Today we’ll continue with some of your favorites (or the passages you have questions about). Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message me with any passages you’d like added or that you have a question about!
Today we are looking at Ephesians 6: 10-18:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power; 11 put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil, 12 for our struggle is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on the evil day and, having prevailed against everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand, therefore, and belt your waist with truth and put on the breastplate of righteousness 15 and lace up your sandals in preparation for the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench 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 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Today is another key passage in Ephesians, and it is something that we all need to know about and understand. Spiritual Warfare. I remember a million years ago doing a Kay Arthur precept bible study entitled “Lord is it War, Teach me to Stand” that dealt with spiritual warfare. It has stuck with me through these years, and remains something that we Christians need to understand.
There is so much that we could unpack here, we could do entire weeks on this (which may not be a bad idea), but I wanted to point out some of the highlights that can help us in this.
First, spiritual warfare is real. We live in a spiritual existence and there is evil. I remember reading a book a few years back entitled “The Death of Satan.” It posited that once people began to disbelieve in the Devil, they began to see things in a clinical perspective, not in a moral one. So, the problem with all the ills in our world is education and resources. Well, we do need education and resources. No doubt. But that’s the cause of problems. There is evil in the world. Just because you are undefeated or have few resources does not turn you evil, and just because you have much does not make you holy. Our problem is a spiritual problem.
Second, this passage shows us who the enemy is. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual realities. Our enemy is not another person. Our enemy is the Devil. Our enemy is the spiritual forces of wickedness in the world. Never see another person as your enemy. Always see who your enemy truly is, the Devil.
Now, don’t get too obsessed with him, through. I always think of that great line from CS Lewis in The Screwtape Letters talking about the Devil:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”
He is real and our enemy. But he is not God.
Which leads us to our last point, we have tools. We have faith. We have the Bible. We have tools to protect our mind, our hearts, our very lives. Yes, we do face a battle, a spiritual battle. Daily. This is war, yes. But it is a battle that, through Jesus, we can win and overcome.
Do not think that evil, that the Devil, will win. He will not. We have every tool at our disposal to fight against evil. Stand up. Put on the armor of God. Do not fear, do not be afraid. The Devil has been overcome through the blood of the Lamb. It is war, yes. But the Lamb has overcome.
Thanks be to God.
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