Read Ephesians 6:10-24
“A tragedy of this magnitude has to be someone’s fault!” Those words, spoken by Mr. Wilson in the movie Dennis the Menace, reflect how many of us feel when we experience challenges in life. We look for the person to blame…or at least a scapegoat to pin it on. Unfortunately, we often limit our search to the visible, human world. But Paul warns readers like us in this final chapter of the book of Ephesians that there is another realm…and another ultimate source for much of the struggle we experience in life. This realm is a spiritual one and the contrary forces are demonic in nature.
How do we deal with such opposition? Rather than cowering in fear or retreating in defeat, the Spirit’s counsel to us is that we “stand.” In fact, Paul states that four times. We are to “stand” (v. 13b), “stand against” (v. 12), “stand your ground” (v. 13a), and “stand firm” (v. 14). But be careful…this is not a battle that we can win on our own. True strength and power for the battle come from the Lord (v. 10). And the weapons we use to combat the opposition are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they are from the Lord and possess divine power. Our commitment to truth and to righteous living (v. 14) will steer us away from Satan’s lies and temptations. Our passionate dedication to evangelism will prevent us from distraction by lesser things (v. 15). Our pledge to faithfully carry out God’s will shields us from the evil one’s artillery (v. 16). Our salvation through Christ protects us from injury (v. 17a). Our use of the word of God becomes an offensive weapon against the foe (v. 17b). And prayer? Well, it is our appeal to the all-powerful One in heaven, who is greater than the one who is in the world (v. 18-20).
Do you really understand the true identity of your opponent in this life? Don’t fight the wrong battle! Do you really understand the means God has provided for your victory? Don’t attempt it in your own strength!