Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. ~Eph. 6:11, NLT
Just one more week left in our Ephesians Study! Can you believe it? It’s gone so fast. I’m so proud of you all for keeping at it. Even if you fell off the wagon for a few days or weeks, you’re still here. You’re trying to make spending time with God a daily habit. It doesn’t matter how many times you forget, what really matters is that you are still here. Congrats!
These last few verses are packed. Just reading them tonight, God is revealing more layers than I noticed before. Take a look at a few of them with me…
Our war is not “against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12, NLT). Satan would love for you to believe that this war is against those liberals or conservatives over there, that person with the unforgiving spirit, those sinners, that person who cut you off this morning in traffic. But it’s not. All the energy we waste tearing each other apart is energy we’re not spending tearing down the gates of hell.
God has not left us alone. He has adequately equipped us for this fight. Let’s look closer at a few of our weapons.
- Belt of Truth – “and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). The truth you need to know is who you are and where you are going. We were lost but because of God being “rich in mercy” we now have “access to…the Father” (Eph. 2:4, 18). We are going to God’s house especially prepared for us by Christ (John 14:2-3)
- Breastplate of Righteousness – This is so much better than trying to be good. Instead it is a gift from God when we place our faith in Him. Just like Abraham our “faith is counted as righteousness.” And that is just the beginning.
- Shoes eager to spread the Gospel of Peace – This is the gospel and mystery that Paul just told us about in chapters 2 and 3. Be excited and eager to share it!
- Shield of Faith – “For by grace you have been saved through faith…” (Eph. 2:8). Our faith in the gospel saves us and continues to protect us from Satan.
- Helmet of Salvation – “the gospel of your salvation” (Eph. 1:13). The gospel is what gives you salvation. Hold tight to it! Learn it inside and out. Have heart knowledge but also head knowledge.
- Sword of the Spirit (Word of God) – Just as Christ did, use the Word of God to fight off the attacks of Satan against you and others.
“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:18). If the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God and we’re told to pray in the Spirit, that raises praying scripture to a greater importance. If you’re like me, you may have thought, “Wow, that’s a cool idea,” but you never got around to really doing it.
Now reading these verses in the larger context, praying God’s word seems to be a much more powerful weapon than I previously thought. Instead of just being a good idea, it may in fact be the best idea of all.
Now that you know who, what, and how, go into your daily life, be it walking out the door to work or training children in the home, armed with what you’ve learned throughout our study from Paul. Don’t just be a hearer “like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror” then “goes away and at once forget what he was like.” Instead, be a “doer who acts” (James 1:23-25).
My challenge this week is to act. Take what you’ve learned in the application part of your lessons and apply it to your daily life starting right where you are. The armor of God is not just intend for the “big” battles we are to fight. Instead it is intended to be worn daily to prevent the devil from getting a “foothold” even in the crevices of our lives.
Romans 3:1-10:4 ~ On Righteousness