in the balance. We cannot abide with another forgotten war.