“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” [Ephesians 6:10-17]
Have you ever thought that there must be a reality beyond this? For instance, have you ever wondered if there must be some other powers or forces at work in your life besides just what you can see? As mystical as that sounds, I think at some point in each of our lives we’ve pondered the possibility. I mean, there are dozens of scary movies about this stuff. And when you read this passage of scripture, it seems as if Paul is making a very strong assertion that there actually are powers and influences at work that we cannot see.
Paul says in verse 12 that, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Rulers. Authorities. Power of this dark world. Spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Paul really believes in this stuff. He actually believes in unseeable forces and beings that we struggle against. This is the same guy that got knocked on his butt by a “light from heaven” on the road to Damascus. Turns out it was the resurrected Jesus (Acts 9:1-6). I think Paul would know what it means to have an encounter with a heavenly being.
Look at verse 11. Paul mentions the “devil’s schemes” that we are to stand against. He uses the word against 6 times in this passage! In verse 13 he calls us to stand our ground and in verse 14 he calls us to stand firm. Paul is calling us to struggle, to stand against, to resist forces and beings that we can’t even see! Obviously he thinks this is a majorly important battle that we must fight, but how?
Well, the answer is in verse 13. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” He calls us to put on the full armor of God, because the day of evil will come. You will be tempted. You will be tested. You will be attacked by the spirits, ruler and authorities that the devil commands to steal, kill and destroy what you have (John 10:10). So don’t let a single piece of armor be missing from your soul.
The rest of this blog series will break down the different parts of the armor of God. But right now you need to ask yourself this question: “Do I believe there is more to this life than just flesh and blood?” If the answer is yes, and I hope by now it is, then you have no option but to fight. You don’t get a choice. You were born into this world and it’s in a state of constant warfare for the souls of every person. So put your armor on and go to war.
Lord help me to stand firm, and daily put on the full armor of God. I pray that I would be able to see the importance in putting on the armor and being ready to fight against the enemy. I love you Lord, amen.