“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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17). 

If we profess Christ and don’t realize that we are in a battle then there is something frighteningly wrong with our relationship with Jesus. The scripture is abundantly clear that, in this world, we are in a war and this world as we know it will end in war (there are multiple Biblical references including those found Revelation 12, 13, 17, and 19). The difference is that the battle that rages now is a spiritual one. Yet it is a war that demands the same intensity, courage, wisdom, and trust in God as a physical conflict. Do we sense the struggle? Are we aware of our foes? Or are we so spiritually lethargic, self-absorbed, lukewarm, (see Revelation 3:14-22), or lost that the enemy need not worry about us? 

Paul uses numerous military terms and metaphors in writing to the church at Ephesus: armor, stand (as in Custer’s last), struggle, rulers, powers, forces, belt, breastplate, shield, arrows, helmet, and sword. I definitely think he wants us to get the picture that we are in a contest that is a face to face conflict to the finish (which is what the Greek term “struggle” here means). But our adversaries are not what we might think. They are powerful, dark spiritual forces of evil that are charging to crush our faith and conquer our souls. Have you ever experienced the attacks of these enemies in your journey in following Jesus? You can’t see them but their soul-endangering attacks are real! 

But God has given us His strength and mighty power for this battle! And we wield spiritual weapons of righteousness: “…in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left…” (2 Corinthians 6:7). Our arms don’t look like human, conventional weapons of war but are far more powerful: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). God’s armor fortifies us with His strategic armaments against evil: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, and His Word. When utilized, no forces of evil can stand against these superior offensive and defensive weapons! 

Beyond this we have a Commander who stands at the vanguard of this hellish fray. Although we still exert godly effort in this battle, the war has already been won. Through Calvary, Jesus has already provided the victory and will, in the end, visibly demonstrate His supremacy for all of His creatures to see. And they will fall down before Him and give Him the honor He so rightly deserves. His enemies will be vanquished and He will be exalted. It is no wonder that John cried out, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20). We who are in His battalion desperately concur. 

And He is coming. His victorious return gets closer every day. In the meantime, let us ask these questions: Are we ready for His triumphant arrival where He will “overthrow [His enemies] with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)? Are we “fighting the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12)? Are we deploying His entire arsenal for the advance of His kingdom? 

Friends, this is serious business. There is a Heaven and there is a Hell. There is a Savior and there is a Satan. And there is a God who will judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42) and rule over His entire universe. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that this Lord Jesus is the only true God (Romans 14:11). Let’s make sure that we are among the conquering regiment, and that we are following our almighty King in daily warfare against all the powers that oppose Him, His Kingdom, and us. And may we give Him all the glory as we do: “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!”  (Revelation 12:10-12).

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