Paul wraps up his letter to the Ephesian church
with a solemn reminder: on our mission from God, we have enemies
actively looking to sabotage us, oppose us at every turn, & attempt
to take us out. These enemies are not people, political rivals, or
military adversaries; rather, they are identified as the devil & the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
So, what are Paul’s instructions for us to follow so we can endure in the face of such opposition?
Be strong in the Lord & in the power of His might. Put on the whole
armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the
devil… Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to
withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
He reminds us that our source of strength & power, as well as our
ability to stand firm in the face of opposition, is firmly rooted in our
faith in & dependence upon Christ. Paul uses the mental picture of a
fully armed & armored Roman soldier as a means of communicating the
ways we are prepare ourselves for the daily onslaught of evil.
We do this when we stand firmly in truth, holding fast against the
lies, imaginations, deceptions, & alternate realities/futures
confronting us. We stand righteously, doing right, living in a holy
manner, repenting of our sin/wrong-doing, & rejecting indecency
& dishonor. We stand in the peace that comes from the Good News of
the gospel, which is a stark contrast to the chaos & conflict of the
world around us. We stand on faith, reliant & assured that the One
we put our trust in, Christ, parries every attack of fear & doubt
the enemy launches at us. We stand confident in our salvation by Christ,
knowing that He is bringing us to wholeness: body, soul, mind, &
spirit. We stand on God’s Word, the Scriptures, which transform our
hearts and minds, exposing lies, imaginations, & attacks of the evil
one. We stand in prayer, empowered, filled, & led by the Holy
Spirit for every area of life.
We stand in the strength of the
LORD & the power of His might. And when the day of evil comes, we
will STILL be standing firm.