Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Boy, we are definitely seeing the schemes of the devil run rampant these days. He is fighting a fierce war against all that is good, all that is of God, all that is holy and sacred, and all that is loving, kind, and merciful.
For, he is inciting rage, hatred, fear, violence, destruction, and lawlessness, and censorship of truth. For, he is at war against law and order. For, he is at war against God – against Jesus Christ – and against the gospel of our salvation, and against the Lord’s servants and witnesses.
So, the devil is the author of this rebellion, in order that the man of lawlessness might be revealed and take rule over the people of the earth. This man of lawlessness is the one who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God (2 Thess. 2:3-4).
And, the “temple of God” today is not a building built by human hands. It is us, the people of faith in Jesus Christ. Collectively we are the church, the body of Christ, so this would mean he would take his seat (his authority) in the church. And, you know what? He already has. It happened when the church at large decided to unequally yoke together with the government and the world, and they placed the government as head over the church.
So, if we are going to put on the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes, then we, as the people of God, must get rid of all the junk in our lives, and all the idols of men that have stealthily crept into the church. And, we must bathe our hearts and minds with the word of God. And, then we must obey the word, to go wherever our Lord sends us, to say what he gives us to say, and to do what he says to do.
Ephesians 6:12-13 ESV
“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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
If we are going to win this war against evil, we must realize that this is a spiritual war, and it can only be fought with the armor of God, and in the power and strength of our Lord, and under his authority, and according to his will and purpose. If we turn to governments of men to solve our problems or to fight our battles for us, we will be defeated, most assuredly.
Too many people are looking to humans to rescue them from the evil that is going on in the world right now, so they are appealing to human authority, rather than making their appeals to God, who is the only one who can save them. And, that is a HUGE mistake, for they are falling into the devil’s trap.
If you want humans to rid us of evil, then you are “barking up the wrong tree,” for only God can change human hearts and deliver us from evil.
And, it will backfire on you. For, to have world peace means that they will require you to denounce your faith in Jesus Christ, or to at least to be silent about it and not share it with anyone else, so that we all get along. They won’t want you to say anything to anyone that might offend them… Wait! Hasn’t the worldly church been doing this for years? Yes, they have!!
The church actually led the way for this in that they unequally yoked together with unbelievers, and so they conformed the church to the world to attract the world, and then they silenced those who were teaching the true gospel of death to sin and living to righteousness. And, they removed God’s requirement to obey his commandments, and so they already invoked lawlessness within the church, so no wonder we are where we are.
So we, who have been saved by God’s grace, have to be people of truth and of righteousness who proclaim the whole counsel of God, not these half-truths that these workers of iniquity are proclaiming in order to tickle itching ears. We must be people of prayer, and people of faith who believe God, and who walk in the fear of the Lord, and according to the Spirit of God. Then, we will be able to withstand this day of evil.
Ephesians 6:14-17 ESV
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…”
How many people do you know that you believe are truth tellers? It isn’t that they have never told a lie, but that truth telling is what they practice. And, I am including here that they do not practice telling “white lies,” nor do they willfully mislead or deceive others, nor do they withhold the truth from others, where the truth is due them, as a means to deceive them.
How many truly honest people do you know? I believe they are very rare. I only know one pastor who I believe tells the truth all the time, and he is in his 90s, and he has very high ethical standards, but he is not perfect. I just see that lying has become so common place, even among Christians.
So, to put on that armor of God, we must be truth tellers all the time, and we must not hide the truth of God’s word out of fear of what men might do to us. But we must stand firm on the gospel of our salvation, and keep on sharing it, even if we are commanded not to. For, we must be those who obey God, not men, when men require that we disobey God.
But before we can even do that, we need first to be those who have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ, who have died with him to sin, and are continuing to do so daily, by the Spirit, and who are living to Christ and to his righteousness, in the power of God (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
Then, as we are walking in the fear of the Lord, in the power of God’s Spirit, we will be those who are living by faith, who are sharing the gospel of our salvation, and who are fighting the enemies lies by exposing them, and by proclaiming the truth. And, the closer we get to our Lord, the more we will see how the enemy is working against us, and the more we will understand how to fight the enemy of our souls in the power of God’s Spirit.
Ephesians 6:18-20 ESV
“…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Prayer is essential if we are going to win this battle against our enemy. But first know that the Lord already won this battle for us. Satan is a defeated foe. We just have to live like we believe that, and we have to daily take up that armor and fight the devil with the truth and the word of God.
And, one of the ways in which we fight the enemy is through prayer, praying for one another, praying for wisdom, and praying for strength in battle, etc.
He Gave Me a Song
Songwriter: Alton Howard
He took my burdens all away, up to a brighter day…
Brighter the way grows ev’ry day, walking the heav’nly way…
I am redeemed no more to die, never to say goodbye…
And some of these days in that fair land, sing with the chorus grand…
He gave me a song, to sing about
He lifted me from sin and doubt
O, praise His name, He is my King
A wonderful song He is to me
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