Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers, and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Did you know that you are living in a war zone? At any given time there is evil all around you. Spiritual battles are taking place in that realm beyond what we can see with our natural eyes. This evil wants to hinder you, confuse you, stop you, hurt you, and especially make you doubt God. These fallen angels of Satan’s are vicious fighters, they do not get tired or back down. How then can we withstand the attacks and even win the war? Bear in mind we are already victorious in Christ Jesus. And Satan is already a defeated foe operating on borrowed time that he has been given. But for us, we need to be ready at all times. We need the full armor of God in place to withstand the assaults that happen. The goal of the devil and his fallen ones is to defeat Christ’s church, his people.
We are assured of victory, but we must still withstand the battle, we must still stand and fight. To move forward in this battle we need all the equipment to fight. We need supernatural armor. What is this supernatural armor that we are to be clothed in at all times? The verses above tell us. Let’s look at them. First, we need to be strong in the Lord. How do we get this strength? We need to know God’s word, we need to read it daily. We need to pray always. We need to resist the enemy. When we are prepared and full of God’s words we will not be so easily fooled by the devil’s tactics. We have to know the truth to recognize a lie when we hear it.
We are told in the scriptures above that there is a day of evil that is coming. I believe we are in them. Look around at all the things going on. Look at how scripture has been perverted to be inclusive in things clearly against it. What was once wrong is now right and vise versa. People think they can live any way they want and go to heaven, not so my friend, not so!
We are told to stand firm, and when we have done all we can to stand, we are told to STAND FIRM then! We must be wearing the “belt of truth.” What is this belt? For one the belt is where Roman soldiers stored their weapons. Without this belt, they would be defenseless. For us, it means to know God’s truth, His word is to be hidden in our hearts and we should live and walk-in “honesty,” “truthfulness,” “integrity,” and “sincerity that surrounds every part of us. Next, we are to have the “breastplate of righteousness” in place. For Roman Soldiers, this protected what was under it, their heart, lungs, and other organs. If the soldier did not wear his breastplate he was vulnerable. For us, we need to live in ethical conduct; moral principles.
As we continue to read we see we are to have our “feet fitted for readiness.” For soldiers their shoes were fitted with spikes or textured souls, these added things on their shoes also allowed them to stand their ground, and navigate over rough terrain. Our shoes are a little different. They are the footwear of peace. We need to have a readiness to share the gospel with someone at any time. As Christian’s, we should always be prepared to “give an answer.” Others are watching us, how do we react to situations around us? We are to be peacemakers, not fighters, angry all the time. Next, we are to take up the “shield of faith.” What is this faith? For soldiers, it deflected blows they received and gave them overall protection while in battle. For us; It is believing God. The more we believe and have faith in God and his word, the more effective we are when we fight. The enemy hurls unseen arrows at us all the time, we may not even realize that when we believe God, we are fighting and winning!
Next, we are told to take up the “helmet of salvation.” It is obvious that for soldier’s this protected their heads. Our helmet is our assurance of salvation. Jesus told us to “not be afraid” because he wanted to remind us that even though we can die physically, we never die. When we leave this body our next step is into eternity with Jesus. The enemy cannot take our salvation away! Ever! The power of the cross silenced the enemy on this point. When we are “born-again” we belong to God forever. After this, we are told to take the “sword of the spirit”- God’s word. For soldier’s, this was an offensive weapon against their attackers. For us, if we lack knowledge of God’s word, we are in trouble. It is not a means to attack others, but to show us the truth. God is truth. His word speaks truth to us and drowns out the voice of the enemy. It shows us how to live, move and be in this world.
The last couple of things we are told is to pray and be alert. Why pray? We cannot know the heart of God without it. Prayer does not change God it changes us. It helps to align us with His will for our lives. It tells us to pray on all occasions. To be prayerful at all times. Prayer should be our habit, short prayers, long prayers, tearful prayers, prayers of repentance, etc. We need to pray, to commune with. our Lord, to be changed by time with him. How do we get to know someone, by talking to them and listening to them. It is the same with God.
Lastly, we are told to be alert. Soldiers needed to be alert and looking around, checking their armor to make sure they had every piece, that it was in good shape. Going into battle unprepared could end in death for the soldier. We need to be filled with the Spirit of God and His word. We need to read and pray, pray and read. We never know when or how the enemy will attack us, but rest assured he will. We cannot stand firm on what we do not know. We cannot know a lie unless we first know the truth.
We are in a War Zone. If you do not read and pray regularly, I encourage you to do so. This past year has been hard, and there will be more hard days ahead. This world is going the way of the evil one. False prophets all around, the truth twisted to fit lifestyles, and so on. Be a good soldier in God’s army, get to know you Commander and Chief. Listen and obey. Live the way he says to live, be a peacemaker, not a fighter. Let the light of Christ be what others see in you. Talk it, Walk it, Live it! Be ready, Stand firm until the end. It could be any day now!