Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Apostle Paul stresses three important points before he begins to explain the armor of God. First, he emphasizes the need to put on the “whole” armor of God. Just as we can’t pick and choose the scriptures we like, similarly, we can’t pick the parts of the armor we prefer to put on. That means that some of the parts are going to be easy to put on, while others are going to challenge us in our spiritual development.
Second, Apostle Paul explains we need to put on the armor of God. After having done all that we can to live in peace, unity, and love with others (according to chapters 4-6 in Ephesians), we have to recognize that there is a spiritual battle that needs to be fought. Paul reminds the believers, that the enemy wages war against the believers, and he uses people to accomplish his goals. However, our battle is not against other humans, but it is against powers and principalities. We need to keep the right mindset, so we can remain alert and fight effectively.
The world is enslaved by its passions and desires, which makes it a pawn in the hand of the enemy. It is easy to get caught up with the ways of the world and the culture we live in. Many times the attacks are subtle, and they come in inconspicuous ways trying to derail the people of God. For example, your coworker begins to undermine your efforts, so they can outshine in the office. It seems insignificant spiritually, so you decide to handle it on your own. The reality is that handling it in our own strength will lead us to fleshly behavior and will drive us to react in a carnal manner. When situations come up that your focus is others’ actions, are you able to remind yourself that your battle is not against other people?
Third, Apostle Paul tells us that after we put on the whole armor of God we are to stand. Standing is a statement of not giving up and not surrendering. It shows perseverance and faithfulness. God develops His children to become soldiers in the army of God. This battle is not fought in the natural with stick, spears, or stones, but it is fought by the supernatural power of God and our established identity in Him. Are you able to stand your ground in the midst of the battle and recognize that you are an overcomer?
I will continue with this subject in the next devotional.