Monday, January 11, 2016
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will 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. Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT)
Paul is like the Old Testament prophets, Moses and Joshua. He tells us to stand strong, and in the Lord’s power and might.
What kind of advice is that – and why do we need it?
It is good advice, and we need it because the kinds of enemies we face are not the ones we can see, or engage in physical battle. For the next several days, let’s inspect the armor God has provided for us to be protected and fight well in the battles of spiritual warfare.
Consider how difficult it is to fight the unseen even in nature:
Here’s to the chigger, the bug that’s no bigger
Than the end of a very small pin;
But the itch that he raises simply amazes,
And that’s where the rub comes in.
It’s important to learn to stand against both big and little things the devil throws in our pathway; God's people have always had to do so. There are enough false things out there to trip up anyone who is not strong in the Lord; everything from cults to Satanists and other assorted lunatics.
that we are beings of the flesh as well. Sometimes we are like Pogo -- We have met the enemy, and he is us!
God knows us; He knows our frame, that we are dust. And so, God provides protection, effective armor. If we will take it, and put it to the intended use, we will be successful in waging spiritual warfare.
Joe Lewis was the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He fought, 71 times; he lost only once. During the fifteen years he held his title, he defended it 25 times. Bill Stern, the voice of American sports on radio, decided toward the end of the Brown Bomber's career that he would interview him and find out the technique or the secret that Lewis used in fighting his opponents and how he could win over people who were at times much larger than he. His answer was very simple, I study my opponent, I plan my fight very carefully. The results are always the same – I’m never surprised and I stay on the offensive. That's pretty good counsel for dealing with the devil.
Satan wins many of his attacks and victories because he surprises us. We continually live shocked. The believer has no reason to be shocked, intimidated or surprised by the attack of the enemy – none whatsoever. God has given us the armor and the battle plan to overcome his attacks.
Paul was chained 24 hours, 7 days-a-week to a Roman guard. It is no wonder God used the imagery of armor and weapons to impress the apostle to warn us how to be strong in the Lord.
We should never underestimate the enemy!
In tomorrow’s devotion we will start getting dressed; we will begin with the belt.