DRESS FOR BATTLE (Armor of God 1)
(10 of 15 blogs about spiritual warfare and marriage/family, taken from material I presented at a marriage retreat, Winning the Battle For Your Family, in 2019)
When I was 19 years old I was drafted into the United States Army. Others said it would be great to be a soldier, a special privilege. But I found it very, very hard. I had to learn how to defend myself against those who wanted to destroy me. I had to learn how to fight an enemy army. When I was in the army I committed my life to God, to live for Him. Others said it would be great to be a Christian, a special privilege. But I found it very, very hard. I had to learn how to defend myself against another enemy who wanted to destroy me. I had to learn how to fight an unseen enemy.
I am no longer in the United States Army so I no longer fight the enemies of America. But I am still in God’s Army – and I still must fight God’s enemies. If you are in God’s Army you will understand what I mean. You, too, face many battles as you live for Him.
We are at war (1 John 5:19). We are living in enemy-occupied territory (2 Corinthians 4:4) surrounded by those who would destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). In an army, the commander provides the equipment and the soldiers learn how to use it. God, our Commander, provides what we need to defend ourselves and to have victory (2 Corinthians 10:4) but we must learn how to use the equipment. Paul describes what these are in Ephesians 6:10-18.
Paul wrote these words in prison, chained to a Roman soldier. As he came to the end of the book of Ephesians he looked for a way to describe our battle and how to have victory. Looking at the Roman soldier with him, Paul used his equipment as a picture of what God provides for us.
Paul begins by commanding us to be strong, but not in our strength, only in God’s strength (Ephesians 6:10). The same power that defeated Satan at the cross (Hebrews 2:14-15) and that raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:18-23) is available to us. God’s power is greater than Satan’s power (1 John 4:4). Satan is more powerful than us, but not than God.
Paul describes this power as pieces of armor we are to put on and use (Ephesians 6:11). We are commanded to put it on. Its use is not optional but mandatory for soldiers of God. And we are commanded to put on ALL of it, not just some.
The reason we need it is because Satan has “schemes” to deceive and trap us (Ephesians 6:11). This word is used of a hunter trapping an animal. Paul calls our conflict a “struggle” (Ephesians 6:12). This word refers to a fight to the death. Satan will do anything he can to destroy you, your family and your church!
So what are we to do? How are to have victory against these schemes and struggles? Here’s where the armor comes in. (Continued in next blog)
Ephesians 6:10-13 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we 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. 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.
Do you have a warrior mentality when it comes to living your Christian life? Are you alert to the attacks, traps and schemes against you? Do you know where the enemy tires to get you to sin? Are you able to defeat his efforts? Pray and ask God for wisdom and insight into your battle so you can better withstand.
Christian Training Organization