“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devilʼs schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:10-12
My childhood preacher always reminded us when a passage says “finally” or “therefore”, we should probably see what itʼs there for. Paul has been building a case for the importance of unity and Christ-like livin
For just a moment I want you to put on your 3D-Spiritual-Warfare-Glasses for me. Imagine a new Church coming to life and serving God in powerful and amazing ways. Meanwhile, Demons come crashing through the windows of the spiritual realms loudly announcing the news. The Prince of the Air rushes to his war room as his Admiral makes his way into the chamber with as many Fallen Angels as he could gather. “Go quickly”, Satan sneers, “before these young God followers find out about their armor!” At this the demons charge out the Gates of Hell with every Fiery Dart they could gather.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” – 6:13
Paul doesnʼt say “if the day of evil comes”, he says “when it comes”. So letʼs go ahead and prepare now!
Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44, 1 John 3:8). So it only makes sense that his first move would be to trip us up in the confusion of what is, or is not truth. It is no coincidence that Paul chooses to use a belt to describe how we must be ʻgirdedʼ with truth. The clothing of their time was very loose fitting, which was quite appropriate in the heat of the day. But when someone needed to run, or do strenuous work, they would use a belt. When doing battle with Satan, we want the truth clinging to us tightly so that we can move with confidence.
Once Satan has failed to trip us up in his lies, he goes for our heart. Proverbs 4:23 tells us that the heart is the wellspring of life. When our heart is filled with evil and every kind of unrighteousness, it spills out into our actions and our words. But when we are made righteous by the blood Jesus Christ, His love flows forth in every area of our life. Satan knows this very well, and itʼs the last thing he would want! The sad part is, all our Adversary need do is wait. Soon enough, we begin living by our own righteousness rather than arming ourselves with the impenetrable righteousness of Jesus Christ. Give him a surprise today when you decide to leave your armor on!
The first two armor pieces began to prepare us for our enemy; Satan. As we enter verse 15, our next element reminds us of our true mission; the Gospel. The biblical concept of redemption has always centered upon souls. To use a card play example, I could use Paul, Hidden Treasures, and Authority of Christ to demolish a demonic defense. Cool. But what would really make that whole play worthwhile? The redemption of even 1 soul. “How beautiful the feet of those who bring the good news” (Romans 10:15, Isaiah 52:7). Satan wants us to lose sight of the mission. When we make peace a priority, we will put people before personal comfort and preferences. Weʼll be ready!
Paul directly tells us that the shield of faith exists to “extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one” (6:16). When Satan wants to launch an attack, he starts with some of the cheap tricks weʼve already looked at. I believe this is because when he attacks us directly, he takes a huge risk. Satan asked God to test Job and shook the foundations of his life. If he had succeeded, imagine how he would have wounded the heart of God? But Jobʼs Faith shielded his soul, even as his human life flashed before his eyes! Faith sees victory beyond our circumstances. Look at what Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:12 ”which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me”.
How appropriate that Paul would choose to describe the safeguard of our mind as Godʼs salvation. Satan, the crafty Serpent, has been making us question our identity since the Garden of Eden. He has made us question our need for God, made us imagine ourselves to be our own gods, caused us to feel unworthy of salvation, driven us to search empty religions for meaning, made us feel we have to earn Godʼs love. Those of you who are familiar with the X-Men comics might appreciate the concept that when we slip on the helmet, we are no longer susceptible to supernatural mind games. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:7.
This is probably not new information to anybody reading this, but the sword is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. The next thing to observe is that this is the sword the capital Spirit (that is, the Holy Spirit). Paul tells us quite clearly in verse 17 that the sword is the inspired Word of the God (including the very words being penned as he spoke). One of the reasons I get so excited about this warriorʼs weapon is that we have actual recorded accounts of Jesus doing spiritual battle with Satan using the Sword of the Spirit! In Matthew 4:1-11 we see Satan tempt the Savior in 3 different ways. Each time Jesus defeated his foe using the Word of God! We have Bibles on our phones and in our homes. Letʼs sharpen daily by reading our swords. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” – 2 Tim 3:16.
When you are spiritually alive, you are a powerful force for Christʼs Kingdom, and you are a major threat to Satanʼs rebellion. This means itʼs not a matter of “if”, but “when” you will be attacked by the forced of darkness. Give yourself daily reminders that if God is on your side nothing and no one can stand against you. Make battle plans by journaling Satanʼs favorite ways to attack you. Discuss Satan attacks with close friends, soldiers do serve as part of a united army after all. Put on your armor, and at the end of it all, praise God Iʼll see you on the field of victory!
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