Spiritual warfare is a topic that many Christians avoid. The idea of fighting an enemy we can’t see is a bit frightening when you think about it, right?
Sadly, ignoring this doesn’t make it go away. Wow, wouldn’t that just make life easier, kind of like creating your own reality or truth. 🙂 Oh wait, that’s a topic for another day!
In the sixth chapter of the letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul gives a strong admonition with very specific details about how to prepare for spiritual battles and the attacks of the devil. He tells us to put on the whole armor of God, not just part of it. Here are the components of that armor:
- Belt of truth – this truth comes from the Bible alone
- Breastplate of righteousness (aren’t you glad that righteousness isn’t your own but God’s?)
- Shoes – the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace
- Shield of faith – this allows us to extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy
- Helmet of salvation – the assurance of salvation is our impenetrable defense against anything the enemy throws at us.
- Sword of the spirit – the word of God
In addition to these pieces of protection, we are exhorted to pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication and to remain alert.
I love that our armor consists of gifts from the Lord and not anything that is of our own manufacture. Paul actually makes that point in verses 10 and 11
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Note how he tells us our strength is in the Lord and His might. All we need to do is put on the armor he provides and pray continually.
Stand firm, brothers and sisters in Christ. The battle belongs to the Lord!
Fate of the Redeemed
by Chad Pettit
Series: Journey of Fate #2
Published by Ambassador International
Publication Date October 1, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Fantasy, Action/Adventure, Suspense
Setting: Somalia, Eastern Seaboard, Texas Contemporary
Written for: Adults
An angel with amnesia. A demon with a vendetta. The man caught in their crossfire.
Lester Sharp has been given a second chance to live a life of compassion, but his decision to follow God will be tested when his estranged father calls to tell him his brother has been killed in combat. A demon unleashes a series of attacks on him, and someone he thought was lost to his past emerges.
Lester is guarded by the angel, Draven, but when Morane catches the watcher off his guard, Draven loses his memory and finds himself being held prisoner in a remote Somali village. His only ally is Ibrahim, a man who finds out his son has been murdered by extremists when his granddaughter appears out of nowhere and somehow possesses supernatural powers.
As Morane's fury is unleashed, time is running out for Lester, and Draven’s fate is in the hands of a man whose faith is being pushed to the limit.
While Lester fights for his life—and for his soul—will he make the right choices, or will he decide—once and for all—that he doesn't need God? And why is one man so important in the midst of spiritual warfare?
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Be prepared to reevaluate what you think you know about angels, demons and spiritual warfare! Author Chad Pettit tackles this important subject in a fictional work which combines scriptural truth, imagination, and artistic license to present a picture of what this heavenly battle could look like. You just might find your preconceived notions not only challenged but also perhaps even thrown out the window.
While Fate of the Redeemed picks up the story where Fate of the Watchman ended, the direction this story takes is quite different from the first, emphasizing the trials and persecutions of believers and the role of angels in their lives.
As Lester begins to act on the compassion awakened in his heart, he is faced with fiery trials, far beyond any he had ever experienced or expected. Through this adversity, he questions everything he has believed about God and struggles as he watches everything in his life fall apart. While I still have high hopes for him, don’t expect his behavior to be that of a strong and noble Christian. I felt compassion for him and if I knew him to be a living person I would start praying for him because he needs it!
Maintaining a careful balance between giving an accurate depiction of the violence of man against man and sharing too many sordid details, the story pierced my heart for the plight of the Somali believers. Ibrahim’s dread of the extremists and desire to protect his newly orphaned granddaughter had him torn between shielding the two of them and helping the prisoner who had been tortured. What would I do if faced with a similar situation? I can only hope my faith would be strong enough to lead me to do the right thing.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this story for me was the depiction of the battles fought in the heavenly realm. I won’t share any specifics but will say that if you have read any of Frank Peritti‘s works and now think you know what spiritual warfare looks like (okay, maybe I’m talking about me), Fate of the Redeemed will cause you to consider what the Bible says about this to see what is truly known.
Are the concepts presented in this story contrary to scripture? No. Are they vastly different from what I have ever pictured? Absolutely! Do I believe the author has all of these details right? Maybe some, maybe not some. Am I intrigued by them? Absolutely!
Despite any misgivings I may have about some of the possibilities shared, the conclusion Lester came to and the wisdom shared by Draven about how the Lord Himself fights for us is indisputable and encouraging. No matter what you face, dear child of God, remember this above all else:
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are you the ideal reader of Fate of the Redeemed? Do you enjoy fiction that will challenge you to think, to really search to see if what you know is the truth? Do you enjoy fiction with a vivid fight of good versus evil? Do you enjoy fiction that calls your heart to greater compassion? If any of these describe you, I encourage you to read Fate of the Redeemed.
The author shares a cautionary note that I repeat here.
I feel obligated to warn readers that this book contains depictions of violence and graphic descriptions of situations that may be difficult for younger audiences. However, these are only done to further the story, and nothing is done gratuitously. All of this has been in good taste, but I respect the rights of my readers to be able to choose what they are exposed to.