When I was a teenager, I watched the movie Fight Club and it made me want to fight in a way I hadn’t felt before. It kind of scared me, to be honest. Years later I read the book Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. He laid out that, a battle to fight, as he calls it, is a pillar of what makes a male become a man. But where do we as men go for our instruction?
Ephesians 6 talks about warfare in a way that is both inspiring and instructional and I believe it’s the place we should go to prepare to fight the battles we face as men. There are three very specific instructions we can follow to be prepared for the fight.
1. Battles aren’t won in our own strength
Ephesians 6:10 says: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
The first thing we can do to prepare for a fight is to recognize that any fight we are going to face isn’t going to be won in our strength; it’s going to require that we plug into the strength of God and use His mighty power. Relying on our own strength is foolish.
I’ve lived a lot of my life with the fear of not being able to do anything on my own and I think there is a big lie that says to be a real man we must be able to do everything and do it well, mainly on our own.
That’s just not true.
We won’t excel at everything in life, but what we will do, we will do well by the strength and mighty power of God. Even Jesus didn’t try to do life on his own; he did it through the strength and mighty power of His Father.
2. Battles are won by standing tall
Ephesians says: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
My favourite Bible characters by far are the mighty men talked about in 2 Samuel 23. The first three mentioned are shown as standing tall and having victory because they didn’t back down, even when their comrades ran away.
The second thing we can do to prepare for a fight is to stand and hold our ground even when there is a cost.
As men, we are pressured to not be so rigid, and our society is making it harder to stand up for what we believe and not be called intolerant or worse. But we need to stand, we have been instructed to stand with faith in Jesus.
We have been called as men to stand against the devil’s schemes in our families, our workplaces, and our neighbourhoods and churches. Standing is about action. God has called you to bring unity and restoration in every one of your relationships. That’s what standing tall means. It’s not easy but it’s needed. And you are the man to do it.
3. Know your enemy
Ephesians 6:12 says: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against… the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
It’s easy to get distracted by what is happening around us and get mad at the person who has offended us. I strongly believe that a key to being prepared in our lives is to focus on the real enemy. Our body doesn’t focus on the fever, but rather it focuses on the infection. We need to look for the cause of the problem we are facing, not at the people who seem to be at the center of it. The infection in the case of home strife and work strife and all the other fights we have is from our enemy.
We see them when we are looking through the eyes of God who empowers us and shows us where to look. Prayer is at the center of all preparations for fighting against our adversary.
4. Spiritually Train Yourself
To be empowered, to have the courage to stand, and to know what an attack is, will take as little as a consistent hour each day where we get real with God about our limitations, ask for direction and put our energy against the real problems. Pick a time of day, every day, that you can focus on preparing for the very real fights that are coming and get ready.
You have what it takes and so do I because “greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.