by Richard Mansel, managing editor
If God provides all that we need and we do not utilize it, we cannot hold God responsible. We have a spiritual armor that will make us complete, if we will use it. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 6:13; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
We must band together against our common foe, so we can be stronger.
“The church, the body of believers, is in this warfare together. As the Roman soldier did not fight alone, so must believers as a body, united under their commander-in-chief, stand against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places.”/1
We must take a stand as a courageous soldier who is fully committed to staving off these attacks. “Stand” means to “make a stand, hold one’s ground in a military context.”/2 The term means, “To denote that which lasts and is stable, not subject to change or decay.”/3
We cannot allow Satan to take the hill that the Lord has secured. Souls that are lost to the enemy are doomed to an eternal hell (Matthew 25:46). The stakes are enormous! (Ephesians 6:14-17).
God has blessed us in ways we neither deserve, nor can comprehend. They rain down around us. We fight with God’s armor and utilize his weapons and power. However, we cannot fight without actively donning the armor and picking up the sword.
For many Christians, it is not because they do not have the armaments to fight Satan. They do not take the initiative to use them. We think we are too smart, strong or wealthy to need help. To do so would be to admit weakness.
Satan is thrilled when our vanity prevents us from being fully armed.
“This piece of armor is basic to all other pieces because truth and trustworthiness are basic to all the other qualities that believers need in order to withstand diabolical attacks. As believers internalize God’s truth they live and move in it.”/4
The breastplate of the soldier of the day, “extended from the base of the neck to the upper part of the thighs, so it covered what we would call the thorax and the abdomen.”/5
Shoes are very important to a soldier. They spend a lot of time protecting them. We cannot stand strong and resist Satan without good footing. We are to “shod [our] feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15).
“It is the believer’s surefootedness in the tranquility of the mind and the sincerity of the heart in the gospel of peace that gives them the readiness to stand against the devil and his angelic hosts.”/6
We take up the shield of faith that will protect us and empower us on a daily basis. Faith is security because we know that God is in charge and Christ has defeated every enemy that faced him (1 Corinthians 15:26). We know to the core of our being that Christ will never abandon us (Hebrews 13:5; Hebrews 11:1).
“Before battle the shields were immersed in water, soaking the leather cover and canvas beneath the leather, which also aided in extinguishing the flaming missiles.”/7
The fiery arrows “prepared the way for the mass attack of the troops upon the enemy opposed to them.”/8
In fact, “Soldiers used to throw these darts at the enemy in great profusion from all conceivable directions so as to cause confusion.”/9
Satan wants us to be confused and shamed at our stand for righteousness and morality. When the heat of public shame attacks us, he hopes we will surrender and follow the crowd (Ephesians 4:17-19).
Will we comply or stand strong with God?
1/ Harold Hoehner, Ephesians (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2002), 853-854.
2/ Ibid, 833.
3/ Ibid, 823.
4/ Ibid, 840.
5/ Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Christian Soldier (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1977), 223.
6/ Hoehner, 844.
7/ Hoehner, 848.
8/ Lloyd-Jones, 299.