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Read:   Ephesians 6:10-13

   10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

 These WISH posts will focus on spiritual warfare and the full armor of God, so we have some ground work to do.  Most of you don’t have much experience in this area and may think it scary or freakish; I get that.  Others may have been exposed to alarmist material of spiritual warfare, which can be freakish and scary. Again, I think of C.S. Lewis’ insight:  “You can give the Devil too much or too little attention.”

First, let’s be clear:  God has provided us with everything we need for this battle.  Second, the Holy Spirit of God is greater than any adversary we could ever face. Third, we engage spiritual battle ONLY with/for/in the Lord.  It’s never an act of our own authority or purpose.  In 2 Chronicles 20:14-15, surrounded by a vast enemy army, on the eve of battle, a little known prophet, Jahaziel, declares,  “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not fear or be dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God’s.”  The battle is not yours!  That battle belongs to the Lord – keep it that way.

Paul says, “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.”  Again, it’s God’s battle, not ours.  It’s in God’s name that we battle.  It’s God strength we call upon, not ours.  It’s God’s armor that protects.  We battle in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, or we don’t battle at all – there is no middle ground here.

Next, v.11 “Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Two things:  USE the armor.  Second, although the use of militaristic terms is used – what is described is to stand your ground – keep the faith.  Read the scripture again, “stand” and “withstand” occur three times.  Stand firm in the Lord – we are called to do that all the time, not just in times of spiritual warfare.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom