MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 6
AUTHOR: Joe Ligon
Today we bring our journey through Ephesians to a close. Although this book has only six chapters, it really is just full of good, important stuff. I regret that we were only to scratch the surface. But the reality is we all have limited time and limited space for everything including these daily devotions. I hope our quick tour through Ephesians has been helpful.
Although this final chapter of Ephesians speaks of parent/child relationships and employer/employee relationships, it is perhaps best known for its section on the armor of God. This begins in verse 10.
As this section opens we are encouraged to be strong and to put on the whole armor of God. The reason for this is the spiritual battle(s) that Christ-followers face on at least a daily basis. We are told this is necessary to stand up against the schemes or wiles of the devil. The word translated schemes or wiles is where we get our word methods from but it refers to trickery or deceit. In other words, the devil does not fight fair. He is a liar who will use every trick in the book to defeat you or any other Christ-follower.
Verse 12 gives us an incredible insight to our spiritual battles. Our battle or fight or wrestling is not with flesh and blood. In other words, our actual enemy is not human. Our struggle should never be with each other. Instead, our battles are with the demons that serve Satan. Honestly, that sometimes takes on a human form and sometimes humans are used mightily of Satan. But we really need to remember who are real enemy really is.
As you read through the description of the armor of God, you will find that the vast majority of it is defensive in nature. It is designed to protect our minds and hearts. We are to be wrapped in God’s truth and to wear spiritual shoes that will keep us from slipping down or slipping backward. We are given a shield that absorbs and extinguishes the fiery, flaming darts of the enemy.
The only offensive weapon we are given is a sword which this passage defines as the Word of God. The only offensive weapon we have is the Bible. The only way we can be adept at using this offensive weapon is we have to spend time with it and in it. We just can’t carry around our Bibles and swing them at unsuspecting folks. We have to get into the Word deep enough that the Word gets into us.
But even with all that armor and with that very sharp sword, we still need spiritual help to survive and even be victorious in the spiritual battles. Verse 18 challenges us to pray for ourselves. The same verse also challenges us to pray for other Christ-followers. Prayer not only prepares our hearts but also prayer unleashes the power of God. Remember He is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or think according to His power that is at work in us. (Ephesians 3:20)
When you put all of this together, you realize that the Christian life is not for sissies. And it is not for the faint of heart. The call to the Christian life is a call to battle that is not only real and intense but it is also often an unseen spiritual conflict. As Christ-followers we have to be willing to stand against the enemy and to pray for our brothers and sisters to stand with us.