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. Ephesians 6:10-13
We as followers of Christ are involved in a spiritual conflict with evil. This conflict is described as a warfare of faith that continues until we pass from this present life and enter the life to come. Satan is a master strategist who aims to hurt and destroy us by his various schemes. Causing division in the church and unbelief in God’s promises are among some of “the devil’s schemes.” Satan’s strategies also include discouragement, temptation, unforgiveness, fear, accusation, giving in to our sinful desires (particularly in our weak areas) and spiritual laziness. He will do whatever it takes to entice us to compromise our conscience and to distract us from devotion to Jesus. Paul instructs us to take our stand against the devil’s schemes. We can do this by taking confidence that our victory has been secured by Christ through his death on the cross to pay the price for our sins. Jesus disarmed the evil powers and authorities, leading captives to freedom and rescuing those who entrust their lives to him.
At the present time, we are involved in a spiritual warfare through the might and power of the Holy Spirit. This warfare involves doing battle: against our own rebellious desires, against the ungodly pleasures of the world and temptations of every kind and against Satan and his demonic forces. As God’s people, we are called on to separate ourselves from the ungodly beliefs, behaviors and lifestyles that are common in the present world system. This includes hating, resisting and avoiding the world’s evil, overcoming and dying to worldly temptation and exposing and speaking against sin and evil.
We must stand in battle against all evil, not in our own power, but with spiritual weapons. And in our warfare of faith we called to do many things: put on the full armor of God, stand firm, wage war, fight the good fight of faith, persevere in prayer, endure hardships like good soldiers of Christ, defend the message of Christ, suffer for the message of Christ, contend for the faith, not be frightened by opponents, conquer, be victorious, triumph, destroy Satan’s strongholds, take captive every thought and become powerful in battle.
Today’s Bible Readings:
Deuteronomy 18-20, Luke 9:28-50, Psalm 73:1-26 and Proverbs 12:10