Ephesians 6:10-18 – “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” NKJV
When anyone gives a summation in a discourse or directive it is usually incredibly important for it either gives more detailed instruction or ties the message together enabling the hearers to act upon the directive. That is the case here, as Paul speaks to the Ephesian believers. He says, “Finally, my brethren…” That identifies to whom he speaks. He is not presenting an evangelist message calling sinners to repentance, he is calling saints to service and warfare. This is a message to the church and therefore a message to you and me as a part of the Body of Christ and the Church today. The message is as timeless as our Lord and of value considering the times in which we life.
He then says, “…be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” The question I ask is, “Is this a dual directive, a double enforcement of the same truth or a directive and then explanation as to how to fulfill that command?” I believe the latter is the most fitting and it is my view that the apostle Paul is telling them and us to BE STRONG IN THE LORD and the way we are Strong is IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT. As the old song, “I am weak but He is strong” and as Paul declared, “His strength is made perfect in my weakness.” We are more than conquerors through Him, not in our own intelligence, ability, power, gifts, money, or anything else. John the Baptist explained it perfectly saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Paul is instructing the believers in his audience, as a final directive, BE STRONG and then explains that strength is only realized in the Power of Christ’s Might. It is by the Power, Anointing, Authority, and Manifestation of the Spirit of God.
He then directs them in their Warfare Preparation telling them to “Put on the whole armor of God…” The wording is important for He did not tell them to pray for God to give them the armor but for them to PUT ON the armor. That means they are to take what God has already given and with intent and determination PUT ON the Armor of God or the Whole Armor of God. WHY? Not so they will look the part of a warrior or have the appearance of a Super Spiritual Christian but THAT… That what? “That you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” They would have little doubt that the apostle was describing a coming situation in which they would encounter the devil and his forces and if they were to WITHSTAND they had to be prepared and part of that preparation was consciously taking on God’s Provided Armor. It was something they had to do for themselves. It was an act of faith not a formula for recitation. It was a conscious spiritual decision and action.
He goes on to explain why they needed this armor by telling them WHO they would be fighting in the spiritual warfare they would be engaged. He says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood…” But, you and I do so often. That is not our real enemy but too often we fall into the trap or scheme of the devil and allow personalities and pettiness determine our focus thereby failing to recognize our true enemy. He continues saying, “…but against principalities, powers, against the rulers of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” This War that we are armoring up for is a Spiritual War with spiritual forces to be combatted and the only way we can contend with them is with God’s Whole Armor.
I love what he says in v.13, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” The armor gives you a reasonable hope of withstanding the demonic attack from the pit of hell. The armor gives us hope of enduring the assault of the Last Days Evil that is being launched against the earth. Then he says, “…and having done all…” All what? Putting on the Whole Armor of God and being prepared. What then Paul? STAND. The ultimate decider is that we refuse to retreat. If you notice the armor, there is no covering for the backside only covering for the frontal assault, not for the retreat. God does not retreat and we are more than conquerors through Jesus and Jesus has defeated the devil.
I want to deal with the armor but will hold that until next time. Until then, I pray that you focus your attention on the Lord and His provision for your life. Blessings as you venture into the unknown of this day in Jesus!