Ongoing Warfare

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 6:12

 

The struggles that we face on earth are not struggles against people, but against the powers of the dark world. The real enemy is the unseen spiritual force that seeks to rob, steal, and destroy our witness for Christ.

Paul describes our struggle in terms of the battle that takes place in the heavenly realms. He writes to the church in Ephesus to be strong in the Lord and to put on God’s armor.

David, a shepherd boy, fought the Philistine giant. King Saul offered him his armor to wear, but David refused because he said it was cumbersome.

It did not fit him and he wasn’t used to wearing armor. Paul tells us that there is armor that we as Christians must all wear. God has ensured that it is a perfect fit to stand against the devil’s schemes: Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with the feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:14-15)

Jesus recognized that Satan was behind Peter’s rebuke when he told Jesus that he must not go to the cross. (Matthew 16:23) Jesus knew that the internal battle that Peter was facing at the loss of Jesus was driven by Satan.

He knew that the battle would continue and culminate in Peter’s denial of Jesus. (Matthew 26:75)

The battles that we face within ourselves and with others are often spiritual battles driven by forces of evil. We must use the weapons of God to fight these battles, which include the armor of God, the shield of faith, prayer, and the Word of God. Ready yourself with the armor of God. It is impenetrable from the schemes of the enemy.

Heavenly Father,

I arm myself with the full armor of God, standing firm with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the Word of God, and the shield of faith. Help me to always be alert, to pray and to be prepared for battle.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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