Ephesians 6: 10-13 (NIV) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor 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 armor 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.
This weekend we honor those who have given their lives for our country. Freedom is never free, it is paid for in blood, and we honor the more than a million men and women who have given their lives for our country.
In this passage, Paul talks about winning another kind of war. A war that we all face as believers. A war to make us ineffective; a war to keep us from spreading God’s goodness. We must stand our ground. The enemy is pushing back against our growth, our maturity. The enemy is trying to steal our joy and distract us from seeing God’s goodness in our lives. The enemy is looking for weaknesses in our armor. He wants to knock us down and keep us there. It’s a war, a daily struggle.
Who is this enemy we struggle against? Paul says it is “rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and spiritual forces in the heavenly realm”. There is a supernatural layer to life. There are angels warring for us and demons warring against us. The Old Testament prophet Elisha was allowed to glimpse God’s army protecting him in battle in 2 Kings 6. Jesus said the Holy Spirit is like the wind – he goes where he pleases and we cannot see him (John 3). There is a spiritual layer to the universe. The universe itself is supernatural, a miracle created by God himself.
And so we must put on our armor so we can take our stand against the devil and his forces of evil.
The armor of truth, righteousness, knowledge, readiness, faith and prayer. And we fight back with God’s Word. Make no mistake, we are at war, and we will be defeated if we do not fight back and take a stand.
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel “The Dead Peasants File” are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist churches.