Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV): Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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.
It is so easy for us as God’s people to allow ourselves to be pulled off mission. In this world, where so many, motivated by satan, set themselves up against the true biblical faith, it is very easy to mistake those earthly enemies as the real enemy; to mistake the physical battle for the real battle.
The real enemy is invisible to the human eye. To some, that makes him unreal. But he is very real, and is willing to fight against God’s plan and God’s people at any time, in any place. He whispers into the minds of people who are open to him (that is, to those who haven’t surrendered their lives to God), and sets them against God’s people, feeling the whole time that it is the most reasonable, rational action to take. And when one of God’s people is assailed by a flesh-and-blood attacker, it can be difficult to keep in mind that this person confronting them is unwittingly being used by the real enemy as a smoke screen.
The truth is, any one of God’s people, saved, cleansed, and filled with His Holy Spirit, is more than a match for the real enemy. Just as the enemy forces fled before Jesus’ very presence, just as they were made to depart at a word from Paul, so the true enemy knows that any of God’s people are powerful enough to defeat him completely. And so he hesitates to take us on directly.
So it is vital for God’s people to remember who the real enemy is, and that, in God’s power, he is already defeated. We must stay girded up in God’s armor, so that we can continually stand against his schemes. We must never allow ourselves to become distracted by the events happening in the kingdoms of the world, so that we leave off fighting the real enemy, and instead waste valuable time and energy fighting against his straw men. We must always remember that the weapons God has given us are powerful, even to the extent of breaking down spiritual strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4), so that those held captive to do the will of the enemy can be set free – the real job of kingdom people. We need to constantly keep this mission in mind, and be about this work for which God has equipped and empowered us. And then, AFTER we have done all that God has called us to do, AFTER we have overcome, then we will be able to stand in God’s presence and power forever.
Father, these are all wonderful promises. Help us all to ponder them until they become so rooted in our hearts that we instinctively move in them. Amen.