Weapons of Mass Protection
Thank You, Lord. You are my rock of refuge, my strong fortress, and will protect me in my daily struggles.
Read Ephesians 6:10-24
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“The Christian life is no safe harbor, secure from storms and struggle. Those who are members of this promised kingdom are, with Christ, at war with the powerful” (William Willimon).
Paul’s “finally” is a word of deep encouragement. He will sign off with reminders and his greetings (21-24), reminding them again of the grace which has been his theme throughout the letter. Before that, he wants to help them as they face the trials and temptations which come upon believers at any time. So, he urges them to avail themselves of the protection of the Holy Spirit and to pray for themselves and for him (18-20).
Prayer and protection are good companions. The Spirit helps us with both. Paul lists the armor which our faith makes available to resist the attacks against our faith and ourselves. We can hear the metal clank in his metaphors as swords, shields, helmets, belts and breastplates are all put in place, ready for the fight. Yet these protections are not material ones, and might not do much against deadly missiles or bullets. They offer deeper protection, however. For the real human fight is against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness (12). Christians, above all others, need to be on guard against these and be ready and able to resist.
Paul knows well that spiritual wickedness in high places often seeps down to material wickedness on earth. This is still true today. The challenge against God’s rule of love is war waged in the spiritual realm. The earth is its battlefield, and clashes with spiritual evil can end up very bloody and brutal. Greed, power, inhumanity, tyranny and murder are fed by the earthly weapons that are produced and purveyed across the world. We hear Paul’s urgency as he pleads with us to keep alert, to persevere in prayer for other Christians. Today, let’s commit ourselves to pray for protection for those who are facing the desperate heat of the battle.
How well prepared for spiritual warfare are you? How can you put on the armor Paul commends? Who needs your prayers of protection?
Heavenly Father, I know that You have won the battle with sin and Satan, and today I embrace that victory. Thank You!