We are in a war for our lives.
It is very easy to talk about spiritual warfare as if it is something abstract or something happening “out there”, but not to us.
But make no mistake, Satan has an agenda, and that agenda includes you. It includes your home, your family, your children; and he will stop at nothing until his agenda is complete.
I believe one reason why we often hear about revival and amazing miracles taking place in countries like Africa, India and other 3rd-world countries is that they understand the reality of the spiritual realm.
They understand that these two realms don’t exist side-by-side, but that they are intricately intertwined, they co-exist and the one is always touching the other.
Modern society has diminished this idea so that hell doesn’t exist, the devil is a cartoon character, and heaven is a mystical place we refer to when people die because the idea of its existence gives us comfort.
We talk about spiritual warfare in times when things aren’t going the way we plan, but fail to realize that Satan isn’t as much interested in foiling plans that you have….
as much as he wants to take you out!
And the more you work for God, the more you touch people’s lives for eternity, the more you witness for God, pray for lost souls, and win lost souls for Jesus Christ, the higher up you are on his hit list.
This post isn’t meant to scare you, though.
If you are scared by what I just wrote, then you don’t understand what God’s Word has to say about spiritual warfare and the believer’s role in it.
Now, if you aren’t serious about spiritual warfare, or if you don’t believe that it even exists, then you probably should be scared because you’re left powerless in the face of Satan’s strategy.
However, if you do believe in spiritual warfare and if you’re serious about going to war against him, then you can just start throwing your victory party now, because of this next statement….and then we’ll dig into the last part of Ephesians 6 to see what it says.
We don’t fight from a position of trying to win back something we lost, we fight from a position of victory, because we know we’ve already won this battle!
But my caution to you is, don’t get too cheeky.
Don’t get flippant and let your guard down.
Satan is nothing if not persistent; he doesn’t like to lose. Until you draw your last breath, he will continue to battle against you.
This is what we signed up for when we received Christ: because the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan are in a spiritual war and no human is exempt from the battle. You will fight on one side or the other. The question is, are you on the winning side?
If you are actively and seriously battling for the kingdom of God, then you are!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
I love how the Greek word reads in this verse.
It means to be enabled, to be strengthened, to receive strength.
Do you get what this means for you? You aren’t the one being strong, but it is God who is enabling you to be strong. This strength isn’t a strength that comes from within you, it is a strength that is being given to you.
God didn’t put you in this battle and then say, “Go figure it out”.
He first gave you His supernatural strength to fight, and then He gave you His armor to protect you!
That is why it says, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Put on the whole armor.
Just as no soldier would go into war with only half of his gear, we must be very careful that we daily grab all of our “spiritual gear”, because throughout the day the devil is lying in wait to trip us up!
That is what “wiles” means. It means cunning, crafty, deceitful, trickery, lying in wait.
This is exactly what we see in Scripture, and Satan hasn’t changed at all in the past few thousand years. This is how he deals with you, and with the church as a whole.
He sets up scenarios in which you will get angry and lose your temper; in which you go to church and no one greets you so you become offended; in which the pastor says something that hits you wrong and you call a friend and start gossiping…
He wants to destroy you from the inside, and then use you to destroy the precious unity in the body that Paul was referring to in chapter 4.
But in order to see his strategy, we must first realize who our enemy really is.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
When we discover that we’ve been the topic of gossip among some of the ladies in the church, when we have tried to break into that church clique and we realize we can’t and never will…
When our teenage daughter falls into the wrong crowd and starts acting rebellious and defiant; when our teenage son becomes a little too close to his girlfriend and we’re afraid that they may take their relationship too far…
When stumble upon a porn site in our Internet history or we accidentally see a text from another woman on our husband’s cell phone; when we realize that in the past 6 months our conversations have been arguments more than meaningful communication…
We must step back and realize something.
We’re not fighting against church members, our teenagers or our husbands. Our fight isn’t against flesh and blood! Our fight isn’t even against gossip, snobbery, rebellion, or pornography.
When we make people or issues our fight, then we can be sure that Satan has successfully distracted us.
Our fight is against the root of what animates people to sin!
- Rulers of the darkness of this age
- Spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Once again, Paul says take up the whole armor of God.
Because without every piece of the armor, we can’t withstand the evil day. If we are going to go to war against the enemy, we need to have every piece of our armor in place.
Then he says, “and having done all, to stand.”
You’ve tapped into God’s power, you’ve put your armor on, you’ve identified your target, now….
The word stand here is very interesting. It means:
- Plant your feet
- Be established
- Stand firm
- Sustain authority
- Stand still
You stand up and plant your feet, look the enemy in the eye and say, “You will go no further!” And then by the authority of Almighty God you drive him back and drive him out.
You don’t quiver, you don’t shake…
You don’t negotiate, you don’t philosophize…
You stand, you stand firm, and you stand strong in the authority of Almighty God.
God has given you everything necessary to go to battle:
Now it’s time to grab your gear and claim the victory you already have by the blood of Jesus!
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