Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12, ESV.
One theme running through our current cultural chaos is that of conflict. Every topic that grabs the public’s eye seems to demand immediate categorization so people can choose sides and engage in a war of words. Every conversation can become a declaration of war. Living in this argumentative free-for-all, Christians can lose sight of the real battle, the one described by Paul in Ephesians 6. Before we dive into a study of the particular components of the armor of God in this chapter, let us first consider why Paul says it is necessary.
The armor of God is necessary because it is our source of divine strength for the real battle. We need the strength of our mighty God if we are to survive this fight. Therefore, we need to take advantage of the sources of strength that He has provided. You will find none of the instruments the world uses to fight its battles listed in the verses that follow. It does us no good to arm ourselves from a worldly armory.
The armor of God is necessary because our enemy, the devil, is tactically adept. We cannot stand against his maneuvers in our own might. He will knock us down and defeat us if we try to go toe-to-toe with him on our own or seek strength anywhere but from God. The devil, “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44), “prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
The armor of God is necessary because the battle is out of this world. This is not a “flesh and blood” battle. Early in Ephesians we learn of how God rescued us from servitude to “the prince of the power of the air” (2:2) and how God has “blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1:3) “and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (2:6). There, Christ is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (1:21). Thus, our battle, even as we live in the flesh, is spiritual. This makes sense because “the prince of the power of the air” is still “at work in the sons of disobedience” (2:2).
As we look at the armor of God in the next few devotionals, let us remember where the battle is being waged. I pray that you will be encouraged as we consider just how well-armed we are for victory in Jesus!