STRENGTH, GOD’S WAY
Help me to take these passages seriously without misapplying them in my life today, Lord Jesus.
Read Ephesians 6:10–18
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 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, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectReflect Have you ever felt like you have been beaten down and lost the battle in your spiritual life?
You might think that after Ephesians’ magnificent vision of God’s kingdom, the Christian life would be plain sailing! But there is a spiritual battle – our only hope is derived from our only source of strength: the Lord and His mighty power.
Verses 11–13. How are we to battle an invisible enemy? The issue is not so much defeating the devil as standing firm against him (13). How might verse 12 help in a discussion with someone who applies this imagery directly to human conflicts? Whenever the Bible repeats something, it is important! So take note of verse 13.
Verses 14–18. Another repetition of Paul’s agenda (14) leads to an explanation of the Lord’s armor. Look out for the defensive items, and those which are used for taking the initiative. Notice how each one applies Gospel truth and reality for the believer. Christian truth is never merely a matter of information; it always brings transformation and, in this context, protection. The enemy, ‘the father of lies’ (John 8:44), always seeks to undermine what Christ has already won for us. These are the truths in which to stand firm, the grounds for our unshakeable confidence in Christ. That is why we desperately need to pray (18), for ourselves and our churches.
Take each item of armor and ‘put it on.’ Claim it as your own and remind yourself as you face struggles throughout your day that you are protected by God’s armor.
Lord, may Your spiritual armor give me confidence to face my day and the challenges it brings to my Christian walk.