Bible Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might...For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10 & 12)
The Christian life is spiritual warfare. Satan is not happy when God is glorified. Though he cannot take away our salvation, he can and will meddle with God’s plans on earth so that God’s name is shamed amongst people on earth. Do not think that Satan is some scary-looking spirit out there somewhere waiting to jump-scare us. Even though he can be, those devils are stupid. The intelligent devils know what they are up against. They are up against Christians doing God’s will, who they need to defeat.
We must be alert and aware of where Satan attacks. First, He will fish at our sins and failures. He will tell us how sinful we are, how unworthy and incapable we are at being followers of Christ. He will tempt us to give it up with the reason that we are sinful anyway and there are better people who are worthy to serve God. These lies are subtle, and little do we realise how they whir in our heads so very often.
Satan will also attempt to destroy unity in the church. Satan knows that God’s kingdom advances through God’s people. If he could break the unity within God’s people, he will succeed in hindering God’s work. Satan does this by reminding Christians of their selfish desires. He will take little irrelevant issues and flare them up such that Christians quarrel, hate, and foster sin. He will encourage Christians to look down on one another, look into the pain that they experience, and in all, succeed in putting God’s work away from the Christian’s mind.
How are we to respond to the devil’s schemes? Paul says we must be strong in the Lord. We are not to be strong in ourselves. In the Lord means a close relationship with Him and total trust and surrender to walk with Him. Using battle imagery, Paul exhorts, “stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness”. God’s truth and righteousness is our stronghold. How often do we equip ourselves again with God’s Word and promises? We need it to stand.
Paul then goes on to say we need the “shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Where does faith come from apart from the Word of God?
How about the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit? We can only be assured of our salvation if we look into the promises of God in the Bible. And, the sword of the Spirit is God’s Word itself.
How then must we stand against the devil’s schemes? In God’s Word. In knowing God. Furthermore, Paul exhorts how we must pray for ourselves and one another. Why is that? Let me ask, who has God’s Word? Who knows God’s Word? It is God’s and God’s alone. It is no man’s to claim. We must pray for God’s Word. We must pray that God reveals Himself to us as He promised to. In all these, God wants one thing from us, that is, that we rely fully on Him. Have you surrendered to rely on God with all that you have?
Lord, please help me stand against the devil’s schemes. In this spiritual war, let me live a life that continues to glorify You in all that I do. I need your Word, God. Give me a desire and hunger for Your Word. Speak to me and also to all Your church. Do not leave me, do not leave Your people. May Your kingdom be expanded, and if You will, let us take part in expanding Your kingdom as Your church. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.