“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
— Ephesians 6:12
“You were rubbed with oil like an athlete—Christ’s athlete—as though in preparation for an earthly wrestling match, and you agreed to take on your opponent.”
— Ambrose of Milan
Jesus was God in the flesh and make no mistake about it, He believed in evil and Satan, the prince and power of the air. Jesus referred to Satan twenty five times. He also dealt with demons on a regular basis. When tempted in the desert for forty days, Jesus didn’t appeal to mind over matter or positive thinking to resist the temptation. He instead recognized the source of His temptation. “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10 NKJ).
When Jesus told the parable of the sower, He compared the seed to the Word of God and the soil to our hearts. He said, “The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts” (Mark 4:14-15 NKJ).
If you have any value to God, all hell will be against you. C.H. Spurgeon warned, “There is nothing which Satan can do for his evil cause which he does not do. We may be half-hearted, but he never is. He is the very image of ceaseless industry and indefatigable earnestness. He will do all that can be done in the time of his permitted range. We may be sure that he will never lose a day.”
Jesus warned Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31 NKJ). Likewise, the apostle Paul warned us to stay alert “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11). Did you get that? The Evil one has schemes and is trying to outwit us. We must never forget that there is an actual enemy with a legion of demonic troops that controls this world system and is working behind the scenes to defeat us. It’s real. There are unseen battles continually taking place all around us.
Ephesians 6:12 makes it clear that the war is real and certainly relevant. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”
Our struggle in life is in part due to a wrestling match with spiritual forces, and the primary way that demonic forces attack us is through our minds. Those who win this fight and experience victory must diligently protect their minds by putting on the full armor of God. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV).
God’s armor (Ephesians 6:13-17) is the helmet of salvation to protect your mind by holding the thoughts of God’s purpose for your life and taking captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. The breastplate of righteousness to keep your heart safe and pure by reading the word of God and letting the Holy Spirit breathe life and meaning into His words. Having our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace is to stand firm in your beliefs and to always be prepared to share the gospel. The belt of truth is to walk with integrity and speak the Truth in love. You take the shield of faith to extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy. You tell God, “My faith is in you Lord, I believe in you. I believe that by speaking the Word of God I have divine power over the lies of the enemy.” The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. “God, I acknowledge that Your Word is alive and powerful, penetrating the innermost parts of my person even my thoughts and intents.”
This fight we are in is very real and we have a full arsenal of armor to equip us. Through the power of God’s Word and perseverance in prayer we can stand firm and trust God to see us through.
Prayer to IGNITE:
God, I put on the whole armor of God that I can stand against the enemy. I believe in the power of your Word. I set my mind on you. Help me to stay alert and remain steadfast as I engage in the fight of my life.