Scripture doesn’t promise Christians an easy life. In Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul calls the Christian life a struggle and compares the spiritual equipment of a Christian to a Roman soldier fully dressed for battle. Read Ephesians 6:10: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 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. 13 Therefore put on the full armour 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 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."
How can this "armour" help you to stand your ground? Where do you see the most evidence of Satan at work in our world—what flaming arrows have you seen? What are the rulers, authorities, powers and spiritual forces Paul talks about? How can you be strong in His (God’s) mighty power?
When you head out into battle, it’s good to know a few things. You should know which side you’re on. You should know who the enemy is. You should know what armour and weapons you have at your disposal. If it’s possible, it’s even nice to know who is going to win.
When we think about the spiritual battles we fight, we can think about some of the above questions. Whose side are we on? Well, we’d like to think that we’re on the Lord’s side. As we think about our struggles, though, we know this isn’t always true. It’s maybe easier to think about who’s on our side. God, in Jesus, is on our side. He is pulling for us and helping us in this battle. Romans 8:31ff
Who is the enemy? The enemy is our own sinful flesh, the world and the devil. It’s easy to think that something or somebody else is the enemy. The devil and the world would like to chew us up and spit us out. It’s harder to remember that even our own sinful flesh can work against us at times.
What armour and weapons do we have at our disposal? Ephesians 6 talks about some of the armour God gives us. He gives us the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness, He gives us the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. God knows the devil will do his best to attack us so God provides us with this protection. Ephesians 6 also talks about the weapon of prayer. We can pray for help and strength from God as we face the attacks of evil in our lives.
Who’s going to win? We know that Jesus has defeated our flesh, the world and the devil on the cross. His death and resurrection were awesome signs of the power of God. We also know that someday the devil will be completely destroyed. Until that day, we have the promise of God’s help and protection as we fight this good fight of faith.