Getting Ready For A Fight
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil 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 firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Getting ready for a championship event takes hours of practice. It doesn’t matter if it’s a boxing match, swim meet, hockey game, or as most of the world has been captivated recently by – soccer. There are months of rigid training, exercise, proper diet and the list goes on.
Several years ago I was engaged in a conversation with an army captain, who is telling me about the value of war games. They are expensive exercises, but they train the troops to be ready for the real thing.
The apostle Paul writing to the church at Ephesus is encouraging Christ followers to get ready for the battle. Are you ready!
John MacArthur in his commentary says this “If we are walking worthy of our calling, in humility rather than pride, in unity rather than divisiveness, in the new self rather than the old, in love rather than lust, in the light rather than darkness, and wisdom rather than foolishness, in the fullness of the Spirit rather than in drunkenness of wine, and a mutual submission rather than self-serving independence, then we can be absolutely certain we will have opposition and conflict”.
We need to know our enemy
He is identified by name. We know him as Satan. He is our adversary, accuser of the brethren, father of lies. He is identified not only by name but by his nature, we are reminded that his schemes are designed to wage war upon us, to deceive with crafty assaults. As we look at the text we are told “finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” The idea behind the word strong is to appropriate by grace, prayer in obedience to the word.
We need to put on the equipment
Paul goes on in the next verse to say put on the full armor, and that has the idea of permanence so that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil, that struggle of hand to hand combat, which is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
We are told to put on the girdle of truth, or to gird your loins with truth. This has the idea of being truth controlled, being strengthened or braced up by truth. We go next to the breast plate of righteousness. The need for moral integrity, holiness which includes all the emotions that have been built into us. Oh, how we need a fresh touch from the hand of God that we might have men and women today that are dressed in the righteousness of God, moral integrity.
Oh, how we need a fresh touch from the hand of God that we might have men and women today that are visibly dressed in the righteousness of God
We must also have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel; proper readiness to go and share the love of Christ in a gospel centered way, with peace and confidence in God ‘s sovereign love. Next were told to put on the shield of faith with it will be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the devil. To have faith in the holy God as we walk through the trials and tribulations of this day. And the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. The enemy seeks to bring discouragement and doubt. We need to be reminded of the security that is ours in the salvation that we received as a gift, by being students of the word of God.
We need to rely on God’s resources
We have the glorious privilege of having the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. We have the opportunity and privilege to spend time seeking the face of God in prayer. As you are aware, the theme verse for the The 6:4 Fellowship is Acts 6:4 where we are told “that we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word”. Are you putting your faith and trust in God, and his ability to hear an answer your prayer, based on his word?
Christian, you are in a fight for the souls of men. Our adversary is the master manipulator and he longs to undermine your victory and hinder your service.
In conclusion, let me ask you, are you winning the battles? You are in a fight! That fight is for the souls of men, so we need to be aware of the schemes of our adversary for he is the master manipulator and he longs to create in your heart doubt, to undermine your victory, to create doctrinal confusion, which will hinder your service, causing division within the body of Christ. Your service to the body. To get us to trust our own resources, to infiltrate the church with worldliness, disobedience and apathy. A fresh touch from the Spirit of the living God, being engaged with his transforming presence will radically alter who we are and how we live.
Dr. S Lindsay Taylor serves as President of Strategic Renewal Canada. Following 37 years of Pastoral ministry where he led several churches in the process of revitalization and transformation, he now sees to share that information, and experience with churches across the nation of Canada, as the Lord opens doors. If you are interested in receiving more information about the Canadian ministry please email our Canadian president at [email protected]