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Ephesians 6:10-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
The Whole Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm, therefore, with your loins girded about with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and with your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in all things, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Through all prayer and petition praying at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, keep awake with all perseverance and making supplication for all the holy ones. 19 Pray also for me, that the words may be given to me when I open my mouth, so that I may be able to speak boldly in making known the mystery of the gospel,
I know in my own life, I used to think the Christian life was an easy one. I was truly blessed to grow up in a loving, Christian home. When I was a kid, I did not know what spiritual warfare was, or really felt the effects of it. I believed in a sense that becoming a Christian meant that God was always going to fight my battles for me. As I have matured in my faith, I begin to understand that the Christian life is not just a difficult one, but a constant, everyday war. When we become a Christian, God does not promise that we will never experience troubles in this life but that He will be walking through them with us every step of the way. In a sense, He is fighting the battle with us on the front lines.
See, we have an adversary in this world named the Devil. All the Devil desires to do is to kill, steal, and destroy anyone or anything that points people to Jesus. He is always starting battles with Christians, and throughout a person’s Christian life, they will experience countless battles that, when lumped together, add up to the spiritual war of that person’s life. Every trial, rejection, and temptation is a battle. These are not the kind of battles that we think of when we hear that word. See, the Devil is also the master of deception. He does not attack us with bullets, arrows, and missiles. Like God’s Word tells us in Ephesians, the Devil attacks us with principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and with the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
As Christian, we are in a spiritual war. Just like in a material war, our enemy shoots for the head. Therefore, Ephesians instructs us to put on the whole armor of God, including the helmet of salvation. The Devil knows that if he can get into your head, it is only a matter of time until he will get into your heart and destroy you from the inside out. Therefore, I believe we are seeing an attack on society right now in the mental health field. Anxiety rates are through the roof, especially in teens and young adults. People are being diagnosed with depression and other mental conditions at a staggering rate. Why? Because the Devil is, like Ephesians states, shooting his fiery darts directly at our heads. He knows our flesh is weak, and if we start to believe that there is no hope for us in this world, we are much more likely to follow what the world promises will give us hope, which will drive us away from Jesus, our only hope. Also, if the Devil can get us to focus most of our attention on what is going on in our head or pollute our brains with thoughts contrary to God’s Word, we will be tempted to believe the lies in our mind over the truth in God’s Word.
I have struggled with anxiety and Obessive Comulsive Disorder (OCD) for years, and I know every day I wake up, I am entering a battlefield in my mind. The Devil will pull my thoughts and emotions in one direction, while God will be pulling them toward Him. When I put my flesh in charge of this battle, I lose every time. I try and handle my problems on my own without God, thinking I am equipped to win this battle by my flesh and bones alone. I put on Bradley’s armor and leave God’s armor in the closet. The moment I do this, I feel anxious, out of control, and give in to the lies the Devil is floating around in my brain. This quickly affects everything else I do. My words and actions begin to look more and more like the world and less like God. I am filled with fear and want nothing else but to run away from this battle going on in my mind.
It is only when I surrender control of my thoughts, emotions, actions, and words to God that I achieve victory in the battles of the day. It is only when I put on the full armor of God first thing in the morning that I am truly equipped to fight any battle the Devil throws my way that day. I put Jesus as the commander-in-chief of my battles, knowing that He was already assured victory for me. I know I will still have to face my battles, but that His Spirit is with me, and He will carry me through. I may end up with some bruises and scars, but I am more alive than ever at the end of the day.
When I continuously put Jesus as the commander-in-chief of my battles (having the mind of Christ), trust Him with complete faith, and walk-in obedience in all He commands me to do, I not only win the battles of the day but in the end, I will have achieved victory over the spiritual war in my life through the blood of Jesus Christ. I will celebrate this incredible victory for all eternity in a perfect place of no more pain or suffering. I look back and say the fight was worth it. I choose to no longer run away from my daily battles with this mindset but to run into them, knowing the war is already won!
Lastly, if you have put Jesus as the commander-in-chief of your everyday battles, it does not mean that everyone else has. You likely have family members, friends, and co-workers that are getting belted by the Devil’s fiery arrows. They feel wounded to the point of no recovery. This is where you can take the next step in your spiritual war, and pick up a fellow soldier that is wounded, and guide them back to the commander-in-chief, who is also the Great Healer. Be the answer to their prayer and cry for help. Leave no man behind. Unite in this spiritual war as brothers and sisters in Christ; we will see our commander-in-chief leading us to victory and the ultimate Promised Land. God bless!