Withstanding in the Evil Day

Against the Schemes of the Devil
Ephesians 6:10-12 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. 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.”

When this says here that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, it is not saying that we don’t have human enemies. For, the Scriptures clearly teach that we do, which is why we are to love our enemies and to pray for them and to do good to them. We will have physical flesh and blood enemies who will come against us, who will fight against us, if we are following Jesus.

What this is saying is that, even though we have physical enemies, our true battle is with Satan. He is the one behind it all. So, this is a spiritual battle against the forces of evil which must be fought on a spiritual level using the full armor of God which God has supplied for us to fight these battles. But we do use these pieces of armor against flesh and blood enemies.

For when a person lies to us we put on that belt of the truth and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, and we counter those lies with the truth. For, Satan lies to us through other people. He uses humans as his instruments to tell his lies and to deceive people into believing the lies. And some of them are his servants masquerading as servants of righteousness.

Satan is very persistent in his schemes he uses against us. He is very clever. If he can’t get at us one way, he will try a different approach. He loves to lay traps for us hoping that we will fall into them. And he uses other humans to lay those traps, too. And these humans are those who are liars and manipulators and haters who willingly plot evil against other humans.

So, this is why God has given us this spiritual armor to apply and to use daily in our battles against our enemy so that we do not fall into the traps, and so we do not give the devil a foothold in our lives, and so we fight off the devil’s schemes against us. And in this way we can be strong in the Lord and in his mighty strength.

The Whole Armor of God
Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV

“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. 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.”

To take up the whole armor of God is to apply it to our lives. It is to put this armor into action in our lives. We oppose lies with the truth. We walk in righteousness and not in sin. We share the gospel with others. We do not shrink back out of fear. We put faith into practice when Satan is trying to fill our minds with fear. We make decisions based on faith, not on circumstances. And we live what we say we believe.

Our salvation from sin is not a one-time event in our lives which secures us heaven when we die, even though this is being widely taught. Our salvation is deliverance from our slavery to sin so we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. God’s grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “no” to ungodliness and fleshly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return.

So if we take up the helmet of salvation, we are working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. We are living as slaves to God and to his righteousness. We are saying “no” to sin and “yes” to God on a daily basis, and we are living godly and holy lives pleasing to the Lord because we love him. And we resist the devil so he will flee from us.

Satan loves to tell us lies, either in an attempt to deceive us, or in an attempt to scare us, hoping we will respond in fear and not in faith. So we must take up the sword of the Spirit daily to combat those lies and to put on and to live the truth. So, we must be studying the Word of God daily and applying its truths to our lives so that we can keep from being deceived, and so we can fight fear with faith and lies with truth.

All of this has to do with living by faith and walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. It has to do with daily denying self and dying with Christ to sin and living with Christ to righteousness. It has to do with resisting the devil and drawing near to the Lord in full assurance of faith. For, this is living out what we say we believe one day at a time. We fight off the devil’s schemes by living for the Lord and no longer for self.

Praying in the 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 to our walks of faith in Jesus Christ and to walking by the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. For, prayer is our means of communicating with our Lord. But prayer should not be some routine thing we do by rote, or always at a specific place at a specific time. Prayer is not a formula. It is our communication with our Lord.

To me, prayer is continual communication with the Lord, not necessarily talking with him all the time, but having that open door of communication which never closes to where he can talk with us and we can talk with him anywhere at any time under any circumstances whether sitting, kneeling, or standing, or whether with eyes opened or closed.

Having that open communication with the Lord and not doing anything that would hinder that is what helps us to keep alert with all perseverance. We can pray for others all throughout the day, too, as the Lord puts them on our hearts to pray for them. And we can pray to be given the words to say and for boldness to say them, too.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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