“And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:26 NLT

There is an invisible war going on. It’s a life and death struggle. But most are totally unaware.

Pretend I’m an Alabama football fan. It’s noon. It’s game day. It’s time for the kickoff. But as you grab your drink and snack to enjoy the kickoff, you see something strange on your 70-inch ultra-hi-definition television: the team is lazily walking out on the field in shorts and tennis shoes strolling toward mid-field carrying bags with their equipment. Their helmets and shoulder pads are still in the bags. They throw the bags down and start … what are they doing? Making sandwiches?

The opposing team is lined up to kick off, but your Bama heroes are passing the mustard and chips to each other. You can’t believe your eyes. Your mouth is open, and your heart skips a beat.

The whistle blows to signal the opposing kicker it’s time to start. You panic. The other team races down the field after the ball, running over your heroes, knocking them down, causing injury and insult.

Three Alabama players had the sense to be suited up and ready, but the rest of the team is oblivious to the opposition’s preparedness and strategies. Many are moaning and rolling around on the turf in pain, screaming for help and angry at their own coach. They shout obscenities at the very ones who were supposed to have them ready for this day. But the Bama coaches are also getting run over and hurt.

One Alabama player catches the ball, and two others try to block for him, but there are just too many. He gets hit hard, the ball pops out, and the opposition scoops it up and runs it in for a touchdown.

Bama players shake their heads and walk around in a daze. “We’re a good team,” they scream. “How could this happen to us? Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Did they suit up? Did they put on their helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, belt of truth, shield of faith, and take up the sword of truth? If you don’t suit up for the battle and get in position and know your weapons, you’re bound to lose—and get hurt in the process.

Christians are in the most important war of their lives. And, sadly, many aren’t even aware of the usefulness of the armor, much less donning it every day with purpose.

You are in this war. Have you suited up? Have you read Ephesians 6 lately? Can you quote any Scriptures to the enemy when temptation comes your way, like Jesus did when Satan tempted Him?

This war is all about where you and your loved ones will spend eternity. Prayer matters. The words you speak every day can make a difference in your own destiny as well as the destiny of those all around you. Make them count.

Lord, open my eyes to the unseen war going on all around me. Help me to know what to say and what to do to defeat the enemies who are after me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“What Are The Stakes?” by Steve Hemphill – Pages 5 – 7

About Steve Hemphill

Steve Hemphill grew up in Mason, a small town in Central Texas. He graduated high school in 1975, and received a B.A. in Marketing from Abilene Christian University in 1979. He married his college sweetheart immediately after graduating, and is the father of three boys. He was the founder and owner of a successful technology company in Northeast Texas for almost 30 years, with over 30 employees and annual revenue of over $6 million. Steve was the son of a missionary until his Father passed away in 2000. He and his brother searched for the “Last Will and Testament” and found it in a safe that contained a sealed envelope which stated, “If you find this after my death, do NOT open it, destroy it, it’s not important, Dad”. This led him to research what the Bible has to say about “Heaven” resulting in his first book, My Search for the Real Heaven. He later wrote My Search for Prayers Satan Hates, a detailed look at the Bible’s teaching on demons, prayer and spiritual warfare. His speaking career began in 2009. Since selling his business, Steve now dedicates his time to speaking, writing and leading retreats. His outreaches and inspirational events include sharing “God’s Stories”. He has lectured in many states and several foreign countries on a variety of topics. He keeps audiences spellbound and focused with his fast-paced, enthusiastic presentations and compelling real-life stories.

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