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The Fog of War Ephesians 6:10-20

The Fog of War Ephesians 6:10-20 Have you ever heard the phrase: "The fog of war?" It's been reported that British Colonel Lonsdale Hale first used it in 1896 to describe what he considered to be the normal condition on a battlefield. "The fog of war" means that there are times in the middle of a battle when commanders simply lack the necessary information concerning their own troops and the opposition’s troops to form a viable plan of action. Jesus talks about this in Luke 14:31-32, “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.” About 25 years ago Saddam Hussein bragged about defeating America. He said his country had the military capabilities to launch the "mother of all battles" and, in a few months, he could defeat America and all its allies. He believed no one could stop his troops. But, his forces were crushed; surrendering within a few weeks. The "mother of all battles" proved to be nothing of the kind. Saddam Hussein miscalculated the power, strength, and resolve of the United States and its allies. The Iraqis had blundered into a "fog of war" and it cost them over 100,000 soldiers while the fatalities of the U. S. Army and its allies were under 400.In today’s passage, Paul’s trying to educate us so we don't fall victim to the "fog of war" when it comes to spiritual conflict. While Paul wasn’t a professional soldier, he knew a great deal about spiritual warfare. He knew what it meant to be both victorious on the spiritual battlefield and what it meant to be a victim of a spiritual battle. In the Book of Ephesians, Paul’s writing to a church that was located in one of the cities where he was imprisoned at one time. If you remember, while he was preaching about Jesus in Ephesus, a crowd started shouting out the words "Great Is Artemis of the Ephesians." The locals, who were devoted disciples of the pagan goddess "Artemis," had gotten upset when Paul started telling everyone that there was no such goddess as "Artemis" and that her little statues meant nothing. Upon hearing this, the city of Ephesus came alive; thousands of people gathered at the local coliseum to proclaim their love, devotion, and worship for Artemis. They weren’t going to have anything to do with this idea that "Artemis" was a fake. Luke tells us, in Acts 19, that for over two hours, thousands of people gathered to shout as loud as they could - "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians." Paul found himself in deep trouble and, as a result of all this, he was imprisoned and put on trial for his life. The Ephesians wanted his head for declaring that their beloved goddess was a fake and that her idols held no power. Paul was eventually acquitted but only after he suffered as a prisoner with the shadow of death hanging over him. Bible scholars tell us that this had an adverse effect on him, causing him to deal with a period of deep depression and despair. It was during this time that he really began to understand what it meant to battle against the devil, his legion of demons, and evil. What it meant to go against "the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." So, let's look at some things that Paul shares so we won’t find ourselves in our own "Christian Fog of Spiritual War." Slide 3 Over the years the subject of spiritual warfare has become a controversial topic. Songs like "Onward Christian Soldiers," "Soldiers of Christ Arise," and "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" have either been removed from hymnals or been moth balled. Today, it's not spiritually Politically Correct