MORE THAN A SKIRMISH

Read: Ephesians 6:1-24 (Amplified Version)

Reflect: It was fifth grade. Janie and I were supposed to “rumble” during recess.  I was naïve and had a strong belief that if you just try hard enough, you will succeed. I didn’t realize that Janie had a lot more street smarts and physical strength than me.  Who knows why I thought it was a good idea to enter the first playground fight in my life?  Regardless, she challenged me and there I was.  Wisdom, power and strength were not on my side.  Needless to say, Janie won hands down.  Positive thinking doesn’t replace preparedness.

A BATTLEFIELD WAY MORE HAZARDOUS

Ephesians 6 describes a battlefield way more hazardous. This particular battle has eternal consequences. It is downright scary.  The opposing forces have existed for millenniums, scheming, strategizing and lying all the way.  Believers are pitted against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.  This is the big leagues, yet we often enter unprepared, naïve, ignorant, thinking sunny thoughts will save the day.

TO BE ABLE TO STAND

God never wants His children to go into battle unprepared.  Most of the equipment He has given us is for our defense; it is to protect us. He has given us spiritual armor so that we will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].  Did you notice the repetition of the word “stand”?  God doesn’t want us to give an inch to the evil one.  This is not a recess brawl; this is a battle with momentous ramifications. We need serious protection for a battle in which we are not to give an inch.

HOW DO WE ENTER SUCH A BATTLE?

How are we to enter such a battle?  Wearing God’s armor is vital. What is God’s armor? A major piece is the band of truth. This is discernment in understanding the difference between the enemy’s lies and knowing the handbook of God’s truth.  At the same time, we have to wear the breastplate of righteousness.  Even 1,000 of our own righteous acts are no match for Satan’s attacks. The breastplate of righteousness has Christ’s name stamped on it, as though Christ said, “Your righteousness isn’t sufficient to protect you. Wear mine.”

FIRM FOOTED STABILITY

Even appropriate foot wear is mentioned on this passage.  Strapped on our feet is to be the Gospel of peace.  The boots ready for this war give us firm-footed stability so that we can fly into battle at a moment’s notice ready to proclaim God’s offer of reconciliation to any person on the planet. Above all, we need the shield of faith.  This isn’t faith in our own puny abilities, but faith in our Eternal Father Who was already declared the winner of the battle at the cross.

THE PLAYBOOK

Only two major weapons are mentioned in this passage, the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) and prayer.  We are to dive deeply into the Word of God.  There is to be no other playbook for this battle. Not knowing the Word is like entering a boxing match without ever having taken the boxing gloves out of the box. 

COMMUNICATION WITH THE GENERAL

With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.  This weapon consists of specific prayers; not “bless all the missionaries in the world and bless my family” kind of prayers.  This is direct communication with the General. 

TO COME OUT STRONGER

As our beloved Father, God wants us to not only survive the battle, but to come out of it stronger.  This is not a simple skirmish. Our foe wants our demise.  Janie just wanted to wallop me that day on the playground.  Satan daily wants to grind us to the ground. Please don’t be naïve.  Don’t go into spiritual battle unprepared with the mentality of a silly fifth grade girl.

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