Imagine you are heading into battle. What should you do to prepare? Would you just sit back and wait for the fight to come to you? Not if you’re a good soldier. An experienced soldier would know to study their enemy’s tactics, to prepare their weapons, to communicate with their superior officer…
Are you a good soldier?
I doubt you’re wearing camouflage today. You’re probably not living in a literal war zone, but you are engaged in a battle. And for those of us who are Christians, peaceful resistance simply isn’t an option.
Ephesians 6:10-13 tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
We are engaged in a battle. And as Paul points out in this passage, our enemy is not made of flesh and blood. Many Christians describe this battle as spiritual warfare.
At first these passages seem to reveal a scary truth. We are fighting a battle against rulers, authorities, and powers of a dark world? We are also fighting forces of evil that we can’t see in a realm that is difficult to comprehend? How can we fight against an enemy we cannot see? How can we defeat a foe we don’t understand?
This is why a right understanding of who Satan is and how he works is so important. The Bible gives us plenty of ammunition (information) about how to fight him. But we must study that information and consider it in our battle plan.
2 Corinthians 2:11 says, “...in order that Satan might not outwit us, for we are not unaware of his schemes.”
And what are his schemes? He is a liar (John 8:44). He is actively seeking to devour you (1 Peter 5:8). He masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). That means he isn’t a big, scaly lizard with a pitchfork. There are many times that what he offers us will seem very appealing. He causes us to question God’s plan for our lives (Genesis 3:4-5). He is crafty (Genesis 3:1). He seeks to snatch the Word of God from our hearts (Mark 4:15). He displays counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9). He does not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men (Matthew 16:23). He is an accuser (Zechariah 3:1).
It’s true. He is a formidable foe. But God’s Word gives us great hope of victory. We are not powerless.
James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
And if we go back to Ephesians 6, we see that God, our general in this battle, has already provided every weapon we need to win.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:13-18).
What are our weapons in this fight? According to God’s Word; Truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Holy Spirit and prayer. What’s more, Ephesians 6:10 promises that we don’t have to fight in our own strength. We have the power of our mighty God to draw from.
You have all you need to fight effectively when spiritual warfare comes your way.
Be bold. Be courageous.