In the wake of the recent siege on an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, the Kenyan Government has mentioned the possible role played by American teen boys and a British woman–perhaps the infamous “White Widow” linked to the London Bombing in 2005–in the deadly attack led by Somali militants. Since our nation went to war after the attacks on September 11, 2001, the government has frequently stated that this war is unique. It is not against a particular nation per se or even a specific religion. It is against particular people, bound together by a similar philosophy, mindset, and methodology. Such a war is difficult to prosecute, since a front might pop up in Indonesia, Kenya, or no one knows where.
As formidable, frightening, and frustrating as such a foe is, Christians of every generation have been engaged in similar warfare. It is not with people, but the devil (1 Pet. 5:8). The warfare is most unique. Paul writes, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5). The warfare, weapons, and tactics are unconventional and spiritual. We do not conquer by subjugating or injuring–we lose if we do that. In fact, we are not the conquerors in this sense. The battle belongs to the Lord. Victory occurs when those fighting for the enemy leave his camp and come over to the Lord’s side.
We personally wage that war here at home, but the battle rages across the planet. We may wage it thousands of miles from home, but our fellow-spiritual soldiers all over the world are armed with the gospel and on the front lines. Unlike the war on terror, Christians know this battle must rage until Christ comes again. May we never surrender!