The Word for today:
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. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
Christians do not fight an enemy who is flesh and blood. We are not to fight other men. The enemy is spiritual, and the warfare is spiritual. Spiritual forces are abroad in this world, fighting against the believer, against the church, against Jesus Christ.
In Daniel 10:1-13, we hear an astonishing report from an angel. On the first day that Daniel began praying, an angel was sent to him. But Daniel kept on praying for three weeks, thinking his prayer was unanswered. So where was the angel for those three weeks? He’d been detained as he struggled with a demon, and could not break through until the angel Michael brought reinforcement.
In 2 Kings 6:15-17, God’s people, Israel, were surrounded by the enemy nation of Syria. There were many soldiers, horses, and chariots of war. When the prophet Elisha’s servant saw the great force of the enemy he was afraid. He cried out to Elisha, “What shall we do?”
Fear not, Elisha told him, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
Then Elisha prayed that God would open the servant’s eyes and allow him to see the spirit world. The request was granted, and his servant saw the spiritual forces of God surrounding Israel.
The battle lines are drawn wherever the Word of God is taught, wherever the Good News–salvation from sin and eternal life with God through Jesus Christ–is proclaimed. This blog, for example, is an insurgence into the enemy’s realm, a threat to his holdings.
Return often to Ephesians 6:10-20 as you learn more and more about your Bible, about Jesus, about God’s armor–the belt, the breastplate, the footwear, the shield, the helmet.
Learn to wield the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, against the enemy–as Jesus used it to defeat Satan in the wilderness (1).
And do not fear this enemy. Greater is He who is within you–the Spirit of God–than he who is in the world (2).
The Captain of our salvation (3)–Jesus Christ–has won this fight; while the enemy, in reluctant retreat, is allowed to play out the full effects of pride for all to see.
(1) Matthew 4:1-11; (2) 1 John 4:4; (3) Hebrews 2:10