The book of Ephesians closes out in chapter 6 with something very interesting. Paul tells us to, “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God‘s armor so that you’ll be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
This makes me wonder, how many times during the day do we think about what’s going on around us spiritually? I’m guessing that for some of us it’s close to zero. Since it’s not something we can see or physically touch, it’s easy to forget that our enemies are not made of flesh and blood, but that there are evil rulers, authorities, and mighty powers at work in this dark world (as Paul puts it). I ended up putting this passage on my list of verses to memorize because it’s powerful to be reminded that there is more going on than my eyes can see.
But it’s not helpful just to be aware that more is going on, but to also know that the Lord has provided a way for us to stand firm and fight.
Paul tells us to be strong in the Lord and to put on all of God’s armor. The first thing to realize is that God’s armor isn’t like earthly armor. Physical fighting requires a person to acquire certain skills, build strength, and learn to think quick on their feet. But muscles and a cunning mind aren’t going to help us here. In order to be equipped in the spiritual battle, we need to be armed with spiritual things.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Notice how every piece of this armor is from the Lord. This armor, this ability to stand firm and fight, has everything to do with God and his provision. Our belt is God’s truths. Our body armor is his righteousness. Our shoes are his peace. Our shield is having faith in his ways (not our ways). Our helmet is the salvation he offers us, and our sword is his Spirit.
One of the biggest parts we have to play in all this is where we’re putting our trust and how we’re prioritizing our time. How can we use the shield of faith if we’re looking to our own logic instead of God? How can we use the belt of truth if we don’t know what the truth is? How can we use the helmet of salvation if we aren’t trusting Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins?
If you need a practical step today, I would encourage you to take time each day for prayer and reading the bible. If you need a book to start in, try Romans. The best way we can start learning to fight is by going to his Word for that first piece of armor, the belt of truth. Only by going to his Word can we learn about God’s character, promises, love and sovereignty.
Place your trust in him today, and let him begin teaching you how to battle.