WINNING OUR FIGHT WITH SATAN (Armor of God 1)
Paul included his most complete account of how to win spiritual battles in his letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:10-18). In light of all the warfare going on in Ephesus this is very appropriate. Writing from prison in Rome, chained to a Roman soldier who was guarding him, Paul must have looked for a way to convey what he wanted to say about spiritual warfare in terms the people would understand. While looking at his guard, he applied the pieces of equipment that Roman soldiers used to those that Christian soldiers use.
Paul knew that Roman soldiers didn’t supply their own equipment, it was provided by their commander. Thus he starts by telling his audience that it is God’s power and strength that gives us victory (Ephesians 6:10; Philippians 4:13; 1 John 4:4). We have the same power that raised Jesus from the grave (Ephesians 1:18-23; Hebrews 2:14-15). Our victory comes from God – He provides the equipment necessary to achieve it.
However just because equipment is provided doesn’t mean Christian soldiers use theirs appropriately, or even use it at all. It is Satan’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 2:11) that deceive and trap us, like a hunter seeking to trap an animal. Therefore it is up to us to use the power and equipment God provides – all of it (“full armor”).
LESSON FOR TODAY: Paul says we are in a ‘struggle’ (Ephesians 6:12). This word refers to a fight to the death. Satan assigns demons to destroy each believer, their family and their church. We are in a life and death struggle, but often we don’t realize how serious our enemy is about our destruction.
LESSON FOR TODAY: What makes this an even more difficult battle is that our enemy is not a physical soldier whom we can see and fight in our power, rather it is a spiritual enemy, a demonic power (Ephesians 6:12). “Rulers … authorities … powers … spiritual forces” refer to various groups of demons in Satan’s organization. Demons are organized according to their power like an army: generals, majors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants and privates. The generals and majors oversee large geographical areas or philosophical ideologies. Down it goes to the privates, demons with names like Lust, Greed, Pride, Fear or Self-Destruction. These are the ones we usually deal with in a personal way when we are involved in our spiritual warfare.
by Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer, Christian Training Organization