“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT
We are in a raging battle against the forces of darkness! The only way for us to win is to identify our enemy and suit up in the right battle attire.
Our enemy is Satan, not other human beings. The evil that is being manifest through other people is the result of them being under satanic control. The only way to defeat Satan is through the power of Jesus Christ! We cannot fight this battle in the power of the carnal man (human, fleshly man).
“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT
We MUST fight this battle in the Spirit. Our feeble attempts to win this in our strength will only render us expended and exhausted. There is only ONE human who ever ran this human race and won it - Jesus. We must look to Him for victory. He has already won the War!!! In Him we can overcome Satan's strategic attempts to take casualties and captives from the battlefield. Jesus is our sure defense and our absolute triumph!!! Death itself cannot overcome the child of God!
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 NLT.
We are overcomers and more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” ) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:35-39 NLT
We are victors, not victims!!
We have been rescued from Satan's concentration camp and adopted into God's family.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.””
Romans 8:15 NLT
“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,”
Colossians 1:13 NLT
We are now soldiers in the army of the Lord of Hosts! We are not fighting for victory, we are fighting with victory! Now that we are rescued, adopted, and placed among the ranks of God's people we must suit up for the battle in this age. Until we get home to be with our Commander in Chief - Jesus, we must submit to His training and suit up in the armor He has issued us. We are under orders and we must be found at our post of duty.
The enemy wants to exploit our human weakness. Satan is a cunning foe and he waits for us to lay our armor down so we are exposed. He knows that he cannot defeat us when we are battle dressed and ready. Only when we get complacent and comfortable do we become vulnerable. We must be ready at all times in this daily battle with the dark forces of evil. We must walk as children of the light!
“For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.”
1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 NLT
Serving Jesus is not a walk in the park but at least it's not a walk in the dark!
Let's review the main text of scripture for today (Ephesians 6:10-18). Here is a list of our orders and our issued supplies:
1. We must be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power! We cannot win in our strength!
2. We must put on God's armor.
3. We are not fighting other human beings, although their behavior is manifest evidence of their dark associations. We are fighting evil forces in the heavenly realm. Command central for evil people is Satan himself. He is the one we are really fighting (and his demons).
4. We must stand firm in the righteousness of God's armor and resist evil.
We do this by putting on these things:
1. Belt of truth. This is the first and main thing. Without truth everything else is irrelevant and powerless. God's Word is Truth!
2. Body armor of righteousness
(Breastplate). We are given righteousness through Jesus Christ our Savior. We live in righteousness as a result of His Lordship! This protects the vital organs of our living.
3. We must wear shoes of peace and walk in peace. We are not trouble makers. We are peace makers (see Matthew 5:9). God's children do not riot or cause civil unrest. We are the ones who bring stability and civility to the world! The gospel is a message of peace with God and how that peace translates into peace in life itself. Only Jesus can bring true peace to an evil world. One day He will banish evil and establish His eternal peace on earth! He is the Prince of Peace!Hallelujah!
4. We must hold up the shield of faith! Satan will fire arrows at us that are meant to be lethal but we can quench those flaming arrows with faith in God!
5. We must put on the protection of our head - the helmet of salvation. We can have the knowledge of Christ and His wisdom. We are being bombarded by satanic things all around us and we must not allow our minds to come under the influence of evil. We must know in WHOM we have believed!!
6. We must become proficient in wielding the Sword of the Spirit! God's Word is that Sword! We must learn to use it well and appropriately. We must hold it in it's sheath (our hearts) and be ready to use it when needed!
7. We must pray in the Spirit! We must get beyond the human level and pray in unison with the Holy Spirit! (see Romans 8:26; I Corinthians 14:14-15; Ephesians 6:18). There we enter the realm of the spiritual warfare in which we must fight. There we find, in Him, power for the battle!
Curtis R. Norris
Rev. Curtis Norris