Today I witnessed my first serious trauma admission in the Emergency Department. When a trauma call is made, it is ‘all hands on deck’. As soon as a call comes through from the paramedics, the team starts preparing—the room, the equipment, the medications. Everyone knows their roles and there is a set protocol of what needs to happen to stabilise the patient. Specialist teams are on standby, so specific skill sets are available if necessary – an anaesthetist for managing the airway and ventilation, neurology and neurosurgery teams for looking after the brain, and surgeons in preparation for managing the sustained injuries. Trauma is unexpected, it can be messy, and outwardly, it is often very clear what is going on—if a leg is cut open and bone is sticking out, you know that there is a fracture and probably a lot of blood loss.
Our previous post in this series ‘Stand Firm,’ took a look at The Lies We Believe and ways which we can expect Satan to be working in the battles of Spiritual Warfare. We found that deception was not only a key component of his arsenal, but also his character. In light of this, it is not at all surprising that, in reading about the armour of God, the first item we are to put on in order to stand firm in battle against Satan, is the belt of truth. “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist” (Eph. 6:14). As we begin looking at these different aspects of the armour, it is important that we realise that these are primarily not virtuous actions that we are to start doing when we sense Satan is at work; rather, these are all ways of describing the impact of the gospel. That is, as we meditate and apply the gospel to our life daily, the belt of truth will always be buckled around our waist, and we will always be in a position to stand firm.
When you hear someone mention Satan, what is the first thing you think of? Do you envisage a little red man with horns carrying a pitch fork? Do you think of fire and lava? Or simply that he is the ‘villain’ and Jesus is the hero of the Bible fairy-tale? When we start reading the history of God and humanity in the Bible, it doesn’t take long for us to be introduced to Satan, and the very first thing we learn about him is that he is a deceiver, a liar.
‘Spiritual Warfare’ is a classic example of ‘Christian Jargon’ – language which makes perfect sense to someone who has grown up in or around the church, but to anyone else it is ambiguous (and not to mention a little weird). Spiritual warfare is often used to describe a spiritual attack, moments of temptation, discouragement, fear and anxiety – anything that affects us in a spiritual way that is clearly not of or from God. These things are in fact against God, attempting to draw us away from pursuing our relationship with God and living out our lives in likeness to Christ. The attack comes from Satan, which distinguishes it from suffering due to our faith or consequences of our own sinfulness. It is an attack of our faith, typically experienced through our thoughts and emotions.