“10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[c] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[d] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[e] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[f]
19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.[g] 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.” Ephesians 6:10-20 NLT
So now what? We’ve learned about the agents of spiritual warfare. We’ve learned about angels and demons. We’ve discovered what angels are and what they do. We’ve explored what demons are and what they do. The next question is what now? What does that mean to you and me? How does this apply to our lives as Christ followers? Does it apply? Where do we fit?
As we continue in Ephesians 6, we learn some important principles about the role we have as believers in spiritual warfare.
1 – We need to should take a stand and be strong against the enemy and his attacks. V 10
We need to understand that the enemy is real and we need to stand against him. Paul tells us to “be strong in the Lord and His mighty power.” He doesn’t tell us to shy away and be afraid because of the spiritual battle around us. “Be strong in the Lord.” Read the Word of God. Invite the Holy Spirit to strengthen you. Be involved with a church and worship regularly with other believers. Pray against the enemy. Be strong!
2 – We are engaged in a spiritual battle. V 11.
There is nothing the enemy would love more than if believers are lulled to sleep and ignore spiritual warfare rather than being engaged in the battle.
Be careful not to be fooled into thinking the devil and his demons are not real. If the enemy can get you to buy into the idea that demons and angels are not real, the enemy has already won. Demons are real. Angels are real. God is real. Spiritual warfare is real. Denying or ignoring their reality does not take away from its significance. The Christ follower needs to know that we are engaged in a spiritual battle. Keep your eyes open. You are in a spiritual battle.
3 – The enemy always attacks what God anoints. V. 11
Make no mistake about it, whatever God anoints, the enemy attacks. Whenever God has His hand upon something, there will be attacks from the enemy because we have discovered over the last few devotions that demons use whatever means they have to stop or hinder the purposes of God.
Sometimes, believers think that when we receive Jesus Christ as Savior things will all go well. The opposite is true. When we become believers, we need to understand that we are in a spiritual warfare and we have become targets of the enemy. Stand firm. Stand strong. Understand that the enemy attacks what God anoints.
4 – Though God is on our side, we should not assume that victory is guaranteed. V 12
Victory is assured through the Lord, but we should not be arrogant about it. We must remain watchful. We can remember the seven sons of Sceva in the book of Acts and how they were overconfident in their victory in the Lord. Remain watchful. Be diligent as a Christ follower.
5 – God provides us armor to help us stand firm in Him. V 11-17
God doesn’t leave us without protection. God provides armor for believers. The armor is to help defend us from the attacks of the enemy and to help us advance forward with God despite the enemy.
God provides 6 pieces of armor for the believer.
- The belt of truth.
- The breastplate of righteousness.
- The shoes of peace that comes from the Good News.
- The shield of faith.
- The helmet of salvation.
- The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
It is likely that these pieces of armor are similar to what Paul seen when he was in prison. Although the armor of God is invisible, it is real and provides protection against the attacks from the enemy.
6– We need to understand that God sometimes use Satan to help us grow
As believers, we need to understand that God sometimes uses the enemy to help us to grow. God used the attacks of the thorn in the flesh from the enemy to keep Paul humble. God used the imprisonment and slavery of Joseph to prepare him to be a leader of the nation. God used the wilderness time in the life of Moses to prepare him to shepherd God’s people out of slavery. Most importantly, he used the pain and suffering of the cross to bring redemption and salvation to His own people.
7 – We should be prayerful and stay alert to Satan’s attacks. V 18
It is important for believers to be prayerful and alert to the attacks of the enemy. I love what John Piper says about prayer. He teaches us that prayer is more like a war-time walkie talkie used by the soldiers of God in battle, rather than a service bell we ring to get God to provide services to us. We need to be prayerful and watchful of the attacks of the enemy.
8 – We should pray for our leaders and for boldness in speaking the Gospel. V 19-20
Paul asks for the Ephesian church to pray for him and to pray for him to have boldness when he shares the Gospel. This convicts me. Paul asks for prayer for boldness? Paul was the guy in prison for boldly preaching the Gospel. Paul was the guy who gave his life to plant churches and to preach the Gospel to people who never heard. Paul recognized that he was not bold enough? Compare that with me. I struggle with sharing and trying not to offend others. I struggle when people reject me for telling them the Gospel.
Paul knows that if the enemy could reduce boldness in the leaders of the church, he could significantly diminish the influence and impact of the Gospel. We need to pray for our leaders and be bold in sharing Jesus with others and we need to pray for boldness for ourselves in sharing the Gospel.
I pray Holy Spirit for greater boldness in sharing the Gospel. I pray for courage to speak the truth in love. I pray that I would not only begin to speak the Gospel more boldly, but that I would have the courage to continue to speak it even if others reject me or the Gospel. Lord that our leaders would also be courageous enough to speak Your truth and not waver from it. Help our leaders to speak Your Word and the truth and not only what they think would be popular topics. In the matchless name of Jesus Christ, amen.