Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). God has given us everything we need to experience life! That is why we say, “It is not just church…it’s life.” It is not religion; it’s a relationship. We can know God and talk to Him, and we do that through prayer. Several weeks ago, we read Ephesians 6:18, which says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” The context of this verse is spiritual warfare. You are in for the fight of your life. You have a real enemy. If you belong to God, the devil hates you because he can’t have you! If the devil can’t rob you of your salvation, he wants to rob you of the joy of your salvation. The same verse as above, John 10:10, also says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”
In Ephesians 6:10-11, we are told to be strong in the Lord and to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes. Christians cannot be demon possessed but we can be demon oppressed. Any area of your life that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is open to the enemy. Do not be unaware of the devil’s schemes. The enemy is watching and waiting to jump on and destroy your marriage, business, kids, health. We have a prayer strategy for victory. We are not fighting FOR the victory but FROM the victory. Victory was won on the cross. You may be thinking, “Well, I don’t know if I believe in the devil.” That does not make him go away! The same Bible that tells us God is real tells us the devil is real. Verse 11 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.” There is a battle going on in the heavenly realm. We only see an earthly realm. You pray to a God you cannot see, and you have an enemy you cannot see. He attacks your faith with fear and worry. He loves to intimidate and discourage. He is going to tempt you to compromise. He plays on your emotions. He wants to replay your hurts, wounds, bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. We have to stand against him.
In verses 13-17, Paul expounds on what it means to put on the armor of God. He expounds on the spiritual weapons we have. There is the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. I wish I had time here to go into detail on each one of these! The bottom line is that we are not able to stand on our own, but God is able to deliver us from evil! He has given us everything we need in Jesus. We have to take our stand with Jesus. We have to stand for Jesus and against the devil.
Paul closes this section with a reminder to keep on praying (v. 18). When God’s people pray it stirs up the enemy, but we have power over the enemy. We have the name of Jesus, the cross of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, the faith of Jesus!
When it comes to spiritual warfare, there are no short cuts. It is a daily battle. We have to daily call on God and confront the enemy. We have to read our Bible and spend time in prayer. Jesus overcame the temptations of the devil with “…it is written” (Mt. 4 and Lk. 4). Jesus spoke Scripture. Get up early and get in the Word every day to spend time with Jesus. Praying the armor is also a picture of Jesus. Jesus is the truth, He is our righteousness and peace, the one in whom we have put our faith. He is our salvation, the Word that became flesh! Put on Jesus! The only way to win life’s greatest battles and have victory is to put your trust in Jesus.