Pray: Humbly ask God for wisdom. Ask Him to teach you as you read the following section of the Bible.
Read: Ephesians 6:10-17
Finally we get to finally! Paul begins his concluding remarks with a command to be strengthened by God’s power and to wear His armor so that you might stand against the schemes of the enemy. He also reminds us that the true battle is a spiritual one, we aren't battling the people and circumstances we see all around us.
The human tendency is for us to try to do everything in our own might. As Christians we recognize the folly and yet we tend to cling to it like an addict to his drug of choice, unwilling to let go, unwilling to compromise, no matter the cost. The “armor of God” isn’t “act more godly,” but it is a command to put on God’s armor – the attributes that He displays and wears, and to do so for our protection. We’re told to do so by the power of God, not in our own attempts to reform ourselves. The list of armor pieces is actually quotations from the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 11:5, 52:7, 59:17). I won’t attempt to interpret what each piece symbolizes exactly, but I will encourage you to think of these in terms of them being God’s armor that He Himself wears. For example, “the helmet of salvation” probably doesn’t mean “make sure you are saved” since God doesn’t put on the “helmet of salvation,” as it says in Isaiah, to make sure He is saved.
Our battles are spiritual battles. The girl who gossips about you at the office. The boss that rides you to the breaking point. The children who woke me up 4 times last night and then were ready to rock and roll at 6:00 AM. Yep, all spiritual battles. It’s easy to recognize that my kids aren’t the enemy (well, in the day time anyway), but what about that gossiping secretary? What about that guy gunning for my job? Paul says our problems are ultimately spiritual problems. Not that demons wake up my little angels, but that the unreasonable reaction to a common childhood problem shows something wrong in my heart. Just like the gossip shows something wrong in the gossiper’s heart, and the backbiting in the backbiter’s heart, etc.
We must prepare ourselves to take on these challenges by relying on the God who can help us, who can change us, who has given us hope in the Gospel.
1. What is the significance of this being God’s armor and not simply “godly armor”?
2. What are some battles you are going through right now? How are these spiritual battles? How should that change our attitudes and actions?
3. Go back and read verses 14-17. What spiritual armor do you need most right now in your life? Pray for it!
Memorize: Ephesians 6:12
“For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”