NEEDTOBREATHE, CCM Magazine - image

Read the Jul. 15, 2016 edition of CCM Magazine for FREE

Christian hip hop was integral to my development as a lover of music, the arts, and ultimately becoming a musician. One of the first songs that spoke to me was “We Are Warriors” by E.T.W., which begins with spoken word from Ephesians 6:10-20—putting on the full armor of God. Consequently, this passage of scripture has been one that I’ve read and recited over and over again, praying I would adhere to its message and apply it to my life.

This weekend, my eyes were widely opened to the realities of spiritual warfare, and why we need the armor of God in the first place. My pastor, Grace Chapel’s (Leipers Fork, TN) Steve Berger noted in his sermon, “The armor is a resource that God gives us in order to be victorious in spiritual warfare,” and that warfare is “an undeniable Biblical reality,” continually being carried out among us.

Before continuing, let me stop this editorial letter to offer an apology. In my June 15, 2016 note, I implied that I would refrain from engaging in internet chatter and opinion-ranting on social media. In the aftermath of recent shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas, I let the enemy do his work in me and I, once again, “aimed” my keyboard and typed-out my “arrows.” I’m truly sorry.

As mentioned, I would often go back to the inspiration of “We Are Warriors” and that passage in Ephesians—Berger also takes a look back to scripture and simply points out the truth, especially profound for today, by stating, “Our warfare isn’t against people, it’s just not!” For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood… Eph. 6:12a (NKJV). The enemy had me right where he wanted me. Now I know.

There’s so much division in our world today—it’s truly the work of warring, high-ranking officers of evil as their battles trickle down and play out on earth. I don’t want to contribute to it anymore.

Prayer: Jesus, please forgive me for battling with my brothers and sisters, for placing the brunt of the blame on them, and not bringing You into our battles against who is really behind all of this. Help me to fully understand the all-encompassing responsibility that the devil bears for hijacking our identity, and to love others as You do. Help me to imitate You, and not become heated or offended, even when I’m in disagreement with someone on the surface—remind me that we are all Your children. Amen.

Into (the real) battle we go,
Kevin Sparkman, CCM Magazine - image

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About The Author

Kevin Sparkman
Managing Editor

After both on-stage and front-office experience in the Christian recording industry, (including co-founding Exit 3 Entertainment, Inc. and General Manager of hip-hop label Beatmart Recordings), Sparkman returned to Salem in 2014 from a Dir. of Communications position in the United Methodist Church. He became the Managing Editor of CCM Magazine in January 2015.