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.
Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV)
All of us want to be the best we can be.
We want to be the best Christian, professional, husband, wife, father, mother, friend, neighbor—the “hats” we wear seem endless. We want to be the best, not from an attitude of comparison or competition, but because we feel that God deserves our best. However, recent times (i.e., the global pandemic, rising national unemployment, emotional and mental trauma, and social injustices) are making it even harder for us to be our best and for us to stay our best. Scripture is clear that as Christians we are in a constant, daily spiritual battle with the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). These forces are “rulers,” “authorities,” and “cosmic powers” in the spiritual world, unseen by mankind. All of our efforts to be our best, which means living lives led by the Holy Spirit and godly love, are constantly bombarded by attacks from the devil (Ephesians 6:11). If we are not careful, these attacks can make us feel drained, depleted, doubtful, and hopeless.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, ends his letter with a call to believers to fight against the devil and to resist his attacks. Paul ends this letter much like he began. In Ephesians 1, Paul boasts in the exalted power of Christ as our supreme Ruler. Paul says that Christ is seated in the heavens--- “far above every ruler, authority, power, and dominion, and every title given” (Ephesians 1:21 CSB). It is through this power, the exalted power of Christ, that we can stand firm against the “rulers,” “authorities,” and “cosmic powers” of darkness (Ephesians 6:10-12). When we rely solely on human egos, selfish ideas, and political powers, we will “struggle” with “flesh and blood.”
We will always be preoccupied with fighting each other—only to miss standing firm against the real enemy.
But when we stand firm in the name and the power of Christ, who is the Ruler of all rulers, we will become spiritual warriors, always prepared for battle against the devil and all darkness.
Paul is clear to believers in the ending of his letter: “For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand” (Ephesians 6:13 CSB).
Standing firm in times of trouble and constant spiritual darkness requires preparation.
This armor is God’s righteousness, peace, salvation, and His Word. We have to do everything we can, not just to be the best family man or woman, professional, or Christian we can be, but to be among those still standing after the battle is over. When we adopt God’s divine nature, which is our armor, we can stand boldly, holding up our victorious faith in every situation, with which we “can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16).
The devil has every intention to completely discourage us, leaving us feeling oppressed and hopeless (Daniel 7:25). When we look at our current situations and the national and global issues we face through human eyes, the devil’s plan will succeed. We will be discouraged. We will feel hopeless about the times we live in and the times our descendants will live in.
When we dress ourselves in God's character and "pray in the Spirit'' (praying Spirit-energized and Spirit-directed prayers), we will walk out of every battle full of hope and faith (Ephesians 6:18). Yes, we might be exhausted, but we will never be alone or forsaken. As we will live our daily lives among the realities of spiritual darkness, the Lord our God is with us by His Spirit. He tells us to stand firm because He is the One fighting for us.
Ultimately, the battle belongs to the Lord, and we must only stand still (2 Chronicles 20:15-17). So take courage—when the battle is over and we’ve done all we can do, we will still be standing.
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