We are in Spiritual Battles (vv. 10-12)
The Apostle Paul said in verse 1, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.” God is the source of power for believers. Apart from Jesus Christ our Lord, Christians can accomplish nothing at all for God’s glory (John 15:5). On the other hand, Christians can accomplish all kinds of things if they maintain a close relationship with the Lord. Paul said, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” in Philippians 4:13.
Paul continues in verse 11, “Put on the full armor of God in order that you may able to stand firm against the crafty methods of the devil.” This verse has clearly told us that the power of God is infinitely superior to that of Satan and his allies. “Crafty methods” are mixing errors with just enough truth to make it appear plausible. Satan used this kind of method to deceive Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, and to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4. Paul also said in 2 Corinthians 11:14, “Satan disguise himself as an angel of light . . .” Paul says in verse 12, “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against cosmic powers of this present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” This is the reason why we must depend on God in this battle. Paul said in verse 10, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.”
Put on the Whole Armor of God (vv.13-17)
We are humans, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We are called to use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. Paul says in verse 13, “Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Paul used the verb “stand” several times in today’s text. Through this, we can know the clear purpose of the armor of God. God tells us to put these armor so that we can stand firm in the midst of Satan’s attack and join God’s glory as the final victors. “Against cosmic power of this present darkness” and “on that evil day” describe so well the situations when Paul was alive as well as today’s society. The armor of God Paul described in this text came from the Roman guard he had seen when he was locked in a prison.
*Belt of truth: The belt was very important. It was basic. So also living the life of honesty and truthfulness in spiritual warfare was important to fight againt the Satan who is the fathe of lie.
*Breastplate of righteousness: moral purity, just, fair
*Shoes for your feet: readiness to spread the Gospel of peace
Jesus died for us to restore our broken relationships with God. God has called us to live our lives as peacemakers.
*Shield of faith: It covers the entire body from the firey dot. Paul says that “You will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Hebrews 11: 6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
*Helmet of salvation: the hope and assurance of salvation
*Sword of the Spirit: the Word of God. Jesus used God’s Word when he was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Paul says in today’s text that we should do the same.
Method of Spiritual Warfare
- Pray in the Spirit (guidance and empowered)
- Stay alert (Ex. fire station, Emergency Room, Soldiers)
- Always persevere in supplication for all the saint (Intercession)
“Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Paul also ask them to pray for him in verses 19-20, “Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.” Paul was in a prison at that time. God sent him as an ambassador to proclaim His massage, which is the Gospel. When the disciples were attacked by the government and the religious leaders, they rejoiced since they considered their suffering for the Lord as an honor. Instead of being scared or complain about their suffering, they prayed to God to make them bold in their witnesses.
We are going through very similar situations right now. Many of our fellow Christians are persecuted because of their faith. How should we respond? I see what’s happening in the world right now as spiritual warfare. According to our Bible, the only way for us to win these kinds of battle is to put the full armor of God. We also need to be diligently train ourselves how to put on these armor and use them. On top of all these, we had to keep ourselves physically fit and strong for possible military actions. Likewise, we need to be diligent to train ourselves with God’s Words, prayers, and learn how to put on the whole armor of God. It may be uncomfortable, it will protect you and even save your lives!
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Let us be strong in the Lord and in the stength of His power! Let us pray!