Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spiritual Warfare - Ephesians 6:11

When we visited last, we discussed the importance of tapping into the Lord's Mighty Strength. I want to stress again the importance of becoming a spiritually strong Christian. Without the Lord's Mighty Power, the armor of God will only get you part way through the battle. If you are not spiritually strong, you will not be able to stand against Satan. There is no way to sugar coat this. Without the Lord's Mighty Power, the Armor of God is little more than behavior modification. When you face temptation, changing your behavior will only buy you some time. In order to defeat Satan, you must allow God to change your heart, what you desire, what you love, what you crave...who you are.
Verse 11 speaks of 3 things: The Full Armor of GOD, Taking a stand, and the Devil's (or Satan's) schemes.
It is noteworthy that Paul instructs us to take on the FULL armor of God. To leave out any piece of the armor is to create a spot of weakness. Satan will attack you at your weakest point. With that, notice that Paul tells us to take on the full armor of GOD, and nothing else. This is GOD's armor. He knows how best to defend us against Satan, and the armor He offers is all we need. So, take on the FULL armor of GOD, which He prepares and gives to His children. Nothing more, nothing less.
We put on the armor of God so that we CAN stand. The original word translated "can" is "dunamai" which is the root of words like dynamite and dynamic. In this context, it is the enablement by supernatural power. (The Lord's Mighty Power). Note that this is written in the passive voice...this is an internal enablement by an outside source. What does all this mean? Simply that we must be WILLING to let God enable us. We must surrender, yield our "rights", let Him have His way, and allow His spirit to strengthen and control us. Attitudes such as self confidence, self sufficiency, and self assurance have no place in the life of a mature Christian.
We put on the full armor of God so that we can STAND. This portrays the image of standing one's ground, as opposed to rushing forward in a fight. This is not a picture of casual standing, but of "digging in ones heels" and bracing oneself against a coming onslaught... Hold your ground, don't be knocked off course,  don't give a single inch to the enemy.
Finally, we are to stand against the DEVIL'S SCHEMES.  Please understand this... this is not a battle of power against power. Satan has no POWER. This is a battle of TRUTH. Satan hates you and has an evil plan for your life. Satan wishes nothing on us but evil. The tactics of intimidation and insinuation alternate in Satan’s plan of campaign. He plays both the bully and the beguiler. Force and fraud form his chief offensive against the camp of the saints. His only weapons are deceit, distraction, and distortion.
Next time we will look at the different parts of the Armor of God and delve into the use and meaning of each.
Until then,

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