Eph. 6: 14-17– “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
What’s going on in our world today is nothing new. Pandemics, plagues and total destruction of nations have happened over the centuries and how we are responding today is not much different than from the beginning of the Bible. Time after time, we saw prophets warning people about the destruction of the land because of unholiness and defamation of God’s name and how people have responded is much like today – some scared, operating in fear, some unmoved and continuing on with life unchanged and some taking heed to the call of God and listening for His voice through the chaos.
While Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the full armor of God so that we will be ready when the enemy tries to attack, we have to remember that our enemy isn’t that person, spouse or friend making us mad. Our enemy is the devil. We often forget that when in the heat of an argument or in a situation where find ourselves on the defense. We see that person’s face and our rage is unleashed! How much easier would it be to forgive and walk in unity when we remember who our real enemy is?
Today, we want to break down Ephesians 6:14-17, referencing other verses in Ephesians, as well, but focusing in on who our enemy is and how we defeat him. After all, the enemy is defeated and we are victorious through Christ, but if we don’t know that or even how to operate in it, we will easily be defeated!
John 10:10– “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
So, we know the enemy’s plan is to come only to steal, kill and destroy. He isn’t out for our good. His conniving ways influence us to take our eyes off of him as the culprit and focus them on that person we are at odds with. This will cause division amongst other things that will ultimately take our eyes off of God.
Our enemy is not flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 says “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.”
We have to remember that we are all influenced in two ways/ two kingdoms: the enemy or God. The enemy can only work thru flesh. When we truly can understandthat, we wont waste our time fighting amongst each other.
Wiles– devious or cunning strategies employed in manipulating or persuading someone to do what one wants; devious, cunning and manipulative. The enemy may not be smart, but he is skillful and clever. He is the father of lies and there is no truth in him. He doesn’t play fair!
1 Peter 5:8 – “Be sober and vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world….”
The first part of this verse is telling us that we must be watchful and sober or clear headed. We cannot be negligent or careless of the devil’s schemes and be caught off guard, unprepared. If we were in the middle of a war, would we just fall asleep while our enemy is roaming around us? NO!
In Matthew 26:36, Jesus tells his disciples to watch as he goes to pray to the father. He was tempted in his moment of weakness and despair, but knew what was about to happen. After He went back to his disciples, he found them sleeping and asked them “could you not stay awake and keep watch for me for one hour? Then he tells Peter in: Matthew 26:41– “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We often give way too much credit to our flesh. Our flesh isn’t eternal. Our Spirit man is. We have to begin to train ourselves to look at our flesh as a dead being and allow our spirit man to reign in our souls and our lives. We give way too much credit to our flesh and to man.
Going back to 1 Peter 5:8, we are warned that the devil walks around like a roaring lion. Lions stalk their prey. They wait for the right moment to attack. Weaker prey or injured prey are far more vulnerable and a much easier target.
“Most hunting done by lions is under the cover of darkness; in the gloom of an African night they can easily observe and stalk their prey without the threat of detection. It’s actually quite common for lions to sit and observe their prey during daylight hours, usually just before sunset. But they mostly wait until after dark before launching an attack.”
Just like a roaring lion, the enemy also prowls around our lives, watching our every move, noting our weaknesses, our strongholds and studying our past wounds and making note of the best time to attack and WHO he can use to attack us. Most likely it will be those closest to you!
This all sounds a bit intimidating – knowing that you have an enemy that stalks your moves! But, there’s good news!! Through Christ, if you are a believer, your battle has already been won for you!! In the midst of trials and tribulations, we may not feel like it, but it is. We will still have to go through tribulation – it refines our character and strengthens our faith and walk with the Lord, BUT if we remain steadfast in WHO He is, and seek Him in the direction we should go, we will come out victorious.
Romans 8:37– “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
We all have triggers. While the enemy is crafty in his presentation, he usually doesn’t have any new tricks up his sleeve. I notice with me, he usually uses the same fears I have to pry his way in and cause division and strife. If you find yourself battling certain fears and insecurities and you see a repetitive cycle in your life and/or relationships, really ask God what your triggers are and start meditating on the Word of God to overcome them.
2 Thess. 3:3– “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
1 John 4:4– “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
1 Corinthians 15:57– “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are overcomers and we don’t have to stay the way we are or let the enemy continue to have a field day with us. Now that we understand who the real enemy is, we will continue on to Part 2 and understand how to put on the Armor of God to fight off attacks of the enemy!