Words by Colonel Jostein Nielsen.
In my last two blogs I have used the chess game as an illustration for spiritual warfare – and I take the chance to use it again:
The # 1 ranked chess-player in the world and reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen (1) says that he needs to be fit to win his games. Therefore, he does a lot of mental and physical training and exercising to be ready and fit for the fight.
When I now continue to use the chess game in the context of spiritual warfare, to be fit for that mission is synonym with being fit for fight. In several of his letters, Paul likened the mission with being in a fight or in a race on a sports-arena:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Tim 4:7
In this fight we use the ‘weapon’ of good to defeat evil:
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Further, Paul stresses that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil. To do be able to go to this battle, we need to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power (2). Very often principles that are valid in a physical context will also be applicable in the spiritual sphere, also this has Paul expressed:
While physical training has some value, training in holy living is useful for everything. It has promise for this life now and the life to come.
1 Tim 4:8
If I want to train for a half-marathon, I can use an app to set up a training program to prepare for the race. In the weeks ahead, I will share some thoughts about what “training in holy living” can mean in practical terms. However, the program starts with knowing who I am in Jesus Christ, and it ends with knowing that he lives in me.
‘Manna’ for today:
Fit for mission requires training in holy living.
(1) It is not important, but I like to tell that Magnus is from Norway
(2) Eph 6:10-12