The devil rarely comes at you head-on. He comes at you sideways (like being T-Boned in a car accident) where you’re not looking, where you don’t expect him to be. He catches you off-guard, unprepared, not vigilant. That’s the scheming, conniving, deceptive strategy of the devil. We’ve all seen or experienced how the devil can wreck a marriage, destroy a family, bring you down. Those are fiery spiritual bullets that wreak havoc in our souls. Take your stand against all that in Jesus’ Name!
Our spiritual battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). Now you may have trouble at work with your manager. And you may have a battle on your hands with your teenager. And you may have a struggle with your family or argue with co-workers. But all this trouble and battle and struggle you’re having is not always what it seems. Sure you have to deal with what’s going on in the world. You might think it’s just about getting your teenager to take out the trash or it’s about making a tough decision at work, or it’s about trying to get along with a difficult co-worker. But the reality is that your struggle is more than that. It’s a spiritual struggle! It’s a struggle with the heart of man that is under the sway of the devil’s schemes. Verse 12 goes on to say it’s a spiritual struggle against rulers, authorities, powers, dominions, and spiritual forces of darkness. Demonic forces. Fallen angels. Evil powers are doing battle in the heavenly realms against every believer in Jesus. It’s spiritually violent warfare. It’s spiritually harmful, devastating, destructive. These forces we cannot see want to destroy you – destroy your faith, steal your joy, convince you to give up. And since we cannot yet see this violent spiritual battle that’s going on in the heavenly realms, God provides another aspect of piece of his Battle Plan:
- Be strong in the Lord (v10)
- Be strong in his mighty (immeasurable) power (v10)
- Stand firm (v 11, 13, 14)
- Put on the full armor of God (v13)
Full armor, all the armor, fully armed, fully prepared. God’s strength and God’s power is something that becomes for us our spiritual bullet-proof vest, or spiritual Kevlar. In Paul’s day, the most feared fighting machine was the Roman soldier. So naturally Paul refers to the body armor of a Roman soldier – the helmet, the breastplate, the belt, the shield, the shoes, the sword. Most soldiers also carried a spear or javelin. This kind of soldier was trained and prepared for violent battle. He was trained to kill. Today, if Paul were writing, he would refer to a modern soldier. No modern soldier goes into battle without all his or her protective gear and his M16 rifle. No firefighter leaves the fire station without all his fire protection gear. No policeman or SWAT team member goes out on an emergency call without his body armor, helmet, knee pads, assault rifle.
It should be no different for the man or woman of God in our spiritual battle. Each day we should be fully prepared for spiritual battle armed with our spiritual protective gear and weapon. If you face the day without donning your spiritual protective gear and your weapon, you are vulnerable to the devil’s schemes. Don’t be a spiritual casualty! I don’t want you to fall away. I don’t want you to be unaware or unprepared. Put on the spiritual armor of God! What is our spiritual gear?
- Truth 4. Faith
- Righteousness 5. Salvation
- The Gospel 6. Word of God