By E. Lamb
Ephesians 6:11-18 Common English Bible (CEB)
Put on God’s armor so that you can make a stand against the tricks of the devil. We aren’t fighting against human enemies but against rulers, authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of evil in the heavens. Therefore pick up the full armor of God so that you can stand your ground on the evil day and after you have done everything possible to still stand. So stand with the belt of truth around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and put shoes on your feet so that you are ready to spread the good news of peace. Above all, carry the shield of faith so that you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Offer prayers and petitions in the Spirit all the time. Stay alert by hanging in there and praying for all believers.
Every day we are bombarded with the conflict between good and evil, darkness and light, the already and the not yet. To the visible eye it seems as though people are the problem. If we could just rid the world of bad people then we could have a party. There is one problem with this theory. People are not our real enemy. We have one enemy, the devil. He uses people. He influences people. He creates havoc and watches as we blame and tear each other apart. The thing is he has four major tools that he uses to destroy God’s people. He uses doubt, deception, division, and debate. He loves to start fights, arguments, cause dissension, and hurt feelings. He loves to stir up gossip and strife that tear apart communities, families, and people’s lives. He loves to deceive us into believing that the real problem is the person, and not sin. He loves to cause us to doubt God’s goodness, His love, and His Word. He wants us to wander aimlessly looking for love in all the wrong places. He loves to puff us up in pride so we are unable to love anyone but ourselves. We have one enemy. He seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. So the next time we encounter a person who is less than desirable to deal with, may our first inclination be to pray for them. We never know we might be used or in the process of being by the enemy to be a thorn in someone else’s flesh. We simply don’t know. We live under the umbrella of love that says, “God loves me as I am, but refuses to leave me this way.” It is only by His grace and power that we are not the one’s on the news for doing horrible things. We think we wouldn’t, but we never know what we would be capable of if He removed His hand for one second.
No matter where we go in this world we will encounter the conflict between darkness and light. It will always exist. So may you and I daily put on the full armor of Christ. I know many years of my life have been wasted because I failed to see the full picture, nor see who my real enemy was.
The battle is not ours, it belongs to the Lord. Don’t allow the enemy to steal your joy, your peace, your hope, your smile, your witness, your life. Jesus paid a high price for you and I to live the abundant life! Go out there and seize the day. Jesus paid for it. Go for it. Celebrate Jesus. Pray for people. And
don’t forget your armor. You are deeply loved.
“Father fill us to overflow with the revelation that all we need has already been given by Your Holy Spirit living in us. We are already conquerors in You. We have nothing to fear. Help us to stand as light in a dark world. Increase our wisdom and discernment. Help us not to be offended but always prayerful. Keep our eyes open, our heart full of you, and our minds fixed on you. Help us to see our true enemy and not be deceived, doubtful, divided, and discouraged. You love us and You are for us.”