Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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.”
We have an enemy. His name is Satan (or the devil). He is out to defeat all that is of God. And he is continually scheming against us, trying to trick us into forsaking our pure faith and our devotion to Jesus Christ in order that we might follow after the flesh and the world, instead.
So, as true followers of Jesus Christ, we are going to be opposed on a regular basis by the devil via humans who are listening to him and who are doing his bidding.
Some of them, perhaps, are unaware they are being used of Satan, like when Peter tried to persuade Jesus that he didn’t have to die on that cross and so Jesus had to rebuke Satan, but he was also rebuking Peter for not having the mind of God, but for setting his mind on the things of man.
So, since we have this powerful enemy who is out to bring us down any which way he can, we must stay strong in our faith in the Lord and in his mighty power. And we must not give the devil any kind of foothold in our lives.
Therefore, daily we must put on the full armor of God, so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes, for they are many. And we must resist the devil, flee temptation, and draw close to our Lord Jesus.
Yes, our true struggle (battle) is not against flesh and blood (against humans), for this is a spiritual battle, not a physical one. So, we are at war against the devil and he is at war against us who are following Jesus with our lives. But he uses human beings to do his dirty work.
And just because our true enemy is Satan, this does not excuse anyone who sins against us. They don’t get off the hook just because they are being used as a tool of the enemy to come against the Lord’s servants. For we are all responsible before God for what we do in this life (Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
And just because Satan is our real enemy, that doesn’t mean we don’t confront sin in sinful humans and call for repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord. And it doesn’t mean we don’t speak the truth to other Christians who we know are living in sin, in hopes they will repent.
We must stand our ground. We must set our faces “like flint” (Is 50:7), with resolution, courage, and determination, so that we are not overcome by the enemy but so we can remain pure and steadfast in our faith until Jesus returns. We can’t budge at all in any areas of moral purity, especially.
Ephesians 6:14-17 NIV
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
So, what is this armor of God, and how do we put it on? It is not something we just repeat and say, “I put this on.” It is not a mere mental exercise or a religious ritual. Putting on the armor of God means applying all that is of God and of his truth and righteousness to our lives daily.
When confronted with lies or when tempted to tell a lie, we choose to tell and/or to believe the truth, instead. When we hear things that others say, especially if they are saying that God said it, we need to test it to see if it is true. And we need to test it in prayer and in the study of God’s word (in context). For many false teachings stem from Scriptures taken out of context.
Our chest is where our physical heart is and the protection for our heart is righteousness if it is in place. And righteousness is not just a state of being because we believe in Jesus. We must live to his righteousness. So, our hearts are protected from going astray if we are practicing righteousness.
Feet are often symbolic of those who are spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to others, but our feet need to have the proper covering, too. We need to be students of the word of God who study it in context, who compare Scripture with Scripture and who seek out the Lord for truth.
Then, when we share the gospel with others we will be sharing the gospel as Jesus and his NT apostles taught it and we won’t be guilty of spreading a false gospel of men which is deceiving many people these days by promising them heaven while they leave them in their sins, sending them to hell.
Our faith, if it is the kind of faith that saves, comes from God. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws us to Christ; unless he first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sin, and of our need to turn from our sin and to obey Christ Jesus.
So, taking up that faith daily means drawing on that God-given faith, and in the power of God’s Spirit, we walk by faith and not by sight, and we believe God, and we follow Jesus with our lives, and we forsake our sins daily, and we surrender our lives to his will.
Our salvation is death to sin and living to righteousness daily. It is no longer living for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And it is walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh in the power of God’s Spirit now livening within us.
So, if we walk by the Spirit, we won’t fulfill the lustful cravings of our flesh. If we follow Jesus Christ with our lives, we won’t walk (live) in darkness (sin). And when Satan throws lies or temptation our way to try to trip us up, we get out the word of God and we fight his lies with the truth of God’s word.
Ephesians 6:18 NIV
“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.”
Yes, we need to pray for one another. The enemy is out in full force with his army and they are fiercely coming against us, and it is going to get much worse in the near future. We need to pray for and encourage one another in our walks of faith so that none of us are hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
He Lifted Our Burdens
An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.