Read: Galatians 5:19-23
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. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
“You can give the Devil too much or too little attention.” – C.S. Lewis
I have long loved C.S. Lewis’ writings. Few authors are as versatile, creative, and thoughtful. Lewis’ works of fiction are wonderful, as are his non-fiction writings. In the above quote Lewis warns believers of two common mistakes: being too focused on the devil, and dismissing the work of the devil. I like that insight; it is balanced wisdom. Most mainline Christian pastors don’t talk much about “the devil”, choosing to focus on God’s will, God’s mission and purpose in the world, making disciples for Christ, supporting believers with Christian living messages, and pursuing the Great Commandment(s) of loving God and loving neighbor. That describes me. It does, however, runs the risk of giving “too little attention” to the devil and what has been called “spiritual warfare”. Over the next several weeks my WISH posts will take time to unpack St. Paul’s advice to first century Christians in Ephesians 6, in which Paul instructs believers to “put on the full armor of God”.
Some of you may think, “Finally! What took you so long?!” Others will wonder if I’ve lost my balance and fallen over the edge to giving “too much attention” to this topic. That’s the nature of this topic, and the dilemma as described by Lewis. I’d ask for patience, your “open mind”, and your prayers for this series of W.I.S.H. posts.
Pastor Rob Nystrom